The Science of Sustainability

Tag: kqed

Young Einsteins found in Oakland

Young Einsteins found in Oakland

School groups tour the Oakland Schools Science Fair projects at Chabot. Ben Burress, Chabot Space & Science CenterIt's the time of year again that I get a chance to peruse what our scientific-minded youth are thinking on questions of the physical world and universe around us: Oakland Unified School District Science Fair! The science projects […]

Continue Reading

Discuss the "California's Fire Future" Radio Report

Discuss the "California's Fire Future" Radio Report

Scientists predict we’ll be seeing hotter conditions and drier forests in the near future. The Summit Fire that's been burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains is likely a part of that trend. QUEST talks to Malcolm North with the U.S. Forest Service. He says any area that's burned before is vulnerable to burning again, including […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Newts: Briones Regional Park Exploration

Producer's Newts: Briones Regional Park Exploration

It's entirely possible to spend years living in the Bay Area and never encounter a California Newt. This tiny amphibian spends most of its time living in burrows and holes. But once year, the newts make an epic migration (at least for them) to nearby ponds for mating season. It's incredible to see dozens of […]

Continue Reading

Quest for a Kind Egg

Quest for a Kind Egg

Yep, I love eggs: scrambled, poached, deviled, fried, boiled, and my favorite, egg in a basket. They are the perfect breakfast or power-ball snack. I also love the idea of purchasing eggs from farms that raise them with kindness and humanity, and that has proven a bit challenging. There are many terms to decipher, but […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Darfur Stoves Project

Producer's Notes: Darfur Stoves Project

There are times when you are in the production trenches, plumbing the depths of a story, that you realize how lucky you are to work on QUEST. Assisting QUEST Producer Amy Miller on this segment was yet another occasion to experience such a sentiment, as we found out about the amazing work of Ashok Gadgil […]

Continue Reading

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. […]

Continue Reading

Canoeing and Climate in the Far North

Canoeing and Climate in the Far North

Nunavik territory, home to the Kuuvik River.This week I am taking a break from the usual astrophysics and cosmology to write about that other hot topic: climate change and global warming. Last summer I went out for an extremely remote 215 mile canoe trip for the International Polar Year to help raise awareness of climate […]

Continue Reading

Comment on this Report: Server Farms

Comment on this Report: Server Farms

When you fire up your computer in the morning and go online, chances are you’re not thinking of the environmental impact of the Internet. You might be surprised. The server facilities that keep us all connected gobble up nearly two percent of the electricity used in the U.S. Generating all that power carries a big […]

Continue Reading

Thoughts on Science and Religion

Thoughts on Science and Religion

The universe is made of stories. The Universe Is Made of Stories I think the central story of Christianity is not one of the parables of Jesus, or even his death and resurrection, but a simple story of a meal shared with friends. The story goes like this: Jesus took a loaf of bread in […]

Continue Reading

The Movement of Informal Science

The Movement of Informal Science

Over a weekend in June, Boston will host a very provocative conference. The first annual US Science Café hosted by NOVA scienceNOW will bring together producers of Science Cafés for the first time in the United States to network and share best practices. But what is a Science Café? It is a simple and compelling […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters: Owls

Producer's Notes: Cool Critters: Owls

The day was hot, the owl was angry… we shot this really fast. It's not Olivia the owl's fault, it was just one of those days. As we all know, owls are nocturnal creatures, and we happened to be filming Olivia during the hottest, brightest part of the day. If your eyes were that big […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Ugo Conti's Spider Boat

Producer's Notes: Ugo Conti's Spider Boat

I first met Ugo Conti a number of years ago when we discussed an inflatable boat he had designed to sail from the San Francisco Bay to Hawaii. This adventure was born from Conti's passion for the sea and was somewhat of a follow up to the round-the-world sailing adventures he took with his young […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Nature Deficit Disorder

Producer's Notes: Nature Deficit Disorder

I'm the third from left to right.I'm in my late teens in this undated photo. I'm the third from left to right. It's very likely one of the last times I went camping as a member of the Girl Guide and Boy Scout Association of Costa Rica, which I joined when I was 11. I […]

Continue Reading

Chromosome Fusion: Chance or Design?

Chromosome Fusion: Chance or Design?

Human and chimpanzee chromosomes are very similar. Note that human chromosome 2 is very similar to a fusion of two chimpanzee chromosomes. For the last few weeks I have been corresponding with someone about intelligent design (ID). More specifically, we have been chatting about why humans have 46 chromosomes and most of the great apes […]

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Bike to Work

Reporter's Notes: Bike to Work

Image Source: luxomediaSan Francisco's got lofty plans to improve safety and convenience for cyclists. And with gas prices rising, parking a headache, and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint, more and more San Franciscans are cycling in the city to work and to do errands. Cycling rose 15% between 2006 and 2007, and injuries […]

Continue Reading

Probing the Martian Pole

Probing the Martian Pole

Mockup of Phoenix (top) and 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars' (bottom)—both set in Death Valley National Park… Credit: NASA (top), Paramount Pictures (bottom)It's that time of the Martian year again: when a flying saucer from Earth appears in the skies of Mars. Imagine if there actually were Martians up there: what's science fiction here on Earth […]

Continue Reading

Mittens for Bears and Other Tales

Mittens for Bears and Other Tales

Why do Moon Bears need you to knit? Once upon a time in the far away land of Hong Kong, a woman named Jill Robinson discovered that beautiful moon bears where being held captive in tiny cages in China and farmed (through their bellies) as a living source for bear bile, which is used in […]

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Disappearing Frogs

Producer's Notes: Disappearing Frogs

A Pacific Chorus FrogWhen I was growing up in the Bay Area the chirping croaks of native tree frogs often serenaded us to sleep. The sound of those little Pacific Chorus frogs calling to each other was always familiar background music to long summer nights. Those were days of catching pollywogs down at the creek […]

Continue Reading

Have sewage, will travel

Have sewage, will travel

Unless our sewage happens to end up in the Bay and in the headlines, most of us probably never give a second thought to where our wastewater is headed each time we run the tap or flush the toilet. To learn more about the travels of sewage, I took a tour of the Las Gallinas […]

Continue Reading

Mountain-top telescopes and stars that don't twinkle

Mountain-top telescopes and stars that don't twinkle

Infrared image of a zebra from the London Zoo. Credit: Steve Lowe Right now I am very excited about the possibility of working on a new small telescope in southern Utah. This telescope was funded by a private donation and will be run by the University of Utah. We even found a mountain top in […]

Continue Reading