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 Forest 2.0

Urban Forest 2.0

The urban forest is going digital. Thanks to volunteers with laptops and handheld devices, San Francisco is creating an online map of every street tree in the city, getting a leg up on keeping the urban landscape healthy and growing.

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Sharks of the San Francisco Bay

Sharks of the San Francisco Bay

Great white sharks outside the Golden Gate Bridge may get all the attention, but a new tagging program seeks to unlock the secrets of the considerable shark population inside the bay.

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NASA Flying Car Challenge

NASA Flying Car Challenge

Flying cars are usually the stuff of science fiction, but a group of engineers at NASA is hoping to change that. They're sponsoring a technology contest to revolutionize small planes – and it's open to the general public.

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The Salty Water Solution

The Salty Water Solution

Is desalination the solution to the California's chronic water woes? Four Bay Area agencies think it might be — and are studying whether to build the largest desalination plant in the country.

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Science of Bridge Safety

Science of Bridge Safety

After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, almost all of the Bay Area's toll bridges underwent major upgrades. Yet even with the focus on retrofitting, there are still 40 Bay Area bridges that rate lower than the one that collapsed in Minneapolis. How do we know which bridges are safe?

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Quest for Longevity

Quest for Longevity

Americans have made an enormous leap in life expectancy over the past century. Now, Bay Area scientists are looking to extend lifespan, and "healthspan" to 100 years and beyond.

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Napa Wineries Face Global Warming

Napa Wineries Face Global Warming

The Napa and Sonoma microclimates produce world famous wines, but what happens if the climate changes? Local scientists and wineries are beginning to look at how to prepare.

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Exploring Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Exploring Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park stands as a reminder of the natural flora and fauna of the area before much of it was cleared to create vineyards. However, the soils and microclimates that have drawn grape growers for over 100 years remain. The park is also teeming with plants used by Native Americans in the region, who were likely the first people to use the Valley's bounties to make intoxicating concoctions.

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Amy's update: The twins arrived safely on 7/27

Amy's update: The twins arrived safely on 7/27

Editor's Note: Producer Amy Miller, who was reporting the story on camera in our 7/24 episode on premature births titled "Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise", was placed on bed rest for preterm labor 2 weeks after filming. She has some good news to report below. Amy Miller and twin boys: Felix Alexander […]

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The Great Switch-Out

The Great Switch-Out

Compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs, new compact fluorescent bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer. But some people say their lighting is too harsh. QUEST sheds some light on the bulb debate.

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What's in your Shampoo?

What's in your Shampoo?

Just how safe is your shampoo, eye liner or aftershave? No one really knows. In an effort to shed more light on the ingredients in everyday cosmetics and toiletries, California lawmakers passed the Safe Cosmetics Act, which takes effect this year. It requires manufacturers to report all toxic or carcinogenic ingredients to the state and lets the public decide what is safe.

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Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

Born Too Soon: Preterm Births on the Rise

The United States has the highest rate of premature births of any developed nation in the world. But why? QUEST meets some of the Bay Area researchers working to answer that question.

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Illuminating the Northern Lights

Illuminating the Northern Lights

Northern California residents may not be able to see the northern lights like people in Alaska can, but Bay Area scientists are playing a key role in understanding them. Find out more about the spectacular light shows up north and what scientists at UC Berkeley are discovering about the Earth's magnetic field.

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Falcon Fascination (TV)

Falcon Fascination (TV)

When it comes to these Bay Area internet celebrities, you can peek into their homes 24 hours day. QUEST visits a famous pair of Peregrine Falcons in downtown San Jose, whose family dramas– from courtship to parenthood– are caught on webcam.

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Graywater Guerrillas

Graywater Guerrillas

Over the last few years we've all been asked to tread more lightly on the planet – use less energy, less gasoline and less water. Now a growing movement of do-it-yourself-eco plumbers are testing the limits of just how green you can get before running into trouble with the law.

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Attract Native Bees to Your Garden (web only)

Attract Native Bees to Your Garden (web only)

University of California entomologist Gordon Frankie is researching what plants are best at luring honey bees and wild bees. Join us as he gives a tour of his garden in downtown Berkeley.

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Story Time with Young Science Authors

Story Time with Young Science Authors

What do kids age 5-8 think about science? Young authors from the KQED Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest read their science-themed contest entries. You may view the "Story Time with Young Science Authors" TV Story online, as well as find additional links and resources. Amy Miller is a Coordinating Producer for television on […]

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Landslide Detectives

Landslide Detectives

With its rolling hills and winter storms, the Bay Area has been a landslide hotspot, putting houses and lives at risk. Now geologists are using new high-tech tools to understand and predict these natural disasters.

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Better Bees: Super Bee and Wild Bee

Better Bees: Super Bee and Wild Bee

California farmers depend on bees to pollinate the state's multi-billion-dollar fruit and nut crops, but in recent years thousands of bee colonies have disappeared around the country. Meet two Northern California researchers looking for ways to make sure we always have bees to pollinate our crops.

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Story Time with Young Science Authors

Story Time with Young Science Authors

What do kids age 5-8 think about science? Young authors from the KQED Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest read their science-themed contest entries.

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