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.
Around the world, frogs are declining at an alarming rate due to threats like pollution, disease and climate change. Frogs bridge the gap between water and land habitats, making them the first indicators of ecosystem changes. Meet the Bay Area researchers working to protect frogs across the state and across the world.
For the past three years, the California Academy of Sciences, the oldest natural history museum in the West, has been housed in a temporary building in downtown San Francisco. Now the Academy is moving into a new, 400,000-square foot green building in Golden Gate Park. But when the residents are fish, penguins and millions of scientific specimens, moving in is no simple task.
Is your face giving you away? Meet renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, who has spent his life studying how our facial muscles involuntarily reveal emotions like sadness and anger. His comprehensive catalog of human facial expressions has become an important tool for everyone from law enforcement agents to animators.
Dr Jane Hightower was one of the first Bay Area doctors to start diagnosing mercury poisoning in her patients. In this audio clip, she explains how to know if you might be getting too much mercury from the fish you eat. And, she tells us what she feeds her 10-year old twin boys. (Hint: No tuna fish sandwiches in the Hightower home.)
Journey back in time to the birth of the Bay Area's environmental movement. Meet the everyday people who rescued the Bay Area from environmental disaster and continue to inspire a new generation.
You might not know it from the textbooks, but California's gold rush was also a mercury rush. Quicksilver mines near San Jose provided gold miners with the mercury they needed to separate gold from ore. 150 years later, we're still facing the consequences of gold-rush era mercury.
It's the largest laser beam in the world and it's being built in the Bay Area. The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will shoot tremendous bursts of energy at an area the size of a pencil eraser. The goal? To create fusion ignition, a potential clean energy source for the 21st century.
In the early 1900's, researchers from UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology traveled around California and created detailed records of the wildlife they found. A century later, scientists are revisiting the same sites — they've found that global warming is already having an impact.
It's often said dogs and their owners resemble each other. Now, researchers at UC-San Francisco are looking for those connections on a whole new level. They're searching for the genes that cause common psychiatric problems in humans – by looking at the DNA of dogs.
For years there's been buzz — both positive and negative — about generating ethanol fuel from corn. But thanks to recent developments, the Bay Area is rapidly becoming a world center for the next generation of green fuel alternatives. Meet the scientists investigating the newest methods for converting what we grow into what makes us go.
California has 11 coal-fired power plants, all used to heat limestone into cement — making us one of the biggest cement-producing states in the country. These kilns produce 95% of the state's airborne mercury pollution and 2% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Mostly, they've slipped under the radar of regulators, but that is changing fast.
Web Extra: Part I of our complete November 2007 interview with astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter of SETI Institute on site at the Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, CA.