A once-a-month injection of a particular drug appears more effective than other medications in treating alcohol and opioid dependence.
The study this story is based on is available online: http://bit.ly/1i9n2tD
PORTLAND, Ore. – A comparatively new form of a medication for alcohol and opioid dependence that’s injected once a month instead of taken orally once a day appears to be significantly more effective than some other medications – because more patients actually continue the prescribed regimen.
The findings, published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment by researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions, offer support for a wider use of medications that may help reduce or prevent substance abuse and related hospital admissions.
The cost savings could offset the cost of the medication, researchers said.
In the past, there has been fairly low use of medications to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. Several treatment options are available, with differing mechanisms of action, and they generally work to reduce the pleasurable feelings associated with drug and alcohol use, thereby discouraging the use of them.
The medication in the study that was found to be more effective than some past approaches was extended-release Naltrexone, which is administered once a month by injection in a medical setting. The research was supported by Alkermes, Inc., the manufacturer of that medication.
“Some of these medications are opioid antagonists, which reduce the euphoric effects of alcohol and some drugs,” said Dan Hartung, an associate professor in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy, and lead author on the study.
“Historically, oral medications for substance abuse have not often been prescribed or found to have a high degree of success, mostly because patients stopped taking them,” Hartung said. “But there are patients who are committed to treating their problems and data showed that they clearly appear to have success with extended-release Naltrexone, which is administered just once a month.”
The issue may be of increased importance, experts said, because of health and prescription drug coverage that is now being made available through the Affordable Care Act. It may make such medications available to many people who previously did not have access to them, and in the process achieve some goals of reducing hospital admissions.
The new meta-analysis combined findings from five other papers, comprising a total of 1,565 patients who received extended-release Naltrexone compared to other therapies for six months, among nearly 60,000 overall patients – the only comprehensive analysis of its type that has been completed.
It found that even though extended-release Naltrexone is expensive – about $1,100 a month – the total health care utilization and costs were generally lower for patients taking it, compared to those using other alcohol-dependence treatments.
They found that significant savings were produced by fewer days of detoxification facility use and inpatient utilization.
Alcohol and drug use disorders affect more than 21 million Americans, the researchers noted in their study – or about 8 percent of the nation’s population. Research in New York found that substance abuse more than doubled the number of preventable hospital re-admissions. But despite this, treatment of alcohol dependence with medications ranks the lowest among 25 health and behavioral conditions.
“There has always been some reluctance on the part of health care practitioners, as well as the patients they are treating, to use prescription medication to treat a substance abuse problem,” Hartung said. “Medication-assisted therapy is underutilized. With more people having access to these medications, now would be a good time to do further research on the comparative efficacy and use of them.”
Although most studies of extended-release Naltrexone have been six months in duration, longer-term data suggest effectiveness is maintained for longer durations of therapy. Very limited research has been done comparing the efficacy of various drugs for these purposes.
Nationally, even at addiction treatment centers, only 24 percent used pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence and 34 percent for opioid dependence. Barriers to use include financing, concerns about cost, medical staffing, education and attitudes.
“Given rising pressures to reduce potentially preventable hospital readmissions and other reducible cost and morbidity causes,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion, “the optimization of patient care and management of resources warrant systemic change in the delivery of addiction treatment, in the advancing era of health care reform.”College of Pharmacy Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Dan Hartung, 503-494-4720
CORVALLIS, Ore. – People with questions about using pesticides correctly now can get answers on their smartphones and tablets, thanks to expanded online services offered by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University.
The center, which operates a national hotline, is growing its fleet of mobile apps, interactive content, video tutorials, and webinars for the medical community and state and federal regulators.
The efforts are funded by a five-year, $5 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, which announced the award Tuesday.
"The award represents a new vision for our national service that emphasizes modern online and mobile delivery. We want to be where people are when they need us," said Kaci Buhl, project coordinator for the center. "Online content allows us to better fulfill our mission of limiting the misuse of pesticides, reducing risk and promoting public health."
OSU has operated the national service since 1995, which is funded by the EPA in three- to five-year cycles.
Last year, more than 1.8 million visitors accessed NPIC's website, which received over 32 million overall hits. The service also answered questions from more than 17,000 people by phone and email.
The NPIC has also launched four mobile-friendly apps. The most popular, the Pesticide Education and Search Tool (PEST), offers quick, bulleted information on more than a dozen common pests. The four apps aim to be immediately accessible to users and suggest alternatives to pesticides for common urban pests, like fleas, rodents and bed bugs.
The service also continues to add hundreds of pages and new services to its website, including a ZIP code-driven locator for emergency services. It is also beefing up its presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. The NPIC's website and mobile apps can be found at http://npic.orst.edu.
The NPIC's toll-free hotline is available in over 170 languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Russian and Farsi. Each submitted question is handled by an expert with advanced training in toxicology, food safety, veterinary medicine or other scientific field.
"While we offer a diverse array of services, each one aims to present the latest non-biased information. We encourage our clients to follow label instructions, steer them away from home remedies and direct them to a range of non-chemical options to control pests," said Dave Stone, the center's director and professor in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.
The NPIC also collects data on pesticide incidents to inform national surveillance systems. For example, the Centers for Disease Control recently used the NPIC's data to issue an advisory about the misuse of pesticides for bed bug control.
