Quest: Investigating Our World Programs

Quest 2005

6 programs - 60 min. each ; 4-12 ; Anatomy/Physiology, Archaeology, Health/Wellness, Environment, Fisheries & Wildlife, Science ; Produced by MPBN (2005)

  1. Survival: The Human Body in Extreme Environments - How can a man survive two nights at 30 below zero in the White Mountains ? How can another live through the night on a buoy in the Atlantic in winter? Our bodies are constantly monitoring, balancing and adapting to the outside environment through a process called "homeostasis." We journey to the limits of human endurance as New England scientists and survivors examine how the body attempts to maintain its steady state at high mountain altitudes, in extreme cold and heat and even in outer space. All things being equal, why does one person survive and another not? Would you survive?
  2. Pandemic - This program grapples with what we know and don't know about infectious disease, particularly viruses. Using the 1918 influenza pandemic as a case study, we will compare that disaster with today's emerging invaders in northern New England - West Nile virus and Lyme disease. What is a virus? How does the body protect itself? How does a virus get past our immune system?
  3. Summer: Getting the Bugs Out - It's no secret that northern New England is home to many insects. So why are there 9,000 species of bugs here? What role do they play for us as pollinators and for one another as food? Also, what better time than summer to take inventory of all the biodiversity in our region? We join the region's first BioBlitz as biologists - in a race against time - count all the flora and fauna they can in 24 hours.
  4. Aquaculture: Down on the Salmon Farm - Farmed salmon grown along the Maine coast provides an affordable alternative to wild salmon. But is aquaculture creating more problems than it's solving? There is no shortage of people getting in on this rapidly changing industry in northern New England and across the globe. But aquaculture has had its share of controversy with pollution, toxins and diseases. Can science help find the solutions? Researchers at universities around the region are racing to come up with innovations to help fish farmers. We'll see how they're trying to rescue a maligned industry...and save the small family fish farms that are suddenly disappearing from Maine waters.
  5. Archaeology - Sifting through a 6,000-year-old prehistoric settlement. Discovering the remains of 1812 soldiers under a city seafood shop. We'll follow several teams of professional and amateur archaeologists as they unearth pieces of northern New England 's past. We'll see the latest techniques and technologies they're using to detect, excavate and preserve these interesting finds.
  6. The Scientist - What does a modern scientist really do? The classic picture of men in white lab coats is dispelled with this in-depth look at two groups of local scientists at work. From field biologists at Allied Whale in Bar Harbor, Maine who study the largest animals on earth, to nanoscientists at the University of New Hampshire who focus on the micro-world of atoms and molecules, we get an inside look at men and women on the frontiers of science today.

Quest - 2004

60 min. each ; 4-12 ; Anatomy/Physiology, Environment, Fisheries & Wildlife, History, Maine Studies, Science ; produced by MPBN (2004)

  1. Climate Change: In Our Backyard - Sea levels rising? The end of the sugar maple? Tropical diseases heading this way? We've heard a lot about "climate change" and "global warming," but how do we sort through the many terms and myths to see what this planetary issue means here in northern New England ? QUEST takes us from fishing on the coast of Maine to farming off-the-grid in New Hampshire to living in-town in Burlington , Vermont . Using close-to-home examples, the views of leading scientists come alive as they show how climate change can affect almost every aspect of our lives - and in turn, how we affect the climate.
  2. Bodies in Motion: The Biomechanics of Sports - Using athletics, QUEST takes a fresh look at the way our bodies move. Bridging the gap between research and the playing field, coaches, trainers and athletes themselves discover how to optimize performance and what to do when injury causes that performance to fail. Whether it's defying gravity on a diving board or repairing a broken wrist, these coaches and trainers help us discover the science behind the sports we love.
  3. Spring - Spring comes so late to northern New England that it hardly seems as though we have it at all. Yet each year, we get to enjoy at least a few weeks of this wondrous season. But because of our late start, things have to happen quickly and profusely. Spring is the time of year that wildlife and our plants come to life again and get right to the business of creating new life. It's the season for sex - not just for animals, but also plants. We'll see how the natural world struts its stuff to advertise its availability. It's no wonder we feel so rejuvenated this time of year.
  4. Gulf of Maine - "Out of sight, out of mind," the ocean world and the fate of its creatures are unknown to most of us. Although a day at the shore has changed very little, life beneath the waves is in crisis. Like the last buffalo, cod may never return as a wild species. Right whales face extinction. Invasive Asian crabs are killing native species. As QUEST takes us into the Gulf of Maine , we see a dynamic web of life, not as an extension of our world, but as its own ecosystem. What is going on down there? Can more be done?
  5. Bioinvasion - Is our environment evolving or under attack? Our modern day ecology is under onslaught from spreading alien organisms. Human activity is silently globalizing our world on an unforeseen level. Our land, forest and waters are all at risk. Why? Because these plants and animals are capable of moving aggressively into a habitat and monopolizing resources to the detriment of other species. Can scientists help us win the war against this bio-invasion?
  6. Inventors of New England - From colonial times to the present, our famous "Yankee" ingenuity has come into play when facing the demands of life in northern New England . Meet some modern inventors who apply science to life in Maine , Vermont and New Hampshire - with mind-expanding results. Watch wood products become stronger than steel, hear doctors detect an early heartbeat in the womb, and see a "living" machine turn waste into food. Come inside the invention process with students who figure out a way to de-ice their town sidewalks - then jump into the wild world of a robot competition. Northern New England inventors redefine the possible.

