With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.
Oregon State University has 1,025 students who are receiving veteran educational benefits, a new record and the most of any university in Oregon. They now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU, and a range of programs are being created or expanded to help facilitate this stream of incoming veterans.
“I’ve talked to counterparts all over the country and this is clearly a national trend,” said Gus Bedwell, the OSU veteran resources coordinator. “OSU has always had quite a few veteran students, but right now we’re almost triple the number of five years ago. Other institutions are also seeing three to four times as many veterans as they used to.”
Part of the increase, officials say, is due to an expansion of educational benefits that were put in place in the early 2000s, including some that veteran dependents and spouses can use. A weak economy also made it an opportune time for veterans to attend college, just like many other students.
OSU has responded with renewed efforts to pave the way for returning veterans, programs to cut through federal bureaucracy, and make sure the students get both the personal and professional help they need.
Two new initiatives at OSU are an example. A Student Health Services Veterans Work Group is helping to ensure treatment of the full range of health concerns that veterans face, including access to some local services. And a Veterans Work Group focuses much of its efforts on academic and programmatic support. This group and other officials have trained advisers, worked to expedite the transfer of military transcripts to academia, and helped keep students informed during the recent government shutdown.
A website at http://oregonstate.edu/veterans/home/ helps guide veterans, and a veterans lounge in the OSU Memorial Union allows veterans an opportunity to meet and build their community in a casual setting.
“OSU has really made an effort to understand the obstacles veterans face and help work around them,” Bedwell said.
For instance, he said, the federal government is often slow at making veteran educational benefit payments. Officials know the money will come, but in the meantime it can cost students penalties, interest, and create “holds” that interfere with course registration. So the university created a mechanism to avoid these holds, allow regular progress with an educational program, and refund any penalties once the government payments are made. This program is called the “Goodwill Interest Waiver.”
The university’s nationally recognized program of distance education, E-Campus, is also a favorite with many veterans. They can take courses while living literally anywhere in the world and earn degrees in a wide range of fields.
OSU, with its origin as a land grant college, had a mandate under the Morrill Act of 1862 to “include military tactics” as part of its educational program, and the university has always been tuned to the needs of veterans.
It’s one of a limited number of schools that hosts all four branches of the Reserve Officers Training Corp, and its student center, the Memorial Union, was named to help honor veterans, many of them returned from World War I. OSU has earned the title of “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs several years in a row.Generic OSU Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
Researchers say in a new paper that climate science needs to advance to a new realm – more practical applications for dealing with the myriad impacts of climate variability.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – An international team of researchers says in a new paper that climate science needs to advance to a new realm – more practical applications for dealing with the myriad impacts of climate variability.
The scientific capability already exists as does much of the organizational structure, they say, to begin responding to emerging climate-related issues ranging from declining snowpack, to severe storms, to sea level rise. What is missing is better engagement between the scientific community and the stakeholders they are seeking to inform.
Their paper is being published on Friday in the Policy Forum section of the journal Science.
“Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy and regions of the globe,” they wrote. “However, without the appropriate science delivered in a decision-relevant context, it will become increasingly difficult – if not impossible – to prepare adequately.”
Philip Mote, an Oregon State University climate scientist and co-author on the paper, said climate adaptation science involves trans-disciplinary research to understand the challenges and opportunities of climate change – and how best to respond to them.
“What we need is more visibility to gain more inclusiveness – to bring into play the private sector, resource managers, universities and a host of decision-makers and other stakeholders,” said Mote, who directs the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State. “The stakeholders need to know our scientific capabilities, and we need to better understand their priorities and decision-making processes.”
Oregon State is among the national leaders in climate adaptation science. In addition to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, the university has two regional climate centers – one established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with municipalities, utilities, emergency management organizations and state and federal agencies; the other by the Department of the Interior to work primarily with federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
Mote, who is involved with all three centers, said work with stakeholders is gaining traction, but the gap that exists between scientists and decision-makers is still too large.
“The centers here and elsewhere around the country are driven by stakeholder demands, but that needs to reach deeper into the research enterprise,” Mote said. “We’re working with some water districts, forest managers and community leaders on a variety of issues, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said the Science article grew out of a NASA-funded workshop held in 2012 at the Aspen Global Change Institute in Colorado, which focused on how to improve support for decision-making in the face of a changing climate.
“Traditionally, we think that what society needs is better predictions,” said Moss, who was lead author on the Science article. “But at this workshop, all of us – climate and social scientists alike – recognized the need to consider how decisions get implemented and that climate is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt.”