The hotline can be reached at 1-800-858-7378 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday. NPIC's number is displayed prominently on the EPA website and on many product labels.Generic OSU Media Contact: Daniel Robison Source:
OSU scientists examined coastal marine species near Newport for concentrations of heavy metals and organic pollutants and found no bioaccumulation of significant concern.
NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregon State University scientists have examined a variety of coastal marine species near Newport, Ore., for concentrations of heavy metals and organic pollutants and found only trace amounts with no bioaccumulation of significant concern.
Their report is being presented May 19 to the City of Newport, which commissioned the study. It is available online at: http://www.thecityofnewport.net/
Newport city officials were concerned that effluent from a Georgia-Pacific containerboard plant outfall pipe, located some 4,000 feet off Nye Beach, may be exposing some marine life to contaminants. A 2010 study by CH2M-Hill looked for heavy metals in the surrounding water and sediments and found little with which to be concerned. Their study did not investigate marine organisms, however.
“There was some concern that metals and organic pollutants may be bioaccumulating in nearby marine life,” said Sarah Henkel, a marine ecologist at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and primary investigator on the study. “We tested for 137 different chemicals and only detected 38 of them – none at levels that remotely approach concern for humans.”
The City of Newport had asked the OSU researchers to look at a variety of species, including flatfish (speckled sand dab), crustaceans (Dungeness crab and Crangon shrimp), and mollusks (mussels and olive snails) because they could bioaccumulate metals and organic pollutants at different rates. The researchers collected a variety of samples in 2012 near the G-P outfall, as well as at sites north of Yaquina Head and south of Yaquina Bay. In fall of 2013, they also collected and analyzed rock scallops.
The organisms were analyzed for trace metals including copper and lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and congeners, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are used in flame-retardant materials, and other potentially carcinogenic compounds. They also were analyzed for organic-based compounds, which are commonly derived from pesticides.
Not a single organism was found with a bioaccumulation of metals or organic pollutants that approached levels of concern for humans established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the researchers reported.
“The system is pretty darn clean,” said Scott Heppell, a biologist with the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and co-primary investigator on the study. “I was certainly interested personally going into the study because my family goes crabbing in some of the places we sampled. If we had found anything, we would have had to come up with a new place. But we found nothing approaching the level of intervention for humans and that’s reassuring.”
The OSU researchers did find one area of potential future concern – trace levels of arsenic in mussels at sites both north and south of Yaquina Bay. The arsenic levels were still below the FDA level of concern for human consumption (86 parts per million), Heppell said, but in some cases exceeded the established level of concern for impacts to the mussels themselves, which is 3.6 ppm. Some of the samples analyzed by the researchers reached 5.0 ppm.
“It is still 15 times lower than the threshold for human concern, but there is potential for damage to the mussels themselves,” Heppell said. “It is also worth noting because the arsenic was in virtually all of the mussel samples we collected on beaches from Seal Rock to north of Yaquina Head. There is no way to draw a link to the G-P outfall.
“But because it was so common, it may be a good idea to study mussel populations up and down the entire coast to see what arsenic levels are at beyond our study area.”
Arsenic is often used in pressure-treated lumber and wood preservatives, the researchers noted.
Among other findings:
- The researchers found three derivatives of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, a pesticide that has been banned for 40 years. Although it was detected at very small amounts, “the fact that it is still present in organisms four decades later shows why it was banned,” Henkel said.
- No significant bioaccumulation could be attributed to the G-P outfall. In fact, fish, crabs and shrimp collected from subtidal sites away from the outfall often had higher concentrations of metals than those adjacent to the pipe, though still at levels safe for human consumption.
- Two DDT derivatives (2,4’-DDE and 4,4’-DDD) were found in a single crab sample. Another, hexochloro-benzene, was detected in just two crab samples – at concentrations some 10,000 times less than the toxicity level listed as potentially affecting the crabs themselves.
“It is worth noting that the instrumentation today is so sensitive it can detect trace amounts of compounds at concentrations not possible just a few years ago,” Heppell said.
The OSU researchers praised the City of Newport for seeking data that potentially could have been damaging, yet was important to know.
“This is one of those reports that, thankfully, turns out to be rather boring,” Henkel said.
Other researchers on the project included Selina Heppell, a biologist with the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; and OSU faculty research assistants Kristin Politano and Vincent Politano.Hatfield Marine Science Center Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Oregon State University’s 38th annual Klatowa Eena Powwow will take place on Saturday, May 17, in Gill Coliseum on campus.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s 38th annual Klatowa Eena Powwow will take place on Saturday, May 17, in Gill Coliseum on campus.
Grand Entry takes place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Host Drum is the Blacklodge Singers; Honor Drum is Little River Singers. Emcee is Nick Sixkiller.
In addition to the powwow, the annual salmon bake takes place in the Memorial Union quad from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 16. A meet and greet at the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse will follow at 5 p.m. The longhouse is located at 311 S.W. 26th St.
The meet and greet will feature the 1491s, a Native American sketch comedy group. The 1491s will also perform May 17 during the powwow, beginning at 5 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public.
For additional information: http://oregonstate.edu/nal/Generic OSU Media Contact: Theresa Hogue Source:
Eena Haws Native American Longhouse: 541-737-2783Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
The 15th annual Engineering Expo on Friday, May 16, will feature a wide range of student projects from all engineering disciplines.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The 15th annual Engineering Expo featuring student projects from across all engineering disciplines will be held Friday, May 16, at the College of Engineering at Oregon State University.
