OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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GE Spring Session 2 Orientation

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Monday, May 5, 2014 - Tuesday, May 6, 2014 (all day event)

Coffee Hour

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Monday, May 5, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Mingle with other OSU students while enjoying some cultural food and making new connections.

International Spring Festival

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Sunday, May 4, 2014 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
This event is composed of all the different ISOSU Affiliate organizations (culturally based) who will showcase their cultural food, garments, and other cultural objects at their booth. Live music as well as a full meal will be provided. 

GE Session 1 Ends

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Friday, May 2, 2014 (all day event)

Cultural Exposition

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Thursday, April 24, 2014 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Discover different aspects of different cultures or share yours! You can come sing, dance, say a cultural story, read a poem, play an instrument or show us a cultural garment, or a presentation about some aspect of your culture. If you'd like to preregister please email: ISOSU@oregonstate.edu You could also just sit and enjoy the cultural exposition put on by students like you!

Coffee Hour

Upcoming Events - 4 hours 17 min ago
Monday, April 21, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Mingle with other OSU students while enjoying some cultural food and making new connections.

Taking the Measure of Seals and Those Who Study Them

OSU's Global Impact - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:03pm

With Mount Erebus as a backdrop, an Oregon State research team works on a Weddell seal. Markus Horning places telemetry equipment on its back, while Mee-ya Monnin, right, records biological data. Allyson Hindle and John Skinner are preparing the seal for photogrammetry (photography for computer analysis), while veterinarian Rachel Berngartt, second from left, monitors the seal. (Photo: Henry Kaiser)

In Antarctica, when you sedate a 1,000-pound Weddell seal, it can take a while for the animal to settle down. Before the drug takes effect, the seal might raise its head, flex its 9-foot-long body or even attempt an ungainly crawl toward an opening in the sea ice. Keeping it away from such holes is important. If it were to dive before drifting into unconsciousness, it could drown.

During a research trip to Antarctica last year, Mee-ya Monnin was concerned about seal movement for another reason. She was taking photographs for a research project and needed the animals to be still. When properly composed, her photos would become the basis for a physical check-up of sorts.

This Oregon State University undergraduate from Snohomish, Washington, has developed a method for turning seal pictures into a computer model that calculates the surface area and volume of the animal. By combining those measurements with other information — weight, age, internal and external temperatures, reproductive status and thickness of the seal’s blubber layer — an Oregon State research team is establishing a reliable baseline for monitoring seal health in the future. Leading the project are OSU marine mammal scientist Markus Horning, Jo-Ann Mellish of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Allyson Hindle of the Harvard Medical School. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

For Monnin, a senior in OSU’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department and University Honors College, the chance to do science in Antarctica was about more than traveling to a beautiful place and pursuing a lifelong passion for marine mammals. It was a test. It was a chance for this self-described “strong, independent individual” to see what she was made of.

The Weddell seal research team, known as B470, surveys a seal at the base of Mount Erebus, the world’s southernmost active volcano. (Photo: Henry Kaiser)

“Everybody knows why you’re there in terms of being passionate,” she says. “That’s pretty common. The important thing isn’t just the desire. It’s to prove that you’ve tested that desire and you’re still interested.”

Fear of Freezing

Her first real hurdle came during a survival training session known optimistically as Happy Camper. The goal is to help scientists prepare for the possibility of being caught out on the ice during a life-threatening storm. Even though she knew it was an exercise, Monnin feared she might freeze to death. “I really believed that I wasn’t going to make it. I thought I was going to die. The instructors leave you alone your first night. You know it’s going to be cold down there, but do you really know? Can you really conceptualize how cold it’s going to be? I was sure I was going to be a popsicle. I’d be dead. There was just no way.”

It wasn’t the first endurance test she had passed. As an intern with the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, she had chopped frozen fish to feed dolphins and sea lions and scrubbed docks on her hands and knees. Her favorite, though, was pressure-washing the sea lion pens. “The only thing that smells worse than wet, liquid sea lion feces is evaporated particles at 120 degrees Fahrenheit floating in the air and in your face,” she laughs.