OSU’s Mote said examples abound of issues that need the marriage of stakeholders and climate scientists. Changing snowmelt runoff is creating concerns for late-season urban water supplies, irrigation for agriculture, and migration of fish. An increasing number of plant and animal species are becoming stressed by climate change, including the white bark pine and the sage grouse. Rising sea levels and more intense storms threaten the infrastructure of coastal communities, which need to examine water and sewer systems, as well as placement of hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
Mote, Moss and their colleagues outline a comprehensive approach to research in the social, physical, environmental, engineering and other sciences. Among their recommendations for improvement:
- Understand decision processes and knowledge requirements;
- Identify vulnerabilities to climate change;
- Improve foresight about exposure to climate hazards and other stressors;
- Broaden the range of adaptation options and promote learning;
- Provide examples of adaptation science in application;
- Develop measures to establish adaptation science.
One such measure could be the development of a national institution of climate preparedness in the United States comprised of centers for adaptation science aimed at priority sectors.
“More broadly,” the authors wrote in Science, “support for sustained, use-inspired, fundamental research on adaptation needs to be increased at research agencies. A particular challenge is to develop effective approaches to learn from adaptation practice as well as published research. Universities could provide support for sustained, trans-disciplinary interactions. Progress will require making a virtue of demonstrating tangible benefits for society by connecting research and applications.”College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
The Hallie Ford Center and Joyce Collin Furman Hall have been selected to receive the 2013 DeMuro Award by Restore Oregon.
CORVALLIS, Ore.— The Hallie Ford Center and Joyce Collin Furman Hall at Oregon State University have been selected to receive the 2013 DeMuro Award for Excellence in Preservation, Reuse and Community Revitalization by Restore Oregon.
The Hallie Ford Center is being recognized as an outstanding example of compatible infill development within a historic district. Furman Hall is being recognized for the extraordinary complexity, creativity, design and craftsmanship of its historic rehabilitation.
They are among seven Oregon buildings to be honored with the award this year. The awards were presented at a banquet Wednesday in Portland, which included a guest presentation by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.
The DeMuro Award honors extraordinary historic rehabilitation projects and compatible infill development across Oregon – residential and commercial, urban and rural, private and public. The award is named in honor of Art DeMuro whose redevelopment of historic properties such as the White Stag Block set the standard for quality, creativity, persistence, and business acumen.
“Hallie Ford wanted to inspire people to use the resources they have to make the world a better place,” said Richard Settersten, Hallie E. Ford endowed director. “This principle not only drives the work we do, but is also reflected in the intentional design and beauty of the building we now call home."
According to Restore Oregon, the Hallie Ford Center is an outstanding example of compatible infill development that harmonizes beautifully with its neighbors. “It makes a distinct statement that’s of its time, yet is complementary in scale, massing, proportion, and materials, enhancing the story of the historic district,” Restore Oregon staff noted.
The Hallie Ford building houses the Hallie E. Ford Center for Children and Families. Made possible by a gift from late Oregon philanthropist Hallie Ford, the center opened Sept. 8, 2011, and is home to interdisciplinary, collaborative research from the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Furman Hall, which was originally built in 1902 and recently restored, was honored by Restore Oregon for being rescued from a deteriorating and dangerous state. Seismically unsound and wrapped in netting to protect pedestrians from crumbling sandstone, Furman Hall was structurally rebuilt, its interior redesigned, and sandstone façade replaced in kind.
"Furman Hall is destined to become one of the icons of the OSU campus,” said Larry Flick, dean of the College of Education. “Descriptions of the mapping of the original stone shapes to the newly quarried stone, delights visitors, parents, and students. It is not unusual to look out my window and see a passerby photographing the building. The DeMuro Award is an honor for FFA and OSU in a highly successful collaboration to restore a proud part of OSU heritage."
Education Hall, originally built in 1902, re-opened as Joyce Collin Furman Hall in January 2012, following a complete renovation. An iconic structure at the campus’ east entrance, the renovated building blends historic charm with high-tech touches. The exterior seismic upgrades were funded by the state, and the interior renovations were made possible by private donors, including a $2 million gift from William A. Furman through the Joyce N. Furman Memorial Trust.
For more information: http://restoreoregon.org/demuro-award/Generic OSU Media Contact: Theresa Hogue Source:
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The inaugural Corvallis Queer Film Festival will run from Nov. 11-15 at Darkside Cinema in Corvallis, with all shows beginning at 6 p.m.
