QUEST Community Science Blog
NASA will soon attempt to launch an unusual satellite. Most satellites are the size of a car, but this one is small enough to fit inside a glove compartment. Mini-satellites are reaching space in increasing numbers, thanks also to a do-it-yourself satellite program at Stanford University.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.