The Checkerspot Butterfly was once a vibrant part of spring in San Mateo County, but today's it's hard to spot a single one. Exhaust fumes from Highway 280 have contributed to the decline of this tiny butterfly, making it a victim of what is called "drive-by extinction." QUEST follows a biologist in Edgewood Park and [...]
Post on Apr 05, 2007 by Andrea Kissack
Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) – photo credit: US Fish & Wildlife ServiceThe little delta smelt is back in the headlines. An Alameda County judge has ruled that giant pumps operated by the Department of Water Resources are illegally killing delta smelt and Chinook salmon, two species protected under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). He [...]
Post on Apr 05, 2007 by Ann Dickinson
Last blog I talked about some of the reasons scientists are to blame for the public’s distrust of science. This week I want to look at what all of this means in the context of a concrete example–evolution. In the near future, I'll talk about this topic with regard to genetically modified organisms In both [...]
Post on Apr 02, 2007 by Dr. Barry Starr
Though you may not believe it, the Bay Area was home to the last whale hunting fleet in the United States – only a generation ago. Quest investigates how Richmond, California was part of a historic moment, and what remains today.
The Orientation Center for the Blind, in Albany, educates adults who are becoming blind. How do you prepare someone for their journey into darkness? Meet 2 more students who are walking this path.
Additional footage from our Journey into Darkness story.
The Orientation Center for the Blind, in Albany, educates adults who are becoming blind. How do you prepare someone for their journey into darkness? What are the current causes of adult blindness? Our QUEST story follows Regina, who is becoming blind, as she develops skills such as walking with a white cane and talks about [...]
Post on Mar 27, 2007 by Gabriela Quirós
Benchley's book and Spielberg's classic film Jaws might well have been set off San Francisco, in that although shark attacks are rare events, the fear and publicity associated with sharks off central California is on most everyone's mind. The White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), also known as the Great White Shark, requires no hyperbole. It is [...]
Post on Mar 21, 2007 by John E. McCosker
Cutting-edge microscopes at UC San Francisco are helping scientists create three-dimensional images of cells, and may help lead to new medical breakthroughs, including a treatment for Type 1 diabetes.
Go on an Exploration of Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, CA. While it offers a variety of rich habitats and vegetation for hundreds of species of birds, fish and other wildlife, it's under constant threat from human activity, pollution and erosion.
Cutting-edge microscopes at UC-San Francisco are helping scientists create three-dimensional images of cells, and may help lead to new medical breakthroughs, including a treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Eco-Architecture and Elk Return to the Bay Area (episode #105), in which this short segment also appears, airs tonight on QUEST at 7:30pm on KQED 9, and [...]
Post on Mar 20, 2007 by Gabriela Quirós
For thousands of years, massive herds of Tule Elk ranged across California like bison roaming the great plains. Weighing more than 500 pounds and able to run as fast as a racehorse, they were among the most majestic animals in the west. There were once a half a million native tule elk found in the [...]
Post on Mar 20, 2007 by Chris Bauer
The nation's first urban National Wildlife Refuge, it's 30,000 acres of open bay, salt pond, salt marsh, mudflat, upland, and vernal pool habitats are constantly changing.
"They're lying." "Who are they working for?" "What a bunch of gibberish." This is the sort of stuff I sometimes overhear when a scientist comes on TV. And I'm not the only one who is hearing this sort of thing. Many studies over the years have chronicled an increasing distrust of the scientist. Where does [...]
Post on Mar 19, 2007 by Dr. Barry Starr
California newt (Taricha torosa)It is about the time of year when, on a hike pretty much anywhere in the Bay Area, you can turn over a rock or a log and find a salamander. Like frogs, the breeding habits of salamanders coincide with the seasonally wet weather of the spring time; and as amphibians, water [...]
Post on Mar 16, 2007 by Nick Pyenson
Spring may be in the air, but our pollinators may not be. The U.S. bee population has declined, especially in urban areas. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there's a new buzz to bring wild, native bees to the urban landscape.
Spring may be in the air, but the bees that pollinate our fruit and flowers may not be. The number of bees in the U.S. has declined, especially in urban areas. The traditional way to increase bee numbers is with hives of European honeybees — but setbacks in keeping city beehives means that a different, [...]
Post on Mar 16, 2007 by David Gorn
Ahh… summer (well it seems like summer)… a time for lemonade, swimming in lakes and listening to the croak of frogs and catching them down by the creek. Wait! Is the lemonade organic? Is the lake protected? And most importantly, are you catching that frog in a jar, rather than with your hands, and putting [...]
Post on Mar 14, 2007 by Amy Gotliffe
When you’re feeling gloomy about the state of the planet and all the environmental challenges we face, there’s no better medicine than to spend a day outside with kids, planting native plants. That’s what I did two weeks ago, when I tagged along with our Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) Project staff and [...]
Post on Mar 08, 2007 by Ann Dickinson
Wouldn’t it be great if same-sex couples didn’t need a sperm donor? Or an egg donor? Or if men or women didn't have to wait for that special someone to have a child? Well, if we were anything like Komodo dragons, women at least could have babies without men. Not two women together, but one [...]
Post on Mar 06, 2007 by Dr. Barry Starr