In addition to free screenings each night, one of the films’ directors will visit Corvallis and participate in a panel discussion. Highlighting the week is the appearance on Friday, Nov. 15, of Del Shores, director of “Southern Baptist Sissies,” which depicts the story of four boys who are gay growing up in the Southern Baptist Church – and how they dealt with the conflict between their religion and their sexuality.
Shores will participate in a panel about LGBTQ experiences growing up Southern Baptist from 3-5 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Pan-Afrikan Sankofa Room (Room 213). Other panelists include Dale Dickey and Emerson Collins – two actors from the film – and Susan Shaw, director of OSU’s School of Language, Culture, and Society.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, a reading of Shores’ play, “Sordid Lives,” will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the OSU Women’s Center. The play is about a colorful family in a small Texas town dealing with the death of the family matriarch – and the secrets about her that emerge before the funeral.
The free films to be screened include:
- Monday, Nov. 11 – “Trans,” a documentary about men, women and all the variations in between;
- Tuesday, Nov. 12 – “The New Black,” a tale of the fight for marriage equality in Maryland and how the issue divided the African American community;
- Wednesday, Nov. 13 – “Mosquita Y Mari,” the story of two 15-year-old Chicanas in Los Angeles who forge a friendship that grows increasingly complex;
- Thursday, Nov. 14 – “Mario R.,” the story of a gay man in former East Germany who tries to escape to the West for love, only to undergo a series of traumatic experiences;
- Friday, Nov. 15 – “Southern Baptist Sissies,” the story of four boys who are gay growing up with a conflict of religion and sexuality in the Southern Baptist Church.
Darkside Cinema is located at 215 S.W. Fourth St. in Corvallis.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Bradley Boovy, 541-737-0023; Bradley.firstname.lastname@example.org
Problems are continuing with inappropriate use of low-dose, antipsychotic drugs, too often prescribed for conditions in which their safety and efficacy is not proven.
PORTLAND, Ore. – Low-dose, antipsychotic medications are continuing to be widely prescribed, a new analysis suggests, even though it’s likely many of the prescriptions are for conditions where there’s weak evidence of their effectiveness and serious risks remain.
The problem is less severe than it used to be, due to changes in marketing of the drugs, researchers said. A $520 million settlement against the manufacturer of the medication of largest concern, quetiapine, reduced “off-label” promotion of the drug for conditions not approved by the FDA, and may have led to declines in this type of sub-therapeutic use.
However, an analysis of Medicaid patients from 2004-08 shows that many of these powerful medications – which are meant to be used for severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – are still being prescribed at lower doses, possibly for conditions such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder and even insomnia.
The findings were made by researchers from Oregon State University, Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Colorado and Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. They were published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, in work supported by the National Institutes of Health.
“The reduction in low-dose prescribing suggests there has been a decline in off-label use of quetiapine, but it’s still a problem that people should be aware of,” said Daniel Hartung, an associate professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy.
“In far too many cases, these drugs are being prescribed for conditions in which there’s less-clear evidence of efficacy and safety,” Hartung said. “Other medications are available that have been shown to work and usually cost less. And the side effects of these antipsychotic drugs include serious concerns such as increases in blood sugar, cholesterol, weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.”
The drugs at first were used mostly by psychiatrists treating serious mental illness, but in recent years have been much more widely administered by general practitioners. Too often that was done without careful screening of blood sugar and cholesterol, a past study found, since use of the drugs can increase the risk of diabetes in a patient population already more prone to that condition.
Quetiapine, sold under the trade name Seroquel, was one serious concern. It was promoted by its manufacturer for a range of uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and widely prescribed at lower doses for dementia, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit and insomnia. It and some other drugs have since gained approval for use in treatment-resistant depression, but in many cases the inappropriate prescription of these medications is continuing.
The investigation of this problem was prompted by state Medicaid agencies, researchers said, because of an explosion in the use of costly antipsychotic drugs from 1997 to 2007. During that period, the market more than quadrupled from $1.7 billion to $7.4 billion.
One estimate indicated that second-generation antipsychotic medications accounted for more than 16 percent of total Medicaid pharmacy spending.At least five state Medicaid programs are exploring policy options to curtail the use of sub-therapeutic doses of quetiapine, the researchers said in their report.
States concerned about these issues may wish to first evaluate policies that restrict potentially safer options, such as other drugs that could be used off-label as a sedative, the scientists recommended. This might avoid driving physicians toward prescribing the antipsychotic medications.
