The Science of Sustainability

Environment

The Science of Measuring Snow

The Science of Measuring Snow

Much of the water flowing through the West starts as snowpack high up in the mountains. A complex system of remote and manual data collection helps water managers calculate how much water they'll have for the season ahead.

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QUEST TV: Highway to Hydrogen

QUEST TV: Highway to Hydrogen

Although auto makers have spent decades and billions of dollars to develop hydrogen fuel cell cars, only a few hundred of them are on the nation's roads. With new refueling stations in development and new models recently unveiled, are these zero-emission vehicles finally ready to roll?

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Out of Sight, Out of Mine

Out of Sight, Out of Mine

Many Midwestern mines ceased operation long ago, but surrounding land and streams still feel their toxic effects.

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Getting the Munchies for Hemp

Getting the Munchies for Hemp

More people are turning to hemp seeds as a source of healthy fats and protein, and as a sustainable crop.

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Bison and Cranes Reunited to Support Habitat Restoration

Bison and Cranes Reunited to Support Habitat Restoration

Find out how the reintroduction of bison to a central Nebraska island can help restore habitat for flocks of sandhill cranes during their annual visit on the Platte River.

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Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

How one family’s decision to remove their waterfront wall has sparked the recovery of coastal ecosystems on a popular Washington island.

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Lessons from a Global Garden: Growing More Food with Less

Lessons from a Global Garden: Growing More Food with Less

Farmers and community gardeners from around the world gather in Mendocino, California to explore a method for growing more food on less land — that reduces the need for precious resources.

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From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

A CO2 monitor atop Seattle’s Space Needle supplies empirical data on the city's carbon emissions

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Searching for Memories on an Altered Landscape

Searching for Memories on an Altered Landscape

While prairie is converted to cropland at a breakneck pace, one conservation biologist in Nebraska is finding an alternative way to jog the collective memory of the Great Plains landscape.

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From Screenwriter to Soil-Saver: The Double Legacy of Louis Bromfield

From Screenwriter to Soil-Saver: The Double Legacy of Louis Bromfield

Best known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, screenwriter, and Hollywood hobnobber, Louis Bromfield was also celebrated as a pioneer of sustainable agriculture — a lesser-known part of his legacy that lives on today at his Ohio farm.

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“Elephants and Tigers” Beneath Our Feet: Q&A with Soil Scientist Diana Wall

“Elephants and Tigers” Beneath Our Feet: Q&A with Soil Scientist Diana Wall

Find out how biodiversity below ground influences life above ground.

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Technologies Poised to Keep Asian Carp at Bay, Slowed by Challenges

Technologies Poised to Keep Asian Carp at Bay, Slowed by Challenges

In response to the major threats posed to the Great Lakes by invasive Asian carp, engineers have developed devices to keep them out, but delays in deciding how to implement them might give the fish an edge.

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During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

As California's drought gets worse, farmers and conservationists are teaming up to create temporary wetlands for birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway.

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Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Parking lots coated with coal tar, a gooey black waste product of steel manufacturing, shed the coatings at a high rate. This toxic residue is showing up in dust on nearby apartment surfaces.

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Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Does a shift toward renewable energy sources mean choosing between wind turbines and wildlife? Author William H. Funk weighs in.

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Prairie Power

Prairie Power

Scientists investigate the ecological and economic benefits of turning Midwestern prairie grasses into a renewable fuel source.

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In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

There’s no doubt about it – it’s dry out there. 2013 ended as the driest year ever recorded in many parts of California. So water managers are trying to squeeze out every last drop with an old technology: cloud seeding.

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Tracking Your Own Footprints: Digital Tools to Inspire Conservation

Tracking Your Own Footprints: Digital Tools to Inspire Conservation

Oberlin researchers hope to change the public’s personal habits by offering tools to help track resource use in buildings and cities.

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Look What’s Killing Our Oldest Trees

Look What’s Killing Our Oldest Trees

The tale of an exotic pest that threatens the survival of the east’s old-growth forests.

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Why a Dark Sky Matters

Why a Dark Sky Matters

Big city lights may put some dazzle in the night sky, but they also cause problems for people and other creatures attuned to darkness.

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