The Science of Sustainability

Engineering

Urban Forest 2.0

Urban Forest 2.0

The urban forest is going digital. Thanks to volunteers with laptops and handheld devices, San Francisco is creating an online map of every street tree in the city, getting a leg up on keeping the urban landscape healthy and growing. You may view the "Urban Forest 2.0" story online, as well as find additional links […]

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Are you "science literate?" Whatever that means…

Are you "science literate?" Whatever that means…

According to the National Science Board, Americans are pretty interested in science– but not all that informed about it. And in our knowledge-based society, the Board adds, this lack of understanding can have implications. But what does that mean? What don’t people know? What would they like to know? And what difference would it make? […]

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Costs of Energy Consumption All Consuming

Costs of Energy Consumption All Consuming

An Associated Press story that I read in the Contra Costa Times on Wednesday pointed to one more negative effect of our nation's conspicuous power consumption. The National Fire Protection Association reports that the number of college dormitory fires has grown from 1,800 in 1998 to 3,300 in 2005. Thirty-nine students died in fires between […]

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NASA Flying Car Challenge

NASA Flying Car Challenge

Flying cars are usually the stuff of science fiction, but a group of engineers at NASA is hoping to change that. They're sponsoring a technology contest to revolutionize small planes – and it's open to the general public.

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NASA Flying Car Challenge: future or flight of fancy?

NASA Flying Car Challenge: future or flight of fancy?

NASA has created a Centennial Challenges series – contests for everyday people to develop new technologies that may offer inspiration for the space agency. The most famous of these is the space elevator challenge, where teams create a solar powered elevator prototype. The one that gets to the top the fastest wins. Others include space […]

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Dry water?

Dry water?

All last week my partner and I savored a ratatouille made from a rather large and unique zucchini. What made this particular zucchini special? The answer has to do with soil enzymes, deforestation, and Skippy peanut butter. My zucchini began its life in a bountiful test garden at the DriWater factory in Santa Rosa, from […]

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The Salty Water Solution

The Salty Water Solution

Is desalination the solution to the California's chronic water woes? Four Bay Area agencies think it might be — and are studying whether to build the largest desalination plant in the country.

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The Salty Water Solution

The Salty Water Solution

Water is an ever-more precious resource in California. A dwindling snow pack and ecological challenges in the Delta have many cities looking to the ocean for answers. Desalination used to be something found only in oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia. Now, proposals for 18 desalination plants are being studied by local officials from San Diego […]

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The Science of Bridge Safety

The Science of Bridge Safety

After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, almost all of the Bay Area's toll bridges underwent major upgrades – the Bay Bridge is the last of those projects. Yet even with the focus on retrofitting, there are still 40 Bay Area bridges that rate lower than the one that collapsed in Minneapolis last week. How […]

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Science of Bridge Safety

Science of Bridge Safety

After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, almost all of the Bay Area's toll bridges underwent major upgrades. Yet even with the focus on retrofitting, there are still 40 Bay Area bridges that rate lower than the one that collapsed in Minneapolis. How do we know which bridges are safe?

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What Does It Mean Being Green?

What Does It Mean Being Green?

"Ginormous" House First of all, I must de-confess. After making a rather dramatic confession of gross over-use of water in my last blog, it turns out the problem was not a moral failure after all, but rather a leak in the pipe carrying water from the street to our house. The leak has been fixed. […]

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The Great Switch-Out

The Great Switch-Out

Compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs, new compact fluorescent bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer. Many say that widespread use would produce major energy savings and reduce global warming emissions. But some people say their lighting is too harsh. QUEST sheds some light on the bulb debate. […]

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The Great Switch-Out

The Great Switch-Out

Compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs, new compact fluorescent bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer. But some people say their lighting is too harsh. QUEST sheds some light on the bulb debate.

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True Confessions

True Confessions

Forgive me reader for I have sinned. It's been two weeks since my last blog. Since then I have received a bill from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). We have used an excessive amount of water in the first two weeks living in our new home. By excessive, I mean about 1,600 gallons […]

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Graywater Guerrillas

Graywater Guerrillas

Over the last few years we've all been asked to tread more lightly on the planet – use less energy, less gasoline and less water. Now a growing movement of do-it-yourself-eco plumbers are testing the limits of just how green you can get before running into trouble with the law.

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Wi-Fi Revolution

Wi-Fi Revolution

Silicon Valley is planning one of the world's largest wireless networks, providing outdoors Web access to all and services to police and first responders. But how exactly does the technology known as Wi-Fi work? You may view the "Wi-Fi Revolution" TV Story online, as well as find additional links and resources from the story. Also […]

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Wetlands Time Machine

Wetlands Time Machine

Over 100,000 acres of wetlands are being restored in the Bay Area, but how do we know what to restore them to? QUEST discovers how historical ecologists are recreating San Francisco Bay wetlands that existed decades ago. You may view the "Wetlands Time Machine" TV Story online, as well as find additional links and resources […]

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Wetlands Time Machine

Wetlands Time Machine

More than 100,000 acres of wetlands are being restored in the Bay Area, but how exactly do we know what to restore them to? QUEST discovers how historical ecologists are recreating San Francisco Bay wetlands that existed decades ago.

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Wi-Fi Revolution (TV)

Wi-Fi Revolution (TV)

Silicon Valley is planning one of the world's largest wireless networks, providing outdoors Web access to all and services to police and first responders. But how exactly does the technology known as Wi-Fi work?

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Solar City: The Future of Nanosolar

Solar City: The Future of Nanosolar

Hoping to leave today's silicon solar cells behind, the Palo Alto company Nanosolar is creating paper-thin solar panels harnessing nanotechnology, a product that could revolutionize solar power.

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