“These issues have been reported nationally and policy discussions have taken place,” Hartung said. “But changes in the prescribing practices of the medical profession are sometimes slow to come.”College of Pharmacy Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Daniel Hartung, 503-494-4720
Oregon State University Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s play, “After the Fall,” will show Nov. 14-16 and 21-22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. on the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s play, “After the Fall,” will show Nov. 14-16 and 21-22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. on the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.
Miller’s drama fictionalizes his own experiences with the House of Un-American Activities Committee, his boyhood in Brooklyn, and his volatile and ill-fated marriage to Marilyn Monroe.
His 1964 “memory play” tells the story of Quentin, a successful New York lawyer reflecting upon his life and various relationships. This tale of love, loyalty, addiction, and regret is set against a backdrop of American history spanning from the 1920s through the early 1960s and is considered Miller’s most personal and controversial work.
“After the Fall” is presented in a non-linear narrative, where Quentin’s memories frequently overlap and juxtapose with one another. This convention requires non-realistic staging and some unique design choices.
“This play has been a wonderful challenge,” said the play’s director, OSU Theatre Arts faculty member Elizabeth Helman. “It’s an emotionally demanding play and the non-conventional staging adds another level of complication. I think this is going to be a very powerful show when all is said and done.”
The cast features OSU students Andrew Atkinson (Ike), Sarah Clausen (Holga), Melissa Cozzi (Felice), Anna Mahaffey (Louise), Alycia Olivar (Maggie), Christopher Peterman (Lou), Deborah Shapiro (Rose), Bryanna Rainwater (Elsie), Joseph Workman (Quentin), and Ricky Zipp (Dan). Corvallis community member Jonathan Thompson also joins the cast as Mickey.
Tickets are $12 general, $10 senior, $8 youth/student, and $5 OSU students and are available through the OSU Theatre Box Office by calling 541-737-2784 or online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatreCollege of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Angela Yeager Source:
The late Oregon Gov. Tom McCall’s pioneering fight to clean up the state’s waterways and to control development in the late 1960s still resonates today.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The late Oregon Gov. Tom McCall’s pioneering fight to clean up the state’s waterways and to control development in the late 1960s still resonates today. At the Nov. 11 Corvallis Science Pub, Oregon State University historian Bill Robbins will discuss the significance of McCall’s leadership.
Robbins will also show McCall’s famous documentary, Pollution in Paradise, which aired on KGW-TV in 1962.
The Science Pub presentation begins at 6 p.m. in the Old World Deli located at 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis. It is free and open to the public.
“With an aristocratic, East Coast family background and a large-sized ego, McCall proved himself a man of the people, one who inspired deep affection for his adopted and beloved state,” Robbins said. “In a significantly less-polarized political environment, he worked across party lines to achieve significant policy objectives that we live with to the present day.”
Robbins is an emeritus distinguished professor of history at Oregon State and the author of 12 books, including Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940 (1997); Landscapes of Conflict: The Oregon Story, 1940-2000 (2005); and Oregon: This Storied Land (2006).
-30-Generic OSU Media Contact: Nick Houtman Source:
Bill Robbins, 541-602-3867
CORVALLIS, Ore. – High school students will explore college and career opportunities in a new 4-H program coordinated by the Oregon State University Extension Service.
The 4-H Outreach Leadership Institute aims to prepare high school students from diverse cultural backgrounds to attend college and pursue a variety of career paths, according to organizer Mario Magaña, an outreach specialist for OSU Extension 4-H. Magaña hopes the leadership institute will reach Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders and African-Americans, as well as rural Caucasians who would be first-generation college students.
It's set for Nov. 15-17 at OSU in Corvallis, with additional multi-day sessions in March of 2014 at OSU and May of 2014 at the Oregon 4-H Conference and Education Center in Salem. The leadership institute is an expansion of the former 4-H Camp Counselor Trainings and the replacement of the high school International Summer Camp.
"I really believe that high school is the time to expose kids to college information and leadership activities," Magaña said. "The leadership institute will help them gain the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to apply for competitive scholarships and to apply for top universities. If kids start attending the leadership institute during their freshman year, we're going to mentor them three times a year for every year of their high school careers."
On the OSU campus in Corvallis, students will get hands-on practice from several Oregon universities on how to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, fill out a college application, write a college admissions essay and compose a personal biography. They will learn about careers from OSU student and faculty mentors in engineering, forestry, veterinary medicine, health and nutrition, fisheries and wildlife, solar energy, wave energy, science and robotics.
