The Science of Sustainability

Tag: pbs

Planetary Robotic Roundup

Planetary Robotic Roundup

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury-artist concept. Photo by: NASA I've been waiting for the "whole story" on Martian ice at the Phoenix lander site to unfold more completely, but the chemical analyses have not yet run their full courses-so I've decided to widen the focus on this blog to give a status report on current […]

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Reporter's Notes: California Ablaze

Reporter's Notes: California Ablaze

One thing you try to learn, covering these stories, is how to navigate around the tricky subject of climate change. The trickiness isn't if it's happening, but rather what, exactly, it's doing, what the effects are. Take this year's particularly nasty fire season, for example. We've had the driest spring in 80 years, and warm […]

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Wire Snares in Africa

Wire Snares in Africa

Photo by: Melissa Batson And how they put a snare in the plan for chimps and humans to live together. In the Budongo Forests of Uganda, a large group of Chimpanzees, named by researchers The Sonso Group, attempt to thrive in their natural habitat, eating plants and small prey. At the same time, humans who […]

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Reporter's Notes: Wildlife CSI

Reporter's Notes: Wildlife CSI

I knew I was in trouble when I saw the jars. Big jars, filled with tinted liquid, with weird things suspended in them. Things that definitely used to be alive, and that I would not have wanted to see when they WERE alive. "One of my favorites is this one here," says my host, Senior […]

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HERS It Is

HERS It Is

Blower door equipment is used to measure a home's air leaks. A blower door test is part of the evaluation for determining a home's HERS Index. Photo by: D&R International Remember the day when most men knew the horsepower of their muscle cars? Now most of us are concerned about miles per gallon. But what […]

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Progress at the Park

Progress at the Park

Penguin-cams are now at the California Academy of Sciences. Upon writing this blog, the California Academy of Sciences is scheduled to open in 94 days. After years of planning, staff is contemplating two digits – literally three months until opening. It seems surreal. But progress at the park is moving along at a steady clip. […]

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Reporter's Notes: How to ID a Bullet

Reporter's Notes: How to ID a Bullet

I was excited to be working on this story. After all, it's not that often that a primarily environmental reporter gets to spend a couple weeks focusing on forensics technology and the debate over gun control (let alone receive firearms training on a 38-special from a senior criminalist at the DOJ's California Criminalistics Institute). In […]

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Reporter's Notes: Eating a Low-Carbon Diet

Reporter's Notes: Eating a Low-Carbon Diet

Not everyone would be excited about a box of 16 pounds of meat. But for the members of the Bay Area Meat CSA, the enthusiasm was off the charts. I took part in their spring share this year, where member of the CSA receive a monthly box of pork, poultry, lamb and beef from local […]

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Where Water Runs Uphill

Where Water Runs Uphill

Harvey O. Banks Pumping PlantI'm standing in the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant, part of the State Water Project (SWP), looking at a set of huge pumps that slurp water from the Delta and hoist it 244 feet to the mouth of the California Aqueduct. The sensation is a little akin to the how I […]

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Big Sur, Big Cliffs…Big Birds!

Big Sur, Big Cliffs…Big Birds!

The Oakland Zoo Staff visit the California Condor There we were, 12 Oakland Zoo staff, winding our way down the Big Sur coast. We were spending a clear, bright Sunday morning with Sari, a biologist from the Ventana Wildlife Society, in hopes of learning about condors and perhaps catching a glimpse of this highly endangered […]

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Saving Energy in a Hurry

Saving Energy in a Hurry

Yeah Alaska! Yeah Brazil! Yeah California? The people of Juneau saved electricity in a hurry– when electricity went to 55 cents per kilowatt-hourIn Juneau, Alaska, an avalanche on April 16th downed transmission lines and cut off the city from it's cheap source of hydroelectric power; electricity prices jumped by 500%. Alan Meier-a scientist at Lawrence […]

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Musings on Communication and Technology

Musings on Communication and Technology

Recently during "girl's day" with my mom – my mom made a comment that made me take a second take about technology. I was texting on my iphone and she tsked under her breath and said; "People don't talk anymore, it's all text this and email that, soon language will be obsolete!" My first instinct […]

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Drive by Science is OK Too

Drive by Science is OK Too

The author feeling cheekyLast Monday I finally took my show out on the road. At The Tech Museum I run hands on genetics programs for visitors. On Monday, we took them to Overfelt High School in San Jose. And the students had a blast*. They got to take home 4X6 glossy pictures of their cheek […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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