Oregon State University

Research news

Scientists use DNA to identify species killed during early whaling days

News - Mon, 04/28/2014 - 2:01pm
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Scientists have used DNA to identify whales killed a century ago at South Georgia Island, an advance that may help them learn how much genetic diversity has been lost among great whales.

NEWPORT, Ore. – For more than a hundred years, piles of whale bones have littered the beaches of South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic Ocean – remnants of a vast and deadly whaling industry in the early 20th century that reduced many populations of Southern Hemisphere whales to near-extinction.

This week, scientists announced they have used DNA from the bones to identify the species of whales killed at South Georgia, and to link the collection to a likely time period in the catch records. Their findings are being published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

The study represents the most comprehensive investigation of historic genetic diversity in whales from around the Antarctic region prior to commercial whaling. The researchers attempted to extract DNA from 281 whale bones and were successful in 82 percent of the cases.

Of the 231 samples they identified, the majority (158) were humpback whales. They also documented 51 fin whales, 18 blue whales, two sei whales, and one southern right whale. One of the bones turned out to be from an elephant seal.

“From a preliminary look at the DNA sequences, it appears that there was a high level of genetic diversity in these whales, which is what we’d expect from pre-exploitation samples,” said Angela Sremba, a doctoral student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University and lead author on the study.

“The DNA from the bones has been surprisingly well-preserved, but it is important to capture this information now because the bones are susceptible to further degradation and contamination with age.”

The first commercial whaling station was established on South Georgia in 1904 and more than 175,000 whales were killed during the ensuing 60 years. During the first 10 years of whaling on the island, floating factories – large converted ships anchored in the harbors – were used to process the whales and workers discarded the carcasses into harbors. Many of the bones drifted ashore and remain there today.

Beginning in 1913, the processing of whales caught from the surrounding area shifted primarily to land and became so efficient that even the bones were destroyed. Sremba believes most of the whale bones in the study are from the early period of whaling on the island, from 1904-13.

“The species composition of the bone collection is quite similar to catch records during that time,” she said.

Scott Baker, associate director of Oregon State’s Marine Mammal Institute and co-author on the paper, said whale populations still have not recovered in the Southern Ocean despite an abundance of food.

“The waters around South Georgia Island were productive feeding grounds for great whales before whaling,” Baker said, “yet they have not returned here in any numbers despite nearly 50 years of protection. That suggests the possibility that the local population was extirpated, resulting in the loss of some cultural knowledge about the habitat.”

Sremba, who is based at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport with Baker, said knowledge of the whales’ genetic diversity captured from these bones is invaluable.

“This unique resource will allow us to compare historical genetic diversity to contemporary populations to assess the potential impact of the 20th-century commercial whaling industry,” she said.

Sremba’s study was supported by a Mamie Markham Research Award through the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Hatfield Marine Science Center Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Angela Sremba, 541-867-0384; Scott Baker, 541-272-0560

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Antarctic blue whale ((Photo courtesy of Paul Ensor, with assistance from Canon NZ Community Sponsorship Programme))

Categories: Research news

Study finds only trace levels of radiation from Fukushima in albacore

News - Mon, 04/28/2014 - 9:49am
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Albacore tuna caught off the Oregon shore after the Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake had on slight traces of radioactivity, according to a newly published study.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Albacore tuna caught off the Oregon shore after the Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake had slightly elevated levels of radioactivity but the increase has been minute, according to a newly published study.

In fact, you would have to consume more than 700,000 pounds of the fish with the highest radioactive level – just to match the amount of radiation the average person is annually exposed to in everyday life through cosmic rays, the air, the ground, X-rays and other sources, the authors say.

Results of the study are being published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“You can’t say there is absolutely zero risk because any radiation is assumed to carry at least some small risk,” said Delvan Neville, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “But these trace levels are too small to be a realistic concern.

“A year of eating albacore with these cesium traces is about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas, or sleeping next to your spouse for 40 nights from the natural potassium-40 in their body,” he added. “It’s just not much at all.”

In their study, the researchers examined a total of 26 Pacific albacore caught off the coast between 2008 and 2012 to give them a comparison between pre-Fuskushima and post-Fukushima radiation levels. They discovered that levels of specific radioactive isotopes did increase, but at the most extreme level, they only tripled – a measurement that is only 0.1 percent of the radiocesium level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for concern and intervention.

The researchers tested samples of the albacore from their loins, carcass and guts and found varying levels – all barely detectable. The findings are still important, however, since this is one of the first studies to look at different parts of the fish.

“The loins, or muscle, is what people eat and the bioaccumulation was about the same there as in the carcass,” said Jason Phillips, a research associate in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and co-author on the study.

The researchers next began looking at the radionuclide levels in different aged fish and found they were somewhat higher in 4-year-old albacore than in the younger fish. This suggests that the 3-year-old albacore may have only made one trans-Pacific migration, whereas the 4-year-old fish may have migrated through the Fukushima plume twice.

The majority of the 3-year-old fish had no traces of Fukushima at all.

Although it is possible that additional exposures to the plume could further increase radiation levels in the albacore, it would still be at a low level, the researchers pointed out. Additionally, as albacore mature at around age 5, they stop migrating long distances and move south to subtropical waters in the Central and West Pacific – and do not return to the West Coast of the United States.

“The presence of these radioactive isotopes is actually helping us in an odd way – giving us information that will allow us to estimate how albacore tuna migrate between our West Coast and Japan,” Neville said.

Little is known about the migration patterns of young albacore before they enter the U.S. fishery at about three years of age, Phillips said.

