The Science of Sustainability

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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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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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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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How Were Fossil Fuels Formed?

How Were Fossil Fuels Formed?

In this activity you will learn more about how one fossil fuel — shale gas — formed thousands of feet beneath certain parts of the United States.

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How Does Hydraulic Fracturing Work?

How Does Hydraulic Fracturing Work?

Learn how engineers developed the techniques of hydraulic fracturing.

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What Are the Challenges of Fracking Natural Shale Gas Reserves?

What Are the Challenges of Fracking Natural Shale Gas Reserves?

Learn about the concerns some people have about the practice of fracking.

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Energy and a Sustainable Future

Energy and a Sustainable Future

Learn about the sustainability efforts being developed.

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Career Spotlight: Insulation and Coatings Technician

Career Spotlight: Insulation and Coatings Technician

Samuel Weatherwax is an insulation and coatings technician for a geothermal power plant.

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Career Spotlight: Microbiologist

Career Spotlight: Microbiologist

Aindrila Mukhopadhyay is a microbiologist who directs a group researching ways to use microbes to convert plants into biofuels.

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Career Spotlight: Kite Designer

Career Spotlight: Kite Designer

Damon Vander Lind works at Makani Power building high-altitude kites that can generate more power than conventional wind turbines.

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Career Spotlight: Mechatronics Engineer

Career Spotlight: Mechatronics Engineer

Leila Madrone is a mechatronics engineer who leads a team that is designing heliostats — mechanisms used in concentrating solar power systems.

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Going Off The Grid: Competition Spurs Innovations in Solar Home Design

Going Off The Grid: Competition Spurs Innovations in Solar Home Design

Watch students from the Missouri University of Science and Technology as they compete in the Solar Decathlon; a contest that challenges university teams to build energy efficient homes powered entirely by the sun.

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Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

The largest solar plant in the world – in California’s Mojave Desert – goes through its last test before opening, after a debate that pitted renewable energy against a threatened tortoise.

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QUEST TV: America’s Energy Future

QUEST TV: America’s Energy Future

Tour a solar energy farm, investigate fracking, and explore new energy-efficient home designs in this television episode.

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After the Frack

After the Frack

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process of extracting natural gas that creates large amounts of contaminated wastewater. QUEST travels to Ohio to investigate how this wastewater is produced and the controversy over how to safely dispose of it.

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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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Using Social Media to Rescue Food

Using Social Media to Rescue Food

In the U.S., more than 30 million tons of food end up in landfills each year. The food waste occurs throughout the food chain, from farm to table. But now social media is being mobilized to rescue surplus food and keep it from going to waste.

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Restoring Oyster Reefs

Restoring Oyster Reefs

In this video, scientists wade through marshes along North Carolina’s coast on a mission to restore oyster reefs, which are critical to the health of our marine ecosystems.

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QUEST TV: Restoring America's Waters

QUEST TV: Restoring America's Waters

Explore efforts to rebuild oyster reefs, battle algae blooms, and restore salmon to a dammed river in this television episode.

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QUEST TV: From Farm to Fork to Fuel

QUEST TV: From Farm to Fork to Fuel

Explore an urban farm, new ways to reduce food waste, and how cooking grease can be turned into biofuel in this television episode.

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