QUEST Launches New Science Series with Award-Winning Host Simran Sethi

Contact: Sevda Eris, Publicist, seris@kqed.org, 415.553.2835

Television Season Premieres with
Lake Tahoe Special
at 7:30pm, October 16, on KQED 9

 

QUEST, KQED’s award-winning multimedia science series, has a new focus on the science of sustainability; a new host, Simran Sethi; and a new team of science and environment reporters from public media stations across the country.

QUEST kicks off its new television season at 7:30pm on Wednesday, October 16, on KQED with a half-hour special, Lake Tahoe: Can We Save It?, examining the lake’s storied history and the small army of scientists and others who are working daily to turn back the clock to a time when you could see 100 feet down into its blue waters.

“Everyone is so motivated to preserve Tahoe’s natural beauty, but all the work involved really highlighted the fragility of the whole endeavor,” says Gabriela Quirós, the documentary’s producer.

The program features Geoffrey Schladow, director of the University of California at Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) and TERC’s Brant Allen, who drops a plastic disc into the lake every ten days to monitor its clarity. Also featured are the US Forest Service’s restoration of an important Tahoe wetland, and inspectors who make sure boats don’t carry invasive mussels into the lake.

QUEST’s new episodes focus on the many ways in which science, technology, engineering and sheer ingenuity are being used to address issues related to water, food, energy, climate and biodiversity.

“I am thrilled to be a part this new QUEST series that is helping people make connections between science and all that helps sustain us: from food and water to climate and energy,” says new host Simran Sethi, an award-winning journalist and educator who teaches and reports on sustainability and environmental issues. “This work, these innovations and this co-created future belong to all of us.”

Named “the environmental messenger” by Vanity Fair and a “top ten eco-hero” by the UK’s Guardian, Simran is currently writing a book on the loss of agricultural biodiversity in our food. She has also been featured on NBC Nightly News, CNBC, The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today show.

QUEST, a multimedia science series launched in 2007 at KQED in San Francisco, has expanded to a national collaboration that includes QUEST Nebraska (NET, Nebraska); QUEST North Carolina (UNC-TV, North Carolina); QUEST Northern California (KQED, San Francisco); QUEST Northwest (KCTS 9, Seattle); QUEST Ohio (WVIZ, WCPN,WCLV,ideastream, Cleveland); and QUEST Wisconsin (WPR, WPT, WI Media Lab, ICS, Wisconsin).

“Innovation and high-caliber science reporting have been the keys to QUEST’s success and the series will continue to push the boundaries of what media coverage can achieve in increasing public understanding of critical environmental challenges,” says Jason Black, QUEST executive producer. “QUEST simultaneously draws on public media producers’ expertise as informal educators and their investigative skills as they report on some of the most important and complex topics of our time.”

QUEST’s fall television lineup includes the following five half-hour episodes:
Lake Tahoe: Can We Save It? (10/16) – Follows the scientists working to turn back the clock to a time when you could see 100 feet down into the second-deepest lake in the United States
From Farm to Fork to Fuel (10/23) – Explores urban farming in Milwaukee; new ways to reduce food waste in San Francisco and beyond; and how cooking grease is turned into biofuel in North Carolina
Restoring America’s Waters (10/30) – Investigates efforts to rebuild oyster reefs in North Carolina; to battle algae blooms in Lake Erie; and to restore salmon to a dammed river in Washington state
America’s Energy Future (11/6) – Examines the world’s largest solar thermal farm in California; fracking in Ohio; and new energy-efficient home designs in Missouri
Next Meal: Engineering Food (11/13) – Explores the science behind genetically engineered crops and what the future holds for research and regulations

Multimedia Series
A new website, QUESTScience.org, showcasing QUEST’s new focus features:
Television Episodes – Five half-hour episodes broadcasting this fall and three half-hour episodes broadcasting in the Spring of 2014
Radio Reports – 20 public radio features
Web Series and Articles – A 12-part Web video series and more than one hundred online articles
Education Assets and Training – Multimedia resources made specifically for use in educational settings and in-depth educator training on using these assets
Community Outreach – Events with community partners, and other collaborations
Social Media – A social media presence through QUEST Science on Facebook , Google+ and Twitter
QUEST will host a Google+ Hangout On Air with Simran Sethi at 4pm (PST) on Monday, October 14.

About the Producers
QUEST’s management team is housed at KQED and includes Jason Black, executive producer; Lisa Landers, managing editor; Adrienne Calo, lead coordinating producer; Lucy Laffitte, Ph.D., education manager; Amy Miller, television series producer; and Mike Kahn, social media producer. Gabriela Quirós and Sheraz Sadiq are QUEST Northern California television producers. Lindsey Hoshaw is QUEST Northern California coordinating producer. Find out more about QUEST’s stations and producers here.

Funders
Funding for QUEST is provided by the National Science Foundation with a two-year, $2.5 million grant. The grant covers production, education resources and community engagement from 2012 through 2014. For this season of QUEST, “Lake Tahoe: Can We Save It?” and “Next Meal Engineering Food” were produced with additional funding for KQED Science by The Follis Family Fund; Mary Van Voorhees Fund; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The David B. Gold Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Wyncote Foundation; Amgen Foundation; and the members of KQED.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

What’s in Your Next Meal?

Are the benefits of genetically engineered food worth the risks?

New QUEST Television Special Premieres Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30pm on KQED 9.

KQED Contact: Sevda Eris, 415-553-2835, seris@kqed.org

San Francisco, CA – QUEST Northern California, KQED’s award-winning multimedia science series, investigates genetically engineered crops in a half-hour documentary special, Next Meal: Engineering Food, on Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30pm on KQED 9. Next Meal explores how genetically engineered crops are made, their pros and cons, and what the futureholds for research and regulations such as labeling in the wake of Proposition 37.

Proposition 37 would have required foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled in California. The measure narrowly lost at the ballot box last November, where it received 49 percent of the vote. But the initiative won in the Bay Area, where genetically engineered food remains a controversial issue, often reaching fever pitch. In this documentary, the KQED science team sought to carefully consider the promise of genetically engineered crops and the concerns surrounding them.

“This was a fascinating and difficult story to work on,” said Next Meal producer Gabriela Quirós. “There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there. For example, many people think that genetically engineered wheat is being grown in the United States, but that’s not the case. No genetically engineered wheat is being grown anywhere in the world. On the other hand, it was surprising to find out that nearly all the soybeans, corn, sugarbeets and cotton grown in the U.S. are engineered.”

The film takes the viewer on a journey to:

  • visit the labs of two Northern California biologists who are engineering crops that could alleviate malnutrition in developing countries and withstand climate change
  • learn the history of the first genetically engineered food to reach the market in 1994: a popular, yet short-lived tomato created in Davis
  • meet a farmer in Los Banos who is reaping economic benefits after switching from conventional to genetically engineered alfalfa
  • talk to a Marin County organic dairyman who has concerns that there may be health and environmental harm associated with genetically engineered crops, and who fears they could contaminate the organic hay he feeds his cows
  • hear from California anti-genetically engineered food activists and from Monsanto’s CEO.

Next Meal will air on PBS stations throughout California starting in May. Currently, stations airing the documentary include:  KOCE (PBS SoCal – Los Angeles and Orange County) Sunday, May 12, at 6:30pm; KVIE2 (Sacramento) Saturday, May 25, at 11:30pm; and KVCR (Los Angeles) Tuesday, May 28, at 10pm.

In October, KQED will air QUEST Northern California’s half-hour special on Lake Tahoe, examining its storied history, recent gains in the improvement of water clarity and emerging threats to its fragile environment – from climate change to invasive species to forest fires. KQED will also air a six-part, half-hour QUEST national television series exploring the science of sustainability. The series will take an in-depth look at the ways in which science is striving to make energy generation, water consumption and food production more sustainable in the face of climate change.

About QUEST

Launched in February 2007, QUEST is KQED’s largest multimedia project to date. Since its inception, QUEST has reached more than 60 million viewers and listeners through its traditional television and radio broadcasts and growing Web audience. QUEST’s ultimate aim is to raise science literacy by inspiring audiences to discover and explore the latest science and environmental news, trends and issues.  In September of 2012, QUEST received a prestigious grant of $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation to focus storytelling around sustainability science, and to expand its multimedia science reporting model to five additional public broadcasting stations across the country.  As a result, QUEST now includes QUEST Northern California(KQED, San Francisco), QUEST Nebraska (NET, Nebraska), QUEST North Carolina (UNC-TV, North Carolina), QUEST Northwest (KCTS 9, Seattle), QUEST Ohio (WVIZ, WCPN, Ideastream, Cleveland) and QUEST Wisconsin (WPR, WPT, ECB, ICS, Wisconsin).

QUEST Northern California is also now part of KQED Science, with more reporting on science and environment news and events from the Bay Area and beyond.  Funding for KQED’s science education and reporting is provided by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Mary Van Voorhees Fund, the Follis Family Fund, the David B. Gold Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Amgen Foundation and the George G. and Jeanette A. Stuart Charitable Trust, and the members of KQED.

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

2012 – A Year of Prestigious Awards for KQED’s QUEST Multimedia Science Series

Contact: Sevda Eris, 415-553-2835, seris@kqed.org

San Francisco, CA — QUEST, KQED’s multimedia science series, won several prestigious science reporting awards in 2012.

Most noteworthy, on November 14, QUEST won an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Kavli Journalism Award for the second year in a row.  The winning television segment,Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes,” was produced by Sheraz Sadiq and investigated the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s $4.6 billion, decade-long construction project to overhaul the Hetch Hetchy water system which delivers water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park and five local reservoirs to 2.5 million residents in the Bay Area. Guy Gugliotta, a freelance science writer and former science writer for the Washington Post who helped judge the contest, called the KQED broadcast “a comprehensive look at the vulnerability of the water supply in the San Francisco Bay Area — something that should concern every resident.” He praised the “fascinating use of historical footage, outstanding engineering footage and graphics” to tell the tale.  The AAAS awards will be presented in conjunction with the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting held at historic Fenway Park in Boston on February 15, 2013.

QUEST’s Hetch Hetchy television segment also won a Northern California Emmy Award on June 9 in the Informal/Instructional-Feature/Segment category. Complete credits for this segment are: Sheraz Sadiq, segment producer; Michael Goode, associate producer; Linda Peckham, editor; Amy Miller, series producer; Paul Rogers, managing editor.

QUEST also won two Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Northern California Chapter, Excellence in Journalism Awards on October 1 for two of its television segments.  “Airborne Wind Energy,” a segment exploring the potential of wind energy, produced by Christopher Bauer with Josh Cassidy associate producer, Amy Miller series producer and Paul Rogers managing editor, won in the Explanatory Journalism(TV/video non-daily) category.  “Millie Hughes-Fulford: Scientist in Space,” a segment produced by Gabriela Quiros that explores the potential human benefits derived from research conducted by the first woman to travel into space as a working scientist won in the Feature Storytelling (TV/video non-daily) category.   In addition, QUEST radio reporter Lauren Sommer  won an SPJ award for the multimedia series “Water and Power” in the Explanatory Journalism (multi-media-daily) category. The series explores the relationship between water and power and the policies required to manage both.  Other KQED radio staff also won SPJ awards for their contributions to this series. They include Dan Brekke, Craig Miller, Molly Samuel and Lisa Pickoff-White.

On December 27 Amy Standen radio reporter,  Andrea Kissack senior radio editor and Paul Rogers managing editor were also the recipients of the Radio -Television News Directors Association of Northern California Award in the “Feature Reporting – Serious” category for their report on “Diversity in Silicon Valley” which looks at a program called NewME, or New Media Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley designed to encourage women and minorities to found technology companies.  The radio report interviewed seven participants from around the country who shared a house in San Francisco for three months, received coaching on their business plans and attempted to perfect the art of the pitch.

QUEST also  enjoyed the results of its multistation partner collaboration with an award for the “Best Online Video Series” from the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey (September 24-30) for its Science on the SPOT series. The winning online video entries featured two videos produced last year for the pilot phase of the QUEST Beyond Local project – Soundwaves: Listening to Orcas by KCTS 9 Seattle and Rendezvous with a Horseshoe Crab by WHYY Philadelphia. It also featured QUEST Northern California’s Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight by KQED San Francisco.  Craig Rosa is Science on the SPOT’s senior interactive producer.

About QUEST:
Launched in February 2007, QUEST is KQED’s largest multimedia project to date. Since its inception, QUEST has reached more than 60 million viewers and listeners through its traditional television and radio broadcasts and growing Web audience. QUEST’s ultimate aim is to raise science literacy throughout the Bay Area and beyond, inspiring audiences to discover and explore the latest science and environmental news, trends and issues. In addition to continued support for QUEST from the National Science Foundation, funding for KQED’s science education and reporting is provided by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Mary Van Voorhees Fund, the Follis Family Fund, the David B. Gold Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Amgen Foundation and the George G. and Jeanette A. Stuart Charitable Trust, and the members of KQED.

About KQED:
KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area) and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM San Francisco and 89.3 FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television is the producer of local and national series such as QUESTCheck, Please! Bay AreaThis Week in Northern CaliforniaTruly CA and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television stations include KQED 9, KQED Plus, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum, KQED News and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local weekday newscasts and news features. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service KQEDnews.org, as well as several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources.

