The Science of Sustainability

Tag: Biology

Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Today QUEST TV broadcasts its half-hour documentary "Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin," which tells the story of California Academy of Sciences beetle expert David Kavanaugh's unusual prediction that a new species of beetle would be found in Northern California's Trinity Alps.

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Reporter's Notes: Investigating Darwin's Legacy

Reporter's Notes: Investigating Darwin's Legacy

This year marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin – and the 150th anniversary of his landmark work, "On the Origin of Species". One of the iconic fossils that supports Darwin's theory of evolution is called the Archaeopteryx.

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Charles in Charge! Darwin Around the Bay Area

Charles in Charge! Darwin Around the Bay Area

As I mentioned in a previous post, February 12th marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species".

All across the world, scientists are leading a month long celebration of the man & his science, widely seen as the public hero of science & science education.

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Reporter's Notes: Underwater Laboratory

Reporter's Notes: Underwater Laboratory

The Eye in the Sea is one of the coolest, gee-whiz scientific projects you'll see. It's part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's so-called MARS project (that stands for Monterey Accelerated Research System). MARS is an undersea laboratory, set up deep on the sea floor about 30 miles offshore from Monterey.

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Reporter's Notes: Looking for Mars Life on Planet Earth

Reporter's Notes: Looking for Mars Life on Planet Earth

When I hear about searching for alien life, it's hard not to think about all those science fiction movies with little green men and Earth-destroying spacecraft. But it's an idea that's far from science fiction for scientists at NASA Ames.

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Science In Action

Science In Action

Science in Action is metamorphosis of creating a "un-museum" through multi-media as well as a tie with the Academy's past. Today, Science in Action exists on the floor as a breaking news exhibit.

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Producer's Notes for Bio-inspiration: Nature as Muse

Producer's Notes for Bio-inspiration: Nature as Muse

Bio-inspired design borrows its creative inspiration from models and systems in nature, that is, plant and animal parts that have been slowly tweaked for over 3.8 billion years. But that doesn't mean that nature's designs are perfect.

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Reporter's Notes: Sea Lion Rescue

Reporter's Notes: Sea Lion Rescue

For these notes, I thought I'd focus on something that didn't make it into the sea lions radio broadcast: the necropsy.

Each year the Marine Mammal Center treats somewhere between 600-1000 animals, including California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, Northern elephant seals, and steller sea lions. About half of them are treated successfully at the center and released into the Pacific. The other half either die naturally or have to be euthanized.

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Producer's Notes: Cal Academy Comes To Life

Producer's Notes: Cal Academy Comes To Life

By the time I was ten years old I knew the old California Academy of Sciences building by heart. After countless birthday parties, field trips and family outings, my brother and I, along with our sugar-filled urchin gang of friends and cousins, could have led tours of "the Aquarium."

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Producer's Notes: Cool Critters: Hyenas

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters: Hyenas

OK, they might look a bit like a great potential pet, but as dog-like as they are, you really don't want one of these at home. They're spotted hyenas – and they're native to sub-Saharan Africa. And I guarantee you that they're tougher and stronger than they look.

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Producer's Notes: Why I Do Science

Producer's Notes: Why I Do Science

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Dr. Robert Drewes, the esteemed Curator and Chairman of the Department of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences, upon his return from the Gulf of Guinea where he has been leading research teams over the past decade to study the unique flora and fauna of the islands.

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Reporter's Notes: Disappearing Plants

Reporter's Notes: Disappearing Plants

Marin will look Baja. Berkeley like Bakersfield. That's the projection of climatologists for the end of this century, if global warming continues on its current path.

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Hiking Through Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Hiking Through Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

California's plant life is reducing as the climate changes. A hike through Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve in Woodside, California, reveals that some plants have a better chance at surviving than others.

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Watching the Water

Watching the Water

While at sea, I've seen common Alaskan wildlife. Humpbacks have spouted and breached, raven and eagles have dived at the water for a dinner of spawning salmon. But I keep looking at the water, hoping to glimpse Orcas.

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Surviving Chromosomal Rearrangements

Surviving Chromosomal Rearrangements

Last blog I talked about the Transcaucasian mole vole. This little burrowing mammal has lost its Y chromosome over time. Now both males and females have only a single X. I focused on how scientists can't yet figure out how there are any male mole voles running around. This week, I want to focus on what this means from an evolutionary perspective.

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Producer's Notes: Tagging Pacific Predators

Producer's Notes: Tagging Pacific Predators

When most of us think of tuna, we think of the can. Maybe we remember "Charlie Tuna" from the old commercials. What many people don't realize is that these amazing animals are at the pinnacle of fish evolution. Tuna are capable of covering vast distances, traversing the entire Pacific Ocean in a matter of days. […]

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Reporter's Notes: Moving Day

Reporter's Notes: Moving Day

Nobody likes moving. The packing, taping, lifting, shipping… it can be major hassle. But nobody's experience compares to what's going on at the California Academy of Sciences. They're moving to their new 400,000 square-foot building in Golden Gate Park after three years in downtown San Francisco. But they've got a lot more to move than […]

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Producer's Notes – Resurveying California's Wildlife 100 Years Later

Producer's Notes – Resurveying California's Wildlife 100 Years Later

It's rather mind-boggling to walk into the storage rooms at UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. The rooms hold all manner of skulls, skeletons, pelts, and entire specimens that are intact in jars and drawers.

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Disaster Cats

Disaster Cats

How to prepare your pets for a disaster.Remember Katrina and the thousands of pets left behind, as heartbroken people headed for shelters? Or how about the many people who refused rescue because their pets could not join them? I know I didn't remember, because when I heard a presentation by Karen Oberdorfer, Pet Disaster Ambassador, […]

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Sneak Peek of QUEST's New Season – Fierce Humboldt Squid

Sneak Peek of QUEST's New Season – Fierce Humboldt Squid

Humboldt Squid – known as "Diablos Rojos".I have to admit I had a bit of trepidation when QUEST set out to tell the story about Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas). The squid have aggressively expanded their territorial range from the warmer equatorial Pacific to waters off central California. These are not the little market squid you […]

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