The session in May in Salem will train students to become camp counselors for 4-H International Summer Camps in 2014. It will offer students activities to develop leadership skills. Activities will include campfire skits, games, songs and role-plays. Workshops will teach students about a camp counselor's roles and responsibilities, as well as camp rules and regulations. Students will also learn about the physical and educational activities that will take place during summer camps, ranging from swimming to archery to building Lego robotics, as well as other workshops related to science, engineering and technology.
Jessica Casas of Salem participated in 4-H International Summer Camps as a camper and counselor. She is a sophomore at OSU majoring in sociology and hopes to earn her master's degree in public policy.
"I did see myself in college, but I did not know how I was going to get there,” Casas said. “I got to know about the resources available when I attended 4-H International Summer Camps. After I got to meet Latino and Latina students attending college and getting financial aid, I talked to my mom and knew I was going to college."
Now Casas is attending OSU on a Gates Millennium Scholarship. Her ultimate career goal is to represent Latinos in government-level legislature, with the hope of creating positive change in public policy for the Latino community. She is already on the path to pursuing that dream. At the leadership institute, Casas will coach students on applying for the competitive Gates Millennium Scholarship, which includes writing eight essays.
Applications to the leadership institute are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. High school students in grades 9-12 from anywhere in Oregon are encouraged to apply. There is no cost to attend but an application is required. Students can apply at http://bit.ly/Outreach_Institute.
The Oregon Outreach project, which oversees the leadership institute, is an initiative of the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program. Oregon Outreach aims to support and expand the quality and quantity of community-based, culturally relevant educational programs for underserved populations. For more information, go to http://oregon.4h.oregonstate.edu/oregonoutreach.
4-H is the largest out-of-school youth development program nationwide. The OSU Extension Service administrates Oregon's 4-H program within OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences. 4-H reached nearly 117,000 youth in kindergarten through 12th grade via a network of 8,534 volunteers in 2012. Activities focus on areas like healthy living, civic engagement, science and animal care. Learn more about 4-H at: http://oregon.4h.oregonstate.edu.Extension Service Media Contact: Denise Ruttan Source:
Mario Magaña, 541-737-0925Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
The Northwest is facing increased risks from the decline of forest health, earlier snowmelt, and issues facing the coastal region, according to a new climate assessment report.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Northwest is facing increased risks from the decline of forest health, earlier snowmelt leading to low summer stream flows, and an array of issues facing the coastal region, according to a new climate assessment report.
Written by a team of scientists coordinated by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) at Oregon State University, the report is the first regional climate assessment released since 1999. Both the 1999 report and the 2013 version were produced as part of the U.S. National Climate Assessment; both Washington and Oregon produced state-level reports in 2009 and 2010.
OSU’s Philip Mote, director of the institute and one of three editors of the 270-page report (as well as the 1999 report), said the document incorporates a lot of new science as well as some additional dimensions – including the impact of climate change on human health and tribal issues. A summary of the report is available online at: http://occri.net/reports
Amy Snover, director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, said there are a number of issues facing the Northwest as a result of climate change.
“As we looked across both economic and ecological dimensions, the three that stood out were less snow, more wildfires and challenges to the coastal environment and infrastructure,” said Snover, who is one of the editors on the report.
The report outlines how these three issues are affected by climate change.
“Studies are showing that snowmelt is occurring earlier and earlier and that is leading to a decline in stream flows in summer,” Mote said. “Northwest forests are facing a huge increase in wildfires, disease and other disturbances that are both direct and indirect results of climate change. And coastal issues are mounting and varied, from sea level rise and inundation, to ocean acidification. Increased wave heights in recent decades also threaten coastal dwellings, roads and other infrastructure.”
OCCRI’s Meghan Dalton, lead editor on the report, notes that 2,800 miles of coastal roads are in the 100-year floodplain and some highways may face inundation with just two feet of sea level rise. Sea levels are expected to rise as much as 56 inches, or nearly five feet, by the year 2100.
Earlier snowmelt is a significant concern in the Northwest, where reservoir systems are utilized to maximize water storage. But, Dalton said, the Columbia River basin has a storage capacity that is smaller than its annual flow volume and is “ill-equipped to handle the projected shift to earlier snowmelt…and will likely be forced to pass much of these earlier flows out of the system.”
The earlier peak stream flow may significantly reduce summer hydroelectric power production, and slightly increase winter power production.