Quest - 2003

60 min. each ; 4-12 ; Environment, Forests & Forestry, Health/Wellness, Maine Studies, Science ; produced by MPBN (2003)

  1. Wilderness - Is there such a thing as true wilderness anymore in northern New England ? And would we know it if we saw it? Not everyone defines wilderness the same way. And a relatively new science, conservation biology, is giving us even more options. Experience the region's most wild and stunning places as QUEST seeks out wilderness, old growth forests, and ecological reserves in Maine , New Hampshire and Vermont . This is the first widescreen program ever produced by Maine PBS!
  2. Autumn - Long before the first leaf turns red or most wild berries are ripe for eating, the natural world is busy getting ready for winter. So if fall starts that early for plants and animals, how do they know the seasons are changing? Witness the incredible communication that goes on with biochemicals that "tells" the natural world when to start preparing for colder weather.
  3. Winter - For those plants and animals that don't migrate south for winter, a lot of preparation goes into getting ready for winter. But it takes more than that to make it through our long cold winters. Creating their own anti-freeze and re-directing bloodflow are just a few of the amazing adaptations the natural world has come up with that we'll explore on QUEST. What many plants and animals know that we humans don't when it comes to dealing with winter.
  4. Remote Sensing - It wasn't until manned space missions that we learned how seeing a bigger picture gave us a whole new appreciation of our world. Now we routinely gather and interpret data from a distance. See for yourself how remote sensing helped secure emergency relief funds in the wake of the 1998 ice storm in northern New England forests. And how satellite images of microscopic phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine may help solve some global warming problems.
  5. Managing Wildlife - Wildlife is always surprising us - even when pushed to the brink of extinction. Animals we once tried to get rid of are now literally at our backdoors. Marvel at the triumphant return of black bear, moose, fisher, and perhaps the cougar. And see how we're just beginning to learn about other species. Discover how it took DNA testing to figure out that some songbird chicks have three or more parents. QUEST explores how the mysteries of our wildlife are being solved.
  6. Food - How is it that we're always dieting yet still face an epidemic of obesity and diabetes? We are what we eat, nutritionists tell us. But there seems to be mass confusion about what we should be eating. QUEST explores how the government's food pyramid and many of the latest diet plans only make it more confusing. Get the skinny on what you should know about food.

Quest: Investigating the World We Call Maine

15 programs - 60 min. each ; 4-12 ; Environment, Maine Studies ; produced by MPBN (1995)

QUEST helps viewers make connections between the scientific principles being presented and the decisions and public policy choices they will be making about Maine 's future, updates the image of rural and agricultural Maine by showing Maine people at work as scientists, and addresses student aspirations to work in the sciences in Maine .

There are 15 full length programs, 10 excerpted segments for grades 9-12, and 10 for grades 4-8.

  1. How Clean Is Clean Enough?
  2. Weather Wise
  3. Origins
  4. The Gulf Of Maine
  5. Waterways
  6. Maine Woods
  7. Sustainable Agriculture: Solution Or Fad?
  8. Biotechnology
  9. Health Care
  10. Information Superhighway
  11. Maine Digs
  12. Shipwrecks!
  13. Maine Flora
  14. Maine Fauna
  15. Oil Spill! (1997)

Quest: 4-8

10 programs - 20 min. each ; 4-9 ; Environment, Maine Studies ; produced by MPBN (1995)

  1. Nonpoint Solutions
  2. Weather Wise
  3. Geological Gifts
  4. Loss At Sea
  5. Water Watch
  6. In Transition
  7. Organic Farming
  8. Biotech Breakthroughs
  9. Health Care
  10. Information Superhighway

Quest: 9-12

10 programs - 20 min. each ; 9-12 ; Environment, Maine Studies ;produced by MPBN (1995)

  1. Maine Ozone
  2. Weather Wise
  3. The Big Picture
  4. Lobster Wars
  5. Waters for Play
  6. Nature Knows Best
  7. Alternative Agriculture
  8. Mice & Men
  9. Health Care
  10. Information Superhighway