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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.
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is about coming together to honor Dr. King's life and legacy and help further his dream for peace by serving our neighbors and communities. MLK Day is a perfect opportunity for us to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, builds bridges, breaks down barriers, addresses social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of strong, beloved communities.
Students, staff, and faculty and their children/dependents are invited to take part in this event and celebration.
7+ service projects will be offered for the 2014 event addressing diverse issue areas and including various types of projects. Pre-registration is required. Participants will assemble at McAlexander Fieldhouse on Saturday January 18th. Continental breakfast and hot tea/coffee will be provided during the check-in process and a hot lunch will be provided. The 2014 MLK Day of Service is sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement and the Student Events and Activities Center/Community & Cultural Meal Program.
Learn more and register here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/mlk-day-service-projects.
A free screening of the 1920 German film THE GOLEM, accompanied on the piano by Portland composer and pianist Beth Karp.
If there’s a single message in the winter 2014 issue of Terra, it’s this: Language matters. It frames our relationships and defines our culture. It affirms common interests and ways of seeing the world. If you want to get something done, using the right language can make all the difference.
I learned that lesson early. At the dinner table, my parents would occasionally shift from English to their native Dutch. It often seemed to happen close to Christmas. My sisters and I, who spoke only English, knew the conversation was not meant for our ears.
As an ethnographer in Guatemala in the 1980s, Oregon State professor Cherri Pancake learned that understanding Mayan culture required extraordinary care in how she spoke during interviews and meetings. Later, when she became a computer engineer, she applied that skill to the world of software. She and her team in the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering interview people who use computer algorithms (the steps programmers create to accomplish a task) to make decisions about everything from forest fires to crop insurance. The language of software — vocabulary, structure, logic — matters to them.
For Kayla García, who grew up in Wisconsin, learning Spanish felt more like an act of remembering than encountering something new. The professor in the OSU School of Language, Culture and Society has her feet in both English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Her work acts like a prism for culture. It reveals peoples’ lives in colors that speakers of other languages might otherwise never see.
Language is also at the heart of Gregg Walker’s research on international negotiations. The Law of the Sea Treaty talks were complicated enough, he says, but they pale in comparison to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In Warsaw last fall, he listened and advised as delegates parsed words to underscore what’s at stake in the climate change debate: our survival and the world as we know it.
Their stories show Oregon State’s commitment to solving problems and enriching lives.
Remote Sensing of the Oceans
Award: 2013 William T. Pecora Award for achievement in Earth remote sensing
Sponsoring organization: NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior
For more than 30 years, Chelton as led efforts to improve satellite-derived measurements of the four primary ocean variables that can be sensed remotely: sea surface height, surface winds, sea surface temperature, and ocean surface biological productivity. His work has led to new hypotheses in ocean studies and has inspired many follow-up investigations by the ocean remote-sensing community.
Award: Friendship Award of China
Sponsoring organization: People’s Republic of China
Major advances against some of the world’s most devastating plant diseases are starting to emerge from more than a decade of international scientific collaboration led by Brett Tyler. The holder of the Stewart Chair in Gene Research at Oregon State, Tyler coordinates a worldwide research program on plant pathogens known to scientists as oomycetes.
New Chemical Elements
Sponsoring organization: American Chemical Society
Loveland has contributed to the development of experimental techniques and theoretical understanding that have led to the synthesis and discovery of new chemical elements. His research on nuclear reactions has contributed to the understanding of fusion and the stability of products that result when nuclei collide. He has also applied nuclear chemistry to track the dispersal of pollutants in the environment.
Responding to the sting of declining honeybee populations, Oregon State University entomologists and engineers are planning to track native bumblebees with tiny sensors. Many aspects of bumblebee behavior are unknown, but better understanding may lead to bee-friendly agricultural practices, says Sujaya Rao, an entomologist in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
“Lack of pollination is a risk to human food production,” says Rao, an expert on native bees. “With our sensors, we are searching for answers to basic questions, such as: Do all members of one colony go to pollinate the same field together? Do bumblebees communicate in the colony where food is located? Are bumblebees loyal as a group?”
With support from a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rao will work with Oregon State engineering professors Patrick Chiang and Arun Natarajan to design sensors that can fit comfortably on the insects without affecting their behavior. Each sensor will consist of integrated circuits that broadcast wireless signals about the bee’s location and movement. The sensors will be powered by wireless energy transfer instead of batteries, further reducing weight and size.
“New technologies allow us to build sensors with extremely small dimensions,” says Natarajan, principal investigator in OSU’s High-Speed Integrated Circuits Lab and an assistant professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The concept of placing wireless sensors on insects is a relatively unexplored area.”
Landscaping tactics, such as planting flowers and hedgerows near crops, are believed to promote the presence and population of bumblebees, as well as increase crop yields.
Decades of fire suppression have put the Ponderosa pine forests of Eastern Oregon at risk. Despite being adapted to frequent low-intensity fire, they have accumulated high fuel loads. Forest managers must decide when to let low-intensity fires burn and where to invest in costly fuel reduction treatments.
With a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Tom Dietterich, distinguished professor in the Oregon State College of Engineering, is leading a team of OSU researchers to develop computational methods for optimizing these forest management decisions. The team has developed the Oregon Centennial Fire Simulator, which predicts the consequences of management decisions over the next 100 years. With this grant, they will provide forest managers, landowners, timber-industry representatives and other stakeholders with methods for optimizing and then visualizing forest management policies. They will be able to improve those policies to address other concerns.
Dietterich and his team are also studying several problems of invasive species management. Like fire, invasive species spread across the landscape. Consequently many of the same mathematical and computational techniques can be applied to design optimal courses of action for controlling these invasions. The team will study three different invasive species that are threatening Oregon: tamarisk (salt cedar), cheatgrass and sudden oak death.
Some researchers are gene hunters. They track wildlife populations by following differences and similarities in genetic profiles. Now a research team led by Scott Baker, associate director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, is helping scientists visualize genetic information from individual whales across the ocean. A member of Baker’s team, Ph.D. student Dori Dick in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, is developing a suite of mapping tools and the website, geneGIS.org.
When fully operational, the software will enable researchers to browse and summarize genetic records to understand how whale populations mix and move.
“The goal is to enable researchers to visualize and study spatial patterns of genetic variability,” says Dick. “This information is important for conservation and management purposes. It could indicate that different groups of individuals require different management strategies.”
The project focuses on an international effort to track humpbacks in the North Pacific. Baker recently showed that humpbacks there constitute five distinct populations.
Among collaborators are two scientists at Esri, the world’s largest GIS research and development firm: software developer Shaun Walbridge and Dawn Wright, Dick’s adviser and Esri chief scientist; and scientists affiliated with the Cascadia Research Collective and the Wildbook Project, a collaborative effort to use open-source software for tracking wildlife.
On Feb. 20, Dick will lead a workshop on geneGIS tools at the OSU Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Association’s annual symposium.
The Office of Naval Research provided funding support.
Undergraduate Pathway Programs: Business, Engineering, Exercise & Sport Science, Food Science and Technology, General, General-Liberal Arts Focus, and Sustainable Planet
Graduate Pathway Programs: Business
The Qatar Foundation's fourth annual workshop supports new higher education leaders from 17 developing countries.