The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Wither The Lawn

Wither The Lawn

After three years of drought, California is finally getting some wet relief. Yet a series of strong storms doesn't end the state's need to conserve water. A new California law will impose restrictions on landscaping for decades to come. Katharine Mieszkowski reports on the future of the suburban lawn.

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Fighting Words

Fighting Words

Words matter to scientists. The scientific method is a structure through which scientists test theories through experiment, and then share the results with other scientists.

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Reporter's Notes: Putting Landscaping on a Water Budget

Reporter's Notes: Putting Landscaping on a Water Budget

Is your yard a dated relic of California's water guzzling past, or, an exemplar of the drought-tolerant future that the state's trying to nudge us all towards?

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Holding Hands with an Octopus

Holding Hands with an Octopus

A week ago on Tuesday morning, a co-worker and I were able to go behind the scenes and visit with the Giant Red Octopus and his trainer.

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22andHim

22andHim

A doctor from China contacted me through this blog with some exciting news.  He had found a patient with 44 chromosomes instead of the usual 46

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Teaching the Brain To See

Teaching the Brain To See

Thanks to stem cells and other cutting-edge technologies, doctors hope they may one day be able to restore sight to people who were born without it, or lost it, later in life. But a rare case here in the Bay Area suggests that curing blindness may be more than meets the eye.

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Celestial Navigation: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Celestial Navigation: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Celestial Navigation – it’s a special topic for me as it blends my interest in astronomy with my long time fascination for things nautical: ships, exploration, adventure, and global geometry.

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Reporter's Notes: Can You Teach A Brain To See?

Reporter's Notes: Can You Teach A Brain To See?

When Mike was three years old, he opened up a jar containing an explosive chemical that the miners had left behind. The accident left him nearly blind. Forty-two years later, doctors fixed one of his eyes in a series of two procedures.

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Reporter's Notes: Coping with Ants at Home

Reporter's Notes: Coping with Ants at Home

Argentine ants have had amazing success as an invasive species in the US. Their West Coast super colony numbers in the billions and spans from Mexico to Oregon. But aside from invading homes, they've had a dramatic effect on native ants and local ecosystems.

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Whom Do You Trust?

Whom Do You Trust?

Who can you trust nowadays? That question has some importance for me today.

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Famous African-American Scientists and Innovators: Part III

Famous African-American Scientists and Innovators: Part III

Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African-Americans and takes place February of each year.

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Welcome to Rangoon, California

Welcome to Rangoon, California

You don't really appreciate how much California have given up on equal education until you spend some time in a poorer district.

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The Godfather of Green

The Godfather of Green

Art Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down from his post with the California Energy Commission. The 83-year-old nuclear physicist pushed California to enact some of the toughest energy efficiency standards in the world. QUEST talks with Rosenfeld about his passion for saving kilowatts. Andrea Kissack reports.

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Reporter's Notes: The Godfather of Green

Reporter's Notes: The Godfather of Green

My head is swimming with energy efficiency facts after producing this week's QUEST radio piece on efficiency guru Art Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down after two terms on the California Energy Commission.

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Stalking the Elusive Orange Hypergiant

Stalking the Elusive Orange Hypergiant

Are there Orange Hypergiants?

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Wonderin' Where the Lions Are

Wonderin' Where the Lions Are

North Beach was my first SF home, and going to sleep while listening to the distant barks of the sea lions let me appreciate the fact that I was living in a magical town by the sea, on a pretty cool planet called Earth.

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Try These At Home 2: Exploring Buoyancy

Try These At Home 2: Exploring Buoyancy

Buoyancy is the force that decides whether an object will sink or float, and has had a long and colorful history.

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Is The Drought Over?

Is The Drought Over?

The recent rain storms have drenched Northern California, dumping in some places almost twice as much rain as we'd expect to see at this time of year. That's great news for a state that's suffered three years of drought. But are we finally in the clear? Amy Standen went in search of answers.

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What Went Wrong with the Buildings in Haiti?

What Went Wrong with the Buildings in Haiti?

Like a lot of people, I've been thinking about the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, seeing images of collapsed buildings and dead people on the news and in the newspapers.

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Reporter's Notes: Is The Drought Over?

Reporter's Notes: Is The Drought Over?

By using water as a commodity, we are using up the fresh water the planet provides faster than it can replenish it. Reporting this piece introduced me to a subculture I hadn't paid much attention to before: Water nerds. It turns out I sit right next to a couple of them, right here at KQED. […]

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