The Science of Sustainability

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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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Science on the SPOT: Albino Redwoods, Ghosts of the Forest

Science on the SPOT: Albino Redwoods, Ghosts of the Forest

QUEST ventures into the deep canopy of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Felton, California to track down the rare, elusive phantoms of the forest: albino redwood trees.

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Why I Do Science: Edward O. Wilson

Why I Do Science: Edward O. Wilson

As the "father of biodiversity", two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and guru of myrmecology (the study of ants), E. O. Wilson has been an inspiration to young scientists around the globe. Wilson discusses his life, his career, and his hope for the future of our living world.

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Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Scientists say it's no secret San Francisco Bay is rising, along with all of the earth's oceans. The reason — global warming. This rise in sea level will affect everyone who lives, works, or plays near the bay. QUEST asks how high will the Bay rise and when? And what steps can communities take to plan for it?

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Science on the SPOT: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

Science on the SPOT: DIY Fog at The Exploratorium

For a demonstration on how advection fog is created (and how you can do this at home), check out this video we filmed with The Exploratorium's Eric Muller.

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Homegrown Particle Accelerators

Homegrown Particle Accelerators

QUEST journeys back to find out how physicists on the UC Berkeley campus in the 1930s, and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the 1970s, created "atom smashers" that led to key discoveries about the tiny constituents of the atom and paved the way for the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

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Web Extra: Restoration of the San Joaquin River Slideshow

Web Extra: Restoration of the San Joaquin River Slideshow

QUEST traveled along the San Joaquin River to produce our story on the restoration of more than 150 miles of the San Joaquin River, California's second-largest river. See behind-the-scenes photos in our narrated slideshow of the journey we took to document the historic comeback of the mighty San Joaquin.

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Restoration of the San Joaquin River

Restoration of the San Joaquin River

Flowing 330 miles from the Sierras to the delta, the San Joaquin River is California's second longest river. But since the construction of Friant Dam near Fresno in the 1940s, most of the San Joaquin's water has been siphoned off to farmland in the Central Valley. Now, after years of lawsuits, a new effort to restore the river is offering hope that fish and farmers can co-exist.

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Science on the SPOT: Science of Fog

Science on the SPOT: Science of Fog

San Francisco's fickle summer weather has earned it the nickname "Fog City." Science on the SPOT asks UC Berkeley's Todd Dawson to clear up the mysterious origins of this weather phenomenon, and share his research on how fog is integral to our state's ecology.

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Your Photos on QUEST: Ron Wolf

Your Photos on QUEST: Ron Wolf

Think there's nothing new to see outside? Take a closer look. Photographer Ron Wolf leads us on a hunt for fungi and slime molds, with their surprisingly ornate and elegant patterns, at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Los Altos.

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Ants: The Invisible Majority

Ants: The Invisible Majority

Most of us think ants are just pests. But not Brian Fisher. Known as "The Ant Guy," he's on a mission to show the world just how important and amazing these little creatures are and in the process, catalog all of the world's 30,000 ant species before they become casualties of habitat loss. But he can't do it without our help.

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Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

The Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine sanctuaries cover more than 9,500 square miles of ocean habitat. Patrolling such an immense area by boat would take days, but now sanctuary managers are taking to the air in a rugged de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter bush plane to get a bird's eye view.

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Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Join the Bay Lab field trip as fifth graders study the San Francisco Bay's mudflats and eelgrass beds with the help of seine nets, hip wader boots, microscopes, and mud core samplers.

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Amazing Jellies

Amazing Jellies

They are otherworldly creatures that glow in the dark, without brains or bones, some more than 100 feet long. And they live just off California's coast. Join two top marine biologists who have devoted their careers to unlocking the mysteries of jellyfish and alien-like siphonophores.

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