Cheese. It comes in more than 2,000 varieties — hard, soft, fresh and aged – and it's been with us for thousands of years. Take a journey to Cowgirl Creamery in West Marin to learn how artisan cheese is made and how scientists are putting cheese under the microscope to gain new insights about this incredible, edible food.
Entomologist Brian Fisher braves raging rivers, and dense tropical forests as he travels the world searching for new species of ants before they are lost to habitat destruction. Experience a slice of Fisher's life and work through video footage from his field work with ants in Madagascar.
QUEST ventures under a Central Valley bridge to count the bats that make it their home. The bridge is one of the most important roosting places for Mexican free-tailed bats in the Central Valley, where this voracious insect-eating species protects the local crops from pests. Then meet two volunteers who take injured bats into their homes and nurse them to health.
Solar and wind power may get the headlines when it comes to renewable energy. But another type of clean power is heating up in the hills just north of Sonoma wine country. The Geysers, the world's largest power-producing geothermal field, has been providing electricity for roughly 850,000 Northern California households, and is set to expand even further.
After multiple unmanned missions to Mars, we still don't know if life has ever existed there. NASA scientists are hoping a new high-tech rover will help them solve the mystery. The Mars Science Laboratory is scheduled for launch in late 2011 and will search for any evidence that the Red Planet was once capable of supporting life.
Thousands of northern elephant seals — some weighing up to 4,500 pounds — make an annual migration to breed each winter at Año Nuevo State Reserve, on the San Mateo County coast. Marine biologists are using high-tech tools to explore the secrets of these amazing creatures, which can hold their breath for an hour and dive a mile below the surface.
QUEST tags along with fair organizer J.R. Blair and his San Francisco State University students as they collect mushrooms in San Francisco's McLaren Park. Then we tour the annual Fungus Fair in Berkeley to explore the Bay Area's tasty, dangerous and weirdly wonderful fungi.
UC Santa Cruz plant biologists study rare albino redwood trees to better understand the inner workings of these unusual plants. By learning how albino plants survive, they may unlock some of the mysteries of how redwood trees live.
Stanford geneticists trek into the mountains to uncover rare albino redwood trees. Seeking to discover the root of the mutation, they are taking small samples back to their lab and for the first time will sequence the complicated redwood genome.
QUEST meets the San Francisco Zoo's resident Peregrine Falcon, "Bella." The story of the Peregrine Falcon is a conservation success story. And the zoo's hope is that when people meet Bella they are inspired to take conservation into their own hands.
Inspired in part by the open source movement, public spaces are emerging where people congregate to share ideas, make cool projects, teach, and brainstorm on everything from coding to cooking.
QUEST explores how the San Francisco Botanical Garden is toiling to bring one of the city's rarest native plants, the Franciscana manzanita, back from the brink of extinction.
The California Academy of Sciences has the largest collection of biological reference materials west of the Mississippi River. Norman Penny, collections manager of the entomology department, gives QUEST viewers a peek at the academy's vast butterfly collection.