“That’s kind of surprising, considering what a valuable food source they are,” Phillips said. “Fukushima provides the only known source for a specific isotope that shows up in the albacore, so it gives us an unexpected fingerprint that allows us to learn more about the migration.”

Other authors were Richard Brodeur of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and Kathryn Higley, of the OSU Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics. The study was supported by Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with continued support from Oregon Sea Grant.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Delvan Neville,541-602-8005, dnevill@gmail.com; Jason Phillips, 541-231-5021, ajasonphillips@gmail.com

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Jason Phillips

Categories: Research news

OSU app brings wildflower identification to your fingertips

News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 8:20am
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Information about the Pacific Northwest's wide array of wildflowers is just a swipe away with a new mobile app designed in part by botanists at Oregon State University.

 Available for download on iOS and Android devices, the Oregon Wildflowers app provides multimedia and information on nearly 1,000 wildflowers, shrubs and vines common in Oregon and adjacent areas in Idaho, Washington and California.

 For each plant, the app offers photographs, natural history, range maps and more. It works without an Internet connection once downloaded.

 "You can use the app no matter how remote your wanderings may take you," said Linda Hardison, the director of the Oregon Flora Project, an OSU effort to develop resources, like the new app, to help people learn about plants in Oregon.

"It's designed for both budding wildflower enthusiasts and experienced botanists to learn about plant communities and ecology throughout the Pacific Northwest," added Hardison, a botanist in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

 The majority of species featured in the app are native to the region, with some introduced species that have become established. Plants are organized by common name, scientific name or family, which app users can identify by browsing through high-resolution photographs.

 To identify an unknown plant, users can select from 12 illustrated categories, which include geographic region, type of plant, flower features (color, number of petals), leaf features (type and shape), plant size and habitat.

 The app is available at Amazon, Apple and Google app stores for $7.99 and is compatible with all Android devices, Kindle Fire, iPhones and iPads. A portion of revenues will support conservation and botanical exploration in the region, said Hardison, a professor in OSU's Botany and Plant Pathology Department.

The Oregon Flora Project is also preparing a new Flora of Oregon publication for release in 2015. The last book about the flora for Oregon was written in the 1950s, said Hardison. The new edition will be updated to reflect the latest scientific research.

The Oregon Flora Project website contains additional information about all of Oregon’s 4,560 vascular plants. Its mission is to inform a broad citizenry, from policy makers to land use managers, climate change scientists, gardeners, and plant enthusiasts, and to foster effective use of this information by all.

 The Oregon Wildflowers app was developed in partnership with High Country Apps, which specializes in providing natural history information on mobile platforms

College of Agricultural Sciences Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Linda Hardison, 541-737-4338

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Beargrass grows in Oregon's Cascade Range. The Oregon Wildflower app offers photographs, natural history, range maps and more for nearly 1000 plants. (Photo by Tanya Harvey.)


 

Screenshots of the Oregon Wildflower app:

Categories: Research news

Motor skill deficiencies linked to autism severity in new research

News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 4:19pm
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A study finds a direct relationship between motor skills and autism severity, indicating that development motor skills should be included in treatment plans for young children with autism.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University researcher has found a relationship between motor skill deficiencies and the severity of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in very young children.

The findings, believed to the be the first to show a direct relationship between motor skills and autism severity, indicate that development of fine and gross motor skills should be included in treatment plans for young children with autism, said Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

“Recognizing those deficits really early gives us more time to help children catch up to their peers in regards to motor skill,” said MacDonald, who is an expert on the movement skills of children with autism.

The research was based on a study of the development and motor skills of 159 children ages 12 months to 33 months old, including 110 children with an autism diagnosis. Results were published this week in “Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.” 

The motor skill deficiencies among the children with autism were not related to intellectual ability, MacDonald said. She found that the children with autism were nearly a year behind their typical peers in fine motor skills, such as holding a spoon or grasping a small toy. They also were about six months behind in their gross motor skills, including activities like running and jumping.

“It’s not that big a deal if we’re talking about older kids, but for kids between 1 and 3 years old, those are substantial deficits, almost one-third of their life,” MacDonald said. “At that age, they’re like little sponges – we can teach them motor skills.”

Most autism treatment plans for young children focus on social communication because the disability has such a significant effect in that area. Research has shown that successful social communication interventions can improve IQ, language, play skills and more for children with autism.

Incorporating fine and gross motor skill development into early interventions could provide a similar boost, MacDonald said. She also recommends that parents consider adaptive physical education programs, which are designed around a child’s abilities and needs.

MacDonald said she hopes the new research will help build awareness about the importance of motor skill development and the need to include adapted physical education and physical and occupational therapy in treatment plans. Future research will look at different types of motor skill interventions to see if there are some that work better than others, she said.

Co-authors of the study are Catherine Lord of Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., and Dale A. Ulrich of the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.

The research was funded in part by a grant to MacDonald from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan. Study co-author Lord received funding from the Simons Foundation, First Words; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Megan MacDonald, 541-737-3273, Megan.MacDonald@oregonstate.edu

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Megan MacDonald

Categories: Research news

Healthy Masculinities conference at OSU

News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:13am
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A conference on Healthy Masculinities will take place May 1-2 at Oregon State University in the Memorial Union. 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A conference on Healthy Masculinities will take place May 1-2 at Oregon State University in the Memorial Union. This year’s theme is “Genuine Masculinities: What is it to you?”