During the austral summer, Weddell seals are often found sunbathing on the surface of the seasonally frozen sea ice. (Photo: Henry Kaiser)

Monnin attributes her determination to several sources: her scuba-diving father who brought brilliant underwater photos from the world’s oceans back to his family; her three years in a South Korean middle school (her mom grew up in South Korea) where she gained hard-won study habits; her independent streak, which she has learned to dampen in the interests of teamwork.

“Yes, I have the desire, but I’ve tested it with every single internship and opportunity I’ve gotten, and I’m still just as dedicated now as I was in the beginning,” she adds.

Seal Survival

Oregon State’s breadth in marine sciences made the university a natural fit for her. Now, as she prepares to graduate in June, Monnin is writing a technical paper about her modeling methods (described in her blog and shown briefly in a video).

She also thinks about what’s at stake for Weddell seals. Like penguins and whales, this southernmost member of the seal family is a mainstay of the Antarctic ecosystem. Climate changes already impinge on the continent’s ice and precipitation patterns, and as habitats respond, scientists need an accurate way to evaluate the impacts on wildlife.

“We are creating the actual baseline (for seal health),” Monnin explains. “The baseline tells us how much energy they are expending. In the future, we’ll be able to see if those animals are under stress.” Since energy expenditure is a health indicator, measuring it may tell scientists if seals are struggling to survive in a changing environment.

“The assumption has been that if you adapted to life on the ice, it’s not really challenging for you to survive there,” she says. That may not be true any longer.

Mee-ya Monnin lubricates a feeding tube, which she will use to insert a pill containing a temperature transmitter into a seal’s stomach. (Photo: Henry Kaiser)

After spending six months on the ice in 2012, Monnin returned for a second season with Horning’s team in 2013. She learned to make her process more efficient by taking photos more quickly. Instead of hurrying just after a seal had been sedated, when it might still be active, she waited for other researchers to complete their tests of the animal’s status. Monnin positioned four cameras outside the clear plastic tent (affectionately called “the onion”) in which the research team worked. At a signal from the team, the sides of the tent were peeled away, and Monnin started taking photos. She reduced photography time from more than 15 minutes on average to less than two.

“Being down on the ice, you are physically and mentally challenged in every possible aspect,” she says. “You learn to work as part of the group. When I’m coming up on a deadline, it’s a hard deadline. There are bigger consequences for other people on the line, not just for me.”

Rachel Berngartt, veterinarian, takes an oral culture from a Weddell seal. (Photo: Henry Kaiser)

After graduation, Monnin plans to take time to consider her next steps. Now that she has received the Antarctic Service Medal (give by Congress to people who spend 10 to 30 days below 60 degrees south latitude), another test on the southern continent isn’t out of the question.

Editor’s note: All work presented here was conducted in accordance with all applicable animal welfare guidelines. All research presented on this website was conducted under permit # 15748, 1034-1854 issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Antarctic Conservation Act 2012-003, 2007-007, and all required institutional permits from participating institutions.

Categories: OSU's Global Impact

Digital Storytelling

Upcoming Events - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:05pm
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Want to share your experiences abroad through art and media? Digital storytelling is becoming the folk art of the 21st century. Join us for this workshop series to create your digital story!

Returnees from study abroad and/or international internships will create their own 2-4 minute digital story (~250 word script) about one specific and memorable experience during their time abroad. This workshop meets four times in order to guide students from the starting steps to the finished product of their digital stories.

New to digital storytelling? Click here for an example. 

We're looking forward to hearing your story!

Please RSVP by emailing charlene.marek@oregonstate.edu.

Workshop is limited to 20 students, contact us now! 

Cultural Heritage

Upcoming Events - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:05pm
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Cultural Heritage is an event in which a panel of students and faculty will answer questions on various topics using their cultural background to talk about various topics such as Education, Marriage, Traditions and others. Listen in and ask questions - Join the discussion.

US Student Fulbright Program

Upcoming Events - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:07pm
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and  recent graduates to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,800 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.


During their grants, Fulbright scholars will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

For more information about Fulbright, please visit:

http://us.fulbrightonline.org/

 

The 2015-16 Fulbright competition opens on May 1, 2014.  Please join LeAnn Adam, OSU Fulbright Program Advisor for an information session.

French Conversation Group

Upcoming Events - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:07pm
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

What is Café-Rencontres Francophones?

