The Science of Sustainability

Headquartered in Seattle, KCTS 9 is the premier source for public media that informs, involves and inspires more than 2.5 million viewers each week in Western and Central Washington State, British Columbia and across Canada. To watch or learn more about any of our programs, visit KCTS9.org.

QUEST Northwest partners include the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, IslandWood, The Museum of Flight, NatureBridge, NOAA, Pacific Science Center, Science World British Columbia, Seattle Aquarium, University of Washington College on the Environment and Woodland Park Zoo.

Visit our KCTS QUEST spring schedule for episode descriptions and broadcast information.

Do Water Pollution Tests Lead to "Dead Zones"?

Do Water Pollution Tests Lead to "Dead Zones"?

The problem with pee: a scientist blows the whistle on sewage-treatment plants, claiming they harm water quality even when meeting official pollution-control limits.

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QUEST TV: Wolves and the Ecology of Fear

QUEST TV: Wolves and the Ecology of Fear

In Washington state, wolves and deer are playing out a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that could have profound impacts on the ecosystem. Watch the video and find out what conservationist, Fred Koontz has to say about the need to protect "the big bad wolf."

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Ocean Acidification: The Basics

Ocean Acidification: The Basics

More than half of the CO2 emitted by humans has been absorbed by the ocean. Scientists say this means less CO2 in the air, but it also means a change in ocean chemistry — ocean acidification. Now what?

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Ocean Acidification: Vocabulary Game

Ocean Acidification: Vocabulary Game

Test your knowledge! Ocean acidification has 14 important vocabulary words. Educators can use this flashcard game as a pre-test or to check what students have learned. Easily play on screen or print the cards.

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Pteropods: Very Small and Very Important

Pteropods: Very Small and Very Important

Pteropods are sometimes called “sea butterflies,” but they’re actually free-floating snails. They play a big part in the ocean food web. How does ocean acidification impact these small creatures?

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Balancing Act: Otters, Urchins and Kelp

Balancing Act: Otters, Urchins and Kelp

By balancing their ecosystem, otters are playing a role in the fight against climate change. Watch this video and learn about the important connections among sea otters, sea urchins, kelp forests, and climate change.

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Ocean Acidification Awareness Game

Ocean Acidification Awareness Game

Challenge your brain in the categories of Ocean Dynamics, Ocean Chemistry, and Life in the Ocean! Play your way to ocean acidification knowledge in this multiple-choice game.

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Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

How one family’s decision to remove their waterfront wall has sparked the recovery of coastal ecosystems on a popular Washington island.

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From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

A CO2 monitor atop Seattle’s Space Needle supplies empirical data on the city's carbon emissions

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Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Parking lots coated with coal tar, a gooey black waste product of steel manufacturing, shed the coatings at a high rate. This toxic residue is showing up in dust on nearby apartment surfaces.

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Sea Otters v. Climate Change

Sea Otters v. Climate Change

Discover the surprising connection between sea otters, kelp forests, and our quest to slow the progress of climate change.

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Symphony of Science: Q&A with John Boswell, A.K.A. melodysheep

Symphony of Science: Q&A with John Boswell, A.K.A. melodysheep

John Boswell of Bellingham, WA — also known as “melodysheep”– speaks with QUEST Northwest producer Katie Jennings about his musical remixes of science lectures and documentaries known as the "Symphony of Science."

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Putting Nuisance Beavers to Work

Putting Nuisance Beavers to Work

Scientists in central Washington State relocate beavers in an effort to restore watersheds and reduce clashes between the animals and humans.

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What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner, Turkey or Cormorant?

What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner, Turkey or Cormorant?

A project that revives traditional food knowledge for Pacific Northwest tribes could leave you thinking about your food choices this Thanksgiving.

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Scientists Want to Know How Much Fish You Ate Last Night

Scientists Want to Know How Much Fish You Ate Last Night

The amount of fish that Americans eat is a crucial variable in determining water-pollution limits, limits that may be based on outdated data in some states.

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Kickstarting Science: Crowdfunded Research Explores Potential Health Impacts of Coal Trains

Kickstarting Science: Crowdfunded Research Explores Potential Health Impacts of Coal Trains

Scientists and researchers are turning to new and innovative online funding methods to pay for their projects. And the public is buying in.

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Check-ups for Old Trees

Check-ups for Old Trees

A new technology helps determine the health of urban old growth trees.

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A River Returns

A River Returns

In Washington state, a river once known for its abundant salmon run is getting a second chance. The Elwha River dams, which decimated salmon populations and profoundly altered the ecosystem, are coming down and hopes are high that salmon will return.

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The Seattle Seawall Project: Transforming Salmon Habitat

The Seattle Seawall Project: Transforming Salmon Habitat

Seattle’s urban waterfront — a noisy highway viaduct and failing seawall — is being transformed to create a welcoming environment for salmon and people.

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Citizen Scientists Gather Data on Urban Bees

Citizen Scientists Gather Data on Urban Bees

Seattle gardeners are assisting University of Washington researchers by gathering data on pollination activity in community gardens.

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