The event showcases nearly 200 student-built projects, including at least 30 that focus on sustainability and 50 industry-sponsored projects. Also featured are a Robo*Palooza, an award-winning Mars rover, and First robots. The event is free and open to the public, and will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kelley Engineering Center.
More information is available online at http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/expo2014, or by calling 541-737-3101. Follow the Expo on Twitter at #EngrExpo2014.
The various displays offer an exciting learning opportunity for anyone, organizers say, and may be of particular interest to high school students who are considering a career in engineering.
"The Expo is a collaborative and hands-on experience that helps our graduates transition seamlessly into their careers, and offers immediate value to their employers in today’s competitive job market," said Scott Ashford, dean of the College of Engineering. “It demonstrates the importance of research and industry-university partnership in creating top-notch engineering talent.”
Among the various displays will be:
- A campus shuttle tracking app that provides real-time locations on your phone, making it easier to park and get around campus;
- A segmented radius solar collector that will significantly improve solar energy collection for remote locations;
- An irrigation system to transport water for agricultural use to the Valley of Peace in Belize;
- A student-built rocket for the 2014 Intercollegiate Rocketry Engineering Competition;
- An ordinary cell phone that can detect gamma radiation with the built-in light sensor.
Abby Metzger, 541-737-3295Source:
Scott AshfordMultimedia Downloads Multimedia:
The White House announced today the appointment of Rick Spinrad, vice president for research at OSU, as chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The White House announced today the appointment of Richard (Rick) Spinrad, the vice president for research at Oregon State University since July 2010, as chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Spinrad will resign from his position as vice president and take a leave of absence from the Oregon State faculty to accept the NOAA appointment, which begins in July. He is a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
As NOAA’s chief scientist, Spinrad will help drive the policy and program direction for all science and technology priorities at the agency and advise NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan and agency program leaders on research matters.
“I am honored to be appointed to this position at such a critical time,” Spinrad said. “The issues that NOAA is addressing relate to natural hazards, resource management and the optimal application of research to solve problems. Being asked to help guide the agency’s scientific agenda is a humbling and exciting opportunity.”
OSU President Edward J. Ray praised Spinrad, and pointed to the long list of Oregon State faculty and administrators who recently have held high-ranking federal appointments, including former NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco and others.
“Rick Spinrad has provided exceptional leadership to the university’s research enterprise,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “He has successfully increased our research partnerships with industry, spearheaded the drive for a marine studies campus in Newport, and helped OSU secure a major grant to design and oversee the construction of as many as three new ships for the United States research fleet.
“We will miss his many contributions, but we know that he will make an outstanding addition to the NOAA administration.”
Under Spinrad’s leadership, the last fiscal year was OSU’s best ever in technology licensing as the university signed 88 new licenses with organizations in the fields of information technology, agriculture, industrial materials, biotechnology, forest products, healthy aging and manufacturing. OSU also received a record $7.7 million in licensing and royalty income, and research funding from the private sector reached $36 million – a 65 percent increase over the last five years.
A key component of OSU’s growth in industry partnerships under Spinrad was the launch of a new initiative in January 2013 called the Oregon State University Advantage, which is designed to boost the university’s impact on job creation and economic progress in Oregon and beyond. The program has increased access by private industry to OSU’s faculty and researchers and allows companies to take better advantage of the university’s unique capabilities.
Spinrad also played an integral role in the launch of the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network known as Oregon RAIN and the selection of OSU – along with public and private partners in Alaska and Hawaii – to run a center to investigate the civilian use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
He also was a member of the Corvallis Economic Development Commission.
“It was a difficult decision to leave OSU at this time,” Spinrad said. “Our success in research of late and the exciting prospects for the university’s future are testimony to the extraordinary skills and capabilities of our faculty, staff, students and administrators. I will watch OSU’s continued growth with a sense of confidence and pride in the university community.”
Before coming to OSU, Spinrad was assistant administrator for research at NOAA. He also has been the research director for the U.S. Navy; taught oceanography at two universities; directed a major national non-profit organization; was president of a private company; and worked as a research scientist.
Spinrad received his master’s (1978) and doctoral (1982) degrees in oceanography from OSU.
An interim vice president for OSU research will be appointed in the near future.Generic OSU Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
OSU pharmacy researchers have discovered a biochemical process that can cause normal skin cells to turn into cancerous melanoma cells.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a specific biochemical process that can cause normal and healthy skin cells to transform into cancerous melanoma cells, which should help predict melanoma vulnerability and could also lead to future therapies.
More than 70,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, develop in the U.S. every year.
The work was published today in PLoS Genetics, in work supported by the National Institutes of Health.
“We believe this is a breakthrough in understanding exactly what leads to cancer formation in melanoma,” said Arup Indra, an associate professor in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy. “We’ve found that some of the mechanisms which ordinarily prevent cancer are being switched around and actually help promote it.
“In melanoma, the immune system is getting thrown into reverse,” he said. “Immune cells that previously were attracted to help deal with a problem are instead repulsed.”
The key to this process, the researchers said, is a protein called retinoid-X-receptor, or RXR. When present in an adequate amount, the RXR protein aids the proper operation of the immune response in the skin. Primary players in this are skin cells called melanocytes, which produce protective pigments, or melanin, in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight – in simple terms, a suntan.
Even with this protection, however, both melanocytes and other skin cells called keratinocytes routinely suffer genetic damage. Sometimes the damage can be repaired, and at other times the immune response – in the presence of adequate levels of RXR in the melanocytes – will kill the defective skin cells before they become malignant.
