The Science of Sustainability

Tag: kqed

‘Superfast’ Muscles Help Bats Find Their Dinner

‘Superfast’ Muscles Help Bats Find Their Dinner

As a hunting bat closes in on a flying insect, its echolocation calls get closer and closer together, and shorter and shorter in duration. Scientists recently discovered how their muscles can produce more than 160 calls every second.

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Yo GAMMA GAMMA:  Photo plates enable astronomers to peer back to the future

Yo GAMMA GAMMA: Photo plates enable astronomers to peer back to the future

Dr. Michael Castelaz, the Science Director at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, knows GAMMA II is a sleeping giant. He just needs a little help waking up the beast.

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"Looking Up" – studying comets with the JUNO mission

"Looking Up" – studying comets with the JUNO mission

Herbert Mehnert a Cline Scholar at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute spent his summer researching Comet Photometry and Morphology. Herbert was introduced to PARI by one of his college professors and jumped at the opportunity to work at the former NASA research institute.

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Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes

Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is hard at work on a $4.6 billion, decade-long construction project to overhaul the Hetch Hetchy water system, which delivers water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park and five local reservoirs to 2.5 million residents in the Bay Area.

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The Night Sky: Past and Present

The Night Sky: Past and Present

For more than 150 years, scientists have captured images of celestial objects scattered across the night sky. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in North Carolina is attempting to save those historical records before they vanish into a black hole.

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Popular astronomy apps for your smartphone or tablet

Popular astronomy apps for your smartphone or tablet

Attention Galileo guys and gals – download any one of these astronomy apps for your smartphone and you can stop star-guessing and start star-gazing like a pro!

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Update on the Salt Creek Tiger Beetles: Q & A with Stephen Spomer

Update on the Salt Creek Tiger Beetles: Q & A with Stephen Spomer

Steve Spomer has been involved in Salt Creek Tiger Beetle research for more than two decades. Spomer is now working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a capture and recovery program to save the species.

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Scientists Work to Measure, Understand Jersey Jellyfish Explosion

Scientists Work to Measure, Understand Jersey Jellyfish Explosion

New Jersey scientists study proliferating populations of sea nettles, which have made some waters un-swimmable.

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NOVA “Fabric of the Cosmos” with Brian Green 11/2 Live Webcast

NOVA “Fabric of the Cosmos” with Brian Green 11/2 Live Webcast

Today at 6PM PST, The World Science Festival, Columbia University and NOVA are hosting a screening of 'What is Space?' to coincide with the 'NOVA: Fabric of the Cosmos' series premiere. Also included will be Saul Perlmutter, local Lawrence Berkeley Lab astrophysicist and winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Invasive Species on the Move: the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins

Invasive Species on the Move: the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins

Rivers and streams have created pathways along the dividing line between the Great Lakes basin and the Mississippi River basin. These portals could allow water and aquatic nuisance species to move from one basin into the other, endangering the health of both water systems.

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Collecting "Environmental DNA" (eDNA) in the Fight Against Invasive Species

Collecting "Environmental DNA" (eDNA) in the Fight Against Invasive Species

Scientists from federal and state agencies are regularly collecting samples of the water in the Chicago Area Waterway System looking for DNA cells that have been shed by Asian carp. Finding this environmental DNA (eDNA) would indicate the invasive species is present in the area.

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Cool Critters: Lake Erie Water Snake

Cool Critters: Lake Erie Water Snake

Within and along the waters of Lake Erie (one of the five Great Lakes), there is a daily struggle for survival between natives and unwelcomed invasive species.

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Science on the SPOT: The Science of Salt Glaze Pottery

Science on the SPOT: The Science of Salt Glaze Pottery

The art and science of salt glaze pottery requires skills and techniques acquired over generations of trial and error. Ben Owen III combines his family’s experiential knowledge of ceramics and additional scientific knowledge to create and improve his unique works of art.

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Tales from the Ghost Forests

Tales from the Ghost Forests

When a megathrust earthquake strikes, scientists around the world know in seconds. But what about hundreds of years ago? How, exactly, do scientists know there was a megathrust quake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone on January 26, 1700 between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.? The answer lies in a ghost forest discovered on the Washington coast that reveals the secrets of one of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the planet.

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Berkeley Lab Physicist Shares Nobel

Berkeley Lab Physicist Shares Nobel

Meet one of the three winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Lawrence Berkeley Lab astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter. He explains how dark energy, which makes up 70 percent of the universe, is causing our universe to expand.

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One Fish Two Fish: Monitoring Marine Protected Areas

One Fish Two Fish: Monitoring Marine Protected Areas

QUEST takes to the high seas with researchers Dirk Rosen, James Lindholm and their crew to study the underwater world off the California coast. In recent years, the state has established a network of marine protected areas to help fragile habitats and struggling fish populations bounce back. But are they working?

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QUEST Lab: Engineering Fire

QUEST Lab: Engineering Fire

In a dark lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, engineers and mathematicians are developing new burners and studying different flames in hopes of better understanding the power of fire and how to make the most efficient flame possible.

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Mercury Rises on Coal Costs

Mercury Rises on Coal Costs

Half of the airborne mercury pollution in the US comes from coal-fired power plants. After years of study and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to announce new limits on mercury from coal plants in November. Meanwhile, utilities are scrambling to meet other new federal regulations and industry groups are asking the government to slow down.

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Up, Up and Away: Escaping a Tsunami Vertically

Up, Up and Away: Escaping a Tsunami Vertically

Northwest disaster officials and communities propose new structures for people to get to safety when a killer tsunami wave is on the way, not by trying to outrun the wave, but by trying to out-climb it.

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Induced Seismicity: Man-Made Earthquakes

Induced Seismicity: Man-Made Earthquakes

In California, more renewable energy comes from geothermal energy than solar and wind, combined. Today, a new technology known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems has the potential to extract even more heat and consequently energy to power steam turbines, but it’s not without challenges.

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