The two-day event includes panel discussion from university leaders, presentations by students, faculty and staff, and a free lunch on Friday for registered participants, where discussion will focus on how to translate conference findings into actionable items.

This year’s keynote speaker is Gabe Wright, a male rape survivor and creator of “The Guys Project: Bonding as Survivors and Allies.” His focus is on breaking down the social stigma of victimization by creating spaces for male survivors and their allies to overcome perceived threats to masculinity while at the same time, engaging men as allies to ending violence against women.

“I am thrilled for this year’s conference because I believe there is value in thinking critically about who I want to be as a man,” said organizer Tyler Reisnaur. “It is important to involve everyone in this discussion as we all are impacted and contribute to the social construction of masculinity.”

The conference is sponsored by Men’s Development and Engagement, an OSU group focused on encouraging OSU men to engage in a process of healthy gender identity development with the hope of creating a safe environment. It is open to the entire campus community and is part of the OSU Healthy Campus Initiative.

The event is free for OSU campus members, $40 for those unaffiliated with OSU. To register and for more information: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/mensdev.

Generic OSU Source: 

Tyler Reisnaur, MDE@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

International students celebrate Spring Festival at OSU

News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:11am
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The annual International Spring Festival will be held as part of Mom’s & Families Weekend in the Memorial Union Quad on Sunday, May 4, from noon to 4 p.m. 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The annual International Spring Festival will be held as part of Mom’s & Families Weekend in the Memorial Union Quad on Sunday, May 4, from noon to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the International Students of OSU.

This year’s theme is “Stories Our Mama Told Us When We Were Young.”

Fifteen cultural student associations affiliated with ISOSU will share stories, myths and superstitions from their cultures. International groups will host booths where they recreate their own “living rooms of the world.” Performances on two stages in front of the Memorial Union will include Chinese lion dancers, African drummers Brazilian dancers, Takio drummers and more.

An OSU student fashion show will feature international culturally significant clothing. 

Food from around the world will also be highlighted, and in keeping with the theme will focus on homestyle dishes such as empanadas, sweet and savory crepes, potstickers and falafel.

This event provides the opportunity for the ISOSU and affiliates to demonstrate their culture to the OSU community, as well as to meet new people and have meaningful conversations while reminiscing about their childhoods.

International Students of OSU first formed in the late 1970s as a student organization. ISOSU hosts weekly programs in the International Resource Center in addition to 20 large annual cultural programs that share the history, traditions and stories of the people of the world.

For more information: http://oregonstate.edu/sli/isosu/

Generic OSU Media Contact: 

Valeria Ursu, Marketer ISOSU, ursuv@onid.oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Source: Eunae (Amy) Choi, ISOSU.Director@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU again named green college by Princeton Review

News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:48am
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Oregon State University received 95 points out of a possible 99 as a ‘green’ school in the latest edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition.” 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University received 95 points out of a possible 99 as a ‘green’ school in the latest edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition.”

The Princeton Review tallies its Green Rating scores based on institutional data it obtains from colleges in response to survey questions focused on alternative transportation, advancing sustainability, waste-diversion rate and other related topics.

“It’s great to be recognized by Princeton Review for a fourth year in a row,” said Brandon Trelstad, OSU’s sustainability coordinator. “I believe it’s OSU’s diverse and broad sustainability efforts that have gotten us this far.  Student efforts, specifically, have been key in maintaining our leadership role.”

The guide is the only free comprehensive resource of its kind. It can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.  It does not rank schools hierarchically, but each school’s green score can be found in their school profile on the main site (http://www.princetonreview.com/).

“Sustainability at OSU is a campus-wide endeavor that includes areas of institutional strength, like research, diversity, affordability, sustainability coordination and governance,” Trelstad said. “We are lucky to have high on- and off-campus community involvement in addressing campus and community sustainability.”

Among OSU’s green highlights were an overall waste diversion rate of 40 percent, its environmentally based degrees including ecological engineering, and the fact that the campus is in the process of bringing online five planned ground-mounted solar electrical arrays that will generate 2.9 megawatts of solar power.

"Best of all, OSU will help you put that academic knowledge into practice; it hosts a Nonprofit Career Day, with significant participation from national and local green groups," the guide states.

The Princeton Review created its "Guide to 332 Green Colleges" in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)), with generous support from United Technologies Corp. (www.utc.com), founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Theresa Hogue Source: 

Brandon Trelstad, 541-737-3307; Brandon.trelstad@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

Scientists successfully use krypton to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:01pm
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Scientists have successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate ice more than a million years old.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.

The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth’s history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.

Results of the discovery are being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The oldest ice found in drilled cores is around 800,000 years old and with this new technique we think we can look in other regions and successfully date polar ice back as far as 1.5 million years,” said Christo Buizert, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the PNAS article. “That is very exciting because a lot of interesting things happened with the Earth’s climate prior to 800,000 years ago that we currently cannot study in the ice core record.”

Krypton dating is much like the more-heralded carbon-14 dating technique that measures the decay of a radioactive isotope – which has constant and well-known decay rates – and compares it to a stable isotope. Unlike carbon-14, however, krypton is a noble gas that does not interact chemically and is much more stable with a half-life of around 230,000 years. Carbon dating doesn’t work well on ice because carbon-14 is produced in the ice itself by cosmic rays and only goes back some 50,000 years.

Krypton is produced by cosmic rays bombarding the Earth and then stored in air bubbles trapped within Antarctic ice. It has a radioactive isotope (krypton-81) that decays very slowly, and a stable isotope (krypton-83) that does not decay. Comparing the proportion of stable-to-radioactive isotopes provides the age of the ice.