When expressed levels of RXR are too low in the melanocytes, however, this protective process breaks down. The chemicals that can help control mutated cells are actually suppressed, and the conditions for cancer promoted. DNA-mutated melanocytes begin to thrive at the same time other skin cells die and free up space for the growing, mutating melanocytes. The ultimate result can be the malignancy known as melanoma, which in turn can spread from the skin throughout the body.
“When there isn’t enough RXR, the melanocytes that exist to help shield against cancer ultimately become part of the problem,” Indra said. “It’s routine to have genetic damage from sunlight, because normally those cells can be repaired or killed if necessary. It’s the breakdown of these control processes that result in cancer, and that happens when RXR levels get too low.”
This process has not before been outlined in its entirety, Indra said, and the new findings open several possibilities. One would be a diagnostic test to determine when RXR levels are lower than they should be – which would set the stage for melanoma and possibly other cancers, but also with careful monitoring facilitate earlier diagnosis.
Beyond that, mechanisms may be developed to stabilize or stimulate the levels of RXR expression, and form the basis for a therapy. This might be done through diet or a “nanocarrier” drug that could deliver RXR to cells, Indra said.
“It’s quite possible that a new and effective therapy can now be developed, based on increasing levels of RXR,” Indra said.
Researchers in France and at the Knight Cancer Institute of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., contributed to this research.College of Pharmacy Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Arup Indra, 541-737-5775Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
OSU's Philip Mote co-authored the National Climate Assessment report’s Northwest chapter and served on the advisory committee for the overall report.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama on Tuesday released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, the most comprehensive report to date on how climate change is affecting the United States.
The report concludes that the Northwest United States may experience warmer temperatures; increased occurrences of troubling phenomena such as major wildfires, ocean acidification and coastal erosion; and potentially dramatic changes to its agriculture and ecosystems.
Oregon State University’s Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, co-authored the report’s Northwest chapter and served on the advisory committee for the overall report.
One important potential impact is dwindling mountain snow, according to Mote. “Climate models continue to project snow will melt earlier in the season.”
Climate scenarios for the Northwest disagree on exactly how precipitation will change in the future. However, most scientists agree that as the Northwest warms, the region will see more rain and less snow.
“This decrease in snowpack is potentially troubling for many communities that rely on snowpack for agriculture and municipal water,” Mote said.
Mote, who was in Washington D.C. for the release of the report, said the region’s snow loss is due to increasing temperatures, which could rise in the northwest by anywhere from 3.3 to 9.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, according to the report.
“Changes in climate include a drying trend in the summer months, which will complicate the agriculture sector,” said University of Idaho agriculture researcher Sanford Eigenbrode, coauthor on the Northwest chapter.
Eigenbrode said Northwest farmers could see their crops threatened due to drought and extreme heat.
Major changes to the Northwest’s forests are expected by the 2040s, according to the report.
“A lot of the new research we present has to do with projected changes in ecosystems due to disturbances from fire, insect mortality in forests and how vegetation might change due to climate,” said Jeremy Littell, a research ecologist at the Department of Interior’s Alaska Climate Science Center and another chapter co-author.
Littell said many of the changes that are expected for Northwest forests could happen quickly.
“We often think of vegetation change as slow, but one point we make in the chapter is, given the rate of disturbance in the Northwest, we think the systems will change faster than we otherwise would expect,” Littell said.
Other potential changes covered by the report include what is referred to as ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification is the popular name for the process by which atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean making the world’s seawater less basic and hence more difficult for animals such as oysters to construct their calcium carbonate shells.
Ocean acidification is expected to increase along the Northwest’s coasts, according to the report.
“The coast is one of those areas where risk is going to be focused,” said Amy Snover, director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and another co-author.
Global sea levels have risen by eight inches since that late 1800s. Worldwide, sea levels are projected to rise by another 1-4 feet by the end of the century.
In the Northwest, sea levels are rising slightly slower than the world average due to the region’s unique tectonic geology, which has been slowly raising the Northwest coastline. However, this will not last forever, Snover said.
“The point is sea level rise will be different in different places, but under pretty much all scenarios the rising sea will exceed what’s been seen before and it will do so at an accelerating rate,” Snover said.
Rising sea levels are expected to increase erosion of the region’s beaches and affect coastal ecosystems and communities.
Snover said the report’s Northwest chapter represents just a quick snapshot of the climate research and data that is now available.
“The good news is we know a lot about what to expect from climate change – this report and the attention that is coming to it is an opportunity to highlight that,” Snover said.
In December, Mote, Snover and OCCRI’s Meghan Dalton, published a 270-page assessment report covering the northwest. The report, Climate Change in the Northwest, further details the findings in the Northwest chapter.
The report’s national findings conclude climate change is caused primarily by human activity. The report states the impacts of climate change are already widespread across the United States. These impacts – which include effects to infrastructure, agriculture and human health – will persist as extreme storms, droughts and high temperatures are projected to continue into the future, according to the report.
The report notes adaptation to climate change is becoming more prevalent across the country.
Climate Change in the Northwest is available through Island Press or can be downloaded from occri.net. The third U.S. National Climate Assessment can be found on the White House website and on nca2014.globalchange.gov
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact:
Nathan Gilles, 541-737-5703Source:
Oregon State University this spring has brought the largest of its ground-mounted solar arrays online as part of the Oregon University System’s “Solar by Degrees” program.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University this spring has brought the largest of its ground-mounted solar arrays online as part of the Oregon University System’s “Solar by Degrees” program.
