The Science of Sustainability

Engineering

Ford Focus Electric Hits the Market With Faster Charging Times

Ford Focus Electric Hits the Market With Faster Charging Times

The all-electric Nissan Leaf first went on sale in December 2010. Until a couple of weeks ago, the Leaf had been the only EV available to U.S. consumers from a major automaker. That changed in mid-May when, according to a report by Reuters, Ford started shipping the 2012 Focus Electric to dealers.

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Diversity in the Valley: The NewME Accelerator (Part One)

Diversity in the Valley: The NewME Accelerator (Part One)

If you look around Silicon Valley, ideas all seem to be coming from the same kind of people. By a recent estimate, one percent of technology entrepreneurs were African American. Only eight percent of companies were founded by women. One program aims to change this by encouraging more women and minorities to launch companies.

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Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

May is Maker Month. But the maker urge is as old as humanity, and many modern maker hobbies were once major technological advances: tanning and weaving, brewing and baking, paper-making, printing and metalworking.

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Energy-Saving Windows Get Smarter

Energy-Saving Windows Get Smarter

Buildings are responsible for 40% of the country’s energy use. So, researchers are trying improve our energy efficiency by making windows dynamic and intelligent.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California’s Delta has a rich agricultural legacy, but farming there can be a risky business. Dozens of farms have been flooded over the past half century as aging levees have collapsed. Now, scientists are encouraging farmers to switch to a new crop. Instead of growing vegetables, they’d grow something that has all but disappeared in the Delta: wetlands.

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A Ribbon Cutting with a Green Twist

A Ribbon Cutting with a Green Twist

On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 15, 2012, I hitched a ride with my closest friend from San Francisco out to Palo Alto to attend the ribbon cutting for the first public fast charger in California for electric vehicles in Stanford Mall.

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The Science of Riding a Bicycle

The Science of Riding a Bicycle

Their basic design hasn’t changed much, but scientists still don’t fully understand the forces that allow humans to balance atop a bicycle. QUEST visits Davis – a city that loves its bicycles – to take a ride on a research bike and explore a collection of antique bicycles.

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Tag Along On Science Adventures: The Field Trip Podcast

Tag Along On Science Adventures: The Field Trip Podcast

Season 2 of the science podcast, "The Field Trip" premieres today.

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Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Jason Peltier, Deputy General Manager of Westlands Water District, a 600,000 acre agricultural district on the west side of the San Joaquin valley.

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"Whiskey’s for Drinking, Water’s for Fighting About"

"Whiskey’s for Drinking, Water’s for Fighting About"

A stark symbol of our quest to bend nature to our will, the Delta remains the epicenter of an epic drama of seemingly insurmountable political battles and power struggles, pitting north against south; farmer against environmentalist.

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Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council about the pressures on the Delta ecosystem and the competing plans to manage them.

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What is California’s Delta?

What is California’s Delta?

If you’re like most Californians, you’ve probably never heard of the Delta or why it’s important to the state’s economy and wildlife. In three minutes, we’ll explain how the Delta is a key part of California’s water supply and why it’s been the focus of a decades-long water battle.

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The (Dog's) Nose Knows: Sensor Mimics Canine Sniffing Cells For Smells

The (Dog's) Nose Knows: Sensor Mimics Canine Sniffing Cells For Smells

Dogs have an amazingly sensitive sense of smell that allows them to find lost people, illegal drugs and even floating whale poop. A new sensor uses the same principles to sniff out rotten food.

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Life on The Gate: Working on the Golden Gate Bridge 1933-37

Life on The Gate: Working on the Golden Gate Bridge 1933-37

This year marks the 75th anniversary of an icon. When it opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge ever built, constructed in one of the world’s most challenging settings. For the men who poured the concrete, and drove in each iron rivet, it was a life-changing experience.

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Plug-in Version of Prius Quietly Rolls Out on California Roads

Plug-in Version of Prius Quietly Rolls Out on California Roads

Toyota's new Plug-in Hybrid Prius quietly enters the auto market.

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Metal Materials, Cold Could Have Contributed to the Titanic’s Demise

Metal Materials, Cold Could Have Contributed to the Titanic’s Demise

One hundred years after the sinking of the Titanic, questions still abound about what really caused the ship to go down. Two theories say the physical properties of the ship’s metal hull or the composition of the iron rivets could have worsened the damage when the ship slammed into the iceberg.

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Natural Gas Cars Remain Niche Choice for Bay Area Commuters

Natural Gas Cars Remain Niche Choice for Bay Area Commuters

The 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas is eligible for a white carpool lane decal—granted only to cars that run on compressed natural gas or purely on electricity—but adoption of CNG cars has been slow.

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Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Coffee Flavor By the Numbers

Technology helps home coffee drinkers analyze and automate their morning brew so that everyone can brew the same artisanal cup of coffee each day.

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California Utility Commission Defends $100 Million EV Charging Deal

California Utility Commission Defends $100 Million EV Charging Deal

Electric car drivers cheered last week when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and NRG Energy announced plans to invest $100 million in the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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Changing Foghorns

Changing Foghorns

Lightkeeper Peter Berkhout takes QUEST radio reporter Craig Miller to see a genuine rarity: one of perhaps two or three remaining vintage foghorns anywhere in the U.S. that’s still in working order.

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