Though scientists have been interested in radiokrypton dating for more than four decades, krypton-81 atoms are so limited and difficult to count that it wasn’t until a 2011 breakthrough in detector technology that krypton-81 dating became feasible for this kind of research. The new atom counter, named Atom Trap Trace Analysis, or ATTA, was developed by a team of nuclear physicists led by Zheng-Tian Lu at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

In their experiment at Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, the researchers put several 300-kilogram (about 660 pounds) chunks of ice into a container and melted it to release the air from the bubbles, which was then stored in flasks. The krypton was isolated from the air at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and sent to Argonne for krypton-81 counting.

“The atom trap is so sensitive that it can capture and count individual atoms,” said Buizert, who is in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “The only problem is that there isn’t a lot of krypton in the air, and thus there isn’t much in the ice, either. That’s why we need such large samples to melt down.”

The group at Argonne is continually improving the ATTA detector, researchers there say, and they aim to perform analysis on an ice sample as small as 20 kilograms in the near future.

The researchers determined from the isotope ratio that the Taylor Glacier samples were 120,000 years old, and validated the estimate by comparing the results to well-dated ice core measurements of atmospheric methane and oxygen from that same period.

Now the challenge is to locate some of the oldest ice in Antarctica, which may not be as easy as it sounds.

“Most people assume that it’s a question of just drilling deeper for ice cores, but it’s not that simple,” said Edward Brook, an Oregon State University geologist and co-author on the study. “Very old ice probably exists in small isolated patches at the base of the ice sheet that have not yet been identified, but in many places it has probably melted and flowed out into the ocean.”

There also are special regions where old ice is exposed at the edges of an ice field, Brook pointed out.

“The international scientific community is really interested in exploring for old ice in both types of places and this new dating will really help,” Brook said. “There are places where meteorites originating from Mars have been pushed out by glaciers and collect at the margins. Some have been on Earth for a million years or more, so the ice in these spots may be that old as well.”

Buizert said reconstructing the Earth’s climate back to 1.5 million years is important because a shift in the frequency of ice ages took place in what is known as the Middle Pleistocene transition. The Earth is thought to have shifted in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years or so during the past 800,000 years, but there is evidence that such a shift took place every 40,000 years prior to that time.

“Why was there a transition from a 40,000-year cycle to a 100,000-year cycle?” Buizert said. “Some people believe a change in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide may have played a role. That is one reason we are so anxious to find ice that will take us back further in time so we can further extend data on past carbon dioxide levels and test this hypothesis.”

In addition to Buizert and Brook, the research team included Daniel Baggenstos and Jeffrey Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Zheng-Tian Lu, Wei Jiang and Peter Müller, Argonne National Laboratory; Roland Purtschert, University of Bern; Vasilii Petrenko, University of Rochester; Tanner Kuhl, University of Wisconsin; James Lee, Oregon State University.

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Christo Buizert, 541-737-1209; buizertc@science.oregonstate.edu; Ed Brook, 541-737-8197, brooke@geo.oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU celebrates sustainability with Earth Week

News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 8:04am
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Oregon State University will celebrate Earth Week April 20-26, acknowledging a new theme each day.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will celebrate Earth Week April 20-26, acknowledging a new theme each day.

Earth Week is an expansion upon Earth Day, which has been celebrated at OSU since its conception in 1970, and features a variety of fun and educational activities focusing on environmental awareness and engagement.

Events taking place on certain days will reflect that day’s theme: Animal Appreciation, Promoting Justice, Celebrating Community, Built Environment, Conserving Resources, Get Outdoors, and Service Day.

One of the returning events will be the 14th annual Earth Week Community Fair, which will fall on Earth Day, April 22, and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will feature more than 50 organizations in sustainability, each hosting its own table and activity in the MU Quad.

Following the fair, the annual Earth Day Hoo Haa! will take place at the Organic Growers Club farm from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Free food and music will be offered at the event, and tours of the farm will be made available. Transportation to the farm is provided, with shuttles running from the new OSU Beaver Store every 15 minutes.

OSU Surplus Property will host the OSUsed Store Earth Week Sale on April 23. Students and community members may come to the OSUsed Store to browse and purchase used furniture, computers, electronics, housewares, and more from noon 3 p.m.

Earth Week concludes on April 26 with a day of service projects to encourage students to be rooted in their community.

A more detailed list of events may be found at:  (http://tiny.cc/earth-calendar).

OSU Campus Recycling began to form from the initial Earth Day celebrations. It offers recycling services to events on campus throughout the year, (http://recycle.oregonstate.edu/resources) and is responsible for managing a comprehensive waste management system at OSU that focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling with disposal as a last resort. More information about the program can be found at http://recycle.oregonstate.edu.

Campus Recycling Source: 

Andrea Norris, 541-737-5398, andrea.norris@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU to celebrate 100th birthday of former faculty member Bernard Malamud

News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 9:30am
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Oregon State University will mark the 100th birthday of acclaimed American novelist Bernard Malamud, with a celebration and the launch of a search for early copies of his book, “A New Life.”

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will mark the 100th birthday this month of one of its most-recognized faculty members, acclaimed American novelist Bernard Malamud, with a celebration and the launch of a search for early copies of his book, “A New Life.”

The centenary celebration, featuring a display from the university’s Malamud archives, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Valley Library at OSU. Neil Davison, an associate professor of English, will give a brief presentation; OSU English majors will read from “A New Life,” and archival materials from the library’s Malamud collection will be on display.