The university now has three solar project sites in Corvallis covering some 10 acres collectively that have the capacity to generate more than 2.6 million kilowatt-hours of power per year. The system not only provides cost savings by providing solar energy for less than current utility power rates, it helps Oregon State reduce its carbon footprint in a way that doesn’t cost the university money up front.
The arrays were constructed and are owned and operated by SolarCity, which has worked with OSU and the Oregon Institute of Technology for several years on the Solar by Degrees programs. The company’s collaboration with OSU has not been limited to the Corvallis campus, according to Brandon Trelstad, the university’s sustainability coordinator.
“The way the partnership works is that SolarCity installs the solar arrays at no cost to the university, and OSU simply pays for solar energy that they produce – at a lower rate than they would pay for utility power,” Trelstad said.
This past fall, SolarCity completed a 431-kilowatt installation at OSU’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Experiment Station in Eastern Oregon, and another 221-kilowatt solar project at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora. Annual electrical output from all five OSU solar sites is approximately equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from 255,025 gallons of gasoline or 477 passenger vehicles, according to US Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
“This is another step toward meeting OSU’s aggressive carbon emissions reduction targets,” Trelstad said. “It also saves the university money and provides some unique research and educational opportunities. Advancements like Solar by Degrees don’t come along often and I’m glad that OSU has been able to maximize our use of the groundwork laid by the Oregon University System.”
Two of the sites in Corvallis have operated for more than a year, but the latest site in Corvallis - which is located near 35th Street and Campus Way – just went online. Each installation is “grid-tied,” which means it seamlessly provides power when the sun shines and blends in utility power when it doesn’t.
At the branch Experiment Stations, the arrays not only save money, they provide an example of how solar power can work in a rural and/or agricultural setting.
“The solar array at Hermiston is expected to reduce our electricity costs by about half – a savings of about $30,000 in the first year and could increase in the future depending on electricity costs,” said Philip B. Hamm, director of the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Experiment Station.
“This allows us to provide more financial support toward our mission, which is to provide new research-based information to clients.”
Michael Bondi, director of the North Willamette Research and Extension Center located just south of Wilsonville, said the center at the end of February received its first electrical utility bill since the project was launched.
“For that month, we reduced our cost from the previous year by 50 percent,” Bondi said. “I like how that looks, especially in the middle of winter and a lot of gray days. Based on the design specs for the project, we expect to reduce our electrical usage from the grid by 80 to 85 percent each year.
“I’d say we are well on the way to that goal.”
“This will likely be the largest scale installations we complete here,” said Trelstad. “However, over the next few years, we will look for additional opportunities to install solar panels on roofs since we already have used much of the compatible ground space.”
At two of the three Corvallis installations, the College of Agricultural Sciences is grazing sheep next to the solar arrays, which is how the land previously was used. “This is a great way to optimize land use and not consume productive ground solely with solar installations,” Trelstad noted. At the Aurora location, a bee and insect pollinator habitat area is being planned. At the Hermiston location, the area had never been used for research given its irregular shape and lack of water availability, but now benefits the campus to provide solar power in an otherwise unusable space.
More information on the arrays, including photos and electricity production information, is available at: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/ground-mounted-photovoltaic-arrays.Generic OSU Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Lavern Weber, director of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center for a quarter-century died Monday. He was 80.
NEWPORT, Ore. – Lavern Weber, director of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center for a quarter-century and a leader in the development of Newport as a marine science education and research center, died Monday. He was 80.
Weber led the Newport-based OSU center from 1977 until his retirement in 2002. In addition to directing the Hatfield Center, he also served as director of the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies (CIMRS) and as superintendent of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), which was the nation’s first experiment station dedicated to coastal issues.
“Lavern Weber was heavily involved in nearly everything that went on at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and in Newport, contributing significantly to these and to the OSU community,” said Robert Cowen, who now directs the Hatfield Marine Science Center. “He will be missed.”
Weber graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1958 and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington, where he served on the faculty from 1964-69. He joined the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in 1969 and later had a faculty appointment in pharmacy and worked as assistant dean of the graduate school before moving into his role at the Newport center in 1977.
Under his leadership, the center grew as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service and Vents Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife became established at the OSU facility. Weber also oversaw the expansion of student and faculty housing, the remodeling of the Visitor’s Center, expanded ship operations, and construction of several buildings, including the Guin Library.
Weber received the OSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Professor Award in 1992. He was president of the Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation, served for a dozen years on the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Commission, and in 2000-01 was president of the National Association of Marine Laboratories.
“He was a wonderful citizen of Newport, participating in a variety of organizations, including chairing the board of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts,” said Janet Webster, head librarian for the Hatfield Marine Science Center. He mentored numerous graduate students and faculty in his years as a professor, director and associate dean (in the College of Agricultural Sciences). OSU and Newport will miss him.”
Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.Hatfield Marine Science Center Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Maryann Bozza, 541-867-0234; Robert Cowen, 541-867-0211Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
Award-winning American writer Tobias Wolff will receive Oregon State University’s Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement at a special event in Portland May 21.
The biennial Stone Award recognizes a major American author who has created a body of critically-acclaimed work and has mentored young writers. Wolff is the second recipient of the honor, which was established in 2011.