An initiative of the OSU French Department, Café-Rencontres is a casual French conversation group open to members of the OSU and greater-Corvallis communities. We welcome all levels of French from beginner to native, and we enjoying speaking French in a laid-back atmosphere. It's not a class, but we help each other as we go along.

We meet upstairs at Nearly Normals - come by anytime between 4:30 and 6pm on Tuesdays.

Move It Monday with Beaver Strides

Upcoming Events - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:07pm
Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Join other students, faculty and staff for group walks around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods during the lunch hour. We meet at 12:00 p.m. each Monday at Student Health Services (Plageman Building) near the east entrance and walk for approximately 45 minutes. We walk rain or shine, so bring an umbrella or jacket if it's raining!

For more information about Beaver Strides, go to http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/beaverstrides

The Danger of a Single Perspective

Upcoming Events - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:14pm
Thursday, April 10, 2014 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Developing your global lens by participating in an open discussion about relevant topics in which culture plays a role.

French Conversation Group

Upcoming Events - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 4:12pm
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

What is Café-Rencontres Francophones?

An initiative of the OSU French Department, Café-Rencontres is a casual French conversation group open to members of the OSU and greater-Corvallis communities. We welcome all levels of French from beginner to native, and we enjoying speaking French in a laid-back atmosphere. It's not a class, but we help each other as we go along.

We meet upstairs at Nearly Normals - come by anytime between 4:30 and 6pm on Tuesdays.

Film Screening GOLD - U CAN DO MORE THAN U THINK

Upcoming Events - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 4:18pm
Monday, April 7, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

http://www.gold-derfilm.de/en/index.html

 

 A screening of the UN-supported documentary, sponsored by the School of Language, Culture, and Society with the support of Oregon State University Athletics.

Coffee Hour

Upcoming Events - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 4:18pm
Monday, April 7, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Mingle with other OSU students while enjoying some cultural food and making new connections.

Move It Monday with Beaver Strides

Upcoming Events - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 4:18pm
Monday, April 7, 2014 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Join other students, faculty and staff for group walks around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods during the lunch hour. We meet at 12:00 p.m. each Monday at Student Health Services (Plageman Building) near the east entrance and walk for approximately 45 minutes. We walk rain or shine, so bring an umbrella or jacket if it's raining!

For more information about Beaver Strides, go to http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/beaverstrides

Film Screening GOLD - U CAN DO MORE THAN U THINK

Upcoming Events - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 4:12pm
Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

http://www.gold-derfilm.de/en/index.html

This screening accessible to the visually impaired.

 A screening of the UN-supported documentary, sponsored by the School of Language, Culture, and Society with the support of Oregon State University Athletics.

Welcoming Diversity: Valuing the Differences Among Us

Upcoming Events - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:13pm
Friday, April 4, 2014 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

This day-long workshop uses the award winning National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) community building model. OSU's team of NCBI trained facilitators lead participants through a series of interactive exercises and conversations to assist them in identifying and understanding the impact of oppression and oppressive behaviors on themselves and others. Participants will be introduced to skills that can empower them to become more effective leaders and allies for others.   

Workshop goals include: identifying misinformation we have learned about others; identifying and express pride in groups we belong to; learning how other groups experience mistreatment; learning the personal impact of incidents of discrimination; and learning how to interrupt prejudicial remarks. 

Pre-registration required - 8:30am-4:30pm, Memorial Union Joyce Powell Journey Room.   

Accomodation requests related to ability:  contact jodi.nelson@oregonstate.edu or 541.737.0715 no less than one week prior to the event.

Sponsored by the OSU Campus Coalition Builders 

US State Department Diplomat Visit

Upcoming Events - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:14pm
Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

The State Department stations some of its staff (called Diplomats In Residence (DIR)), at various universities around the country with the purpose of recruiting students for both internships and full-time employment. Meet Steven Browning to learn more about internships, fellowships and job opportunities with the State Department.

Steven A. Browning is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service holding the rank of Career Minister.  Ambassador Browning assumed his duties as Diplomat in Residence in August, 2012. Ambassador Browning of Texas most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Human Resources where he had responsibility for hiring, developing, assigning and supporting the Department’s 68,000 employees.  Prior to that he served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda, Minister Counselor for Management in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; and the Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi.

For more information visit the links below:
Foreign Service Specialist: http://careers.state.gov/specialist
Foreign Service Officer: http://careers.state.gov/officer