The event will be held in Special Collections on the fifth floor of the library, 201 S.W. Waldo Place.

It is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the School of Writing, Literature and Film in the OSU College of Liberal Arts and the English Student Association.

Malamud, who died in 1986, taught at OSU from 1949 to 1961. His books include “The Natural,” and “The Fixer,” for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. “A New Life,” published in 1961, is based on Malamud’s time in Corvallis.

Two members of the English faculty are searching for annotated, first-edition copies of “A New Life” that may have circulated in Corvallis in the 1960s. There are rumors that several copies of the book exist in Corvallis, with notations connecting real people and places in Corvallis to the characters and situations in the book, said assistant professor Ehren Pflugfelder.

Pflugfelder and assistant professor Raymond Malewitz are hoping one or more such copies still exist. They would like to borrow the books for use in a new digital humanities course being planned for 2015.

Digital humanities courses are a way for researchers to help students use new, technology-based research methods. Using the annotated books and other materials from the Malamud archives, students could create projects such as digital maps of places in the book, or a field guide to Malamud’s work in Corvallis, Pflugfelder said.

“We plan to offer the digital humanities course and focus on Malamud, but if we found an annotated copy of ‘A New Life,’ we would build the course around it,” Pflugfelder said. “It would be great raw material for the students to work from.”

Anyone who might have an early annotated copy of “A New Life,” or who knows of one, can contact Pflugfelder at Ehren.pflugfelder@oregonstate.edu.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Elizabeth Sheehan, Elizabeth.sheehan@oregonstate.edu, regarding the event

Ehren Pflugfelder, Ehren.pflugfelder@oregonstate.edu, regarding the book search

Categories: Research news

The GRAMMY Museum announces affiliate partnership with Oregon State University

News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:03am
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OSU has been selected as an official university affiliate of the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum, providing the university access to the rich musical history and archives of the museum.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has been selected as an official university affiliate of the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum, providing the university access to the rich musical history and archives of the museum.

Through interactive exhibits and educational programs, the GRAMMY Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music and the history of the GRAMMY Awards. The museum’s collection includes personal artifacts from legendary GRAMMY winners such as Elvis Presley, Miles Davis and Neil Diamond.

“The GRAMMY Museum’s university affiliate program is designed to allow educational institutions to engage in an exciting resource-sharing opportunity,” said Bob Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum.  "We are very excited to welcome Oregon State University into The GRAMMY Museum family and look forward to building a great partnership.”

As a university affiliate, OSU will have access to the GRAMMY Museum’s content for educational purposes, curriculum resources, research programs, internship opportunities, professional development seminars, collaborative marketing and promotions, project-based learning and more.

Oregon State, which has its main campus in Corvallis, Ore., is one of two inaugural universities to join the new affiliate program. A celebration to mark the partnership will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, April 25, in the Memorial Union Lounge on the OSU campus, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a performance by OSU alumnus Roosevelt Credit, who has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning productions of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” and Harold Prince’s revival of “Show Boat.”  Credit also has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.

“Our Oregon State students are the real winners, whether through internships, networking opportunities, or use of the museum's extensive archives on the music industry’s history,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. “This is an exciting new step in elevating the arts at Oregon State."

The affiliate program for the GRAMMY Museum is designed to help further the GRAMMY Museum’s education initiatives and mission in a collaborative and unique approach to arts education and outreach. Additional GRAMMY Museum university affiliates are expected to be announced throughout 2014.

About The GRAMMY Museum: Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver. To learn more, visit www.grammymuseum.org.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Andie Cox, The GRAMMY Museum, 213-763-2133, acox@grammymuseum.org

Celene Carillo, Oregon State University, 541-737-2137, Celene.Carillo@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU names Lubchenco adviser for marine sciences

News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:30am
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Former NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco is back on the faculty of Oregon State where she has a new role – adviser to the university on marine studies issues.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco is back on the faculty of Oregon State University where she has a new role – adviser to the university on marine studies issues.

OSU has named Lubchenco Distinguished University Professor and Adviser in Marine Studies – a position that will help coordinate and expand Oregon State’s international prominence in marine-related studies, which are spread across several disciplines and account for nearly $100 million annually in research funding.

“After four years at the helm of the nation’s premier agency for the ocean and atmosphere, I’m delighted to be back at OSU, and even more pleased to see the new energy focused on marine science, education, policy and outreach,” Lubchenco said. “From my time at NOAA, I know both the high caliber of marine sciences at OSU and the strong potential for a more robust, visible and effective marine studies program that can provide much-needed global leadership by our faculty and students.

“I’m energized by OSU’s commitment to elevate ocean stewardship and to expand the range and quality of opportunities available to students,” she added.

Oregon State’s growth in the marine sciences in recent years has been significant and Lubchenco has played a key role with her seminal research in marine ecology. OSU boasts one of the strongest marine ecology and biology programs in the nation in the College of Science; a formidable oceanography program in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; and one of the most highly regarded marine research and education facilities in the country in the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

The university’s strength in marine studies is broad and deep, according to Rick Spinrad, OSU’s vice president for research, who pointed out that Oregon State’s national leadership in wave energy research and tsunami studies are based in OSU’s College of Engineering. The College of Agricultural Sciences has one of the nation’s top fisheries programs as well as a leading oyster breeding research program. OSU-based Oregon Sea Grant is an acclaimed research, education and outreach program tied to Extension, and Lubchenco’s own faculty appointment is in Integrative Biology, which is in OSU’s College of Science.

