The Science of Sustainability

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Urban Farms in San Francisco Struggle to Put Down Roots

Urban Farms in San Francisco Struggle to Put Down Roots

Although urban agriculture is on the rise nationwide, in locavore-loving San Francisco, some difficult challenges are emerging

Continue Reading

Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Though engineers can purify sewage water to make it cleaner than what’s coming out of your tap, there's a bigger challenge: convincing people to drink it.

Continue Reading

Are Wetlands Nature's Best Defense Against Sea Level Rise?

Are Wetlands Nature's Best Defense Against Sea Level Rise?

Restoring marshlands along the shore of San Francisco Bay may be the key to protecting communities from rising sea level and it may lend a helping hand to some endangered species, too.

Continue Reading

Tesla Unveils 90-Second Battery Swap Technology

Tesla Unveils 90-Second Battery Swap Technology

Palo Alto based electric car maker Tesla has announced a service that will swap out a battery in less than two minutes.

Continue Reading

Work Begins on Largest Dam Removal Project in California History

Work Begins on Largest Dam Removal Project in California History

Construction crews are starting work on the largest dam removal project in California history.

Continue Reading

With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

Lead poisoning is a major obstacle to recovery for the endangered California condor, but a bill to address the problem has gun owners up in arms.

Continue Reading

The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

Drone enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are going beyond military and spy applications, exploring new uses for science and the environment.

Continue Reading

Debate Over on Climate Change, Says Chief UN Climate Negotiator

Debate Over on Climate Change, Says Chief UN Climate Negotiator

A United Nations expert recalls the exact moment she first witnessed the impact of climate change–and sees a concerted global effort as the only way to turn down the heat.

Continue Reading

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Are the benefits of genetically engineered foods worth the risks? This half-hour QUEST Northern California special explores the pros and cons of genetically engineered crops, and what the future holds for research and regulations.

Continue Reading

Solar plane takes off on historic cross-country trip

Solar plane takes off on historic cross-country trip

Lighter than an SUV and covered with more than 12,000 solar cells, Solar Impulse, the world's first solar plane that can fly day and night without recharging, launched from Moffet Field this morning in a cross country voyage.

Continue Reading

Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home

Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home

Californians spend over 45 billion dollars each year on health impacts due to indoor air pollution. Scientists at Berkeley Lab have identified the indoor air pollutants with the greatest health consequences, and they are now looking for ways to improve indoor air quality.

Continue Reading

Grappling with Rising Tides

Grappling with Rising Tides

Climate change and rising tides are predicted to take a toll on our shoreline areas in the Bay Area. Find out more about last winter's King Tides and what actions are underway to help plan for future sea level rise.

Continue Reading

Landslide at the Calaveras Reservoir

Landslide at the Calaveras Reservoir

The long-running dam replacement project must pause to deal with a sleeping monster.

Continue Reading

Do Now #74: Earth Day

Do Now #74: Earth Day

Calling all students on this Earth Day: Do you make it a regular practice to care for the environment? If so, what do you do? If not, why?

Continue Reading

Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

Fund Basic Research, It’s For Your Own Good

The budget proposal by the Obama administration is a mixed bag in terms of funding for science.

Continue Reading

Two Local Kids Are Semi-Finalists in a National Wildlife Art Contest

Two Local Kids Are Semi-Finalists in a National Wildlife Art Contest

A pair of local young artists have won a big environmental prize.

Continue Reading

Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species

Resurrection Biology: The Reality of Bringing Back Extinct Species

There has been a lot of buzz of late about bringing back extinct species like mammoths or passenger pigeons. While it might be a good idea to start thinking about these possibilities, we are years or even decades away from being able to actually pull this off with most long dead animals. The problem isn’t […]

Continue Reading

Gliese 667 Cc: Musing the Possibilities of Another Earth

Gliese 667 Cc: Musing the Possibilities of Another Earth

Since the first extra-solar planet was found in 1992, we've made some decent progress in exploring other worlds out there, and may even be zeroing in on that "other Earth."

Continue Reading

Scientists Celebrate a Long-Dead Whale

Scientists Celebrate a Long-Dead Whale

Why is a rotting whale on the Antarctic seafloor exciting to geologists?

Continue Reading

Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

Yes, Your Cell Phone Conversation Does Drive People Mad

It's well known that talking on your cell phone compromises your ability to perform simple tasks like walking and driving. Now it turns out cell phones impact cognition in bystanders as well: listening to another person talk on their cell phone isn't just incredibly annoying, it also interferes with your memory and concentration.

Continue Reading