The Science of Sustainability

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Redwoods and Climate Change

Redwoods and Climate Change

QUEST follows a group of UC Berkeley scientists to the top of a 320-foot redwood in Mendocino County. Only 5 percent of these ancient redwoods survived our voracious desire for their hardy and plentiful wood. Now scientists are trying to predict how the remaining ones and their descendants might fare in the face of climate change in the decades to come.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Steven Christenson

Your Photos on QUEST: Steven Christenson

Most nature photographers put their cameras away at night. Not Steven Christenson. As the co-founder of the very successful Bay Area Night Photography group, he guides like-minded, low-light photographers to find interesting subjects after the sun goes down. Steven reveals his special process of photographing star trails for Your Photos on QUEST.

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The Science & Art of Cheese

The Science & Art of Cheese

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.

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Web Extra: The Terroir of Cheese

Web Extra: The Terroir of Cheese

Watch this QUEST web extra to learn how "terroir" – or the characteristics of a specific region such as its climate, soil and topography – indelibly influences the production of award-winning, artisan cheese.

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Field Notes: Brian Fisher in Madagascar

Field Notes: Brian Fisher in Madagascar

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.

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Bats In Our Midst

Bats In Our Midst

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.

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Geothermal Heats Up

Geothermal Heats Up

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.

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Your Videos on QUEST: Joshua Cassidy

Your Videos on QUEST: Joshua Cassidy

In his debut film, Life by the Tide, San Francisco filmmaker Joshua Cassidy takes an intimate look into the tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, CA. Your Videos on QUEST features an excerpt of Cassidy's film.

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Searching for Life on Mars

Searching for Life on Mars

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.

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Into the Deep with Elephant Seals

Into the Deep with Elephant Seals

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Banana Slugs Unpeeled

Science on the SPOT: Banana Slugs Unpeeled

One of the most beloved and iconic native species within the old growth redwood forests is the Pacific Banana Slug. QUEST goes on a hunt to find and introduce Ariolomax dolichophallus, a bright yellow slug with a big personality.

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Science on the SPOT: Secrets of Sourdough

Science on the SPOT: Secrets of Sourdough

What is true sourdough bread? It's more than just the tangy flavor. Science on the SPOT visits with Maria Marco of UC Davis and baker Eduardo Morrell to learn more about the secret science of sourdough.

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Science on the SPOT: Fungus Fair

Science on the SPOT: Fungus Fair

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Revisiting Albino Redwoods, Biological Mystery

Science on the SPOT: Revisiting Albino Redwoods, Biological Mystery

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Revisiting Albino Redwoods, Cracking the Code

Science on the SPOT: Revisiting Albino Redwoods, Cracking the Code

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Peregrine Falcons Up Close

Science on the SPOT: Peregrine Falcons Up Close

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Open Source Creativity – Hackerspaces

Science on the SPOT: Open Source Creativity – Hackerspaces

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Restoring San Francisco's Lost Manzanita

Science on the SPOT: Restoring San Francisco's Lost Manzanita

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Measuring Redwood Giants

Science on the SPOT: Measuring Redwood Giants

Forest ecologist Steve Sillett leads a team of scientists as they climb and measure every branch of the tallest old growth redwoods in California to study how they are being impacted by climate change.

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Science on the SPOT: Watching the Tides

Science on the SPOT: Watching the Tides

Ocean tides rise and fall twice a day, influenced by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon. QUEST explores how tides work and visits the oldest continually operating tidal gauge in the Western Hemisphere.

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