Other OSU colleges, including Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Education, Liberal Arts, and Public Health and Human Sciences, also have ties to marine research and education.

“A primary goal for Dr. Lubchenco in her new position will be to engage the entire university in OSU’s expanding marine studies mission, and advise university leadership on marine studies matters,” Spinrad said. “We are delighted to welcome Jane back and look forward to her strategic contributions in building OSU’s global marine studies program.”

Last year, OSU President Ray announced the launch of an initiative to create a marine studies campus at OSU, including developments at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport that would eventually host as many as 500 students. Planning is under way for how such a campus might be developed, according to Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. “Jane Lubchenco’s insights into the national and international needs for marine science education will be invaluable as we go forward with our plans,” Randhawa said.

OSU also provides leadership on a number of other marine studies initiatives, including:

  • The Ocean Observatories Initiative, a $386 million project funded by the National Science Foundation to monitor changes in the world’s oceans – led by a handful of universities, including Oregon State University;
  • An initiative to design and oversee construction of as many as three new coastal research vessels to bolster the United States research fleet. OSU was chosen as lead institution for the NSF-funded project, which could total $290 million over 10 years;
  • The Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, a multi-institutional research consortium established 15 years ago and led by OSU, with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation totaling more than $56 million.

 

Lubchenco said she looks forward to working with OSU faculty, staff and students across the university on marine studies issues.

“I’m immensely proud of what we were able to accomplish during the four years I was at NOAA,” she said. “I return to OSU with new insights, contacts and energy to help strengthen our ability to be positioned for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Under Lubchenco’s leadership, NOAA focused on restoring sustainability and economic viability to fisheries, restoring oceans and coasts to a healthy state, protecting marine mammals and endangered species, conducting and disseminating information on climate science, providing timely weather forecasts and warnings, and maintaining the nation’s weather and environmental satellites.

Lubchenco is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world and is past-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the International Council for Science; she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a National Science Board member for 10 years; she served on numerous international commissions; and she is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, or “genius award.”

Prior to her NOAA appointment, Lubchenco and her husband, Bruce Menge, shared the Wayne and Gladys Valley Chair in Marine Biology. Menge, who also has the title of Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology, will continue as the Valley Chair, teaching marine biology and ecology, and leading interdisciplinary research teams focused on ocean acidification and coastal ocean dynamics.

Sastry Pantula, dean of OSU’s College of Science, said Lubchenco’s return to campus will benefit students interested in marine studies.

“Jane’s wealth of international experience and the College of Science’s strong foundation in marine science research and education will be key for OSU as a global leader in marine studies,” Pantula said.  “I am thrilled to see Jane in this role helping to build future leaders and policy makers in marine studies. It is a win-win for our students and for the university."

College of Science Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Rick Spinrad, 541-737-0662; rick.spinrad@oregonstate.edu; Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111; Sabah.randhawa@oregonstate.edu; Jane Lubchenco, 541-737-5337; lubchenco@oregonstate.edu

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Categories: Research news

Oregon State to observe Holocaust Memorial Week April 28 to May 2

News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:41am
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Tom Segev, an Israeli historian and journalist, and Laureen Nussbaum, a childhood friend of Anne Frank, will appear at Oregon State University as part of Holocaust Memorial Week April 28 through May 2.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Tom Segev, an Israeli historian and journalist, and Laureen Nussbaum, a childhood friend of Anne Frank, will appear at Oregon State University as part of Holocaust Memorial Week April 28 through May 2.

The 28th annual observance is presented by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts in association with the City of Corvallis and School District 509-J. All events are free and open to the public.

Segev will speak on “The Holocaust and the Shaping of Israel,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, in Austin Auditorium at the LaSells Stewart Center, which is located at 875 S.W. 26th St. in Corvallis. His talk will draw from his book, “The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust.”

Nussbaum will present “Remembering Anne Frank,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in LaSells Stewart Center’s Austin Auditorium. Nussbaum knew Frank in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She’ll share her memories of Anne and tell her own story of survival during World War 11.

Other events include:

  • A preview of selected scenes from the play, “Forty,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 29 in the Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall. The play, being written by Leonora Rianda, is about the Armenian genocide in 1915-16. A discussion of the play and the genocide will follow the performance.
  • Northeastern University Professor William F.S. Miles will speak on “Shared Suffering and Empathy: Incorporating the Holocaust into Sub-Saharan Africa Thought and Commemoration,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the C&E Auditorium in LaSells Stewart Center.
  • A student conference, “Social Justice in Policy and Education,” will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union.
  • Staged readings of “In Quest of Conscience,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, at the Majestic Theater, 115 S.W. Second St., and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2 in the C&E Hall in the LaSells Stewart Center.

For more information about the events, visit http://oregonstate.edu/dept/holocaust

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Robert Peckyno, 541-737-8560 or Robert.peckyno@oregonstate.edu

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Tom Segev

Laureen Nussbaum

Categories: Research news

Changes in processing, handling could reduce commercial fishing injuries, research shows

News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:29am
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Handling frozen fish caused nearly half of all injuries aboard commercial freezer-trawlers and about a quarter of the injuries on freezer-longliner vessels operating off the coast of Alaska, new research from Oregon State University shows.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Handling frozen fish caused nearly half of all injuries aboard commercial freezer-trawlers and about a quarter of the injuries on freezer-longliner vessels operating off the coast of Alaska, new research from Oregon State University shows.

