The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Journey to the Farallones

Journey to the Farallones

They've been called "California's Galapagos." Nearly 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge lie the Farallon Islands. This year marks their 100th anniversary as a national wildlife refuge. While the islands are off limits to tourists, reporter Lauren Sommer caught a ride with marine researchers to learn about how changes are affecting life there.

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Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

The Farallon Islands, precariously perched just a few miles from the edge of the North American continental shelf, are home to an incredible array of wildlife, from tiny Auklets to Great White Sharks, The islands have played a surprising role in the cultural, economic, and technological development of the city of San Francisco. This timeline outlines the landmark events between Sir Francis Drake's landing in 1579 and the present day.

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Reporter's Notes: Journey to the Farallones

Reporter's Notes: Journey to the Farallones

Our trip to the Farallon Islands was certainly eventful: seasickness (me), bug bites (me) and immersion in one of the most unique wildlife habitats in the world (luckily). This chain of windblown rocks, about 27 miles from San Francisco, is teeming with 300,000 seabirds in the spring and summer.

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Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Get a behind-the-scenes look of QUEST's trip to the Farallones and find out what's it's like to live on these rocky, remote islands – for both the birds and the scientists who study them.

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Weatherization Gets Down to Business

Weatherization Gets Down to Business

Home energy blogger Jim Gunshinan sends in his post from the 2009 National Weatherization Training Conference, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Exploring the Farallon Islands

Exploring the Farallon Islands

Established as a national wildlife refuge 100 years ago, the Farallon Islands are centered in one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. While off limits to the public, a handful of scientists study this unique habitat, a breeding ground for marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of birds. Explore the sights and history of the largest island for yourself with this interactive map.

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Postpone that Home Depot trip, Household appliances are getting a makeover

Postpone that Home Depot trip, Household appliances are getting a makeover

This is old news to many of the folks at California Energy Commission , who have pushed for such changes for decades. But the real news is that these aren't just recommendations anymore. They're policy, or soon will be.

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Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

A bed bug infestation in my apartment led to some careful internet research.

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Decoding Synthetic Biology

Decoding Synthetic Biology

Imagine living cells acting as memory devices; biofuels brewing from yeast, or a light receptor taken from algae that makes photographs on a plate of bacteria. With the new science of synthetic biology, the goal is to make biology easier to engineer so that new functions can be derived from living systems.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Harold Davis

Your Photos on QUEST: Harold Davis

East Bay photographer Harold Davis combines his loves of the natural world with modern digital photography to create images that show the ordinary in an extra-ordinary way. After many years as a commercial photographer, he decided to move back the Bay Area and change his focus.

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Web Extra: Synthetic Biology Extended Interview

Web Extra: Synthetic Biology Extended Interview

Meet Biological Engineer Drew Endy of Stanford University, who is on the forefront of the new science of synthetic biology.

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Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST – Harold Davis

Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST – Harold Davis

The hardest thing about pulling this segment together was determining which of Harold’s photographs to use! Browsing through his thousands of photos on Flickr, and his professional website, you can see the breadth of his subjects.

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Producer's Notes: Decoding Synthetic Biology

Producer's Notes: Decoding Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology portends big changes in our lives by ushering in a dizzying array of applications in everything from medicine to biofuels, environmental remediation to agriculture.

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Taking the Plunge: Diving Into my DNA

Taking the Plunge: Diving Into my DNA

Well, I have finally decided to do it. I have ponied up the money and signed up for 23andMe's DNA test.

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Depression Advancements

Depression Advancements

One in six Americans will experience a major episode of depression at some point in their lives. And yet the drugs commonly used to treat the disease have been described as "blunt instruments"

by researchers. Newer approaches use magnets to stimulate some of the neurological signals that underlie depression.

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Reporter's Notes: Depression Advancements

Reporter's Notes: Depression Advancements

This radio story tries to cram a lot into five minutes, so if you don't find what you need here, put a comment on the blog, below and I'll see if I can't provide a lead to more information.

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Neil Armstrong's Lunar Footprint Turns 40

Neil Armstrong's Lunar Footprint Turns 40

What were you doing 40 years ago, on July 20th, 1969, when the first human foot (booted, not bare) made its impression on the gritty surface of the Moon?

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QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion

QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion

Paul Doherty of the Exploratorium performs a "sit-down" lecture on one of Sir Issac Newton's most famous laws.

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Hog Wild

Hog Wild

In 1924, a hunter purposely released a handful of wild boar in Monterey County. Now the pigs number in the hundreds of thousands and reside in all but two of California's 58 counties. Big, fast, smart and hungry, these animals often out-compete native species and damage fragile native ecosystems.

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Producer's Notes: Hog Wild

Producer's Notes: Hog Wild

I knew going into this story that we might ruffle some feathers. But one of the things that made this story so intriguing to me is that it would bring up some questions about where people stand on what can be a pretty touchy subject.

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