The report was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the Oregon Legislature’s support of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU, and by in-kind contributions from the authors’ institutions.
Mote said new research has led to improved climate models, which suggest that the Northwest will warm by a range of three to 14 degrees (Fahrenheit) by the year 2100. “The lower range will only be possible if greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced.” In contrast, the Northwest warmed by 1.3 degrees from the period of 1895 to 2011.
Future precipitation is harder to project, the report notes, with models forecasting a range from a 10 percent decrease to an 18 percent increase by 2100. Most models do suggest that more precipitation will fall as rain and earlier snowmelt will change river flow patterns.
That could be an issue for agriculture in the future as the “Northwest’s diverse crops depend on adequate water supplies and temperature ranges, which are projected to change during the 21st century,” the report notes. Pinpointing the impacts on agriculture will be difficult, said Sanford Eigenbrode of the University of Idaho, another co-author.
“As carbon dioxide levels rise, yields will increase for some plants, and more rainfall in winter could mean wetter soils in the spring, benefitting some crops,” Eigenbrode pointed out. “Those same conditions could adversely affect other crops. It is very difficult to say how changing climate will affect agriculture overall in the Northwest, but we can say that the availability of summer water will be a concern.”
Mote said there may be additional variables affecting agriculture, such what impacts the changing climate has on pests, diseases and invasive species.
“However, the agricultural sector is resilient and can respond more quickly to new conditions than some other sectors like forestry, where it takes 40 years or longer for trees to reach a harvestable age,” noted Mote, who is a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
The Northwest has not to date been vulnerable to many climate-related health risks, the report notes, but impacts of climate change in the future are more likely to be negative than positive. Concerns include increased morbidity and mortality from heat-related illness, air pollution and allergenic disease, and the emergence of infectious diseases.
“In Oregon, one study showed that each 10-degree (F) increase in daily maximum temperature was associated with a nearly three-fold increase of heat-related illness,” said Jeff Bethel, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and one of the co-authors of the report. “The threshold for triggering heat-related illness – especially among the elderly – isn’t much.”
Northwest tribes may face a greater impact from climate change because of their reliance on natural resources. Fish, shellfish, game and plant species could be adversely affected by a warming climate, resulting in a multitude of impacts.
“When tribes ceded their lands and were restricted to small areas, it resulted in a loss of access to many species that lived there,” said Kathy Lynn, coordinator of the Tribal Climate Change Project at the University of Oregon and a co-author of the report. “Climate change may further reduce the abundance of resources. That carries a profound cultural significance far beyond what we can document from an economic standpoint.”
Snover said that the climate changes projected for the coming decades mean that many of the assumptions “inherent in decisions, infrastructure and policies – where to build, what to grow where, and how to manage variable water sources to meet multiple needs – will become increasingly incorrect.
“Whether the ultimate consequences of the climate impacts outlined in this report are severe or mild depends in part on how well we prepare our communities, economies and natural systems for the changes we know are coming,” Snover said.
Other lead co-authors on the report are Rick Raymondi, Idaho Department of Water Resources; W. Spencer Reeder, Cascadia Consulting Group; Patty Glick, National Wildlife Federation; Susan Capalbo, OSU; and Jeremy Littell, U.S. Geological Survey.College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
OSU biochemists have unlocked some of the genetic constraints on a common fungus, in work that may lead to important new antibiotics.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered that one gene in a common fungus acts as a master regulator, and deleting it has opened access to a wealth of new compounds that have never before been studied – with the potential to identify new antibiotics.
The finding was announced today in the journal PLOS Genetics, in research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.
Scientists succeeded in flipping a genetic switch that had silenced more than 2,000 genes in this fungus, the cereal pathogen Fusarium graminearum. Until now this had kept it from producing novel compounds that may have useful properties, particularly for use in medicine but also perhaps in agriculture, industry, or biofuel production.
“About a third of the genome of many fungi has always been silent in the laboratory,” said Michael Freitag, an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science. “Many fungi have antibacterial properties. It was no accident that penicillin was discovered from a fungus, and the genes for these compounds are usually in the silent regions of genomes.
“What we haven’t been able to do is turn on more of the genome of these fungi, see the full range of compounds that could be produced by expression of their genes,” he said. “Our finding should open the door to the study of dozens of new compounds, and we’ll probably see some biochemistry we’ve never seen before.”
In the past, the search for new antibiotics was usually done by changing the environment in which a fungus or other life form grew, and see if those changes generated the formation of a compound with antibiotic properties.
