The Science of Sustainability

Environment

The Great Migration: Cal Academy moves 20 million specimens across town

The Great Migration: Cal Academy moves 20 million specimens across town

At 5pm on Sunday January 6, 2008, California Academy of Sciences closed its temporary location in order to start the move back to Golden Gate Park. On September 27, 2008 the Academy will open to the public once again in its new home in the Park. Many curious museum-goers have asked, why the long gap […]

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Death Valley Nights

Death Valley Nights

There's nothing like a trip away from the city lights to remind you just how bad light pollution can be here in the Bay Area. The Milky Way in the skies of Death Valley's Devil's Racetrack. Credit: Dan Duriscoe, U.S. National Park ServiceI just got back from my semi-yearly pilgrimage to my favorite spot on […]

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The New Clean Tech

The New Clean Tech

If investment is any guide, California's renewable energy companies are leaping into the new year. Investors poured billions of dollars into clean tech in 2007 to catapult green technologies to market. In the first three quarters of 2007, U.S. venture capital firms invested $2.6 billion in clean tech companies. That's compared with $1.8 billion for […]

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The New Clean Tech

The New Clean Tech

If investment is any guide, California's renewable energy companies are leaping into the new year. Investors poured billions of dollars into clean tech firms in 2007 to catapult green technologies to market. Lauren Sommer followed the trail to several Bay Area companies to see what breakthroughs lie ahead.

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Mercury falling with the rise of CFL bulbs

Mercury falling with the rise of CFL bulbs

Broke Your CFL? Don't Panic! The typical dose of mercury in a CFL is about the size of a pen tip (circled in red), and these doses have been getting smaller and smaller. (Photo provided by EPA.)Australia has already begun to phase out the incandescent light bulb, and the energy legislation recently signed by President […]

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Nursing the marsh-upland transition zone back to health

Nursing the marsh-upland transition zone back to health

In the North Bay, a new nursery is lending Mother Nature a hand. On a recent foggy morning, I drove up to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge to tour their native plant nursery with biologist Giselle Block and nursery manager Leia Giambastiani. The Refuge hugs the northern reaches of the Bay (If you've […]

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Cutting Tailpipe Emissions: What Next?

Cutting Tailpipe Emissions: What Next?

For decades, California has gotten waivers in order to enact air quality standards more strict than federal law demands. But this time, for the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency said no. And the reason was that California hadn't given a compelling reason why it should have authority to regulate the tailpipe emissions that cause […]

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Cutting Tailpipe Emissions: What Next?

Cutting Tailpipe Emissions: What Next?

California is making headlines around the world this week after federal environmental officials denied the state's request to slash greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. Amy Standen went looking for answers about what other options the state can pursue.

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Mollusk Madness: can we collect shells responsibly?

Mollusk Madness: can we collect shells responsibly?

Listen! You can hear the sounds of the ocean, but is it getting quieter? Last week while snorkeling in Roatan, Hondoruas, I came face to face with a Conch. Not a shiny shell in a gift shop, but a moving creature, shuffling along the sea floor, munching on grasses and just being a mollusk. I […]

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Exploring Crissy Field

Exploring Crissy Field

Crissy Field is a stunning park site within the Golden Gate National Parks. Crissy Field's 100 acres of wild, windswept shoreline are a favorite place for walkers, joggers, board sailors, bicyclists, thousands of birds and even the occasional seal.

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Weatherization Works! Especially when money is tight

Weatherization Works! Especially when money is tight

A Nebraska weatherization crew member blows in dense-pack cellulose insulation into an attic. (Photo by Pete Davis.)I am just back from the National Weatherization Training Conference in Orlando, Florida. The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the Department of Energy and other government agencies and serves low-income households in the United States. Weatherization professionals– the […]

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Paper or Plastic?

Paper or Plastic?

This November, San Francisco became the first city in the country to outlaw plastic check out bags at large supermarkets, arguing that the bags are dangerous to marine life and hard to recycle. But some studies say paper bags can be just as harmful for the environment. So why target plastic? You may listen to […]

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Paper or Plastic?

Paper or Plastic?

Last November, San Francisco became the first city in the country to outlaw plastic check out bags at large supermarkets, arguing that the bags are dangerous to marine life and hard to recycle. But some studies say paper bags can be just as harmful for the environment. So why target plastic?

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Why does it matter if kids know about science anyway?

Why does it matter if kids know about science anyway?

Which is bigger, an electron or an atom? If you're reading this science blog, you probably know the right answer. And that would make you a little more informed than the average American, according to a recent National Science Foundation report. Getting kids grounded in science at a young age can go a long way […]

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Snakes are not Poisonous

Snakes are not Poisonous

Often, an Academy biologist or docent will bring out one of the snakes for guests to see and touch. There are many common questions when a guest comes up close and personal with a Ball Python or Boa Constrictor. The most common question asked is – is this snake poisonous? And it is not only […]

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Rising Seas

Rising Seas

What will global warming mean to the San Francisco Bay? QUEST explores how sea level rise could effect Bay Area wetlands, following researchers who are taking cores from local marshlands to discover their climate history and potential future. Craig Miller reports. You may listen to the "Rising Seas" radio report online, as well as find […]

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Rising Seas

Rising Seas

What will global warming mean to the San Francisco Bay? QUEST explores how sea level rise could affect Bay Area wetlands, following researchers who are taking sediment cores from local marshes to discover climate history and to get a glimpse of the bay's future.

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Exploring Mt. Diablo State Park

Exploring Mt. Diablo State Park

This park is one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every season in the park has its special qualities. Discover for yourself the mountain's beautiful wildflowers, its extensive trail system, fascinating wildlife distinctive rock formations and fossils.

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Time for Efficiency

Time for Efficiency

Bad news for housing may be good news for efficiency. This house, built by students at the University of Maryland, won second place in the Solar Decathlon, held on the Mall in Washington DC in 2007. Photo by Amy E. Gardner.The recent news about home prices has not been good. In the United States, home […]

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The Traffic Tax – Take our Poll

The Traffic Tax – Take our Poll

San Francisco is studying a London-style plan to charge drivers a fee when they travel to high-traffic areas, like downtown San Francisco, or Doyle Drive during peak commute hours. But is congestion pricing a boon for public transportation? Or the death of downtown? Take our poll to share your opinion. You may listen to the […]

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