About 22 years after an international whale-hunting moratorium went into effect, some whales appear to be making a comeback off Chile's coast, where a proliferation of islands, fiords, peninsulas and straits creates tens of thousands of miles of shoreline. In recent years, researchers combing remote crannies of this elongated coast have confirmed the presence of two seasonally resident populations of whales, including 100 to 150 humpbacks in the glacier-rimmed Strait of Magellan. "The likelihood is that they were not completely hunted out, and these are remnant populations," says Bruce Mate, who heads the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University and who worked to tag Chilean blue whales and track them via satellite. "It just wasn't commercially viable to hunt till the very last whale."
The Oregon University System earlier this month approved a new graduate certificate in water conflict management and transformation at Oregon State University. The certificate would be the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. "We’re hugely excited. This has been five years in the making," said Aaron Wolf, director of OSU’s water conflict management and transformation program. With water becoming scarcer across the globe, conflicts are arising, and OSU experts have helped mediate those. Training in conflict management would be specialized for students seeking to apply their skills in the United States or abroad. Wolf was the editor of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization water conflict training book, which will be used for the international component of the OSU program.
Nancy King, an associate professor of business law in the College of Business, will spend several months next year doing research on privacy law in Belgium with a research grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program.
King will be doing research on privacy issues related to the increasing use of cell phones as a portal for electronic commerce (mobile-commerce) under the European Union Affairs Research Program in Belgium.
Her host institution is the University of Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur, Belgium, where she will work with the Center of Recherches Informatique Et Droit (CRID). King will join the law faculty from the host university to conduct collaborative research with European Union scholars on personal privacy and related data protection concerns that are arising in electronic commerce.
OSU entomologist Chris Marshall had collected insects in a lot of
unusual places. But scrounging for a rare species of moth in the fur of
a three-toed sloth had to be the weirdest. It happened one black,
sweltering night in the unexplored rainforests of northern Guyana in
Robbie Lamb, a biology major pursuing an International Degree and marine biology option, has spent countless hours in the lab and the field, and he's written his
own grant proposals to get funding for research in the United States,
Ecuador, and the Bahamas. His international work with sustainable fisheries has earned him a Fulbright grant. In September, Lamb will use the grant to help build a marine reserve in Ecuador's Esmeraldas region—with fishermen's input.
OSU biological and ecological engineering professor Ganti Murthy is working to find an efficient
method of processing bio-diesel fuel and ethanol from one of the
world’s most plentiful organisms – algae – which could lead to
breakthroughs in reducing the world's dependency on petroleum. Applying
the findings to mass-produce algae and extract its oils could be five
to 10 years in the future, but according to Murthy, the advantages are worth the wait.
Five undergraduates - five dreams. The common thread? Private
scholarship support has enabled each to stay in school and pursue his
or her goals. Terra magazine interviews international students Hiromi Omatsu, a senior in Design and Human Environment, and Laura Marquez-Loza, a senior in Wood Science and Engineering and an International Cultural Service Program scholar.
In most of her research, biological and ecological engineering professor Desiree Tullos collaborates with people all over the planet – from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Yunnan Province, China. "Almost all of the research involves me, as an engineer, working with ecologists, economists, sociologists, and others," says Tullos, who has degrees in civil engineering as well as biological and agricultural engineering.
Glue is the latest product to go green. Kaichang Li and colleagues at Oregon State University developed a new, environmentally friendly adhesive made with
renewable natural resources. The glue, which replaces current adhesives
that release cancer-causing chemicals into the air, will improve the
environment and human health, as well as provide new markets for U.S.
You know you're in a pretty remote area when the only people who ever tried to survey it on foot died of malaria. The rivers are filled with deadly electric eels and crocodile stew is a staple dinner dish. Never-before-discovered animal species are, well, all over the place.
Such was the trip to the Guyana Shield by a group of scientists from Oregon State University, the Smithsonian Institution, Conservation International, Guyana and others. They visited one of the world's most remote, pristine and truly remarkable terrains in the northern jungles of South America.
Traveling there by overloaded small plane, canoe and foot through steaming rain forests was anything but easy. But the end result is significant additions to both OSU's Arthropod Collection and the Center for the Study of Biological Diversity in Georgetown, Guyana.
"This trip was a huge success," said OSU entomologist Christopher Marshall, who oversees three million specimens in the university's collection, which researchers hope to build into one of the best in the nation. "Once mounted and identified, a task that will take several years, many specimens will be sent back to colleagues and collections in Guyana to help build their museums. But many will be retained at OSU to strengthen our holdings as well."