Many of those injuries and others aboard the two types of vessels could be prevented with the right interventions, and the research methods used in the study could help identify and reduce injuries and fatalities in other types of commercial fishing, said researcher Devin Lucas. His findings were published in the “American Journal of Industrial Medicine.”

“We’ve drilled down to such a detailed level in the injury data that we can actually address specific hazards and develop prevention strategies,” said Lucas, who recently received his Ph.D. in public health from OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and works for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Alaska Pacific office.  

Lucas’ study is the first scientific assessment of the risk of fishing on freezer-trawlers and freezer-longliners. In both types of vessels, the processing of fish is handled on-board. The vessels had reputations for being among the most dangerous in commercial fishing in part because of a few incidents that resulted in multiple fatalities.

However, an analysis of 12 years of injury data showed that fishing on the freezer vessels was less risky than many other types of commercial fishing, which is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, Lucas said. The rate of injury on freezer-trawlers was about the same as the national average for commercial fishing, while the rate aboard freezer-longliners was about half of the national average.

“The reality is that many fisheries elsewhere in the U.S., including Oregon Dungeness crabbing, are much more dangerous,” Lucas said.

His review of injury data indicated that the majority of injuries in the freezer-trawler fleet occurred in the factories and freezer holds, while the most common injuries in the freezer-longliner fleet occurred on deck while working the fishing gear. Injuries from processing and handling fish were also common on the longliners, the research showed.

Study co-author Laurel Kincl, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health and safety in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said the methods used in the research, including describing and categorizing the types of injuries, can now be applied to other commercial fishing industries to identify safety issues and pinpoint areas for prevention.

“Not all commercial fishing is the same,” Kincl said. “You have different equipment, different processes.”

Kincl said researchers are hoping to build from this research and explore other fishing-related injuries and prevention strategies. The Dungeness crab industry is one area that may be explored and another is land-based fish-processing, she said.

Additional authors of the study were Viktor E. Bovbjerg and Adam J. Branscum, associate professors in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and Jennifer M. Lincoln of NIOSH. The research was supported by OSU and NIOSH.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Devin Lucas, 907-271-2386, dlucas@cdc.gov

Laurel Kincl, 541-737-1445, Laurel.kincl@oregonstate.edu

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Researcher Devin Lucas

Categories: Research news

Author Sarah Shun-lien Bynum to read at OSU on April 25

News - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:27am
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Fiction writer Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will read at Oregon State University on Friday, April 25 in the Valley Library rotunda.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Fiction writer Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will read at Oregon State University on Friday, April 25, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda. A question and answer session and book signing will follow.

This event is part of OSU’s 2013-2014 Visiting Writers Series.

Bynum is the author of two novels. “Ms. Hempel Chronicles,” (Harcourt 2008) was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and “Madeleine Is Sleeping,” (Harcourt 2004) won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Novelist Jonathan Franzen says, “Bynum seems incapable of writing a sentence that doesn’t have something fresh or funny or true going on in it. She gets you laughing and then she whacks you in the heart.” 

In 2010, The New Yorker magazine named Bynum a top “20 Under 40” fiction writer. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and “Best American Short Stories” (2004 and 2009).

Bynum lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

College of Liberal Arts Source: 

Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817; rachel.ratner@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU Pet Day planned for May 3

News - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 1:57pm
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Pet Day 2014 will be held May 3, sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will hold its 27th annual Pet Day on Saturday, May 3, when the College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors for tours, booths, displays and a number of family-oriented events.

Pets are welcome at this always-popular event, on a leash.

Pet Day is designed as a way for the College of Veterinary Medicine to give back to the community, and help Oregon residents understand its operations and legacy of public service. It usually attracts 3,000-4,000 visitors, many who bring their pets. The child-friendly event, which will be held rain or shine, is created, organized, and staffed by students.

Vendors and volunteers from organizations will staff booths at the event and provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy.  Many also provide free samples and other resources, spanning the four-legged gamut from pet food to shelter medicine.

Among the returning activities will be dog agility demonstrations, live reptiles, a petting zoo, tours of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a pet costume contest, a dog frisbee show, a cat photo contest, and more. Food booths are also available.

Participants and their pets may join the Fun Run/Walk event at 9 a.m.; online preregistration for that event is requested by April 18. 

Pet Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Magruder Hall, located on 30th Street in Corvallis just south of Washington Way, and adjacent to the athletic department’s Truax Indoor Center. Admittance and most activities are free, but there is a small charge for a few of the events.

More detailed information on the various events and registration for the fun run/walk is available online at http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/pet-day

Pet Day is sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine, and supported by Banfield Pet Hospital, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Zoetis, Nestle Purina Pet Care Co., the Oregon Animal Health Foundation and the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

College of Veterinary Medicine Media Contact:  David Stauth Source: 

Kelli Kidd

Categories: Research news

Native American author Linda Hogan to read from her works at OSU

News - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 9:50am
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Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw novelist, essayist, and environmentalist, will read from her work Friday, April 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw novelist, essayist, and environmentalist, will read from her work Friday, April 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library at Oregon State University.

A reception and book signing will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

Hogan is author of seven poetry collections including “Seeing Through the Sun” (1985), which won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and “The Book of Medicines,” a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (1993).

Her collections of prose reflect Hogan’s interests in the environment and Native American culture. Her books include the essay collection “Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World” (1995), “The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir” (2001), and, with Brenda Peterson, “Sighting: The Gray Whales’ Mysterious Journey” (2002).

Hogan’s novels include “Mean Spirit” (1990), “Solar Storms” (1995), “Power” (1998), and “People of the Whale: A Novel” (2008).