“The problem is, with the approaches of the past we’ve already found most of the low-hanging fruit, and that’s why we’ve had to search in places like deep sea vents or corals to find anything new,” Freitag said. “With traditional approaches there’s not that much left to be discovered. But now that we can change the genome-wide expression of fungi, we may see a whole new range of compounds we didn’t even know existed.”
The gene that was deleted in this case regulates the methylation of histones, the proteins around which DNA is wound, Freitag said. Creating a mutant without this gene allowed new expression, or overexpression of about 25 percent of the genome of this fungus, and the formation of many “secondary metabolites,” the researchers found.
The gene that was deleted, kmt6, encodes a master regulator that affects the expression of hundreds of genetic pathways, researchers say. It’s been conserved through millions of years, in life forms as diverse as plants, fungi, fruit flies and humans.
The discovery of new antibiotics is of increasing importance, researchers say, as bacteria, parasites and fungi are becoming increasingly resistant to older drugs.
“Our studies will open the door to future precise ‘epigenetic engineering’ of gene clusters that generate bioactive compounds, e.g. putative mycotoxins, antibiotics and industrial feedstocks,” the researchers wrote in the conclusion of their report.College of Science Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Michael Freitag, 541-737-4845Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
Don Walsh, a pioneering oceanographer famous for his 1960 dive to the deepest part of the ocean, will visit OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
NEWPORT, Ore. – Don Walsh, a pioneering oceanographer famous for his 1960 dive to the deepest part of the ocean, will visit Newport on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Walsh will give a free public lecture at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. His presentation, “Lunch on Board the Titanic: Two Miles Deep in the Atlantic,” begins at 6:30 p.m. In his talk, Walsh will share his experience diving in a submersible down to the Titanic and other adventures from his career of more than 40 years.
A retired captain from the U.S. Navy, Walsh went on to enjoy a lengthy career as an oceanographer and ocean engineer who explored the deep oceans and polar regions. He has commanded submarines as a naval officer and deep-sea submersibles as a researcher.
In 1960, Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard boarded the bathyscaphe Trieste and descended to the floor of the Mariana Trench in the northern Pacific Ocean – a depth of more than 35,000 feet, or nearly seven miles. It took five hours to reach the seafloor, and at 30,000 feet they heard a loud crack. Upon reaching the bottom, they discovered cracks in the window, and quickly began ascending.
The historic dive received worldwide attention. It also remained a world record dive for 52 years until James Cameron piloted his Deepsea Challenger to the same place in 2012.
Walsh, who has a courtesy appointment in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, will also visit schools in Newport during the week and give a seminar at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. That talk, intended for a research audience, is titled “Going the Last Seven Miles – Looking Backwards at the Future.” It begins at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Hennings Auditorium.Hatfield Marine Science Center Media Contact: Mark Floyd Source:
Maryann Bozza, 541-867-0234; email@example.comMultimedia Downloads Multimedia:
A former fugitive who spent 23 years on the run from the FBI is returning to Corvallis to talk for the first time about her experiences.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A former fugitive who spent 23 years on the run from the FBI is returning to Corvallis to talk for the first time about her experiences as a student activist, a wanted criminal, and a woman who now embraces peace activism rather than violent revolution.
Katherine Ann Power has written a book titled “Surrender,” about her life on the run. She will speak on that topic at Oregon State University at noon on Thursday, Oct. 31, in Memorial Union Room 206.
In 1970, while a student at Brandeis University, Power was involved in a bank heist. She and four other activists were hoping to use the money to buy explosives that would help them procure weapons to arm the Black Panthers. During the robbery, one of the participants shot and killed a Boston police officer responding to the crime. Power, who was the getaway driver, escaped capture and disappeared for more than two decades.
She ended up in Lebanon, Ore., working in Corvallis and Albany, as well as teaching cooking classes at Linn-Benton Community College. She took on the name of Alice Metzinger, raised a son and married a local man.
But in 1993, Power decided she had lived in hiding long enough. She negotiated terms of surrender and pled guilty to two counts of armed robbery and manslaughter. She was released from prison in 1999, and returned to Oregon. She completed a master’s degree at Oregon State University in interdisciplinary studies, and taught English as an instructor. She later moved to Boston.
Part of Power’s sentence restricted her from speaking and publishing about her experiences until her 20-year probation period ended in 2013.