The award ceremony, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum, will include an on-stage interview with Wolff about his work and the presentation of the award. A reception and book-signing will follow. Tickets are required and are available at the museum’s ticket office or online: http://bit.ly/1hJXdVh.
On May 22, Wolff will appear at a free public reading, question-and-answer session and book signing at OSU’s main campus in Corvallis. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, 725 S.W. 26th St.
Wolff, who teaches creative writing at Stanford University, is best known for his work in two genres: the short story and the memoir. His first short story collection, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” was published in 1981. Wolff chronicled his early life in two memoirs, “In Pharaoh’s Army” (1994) and “This Boy’s Life” (1989), which was turned into a 1993 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
“Tobias Wolff is a master storyteller – generous, compassionate, keenly observant,” said Keith Scribner, a professor of English and creative writing at OSU. Scribner became friends with Wolff while he was teaching at Stanford.
“When we read his novels, memoirs, and short stories, we come away richer for the experience in part because we know ourselves better,” Scribner said. “He is one of our nation’s preeminent writers and has mentored countless students who’ve had the good fortune to work with him.”
The Stone Award was established by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, which is in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The honorarium for the award is $20,000, making it one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country. The first honoree was Joyce Carol Oates in 2012.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Michelle Klampe Source:
Keith Scribner, 541-737-1645, firstname.lastname@example.orgMultimedia Downloads Multimedia:
Warming ocean temperatures, rising acidity and reduced biological productivity threaten the livelihoods of about 2 billion people who depend on marine ecosystems, according to a report by an international team of 29 scientists last fall.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Warming ocean temperatures, rising acidity and reduced biological productivity threaten the livelihoods of about 2 billion people who depend on marine ecosystems, according to a report by an international team of 29 scientists last fall.
At the May 12 Corvallis Science Pub, Andrew Thurber, a post-doctoral researcher at Oregon State University who helped to conceive the study, will discuss how the oceans are responding to a changing climate. The Science Pub presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. in the Majestic Theater located at 115 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.
“What is really sobering about these findings is that they don’t even include other impacts to the world’s oceans such as sea level rise, pollution, over-fishing, and increasing storm intensity and frequency,” he said. “All of these could compound the problem significantly.”
Thurber’s research focuses on deep-sea ecosystems, particularly the role of invertebrates in recycling nutrients and sequestering carbon. He has conducted experiments under seasonal sea ice in Antarctica and explored communities that live around methane seeps near New Zealand and Costa Rica.
Thurber received his Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation.College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact: Nick Houtman Source:
Andrew Thurber, 541-737-8251
Composer, multimedia artist and author Paul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, will perform a free concert on Friday, May 9, at Oregon State University.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Composer, multimedia artist and author Paul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, will perform a free concert on Friday, May 9, beginning at 7:30 p.m.at Oregon State University.
Miller will be joined by OSU musicians Dana Reason and Michael Gamble. The show will be held in the Construction & Engineering Hall at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.
Miller is known for his genre-bending art, vast catalogue of music and work in environmental awareness and social justice. In addition to collaborating with musicians such as Chuck D, Thurston Moore and Yoko Ono, Miller has travelled the world to perform.
Miller was the first artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and his work has appeared in The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Venice Biennial for Architecture and other museums.
He is the executive editor of “Origin Magazine,” which focuses on the intersection of art, yoga and new ideas. He is the composer of the multimedia performance piece “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica.” Miller also is the author of “Book of Ice,” a multimedia, multidisciplinary study of Antarctica that contemplates climate change and humanity’s relationship with the natural world.
The concert is sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and the College of Liberal Arts Music Department’s “Between the Cracks” series. In advance of his Corvallis appearance, Miller will be writer-in-residence for the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, which is co-sponsored by Spring Creek and the U.S. Forest Service.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Michelle Klampe Source:
Contact: Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198
Mason Tvert, a leader of the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado, will speak at Oregon State University on Tuesday, May 13.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project – and a leader of the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado – will deliver the annual Gov. Tom McCall Memorial Lecture at Oregon State University on Tuesday, May 13.
In his lecture, “The Road to Legal Marijuana in America,” Tvert will share insights on the past, present and future of marijuana policy in the United States.
The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall in the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St. The lecture is free and open to the public. It is presented by the OSU College of Liberal Arts and the School of Public Policy.
As director of communications, Tvert oversees the Marijuana Policy Project’s media strategy and online outreach efforts out of the organization's Denver office. Before joining the lobbying organization, he co-directed the successful campaign in support of Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado.
Previously, Tvert co-founded and directed Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. He is a member of the SAFER board of directors and a member of the advisory board for Marijuana Majority.
The OSU lectureship is named after Tom McCall, who was Oregon’s governor from 1967-75. Past lecturers have included several Oregon governors; Washington Post columnists David Broder and William Raspberry; political analyst Floyd McKay; Dennis Dimick of National Geographic magazine; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Michelle Klampe Source:
David Bernell, 541-737-6281, email@example.com
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Oregon State University Asian & Pacific Cultural Center will take place at 3 p.m., Monday, May 5.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Oregon State University Asian & Pacific Cultural Center will take place at 3 p.m., Monday, May 5, in a celebration tent located in the Fairbanks Hall parking lot on Jefferson Street, just west of 26th Street.
The new center is one of four cultural centers on campus to receive a new home. It is being designed by Jones & Jones Architecture of Seattle, who also designed the other three centers, including the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse and the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez, both of which are now open. The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center will also be moving into a new building.
