On the windswept tarmac of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, an inventive group of scientists and engineers are test-flying a kite-like tethered wing that may someday help revolutionize clean-energy. QUEST explores the potential of wind energy and new airborne wind turbines designed to harness the stronger and more consistent winds found at higher altitudes.
Studying the effects of a concussion at its source, inside the brain, is no easy feat. Says Dr. Geoffrey Manley, Chief of Neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital, "What we’re dealing with is one of the most complicated injuries in the most complicated organ in the body."
QUEST treks 3,486 feet to the peak of Mt. Umunhum, rising steeply above Silicon Valley. During the Cold War, the Air Force installed a sprawling radar station atop the mountain. For more than 50 years the summit has been off limits to the public. Now it’s being cleaned up and will be opened as an open space preserve.
QUEST follows a group of UC Berkeley scientists to the top of a 320-foot redwood in Mendocino County. Only 5 percent of these ancient redwoods survived our voracious desire for their hardy and plentiful wood. Now scientists are trying to predict how the remaining ones and their descendants might fare in the face of climate change in the decades to come.
Most nature photographers put their cameras away at night. Not Steven Christenson. As the co-founder of the very successful Bay Area Night Photography group, he guides like-minded, low-light photographers to find interesting subjects after the sun goes down. Steven reveals his special process of photographing star trails for Your Photos on QUEST.
Cheese. It comes in more than 2,000 varieties — hard, soft, fresh and aged – and it's been with us for thousands of years. Take a journey to Cowgirl Creamery in West Marin to learn how artisan cheese is made and how scientists are putting cheese under the microscope to gain new insights about this incredible, edible food.
Entomologist Brian Fisher braves raging rivers, and dense tropical forests as he travels the world searching for new species of ants before they are lost to habitat destruction. Experience a slice of Fisher's life and work through video footage from his field work with ants in Madagascar.
QUEST ventures under a Central Valley bridge to count the bats that make it their home. The bridge is one of the most important roosting places for Mexican free-tailed bats in the Central Valley, where this voracious insect-eating species protects the local crops from pests. Then meet two volunteers who take injured bats into their homes and nurse them to health.
Solar and wind power may get the headlines when it comes to renewable energy. But another type of clean power is heating up in the hills just north of Sonoma wine country. The Geysers, the world's largest power-producing geothermal field, has been providing electricity for roughly 850,000 Northern California households, and is set to expand even further.