The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Community Science Blog

Reporter's Notes: Do-It-Yourself Mini-Satellites

Reporter's Notes: Do-It-Yourself Mini-Satellites

It's a classic engineering story – a garage inventor spends years working in isolation, only to produce something that gets the attention of the world. Ok, the CubeSat story may not be quite as romantic, but it does have a lot of the same ingredients.

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Web Extra: Mini-Satellites Slideshow

Web Extra: Mini-Satellites Slideshow

Mini-satellites are reaching space in increasing numbers. Check out a few of the satellites built by Stanford University and others.

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LEED or Get Out of the Way

LEED or Get Out of the Way

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has become so popular and well known that many cities now require that new municipal buildings be built to LEED standards. But do these buildings actually save energy?

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An Ode to Enrico Fermi

An Ode to Enrico Fermi

The concept of the "Fermi Problem"–a hard question made readily accessible by back-of-the-envelope calculations and familiar knowledge–is still powerful in physics and beyond. Science teachers routinely use these types of questions as brain teasers.

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Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 2

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 2

"We believe energy storage is the next big thing," says Craig Horne, CEO of EnerVault, a Sunnyvale startup. His company is developing a battery that could help solve a renewable energy problem (check out our previous post): how to keep electricity flowing when we need it, even as more of it comes from sources we can't control. Horne was a panelist at a UC Berkeley-Stanford sponsored CleanTech Conference about energy storage held last week at Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science.

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Being Green on the Way to Work

Being Green on the Way to Work

On Thursday, May 14th, expect a jump in the number of bikes on the road in San Francisco. The reason for the inflation? Bike to Work Day.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Randy Davis

Your Photos on QUEST: Randy Davis

Randy Davis and his adopted dog, Lucky, explore the far reaches of the Bay Area via mountain bike. Once there, Randy photographs spectacular locations that are typically hard to access by car or foot. His eye for light and shadow show a different side of CA's state parks that most visitors don't get to see.

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Producer's Notes: Randy Davis on Your Photos on Quest

Producer's Notes: Randy Davis on Your Photos on Quest

Cycling and photography are two passions of mine that I ardently pursue in my free time, so it was only natural that I felt an immediate kinship with Your Photo on QUEST's featured photographer Randy Davis.

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Producer's Notes: California's Lost Salmon

Producer's Notes: California's Lost Salmon

While producing our story on these magnificent fish we had the privilege to witness the incredibly dedicated conservation fishery biologists at the Don Clausen Fish Hatchery at Lake Sonoma. Sadly, it seems that much of their work may have gone for naught.

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California's Lost Salmon

California's Lost Salmon

Because of a sharp decline in their numbers, the entire salmon fishing season in the ocean off California and Oregon was canceled in both 2008 and 2009. Quest looks at efforts to protect the coho in Northern California and explores the important role salmon play in the native ecosystem.

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Saving California's Salmon

Saving California's Salmon

You may not think of salmon when visiting Muir Woods, but it's home to endangered Coho Salmon. Meet the volunteers working to restore Redwood Creek and bring back salmon habitat after decades of human influence.

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Fearing 1918

Fearing 1918

A lot of people have been commenting about the apparent overreaction of governments to the swine flu. Why go to such extreme measures to deal with simple influenza? The reason has to do with the flu pandemic of 1918-1919.

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Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death is devastating oak forests along the coast, killing trees that are key to the ecology of the coastal hills. Researchers have found a way to inoculate individual trees from the disease, but are struggling in their search to find a more sweeping answer to the threat.

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Reporter's Notes: Sudden Oak Death

Reporter's Notes: Sudden Oak Death

There is no proven cure for Sudden Oak Death. But that doesn't mean you can't find people selling cures. In fact, the Internet is full of theories – and their related products – that explain how to treat Sudden Oak Death. The problem with them, says UC Berkeley researcher Matteo Garbelotto, is that they don't work. And in fact, he adds, they could actually harm people's backyard oak trees.

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Shooting the Moon

Shooting the Moon

Launching a spacecraft bound for the Moon with the deliberate intention of striking the Moon in a spectacular impact! Sounds like something out of a Jules Verne novel…

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Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

Those Intermittent Renewables – Part 1

When it comes to renewable power, California has had one main message: bring on the solar power, bring on the wind turbines! California and the country are heading fast towards a clean energy future. But renewables aren't perfect.

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Exploring Muir Woods National Monument

Exploring Muir Woods National Monument

You may not think of salmon when visiting the redwoods in Muir Woods, but it's home to a population of Coho Salmon. Redwood forests provide ideal salmon habitat, providing woody debris to protect young salmon in the creeks and keeping them shaded and cool. But the Coho in Muir Woods' Redwood Creek are endangered, and local biologists and volunteers are working to protect the salmon and restore their habitat.

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Go Go Geo! USGS Open House, May 16 and 17

Go Go Geo! USGS Open House, May 16 and 17

Have you hugged your local geoscientist lately? Science events blogger Kishore Hari gives you his top picks for the 9th Triennial Open House at the USGS, 10 am – 4 PM on May 16th and 17th.

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What's the Scoop on Kitty Poop?

What's the Scoop on Kitty Poop?

I am a cat owner who cares about the environment. What to do about their poop presents quite a conundrum.

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Breaking News on the Drakes Bay Oyster Controversy

Breaking News on the Drakes Bay Oyster Controversy

Today, the National Research Council issued its long-awaited report on the Drakes Bay Oyster Company… is their operation harming the environment or not?

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