The Asian & Pacific Cultural Center has been located in an older former home on the northwest corner of campus. The new building will be built just west of the Fairbanks Hall parking lot on Jefferson Street, and just east of the new Austin Hall. Like the previous centers, the new center will include a gathering hall, a student lounge, a study area and offices as well as a kitchen and quiet space.
A sketch of the new center can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/14083589445/
Generic OSU Media Contact: Theresa Hogue Source:
Reagan Le, 541-737-6361,
'Dreams & Memories,' an exhibit of prints and monoprints opens May 5 in the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University.
“Dreams & Memories,” an exhibit of prints and monoprints by artist Royal Nebeker, opens May 5 in the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University.
The gallery is located in Fairbanks Hall, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the gallery is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through May 28.
As an artist, Nebeker creates personalized narratives based on dreams and memories, often embellished with words and notations that help tell the story. Some of his works are based on personal events, others on literature. Through powerful and enigmatic imagery, Nebeker paints what arts historian Stephen C. McGough has called a reflective journey of the artist's life, exploring such universal themes as hope, fear, joy, anguish, sexuality, spirituality, power, vulnerability and the dynamics of personal relationships.
Throughout his career, Nebeker has focused on the human figure. His work is strongly influenced by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the German Expressionists, Vienna Secessionist artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and others.
A prolific painter and printmaker, he has been featured in countless solo and group exhibitions over the past four decades and his work is included in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe.
Nebeker studied in California at the Claremont College and Otis Art Institute, earned a master of fine arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and completed a post graduate degree from the National School of Fine Arts in Oslo in 1972.College of Liberal Arts Source:
Douglas Russell, 541-737-5009, firstname.lastname@example.orgMultimedia Downloads Multimedia:
"Dreamland" by Royal Nebeker
John Hall, owner and CEO of 16 Degree Advisory, will discuss the importance of business ethics at a free public lecture at OSU.
John Hall, owner and CEO of 16 Degree Advisory, will discuss the importance of business ethics at a free public lecture beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, at Oregon State University.
The event will be held in the Austin Auditorium at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.
Hall’s talk, “Making Ethical Decisions When Success Is Defined by Profits,” is part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings business leaders from across the United States to Oregon State’s campus to address a variety of today’s most relevant business topics. The series is sponsored by the OSU College of Business.
Portland-based 16 Degree Advisory delivers a compass for forward-thinking business leaders who want to bring clarity to their organizational direction, who are seeking to get more from their employees and who are looking to bring increased stability and efficiency to all business functions. Taking a new approach as a “certified” ethics and compliance professional, Hall applies a servant leadership approach toward building and growing businesses.
Before launching 16 Degree Advisory, Hall was the co-founder and owner of EthicsPoint, Inc., which later became the $100 million software company NAVEX Global, where Hall was the chief ethics and compliance officer.College of Business Source:
Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695, Jenn.Casey@oregonstate.edu
Four OSU researchers played a key role in the creation and release of a report outlining six "grand challenges" facing the United States over the next decade.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities released a report today outlining six “grand challenges” facing the United States over the next decade in the areas of sustainability water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education.
The “Science, Education, and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources” is the first comprehensive, nationwide report on research, education and outreach needs for natural resources the country’s university community has ever attempted, Edge said.
“The report identifies critical natural resources issues that interdisciplinary research programs need to focus on over the next 5-10 years in order to address emerging challenges,” Edge noted. “We hope that policy-makers and federal agencies will adopt recommendations in the roadmap when developing near-term research priorities and strategies.”
The six grand challenges addressed in the report are:
- Sustainability: The need to conserve and manage natural landscapes and maintain environmental quality while optimizing renewable resource productivity to meet increasing human demands for natural resources, particularly with respect to increasing water, food, and energy demands.
- Water: The need to restore, protect and conserve watersheds for biodiversity, water resources, pollution reduction and water security.
- Climate Change: The need to understand the impacts of climate change on our environment, including such aspects as disease transmission, air quality, water supply, ecosystems, fire, species survival, and pest risk. Further, a comprehensive strategy is needed for managing natural resources to adapt to climate change.
- Agriculture: The need to develop a sustainable, profitable, and environmentally responsible agriculture industry.
- Energy: The need to identify new and alternative renewable energy sources and improve the efficiency of existing renewable resource-based energy to meet increasing energy demands while reducing the ecological footprint of energy production and consumption.
- Education: The need to maintain and strengthen natural resources education at our schools at all levels in order to have the informed citizenry, civic leaders, and practicing professionals needed to sustain the natural resources of the United States.
Three other OSU researchers were co-authors on the report, including Hal Salwasser, a professor and former dean of the College of Forestry; JunJie Wu, the Emery N. Castle Endowed Chair in Resource and Rural Economics; and George Boehlert, former director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Wu played a key role in the climate change chapter in identifying the need to better understand the tradeoffs between investing now in climate change adaptation measures versus the long-term risk of not adopting new policies.
Edge and Boehlert contributed to the energy chapter, which focuses primarily on renewable energy.
“The natural resources issues with traditional sources of energy already are well-understood,” Boehlert said, “with the possible exception of fracking. As the country moves more into renewable energy areas, there are many more uncertainties with respect to natural resources that need to be understood and addressed. There are no energy sources that do not have some environmental issues.”
