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KQED launches QUEST: a different kind of science and nature adventure

KQED January 2, 2007
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QUEST, KQED’s newest local project, explores the stories and people behind Bay Area science, nature and environmental issues, and how their work is changing the world around us.  The largest multiple-media content offering in KQED's history, QUEST will include a half-hour weekly HD television program, weekly radio segments, an innovative website and unique education guides.  KQED also has partnered with renowned Bay Area organizations to bring audiences closer to our world-class science research centers, museums, and the natural beauty of our open spaces. 

QUEST’s geographic coverage will span from Mendocino to Monterey and from Sacramento to Santa Clara, and will focus on nine content areas:  astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, environment, geology, health, physics and weather.    

“The Bay Area is such a magnet for experimentation and is at the forefront of thinking about solutions for our world today that QUEST is just a natural project for KQED,” says Sue Ellen McCann, QUEST’s Executive Producer.  “I hope through QUEST our audiences will come to find science and nature in their daily lives and see that it’s not some isolated phenomena that happens without them.”

Jeff Clarke, President and CEO of Northern California Public Broadcasting, KQED’s parent company, adds, “QUEST is a significant milestone for KQED.  It is our most ambitious local endeavor to date, utilizing all of our media platforms, educational resources and extraordinary partnerships. With discoveries and investigations from all over the Bay Area, this project offers fascinating stories for all of our diverse audiences to enjoy.”

QUESTTelevision airs every Tuesday at 7:30pm on KQED 9 and KQED HD, Comcast 709.  The first episode premieres Tuesday, February 6th at 7:30pm.  Along with two longer stories, most 30-minute episodes will feature a 2-3 minute signature mini-segment that inspects an additional unique subject.  The first four episodes cover diverse terrain and topics. 

  • Episode 101 explores the mysteries of why California’s sea otter population is not growing and tracks scientists attempting to crash a rocket into the moon to find water.   
  • Episode 102 examines plug-in hybrid cars that can get 100 miles per gallon, and travels with Army Corps of Engineers crews as they fish society’s debris – from telephone poles to bodies – out of San Francisco Bay.  (More about Episodes 101 and 102 enclosed.)
  • Episode 103 investigates condors dying from lead bullet poisoning and the pros and cons of ‘do-it-yourself’ genetic testing. 
  • Episode 104 probes a new generation of green undertakers who offer environmentally-friendly burials, and studies plans for a revolutionary high-speed rail system that aims to zip passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just over two hours.  

QUESTRadio airs every Friday at 6:30am and repeats at 8:30am on KQED FM 88.5 and KQEI FM 89.3.  The first radio segment launches on Friday, February 2nd at 6:30am.  

  • Explore urban environmental challenges such as pollution, toxics and threats to our food supply; 
  • Investigate new technologies, emerging trends in science and the impact of public policy on our natural resources; and
  • Listen to reporting on new research aimed at curbing pollution from heat build-up in cities and the latest on alternative fuels, told from the front seat of a biodiesel road trip. (More about radio segments enclosed.)

QUESTInteractive launches its website www.kqed.org/quest on Thursday, February 1st.  As the nucleus of QUEST, the site will archive and make available for free downloading all television and radio broadcasts.  Unique features of the site will be: 

  • An Interactive map created with Global Positioning Satellite technology to 'geotag' locations & images where QUEST segments were filmed and recorded;
  • “Explorations” – nature hikes and walks with a strong science theme.  Our partner locations, where visitors can experience science, environment and nature first-hand, also will be highlighted on the map (more about Explorations enclosed);
  • A new community science blog with daily contributions from scientists, experts, teachers and students with a different Bay Area perspective will be presented; and
  • Discussion groups, photo sharing and special “web only” content will round out the site.

QUESTEducation Network (EdNet) will develop and offer:

  • Education Guides that are distinctively tailored for both outside and inside the classroom;
  • Media workshops to train educators on how to use QUEST stories in educational settings; and  
  • “Questing,” educational treasure hunts that encourage participants to get out and connect with their natural surroundings in a fun and meaningful way. 
  • All QUEST education materials will be free and available for download from the QUEST website.  (More about Education Guides enclosed.)

QUESTPartners 

TheQUEST team also relies on the expertise of the vast Bay Area science and environmental community in helping to identify story ideas and create awareness of QUEST.  As a result, KQED has created unprecedented community partnerships with 12 key organizations that span a wide range of discovery.  QUEST’s partners will be integral to offering hands-on experiences related to QUEST programming through their science research centers, museums and parks.

QUEST’s current partners are as follows: 

● The Bay Institute ● California Academy of Sciences ● Chabot Space & Science Center ● East Bay Regional Park District ● The Exploratorium ● Girl Scouts of San Francisco Bay Area ● Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy ● Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory● Lawrence Hall of Science ● Oakland Zoo ● The Tech Museum of Innovation ● University of California at Berkeley Museum of Paleontology. 

QUEST is a production of KQED.  Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, and The Amgen Foundation.  Additional support is provided by the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, The Vadasz Family Foundation, The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, and Ann S. Bowers -The Robert Noyce Trust.   

About KQED 

KQED Public Broadcasting (www.kqed.org) is a service of Northern California Public Broadcasting (NCPB).  KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during primetime, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way; and Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures.  KQED's digital television channels include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids, and are available 24/7 on Comcast.  KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny, Pacific Time, and The California Report, is the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento). KQED Education Network brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources. KQED Interactive offers video and audio podcasts and live radio stream at www.kqed.org, featuring unique content on one of the most-visited station sites in public broadcasting.