The Science of Sustainability

Environment

Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

UC Berkeley's University Herbarium boasts one of the largest and oldest collections of seaweed in the United States. Herbarium curator Kathy Ann Miller is leading a massive project to preserve digitally nearly 80,000 specimens of west coast seaweed.

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Winter Waterfall Hiking in Marin

Winter Waterfall Hiking in Marin

Winter may not bring snow to the San Francisco Bay Area, but it definitely brings waterfalls. If you find time before spring, head to Cataract Creek Trail in Marin County.

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San Francisco a Test Case for Coping with Rising Seas

San Francisco a Test Case for Coping with Rising Seas

Under a strategy known as "managed retreat," San Francisco gets ready to let the ocean reclaim a cherished stretch of Pacific coastline.

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Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Back in December I wrote a blog post asking scientists to comment online more often.

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Who Gets the Cash for Energy Upgrades from Prop 39?

Who Gets the Cash for Energy Upgrades from Prop 39?

In November, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 39, closing a corporate tax loophole and using the savings to create the largest state energy efficiency initiative in the country. Now the debate over how to use the money begins.

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Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

After federal wildlife officials removed endangered species protections on wolves in the Rocky Mountains, hunters quickly killed them by the hundreds. If California's lone wolf leaves the state, he could meet a similar fate.

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In Historic Gold Country, Old Mines Get New Life

In Historic Gold Country, Old Mines Get New Life

It's not the frenzy of 1849, but gold mining is quietly making a comeback in California. While some communities are concerned about the environmental costs, others see the chance for a "greener" gold rush.

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Climate Threat to Dams Overlooked by Regulators

Climate Threat to Dams Overlooked by Regulators

Hydropower provides a good chunk of California's electricity. It relies on a balance of heavy snow in the winter and heavy runoff in the spring. Climate change threatens to throw that balance out of whack, a problem the government isn't examining.

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Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Greet the New Year with a hike at the Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Conquering Fungophobia

Conquering Fungophobia

Late fall rains signal the start of mushroom season, which can last until spring in the Bay Area. Though only experts should forage and eat wild mushrooms (following park rules about harvesting), anyone can appreciate the rich diversity of these ephemeral fruits of the forest.

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Scientists More Outspoken on Exteme Weather-Climate Links

Scientists More Outspoken on Exteme Weather-Climate Links

One of the giants of climate science talks about extreme weather…and trashes California's plan to cut emissions.

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California Prepares First Fracking Regulations, Joining Nationwide Debate

California Prepares First Fracking Regulations, Joining Nationwide Debate

The controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing has created an oil and gas boom around the country – and that’s left state governments grappling with how to regulate it. Now, California is wading into that fight.

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How Do California's Fracking Regulations Compare to Other States'?

How Do California's Fracking Regulations Compare to Other States'?

California regulators are expected to release new fracking regulations by the end of the year. Most fracking rules come under state jurisdiction, and different states have different approaches.

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Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Last summer, a group of top scientists warned that our penchant for growth and consumption may be pushing earth toward an irreversible tipping point. The days when scientists could share their results with just their colleagues are over, says NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. It's time for scientists to help solve our "wicked problems."

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Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

From the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to killer whales, bicycles to cheese — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science and Environment team. Here's a round-up of the top 10 stories shared on our website (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2012.

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With Large Oil Reserve, California Faces Fracking Debate

With Large Oil Reserve, California Faces Fracking Debate

The new oil-and-gas boom that’s sweeping the country may be coming to California. With it comes the controversy over the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.

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Growing Pains for California's Electric Car Charging Network

Growing Pains for California's Electric Car Charging Network

KQED Science explores the growing pains of building an electric car charging network and the fledgling new industry rising up to meet the challenge.

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Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Last June, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to change California's flammability standard to ensure fire safety without dousing furniture and other foam products with toxic chemicals. Now activists are focusing on an even bigger market for flame retardants: foam insulation in buildings.

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Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

The rural foothills along the Santa Cruz County Coast hold an ancient secret. Deep below the redwoods, White Moon Cave extends for nearly a mile — making it one of the longest caves in California. But few people have ever been in it. Join the KQED Science team as we squeeze through the narrow clandestine entrance, and meet the uncanny cave inhabitants to bring new light to this hidden realm.

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So How Much Does Carbon Cost?

So How Much Does Carbon Cost?

Now we have a first glimpse of how California's experiment in carbon trading is working out. The state's first auction of industrial permits for greenhouse gases actually happened last week–but results were released on Monday.

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