Salwasser was an author on the sustainability chapter that identifies many issues associated with natural resource use, including rangelands, forestry, fisheries and wildlife and biodiversity. The authors contend the challenge is to use these resources in a sustainable manner meeting both human and ecosystem needs.
The project was sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Oregon State University, which partnered with APLU and authors from numerous institutions.
-30-Generic OSU Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Dan Edge, 541-737-2810; Daniel.email@example.com
Performances of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” will be begin May 8.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” at several performances in May.
The tragic and poetic tale of fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on May 8-10 and May 16-17; and at 2 p.m. on May 18 on the main stage in Withycombe Hall, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.
“The masterpiece has been performed throughout the world in virtually every language because it speaks to the strength and frailty of human interactions when combat and violence too easily replace our thirst for love and caring,” said George Caldwell, director and scenic designer.
“A Streetcar Named Desire,” originally premiered in 1947 and has remained one of the most popular and memorable works in the American dramatic canon. After having lost the family estate to a series of misfortunes, the elegant and refined DuBois comes to the New Orleans French Quarter to stay with her sister, Stella.
Soon after her arrival, a vicious struggle for power erupts between the mannered Blanche and Stella’s bullying, boorish husband, Stanley Kowalski. Tensions run high as Stanley becomes obsessed with exposing Blanche’s long-buried secrets and dismantling her carefully structured persona.
The cast features OSU students Mike Beaton as Doctor; Nick Diaz-Hui as Pablo; Brian Greer as the Collector; Davey Kashuba as Mitch; J. Garrett Luna as the Piano Player; Anna Mahaffey as Blanche; Chris Peterman as Steve; Brittany Potter as Stella; Bryanna Rainwater as Eunice; Alex Reis as Stanley; Erin Wallerstein as the Nurse; and Emily Zellner-Gisler as the Flower Vendor.
Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 seniors; $8 youth/student; and $5 for OSU students. They can be purchased at the OSU Theatre Box Office by calling 541-737-2784 or online at http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/school-arts-and-communication/theatre.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Michelle Klampe Source:
Elizabeth Helman, Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org
North America’s mountainous backbone, stretching from Mexico to Alaska, could serve as a model for balancing the needs of large predators and people, an Oregon State University biologist suggests in a new book.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – North America’s mountainous backbone, stretching from Mexico to Alaska, could serve as a model for balancing the needs of large predators and people, an Oregon State University biologist suggests in a new book.
In “The Carnivore Way: Coexisting with and Conserving North America’s Predators,” published May 1 by Island Press, Cristina Eisenberg describes the ongoing efforts of humans to coexist with wolves, cougars, wolverines and other species in a largely wild but developing landscape.
Eisenberg, who grew up in a hunting and ranching family in northern Mexico, is an instructor in the Oregon State College of Forestry, a Smithsonian research associate and an Earthwatch scientist. She obtained her doctorate and completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Oregon State.
From her home in northwestern Montana, where grizzlies and wolves outnumber people, she traveled more than 13,000 miles – from the Arctic to northern Mexico – to trace corridors that link carnivores with the habitats they need to thrive. She met with scientists who studied these animals and with officials who found ways to conserve grizzlies, wolves, wolverines and other species. She talked with conservationists who hiked the trails and documented challenges to predators and their prey.
“Large carnivore conservation is ultimately about people,” Eisenberg wrote. “Science and environmental law can help us learn to share landscapes with fierce creatures, but ultimately coexistence has to do with our human hearts.”
For Eisenberg, it also has much to do with ecosystems. Wildlife scientists have documented the crucial role that large carnivores play in shaping forests and rangelands, she said.
“When you’re out there on the ground and a wolf shows up or a cougar shows up and starts doing what they do, you have these ‘aha’ moments,” Eisenberg said. “What I’m doing in ‘The Carnivore Way’ is providing a lot of stories and examples. There’s a massive amount of science in the book, but in the end, it’s sharing those ‘aha’ moments that help people connect with these animals.”
In a world in which ecosystems are reeling from climate change and other human influences, she said, wolves and other carnivores can restore resilience that benefits the resources that people depend on. By maintaining a role for carnivores, ecosystems are more likely to rebound in the face of drought, fire and other disturbances linked to a changing climate.
"Scientists studying ecosystems worldwide have found that carnivores indirectly improve the health and vigor of plant communities by reducing the density of their prey and in some cases by changing prey behavior,” said Eisenberg. “In many places in North America, for example, by preying on elk, wolves reduce the browsing pressure that elk place on plants. This enables trees and shrubs to grow to maturity and provide habitat for many other species, such as songbirds.”
Eisenberg’s research on the effects of predators on ecosystems has been supported by Parks Canada and the High Lonesome Ranch, which occupies 400 square miles in western Colorado. She and Oregon State co-investigator David Hibbs recently obtained Earthwatch Institute funding that will support their research on wolves, elk, and fire for several years. Articles featuring her research have appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, High Country News and other outlets.
In 2010, Island Press published her previous book, “The Wolf’s Tooth,” which describes the ecological roles of large carnivores. She is writing a book on climate change, “Taking the Heat: Wildlife, Food Webs, and Extinction in a Warming World,” also for Island Press.College of Forestry Media Contact: Nick Houtman Media Contact:
Jaime Jennings, Island Press, 202-232-7933, ext. 44Source:
Cristina Eisenberg, 406-270-5153Multimedia Downloads Multimedia: