From the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to killer whales, bicycles to cheese — it’s been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science and Environment team. Here’s a round-up of the top 10 stories shared on our website (based on page views) that you’ve enjoyed in 2012. Please let us know what other stories you’ve enjoyed in the comments section below and if there’s anything you’d like to see in the coming season!
The most popular story featured on our website was written by our geology blogger Andrew Alden; it describes a core of sediment from a Japanese lake that’s a Rosetta Stone for ice-age climate research.
It’s clear that in the wild, orcas seem to have a pretty universal rule: don’t attack humans. The reason would appear to be both biological and cultural. Read more from Ethan Morris of KCTS, our partner station in Seattle.
In this perennially popular blog post, The Oakland Zoo’s Amy Gotliffe shares some interesting facts and fables about why mosquitoes buzz in our ears — especially when we’re trying to sleep at night.
KQED Science radio reporter Lauren Sommer created a rich, multimedia series that chronicles the history and issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Working with the San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University, their interactive maps take an in-depth look at the region that’s the heart of California’s water supply.
Liza Gross generated a lot of discussion with her interview with Eugenie Scott, the longtime director of Oakland’s National Center for Science Education. Scott shared her thoughts on the challenges of communicating science in a climate of denial.
This past summer, scuba divers in Lake Tahoe found the body of a man who had drowned in the lake 17 years ago. Still in its wetsuit, the body was very well-preserved. Because the water in this high alpine lake is so cold, decomposition is very slow. This fact has spawned rumors, the most famous of which involves Jacques Cousteau and still makes writer Jennifer Skene uneasy.
Their basic design hasn’t changed much, but scientists still don’t fully understand the forces that allow humans to balance atop a bicycle. QUEST producer Gabriela Quirós visited Davis – a city that loves its bicycles – to take a look at a research bike and explore a collection of antique bicycles.
The Endeavour flyover made a striking appearance in the Bay Area in late September. Piggybacked to a 747, the shuttle flew at a low altitude of 1500 feet over several local cities. KQED Science radio reporter Amy Standen covered the flight and Interactive Producer Jenny Oh created a Storify presentation that collected residents’ reactions from all over the Bay Area.
Learn more about the Open Science movement and how science discoveries can spread across the Web in this post by Laura Khalil.