Active as an educator and speaker, Hogan taught at the University of Colorado and at the Indigenous Education Institute. 

In advance of her Corvallis visit, Hogan will be writer-in-residence for the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, which is co-sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and the U.S. Forest Service.  

This event is part of the OSU Visiting Writer Series., which brings nationally known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

For more information, call 541-737-6198 or visit the Spring Creek website at http://springcreek.oregonstate.edu/

College of Liberal Arts Source: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

Categories: Research news

OSU to host ‘Everybody Reads’ campaign in celebration of Tobias Wolff

News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 2:56pm
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Oregon State University will host an “Everybody Reads” program in April and May celebrating the work of award-winning American writer Tobias Wolff, the 2014 recipient of OSU's Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host an “Everybody Reads” program in April and May celebrating the work of award-winning American writer Tobias Wolff, who will visit Portland and the OSU campus later this spring.

The “Everybody Reads” campaign is designed to engage the community with Wolff’s writing in advance of his visit. The program is sponsored by the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. Students in the MFA program will lead readings and discussions about Wolff’s work, as well as Wolff-inspired writing workshops.

The program will culminate with a free public reading by Wolff, who will visit Oregon May 21-22 to receive OSU’s Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.

On May 21, Wolff will be honored at a ticketed event at the Portland Art Museum. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets 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, lecture and book signing at OSU. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, 725 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

Wolff 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).

The “Everybody Reads” events, all free and open to the public, are:

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, public book club discussion of “Old School,” Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave.
  • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, public reading group, “This Boy’s Life,” Grass Roots Books & Music, 227 S.W. Second St.
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, young adult creative writing club, selected short stories; Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, May 17, Tobias Wolff discussion group, led by OSU creative writing Professor Keith Scribner, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

 The MFA students also will visit classes at OSU, Linn-Benton Community College, Corvallis High School, Harding Alternative High School and Crescent Valley High School.

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; the first was Joyce Carol Oates in 2012.

The award was established in 2011 by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. 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.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817; rachel.ratner@oregonstate.edu

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Tobias Wolff (Photo by Elena Seibert)

Categories: Research news

OSU to hold 59th annual Luau April 19

News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 1:10pm
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Oregon State University will host its 59th annual Luau on Saturday, April 19, at Gill Coliseum.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host its 59th annual Luau on Saturday, April 19, at Gill Coliseum – an event that includes an authentic Hawaiian dinner, a show, and a concert by Eden Roc.

The luau, which has the theme, “Onboard to Paradise,” is presented by OSU’s Hui O Hawaii with the Polynesian Cultural Club. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m. The show begins at 6 p.m.; the concert at 8:30 p.m.

Advance tickets are priced at $15 for the dinner, show and concert ($20 at the door); or $10 for the show and concert. Children under age 2 are free.

The dinner features Kalua pig, shoyu chicken, lomi salmon, rice, haupia, tossed salad, tofu stir fry, poi and fruit punch.

Tickets are available for purchase online here: https://secure.touchnet.net/C20159_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=36

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Theresa Hogue Source: 

Mandilyn Suzuki, suzukim@onid.oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

As antibiotics ban nears, organic orchards have new tools to fight fire blight

News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:12am
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Oregon State University researchers have proven the effectiveness of two organic alternatives for controlling a disease that can wipe out entire apple and pear orchards.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University researchers have proven the effectiveness of two organic alternatives for controlling a disease that can wipe out entire apple and pear orchards.

Scientists found that spraying a yeast-based product and new water-soluble copper products at the beginning of the growing season provided protection from the bacterial disease.

The findings come as organic growers prepare for a probable ban on two antibiotics previously allowed by the National Organics Standards Board. At the end of this year's growing season, oxytetracycline and potentially streptomycin will no longer be permitted in organic orchards for fire blight, a serious bacterial disease that can kill trees.

Spread by bees and rain, fire blight remains dormant in trees over winter and infects flowers in spring. Once infected, growers can only stop the disease by cutting out infections, which can prove fatal.

"In some cases, fire blight can kill a whole orchard in a short period of time," said OSU plant pathologist Ken Johnson.

Organic pome fruit growers are encouraged to test new approaches this year before antibiotics are no longer available as backup choices, added Johnson.

In OSU trials, researchers tested the commercially available Blossom Protect, a yeast that clings to apple blossoms and pears and prevents colonization by fire blight bacteria.

Blossom Protect was developed in Europe and registered by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2012. In apples, it was 90 percent effective when sprayed after lime sulfur to reduce crop load.

Copper has been used for fire blight for almost a century, but heavy applications can be toxic to trees or create rough blemishes on fruit, known as russeting – which downgrades the value. New water-soluble copper products, such as Cueva and Previsto, contain low concentrations of the metal, which lessens its negative effects while still combating fire blight, said Johnson.

"Whereas growers used to be scared to spray copper, the solubilized versions are safer than coppers from yesteryear," said Johnson, a professor in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Since the National Organic Program began in 2002, the use of antibiotics was allowed to control fire blight on apples and pears because no effective alternative was available at the time.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Tim Smith from Washington State University and Rachel Elkins from University of California Cooperative Extension also contributed research. The research team prepared a webinar on non-antibiotic treatment of fire blight, which is at: http://bit.ly/FireBlightWebinar.

College of Agricultural Sciences Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Ken Johnson, 541-737-5249

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Wilted leaves on pear and apple trees are a sign of fire blight, a bacterial disease that can spread quickly and kill an orchard. (Photo by Ken Johnson.)

Categories: Research news

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