 

 

KQED’s QUEST Science Series Expands Nationally with $2.5 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Grant will support a six-station public media science reporting collaborative 

Contact: Sevda Eris, 415-553-2835, seris@kqed.org

San Francisco, CA  — KQED, public media serving Northern California, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a two-year collaborative multimedia science reporting initiative, QUEST Beyond Local. The grant will support KQED and five other public media organizations in creating content under the theme of “Science of Sustainability” on television, radio and the Web, along with educational assets and community outreach. KQED’s partner organizations collaborating on the project are: QUEST Nebraska (NET, Nebraska); QUEST North Carolina (UNC-TV, North Carolina); QUEST Northwest (KCTS 9, Seattle); QUEST Ohio (WVIZ Ideastream, Cleveland); and QUEST Wisconsin (WPT, WPR, ECB,ICS, Wisconsin).

QUEST Beyond Local is scheduled to launch in January.

QUEST began more than six years ago as an experiment in multimedia science journalism and education designed to deliver content and foster engagement using a range of media from television to smart phones and everything in between,” said John Boland, president of KQED. “It has been both a great success and a great learning experience, and we are grateful to the National Science Foundation for making it possible for KQED to share what we’ve learned with public broadcasters across the country for the benefit of their communities.”

The grant and project build on prior NSF funding and a nearly $1 million Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant awarded in April 2011 to KQED’s Emmy award-winning science and environment series, QUEST. That grant supported KQED’s efforts to work with partner media organizations to train producers on its multimedia science reporting model. The grant also enabled pilot productions of science and environment stories on television, radio and the Web with consistency in tone and style, while highlighting local science stories of interest for each partner’s community. The training included reporting guidelines for magazine-style television episodes; in-depth radio reports on environmental topics; the Web-only series Science on the SPOT, and Web extras like blog posts and photo slideshows.

QUEST recently enjoyed the results of this multistation collaboration with an award for the “Best Online Video Series” from the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey (September 24-27, 2012) for its Science on the SPOT series. The winning online video entries featured two videos produced last year for the pilot phase of the QUEST Beyond Local project – Soundwaves: Listening to Orcas by KCTS 9 Seattle and Rendezvous with a Horseshoe Crab by WHYY Philadelphia. It also featured QUEST Northern California’s Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight by KQED San Francisco.

“We are pleased to see how QUEST, with its history of being organizationally and technologically innovative, is expanding its science reporting model,” said Valentine Kass, acting deputy division director in NSF’s Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings. “QUEST Beyond Local builds new capacity in local and national media channels to address current science and environmental issues with local authority and national relevance.”

“We are delighted to partner with our public media colleagues in San Francisco and across the country on this important project,” said Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan, president and chief executive officer of KCTS 9 in Seattle. “The content we’ll create together is designed not only for general audiences but for classroom use as well, and we’re excited about the impact it will have on so many levels.”

The QUEST Beyond Local project will hire a new executive producer, a managing editor and a coordinating producer to lead the multistation collective in the production of:
• 18 science and environment stories for six 30-minute television broadcasts and Web distribution
• 18 Web companion pieces to television broadcasts (maps, photos, slideshows, more)
• 20 science and environment stories for radio broadcast and other distribution
• A 12-part Web video series
• Text reporting from community contributors
• Corresponding educational assets; educator training on using the assets
• Outreach, including community events, social media and public relations

QUEST Beyond Local will start broadcasting new content in the fall of 2013.

About QUEST:
Launched in February 2007, QUEST is KQED’s largest multimedia project to date. Since its inception, QUEST has reached more than 60 million viewers and listeners through its traditional television and radio broadcasts and growing Web audience. QUEST’s ultimate aim is to raise science literacy throughout the Bay Area and beyond, inspiring audiences to discover and explore the latest science and environmental news, trends and issues. In addition to continued support for QUEST from the National Science Foundation, funding for KQED’s science education and reporting is provided by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Mary Van Voorhees Fund, the Follis Family Fund, the David B. Gold Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Amgen Foundation and the George G. and Jeanette A. Stuart Charitable Trust, and the members of KQED.

About KQED:
KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area) and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM San Francisco and 89.3 FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television stations include KQED 9, KQED Plus, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum KQED News and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local weekday newscasts and news features. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service, KQEDnews.org, as well as several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources.

QUEST

Explore science, nature and environment stories from Northern California and beyond with KQED’s multimedia series

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