The Science of Sustainability

Television

Maya Skies

Maya Skies

Armed with laser technology, Bay Area engineers are helping create detailed virtual records of the world's great monuments. Their realistic recreation of the Mexican ruins of Chichén Itzá is the basis for "Tales of Maya Skies," a new half-hour film about Maya astronomy designed especially for a planetarium. The film opens at Oakland's Chabot Space & Science Center on November 21. QUEST takes you behind the scenes.

Continue Reading

Your Photos on QUEST: Doug Nomura

Your Photos on QUEST: Doug Nomura

San José photographer Doug Nomura has learned just how to track his subjects to create arresting photos of birds in flight. He focuses his work on the Bay Trail, a 300-mile trail around the Bay. QUEST joins Nomura on the bayfront in Sunnyvale as he works to photograph the many bird species that call the South Bay's mudflats home, or stop here as part of their migration.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST—Doug Nomura

Producer's Notes: Your Photos on QUEST—Doug Nomura

San José photographer Doug Nomura has learned just how to track his subjects to create arresting photos of birds in flight. He focuses his work on the Bay Trail, a 300-mile trail around the Bay. QUEST joins Nomura on the bayfront in Sunnyvale as he works to photograph the many bird species that call the South Bay’s mudflats home, or stop here as part of their migration.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Maya Skies

Producer's Notes: Maya Skies

Go behind the scenes of Tales of Maya Skies, the new film produced by Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center. The half-hour film about Maya astronomy opens at the center's planetarium on November 21.

Continue Reading

Why I Do Science: Drew Endy

Why I Do Science: Drew Endy

Stanford University's Drew Endy is a synthetic biologist, or as he puts it, someone who makes biology easier to engineer. He's one of the leading lights of this relatively new scientific field which builds on disciplines like computer science, electrical engineering and genetics. Find out why Endy is passionate about the cutting edge of biology.

Continue Reading

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

There's a hidden danger in San Francisco bay: mercury. A potent neurotoxin that can cause serious illness, mercury has been flowing into the bay since the mining days of the Gold Rush Era. It has settled in the bay's mud and made its way up the food chain, endangering wildlife and making many fish unsafe to eat. Now a multi-billion-dollar plan aims to clean it up. But will it work?

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Because there wasn't time in the QUEST TV segment on mercury in the bay to include information on safe fish eating practices, below are the guidelines, along with web links, to help you get plenty of Omega 3s and still keep your mercury levels low.

Continue Reading

QUEST – National Parks Special: Bringing the Parks to the People

QUEST – National Parks Special: Bringing the Parks to the People

QUEST examines how the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was saved from development, the rise of not-for-profit land trusts in protecting and restoring Northern California's open spaces, and how these vital places are used and maintained by the communities served by them.

Continue Reading

National Park Service – Soundscapes

National Park Service – Soundscapes

In 2003, following a year-long nature sounds study in Sequoia National Park, Craig Miller, then founder of Vox Terra (now Senior Producer of Climate Watch) and Bernie Krause, founder of Wild Sanctuary, co-produced this four-and-a-half minute "journey." It takes you from the familiar cacophony of the urban soundscape to a serene spot in Sequoia Park. Take the journey and see how desensitized to urban noise you've become.

Continue Reading

Youth Speaks Green: Simone Crew

Youth Speaks Green: Simone Crew

Simone Crew of Youth Speaks, a San Francisco literary arts organization, recites "Yasmeena," one of her "green inspired" poems.

Continue Reading

Illuminating Depression

Illuminating Depression

Nearly 15 million Americans suffer from depression. Learn why depression is more than just "feeling blue," the difficulties of treating it with traditional medications and how new tools

and research are shedding light on brain structures that may play an integral role in treating it.

Continue Reading

Illuminating Depression Extended Interview: Philippe Goldin

Illuminating Depression Extended Interview: Philippe Goldin

What is the link between anxiety and depression, and can a form of talk therapy help treat both conditions? Learn more in an extended interview with Philippe Goldin, Clinical Research Scientist for the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Group at Stanford University.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Illuminating Depression

Producer's Notes: Illuminating Depression

Imagine a medical disease that afflicts eighteen million people in the U.S., for which more than 160 million prescriptions were filled in 2008, that is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., but a disease for which no definitive medical model of pathology exists.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Algae Power

Producer's Notes: Algae Power

Before becoming the CEO of Aurora Biofuels, Bob Walsh worked at the oil company Shell for 25 years. Here’s an excerpt of QUEST’s March, 2009, interview with Walsh, most of which didn't make it into the TV segment.

Continue Reading

QUEST Quiz: Algae

QUEST Quiz: Algae

Which algae are most efficient at producing oil? What other uses have algae been given throughout history? Take the QUEST Quiz to find out.

Continue Reading

Algae Power

Algae Power

In a co-production with NOVA scienceNow, QUEST explores the potential of algae—once considered nothing more than pond scum—to become the fuel of the future. Entrepreneurs from the Bay Area to LA are working to create the next generation of biofuels from algae. But will you ever be able to run your car off it?

Continue Reading

Web Extra: Devil's Gulch Ranch Windmill

Web Extra: Devil's Gulch Ranch Windmill

Mark Pasternak of Devil's Gulch Ranch erected the first permitted, electricity generating wind turbine in Marin County. See pictures and hear the story of how it was done.

Continue Reading

Web Extra: Home Energy Audit

Web Extra: Home Energy Audit

QUEST teams up with Climate Watch to give you an inside look at home energy efficiency. Tag along with Sustainable Spaces on a home efficiency "green-up" and learn tips on how to make your home more energy efficient.

Continue Reading

Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

With the race on to reduce global warming and fossil fuel dependency, experts in alternative energy see a bright future for renewable resources like wind, solar, hydro-power and geothermal energy. QUEST and Climate Watch team up to look at the "Smart Grid" of the future and how it might be improved to more cleanly and efficiently keep the lights on in California.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes – Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

Producer's Notes – Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid

Last summer I visited the Netherlands, the original home of the windmill. Surprisingly, I saw hardly any of the quaint structures we associate with Dutch wind power. One hundred years ago Holland had about 10,000 wooden windmills dotting its landscape. Today, barely 10% remain.

Continue Reading