The Science of Sustainability

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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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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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Science on the SPOT: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

Science on the SPOT: Cal Academy Butterfly Collection

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.

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Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

Science on the SPOT: Fire and Butterflies

Can fire save the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly? The Golden Gate National Recreation Area experiments with using controlled burns to improve habitat for this critically imperiled Bay Area native.

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Science on the SPOT: Life on the Farallones

Science on the SPOT: Life on the Farallones

The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco are a vital home to many birds and marine mammals. QUEST visits the Farallones and sees what life is like for scientists working in this forbidding and inhospitable world.

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Science on the SPOT: Digging the Devil's Slide Tunnel

Science on the SPOT: Digging the Devil's Slide Tunnel

California Highway One, south of Pacifica, has earned the nickname, "The Devil's Slide." Now two tunnels are being dug to bypass this treacherous stretch of road. QUEST goes deep underground to learn how Caltrans is digging this new tunnel.

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The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!

The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!

To celebrate autumn's return of the great white sharks to the Farallon Islands and the opening of the new Farallones exhibit at Cal Academy, KQED QUEST presents "The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!" by Andy Brandy Casagrande IV.

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Science on the SPOT: Color By Nano – The Art of Kate Nichols

Science on the SPOT: Color By Nano – The Art of Kate Nichols

Artist Kate Nichols longed to paint with the iridescent colors of butterfly wings, but no such pigments existed. So she became the first artist-in-residence at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to synthesize nanoparticles and incorporate them into her artwork.

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Science on the SPOT: Driverless Cars

Science on the SPOT: Driverless Cars

Meet Shelley, a car that drives itself. Researchers at Stanford University have developed an autonomous race car and plan on taking it on one of the toughest courses in the country. First, the car is taking them for a test ride at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

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