The talk, titled “Surrender: Gorilla to Grandmother,” is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the OSU Peace Studies Program, the School of History, Philosophy and Religion and the Annares Project.College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: Angela Yeager Source:
Joseph Orosco, 541-737-4335
Mary Phillips has been named director for the Office of Research Development, a new unit within the Research Office, effective Dec. 1.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Mary Phillips has been named director for the Office of Research Development, a new unit within the Research Office, effective Dec. 1.
Phillips is associate director for the Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development, where she oversees the management of intellectual property and licensing of OSU inventions. In her new role, Phillips will work with faculty and academic units to identify and pursue major funding opportunities, including federal, non-profit and corporate sources.
The creation of the Office for Research Development is a proactive step by the Research Office that addresses the challenge and goals articulated in the OSU research agenda by providing strategic institutional support for successful proposal development, Phillips said.
"What excites me about this position is the role I will play in developing new approaches that will enable our faculty to be highly competitive in securing grant funding in these times of dwindling federal funding and sequestration," Phillips noted. "This in itself is a grand challenge."
Vice President for Research Rick Spinrad said there is a lot of untapped potential for building OSU’s capacity and reputation.
“By establishing an Office of Research Development, we have created the structure to engage in strategic positioning of our research enterprise, long before specific solicitations for research are issued,” Spinrad said. “As part of OSU’s research agenda we are striving to diversify our sponsorship base. We’ve done this very successfully with our industry engagement (40 percent increase in two years), now we have the staff and organization to start doing the same with other sponsors, notably federal agencies.”
Spinrad anticipates that OSU will dramatically increase the number of federal agencies supporting its research, and that OSU will take a much more forward-leaning posture in driving the research interests of traditional sponsors.
“In addition, Mary’s role will allow us to be much more effective in strengthening our proposal efforts - for example by being more strategic in how we address ‘broader impacts,’” Spinrad said. “This is particularly important as general decreases in federal funding for research make for an even more competitive environment.”
Phillips will be supported by an advisory group that will consist of senior faculty representing each of the divisions within the university.
Prior to joining OSU in 2006, Phillips began her career in university technology transfer in 2001 at Oregon Health and Science University. She has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and gained postdoctoral experience in the areas of laser spectroscopy and molecular biology at the University of Oregon.Generic OSU Media Contact: Theresa Hogue Source:
A new Cascadia Lifelines Program led by OSU and involving private industry will expedite the research needed to address the subduction zone earthquake looming in Oregon's future.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and eight partners from government and private industry this month began studies for the Cascadia Lifelines Program, a research initiative to help improve critical infrastructure performance during an anticipated major earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.
The program, coordinated by the OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering, will immediately begin five research projects with $1.5 million contributed by the partners. Recent work such as the Oregon Resilience Plan has helped to define the potential problems, experts say, and this new initiative will begin to address them in work that may take 50 years or more to implement.
Looming in Oregon’s future is a massive earthquake of about magnitude 9.0, which could significantly damage Pacific Northwest roads, bridges, buildings, sewers, gas and water lines, electrical system and much more.
“Compared to the level of earthquake preparedness even in California and Washington, it’s clear that Oregon is bringing up the rear,” said Scott Ashford, director of the new program. He is the Kearney Professor of Engineering in the OSU College of Engineering, and an international expert who has studied the impact of subduction zone earthquakes in much of the Pacific Rim – including Japan’s major disaster of March, 2011.
“Most of Oregon’s buildings, roads, bridges and infrastructure were built at a time when it was believed the state was not subject to major earthquakes,” Ashford said. “Because of that we’re going to face serious levels of destruction. But with programs like this and the commitment of our partners, there’s a great deal we can do to proactively prepare for this disaster, and get our lifelines back up and running after the event.”
Those “lifelines,” Ashford said, are the key not just to saving lives and minimizing damage, but aiding in recovery of the region following a disaster that scientists say is a near certainty. The list of participating partners reflects agencies and companies that understand the challenges they will face, Ashford said.
The partners include the Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland General Electric, Northwest Natural Gas, the Bonneville Power Administration, Port of Portland, Portland Water Bureau, Eugene Water and Electric Board, and Tualatin Valley Water District.
“When I studied areas that had been hard-hit by earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan, it became apparent that money spent to prepare for and minimize damage from the earthquake was hugely cost-effective,” Ashford said. “One utility company in New Zealand said they saved about $10 for every $1 they had spent in retrofitting and rebuilding their infrastructure.
“This impressed upon me that we do not have to just wait for the earthquake to happen,” he said. “There’s a lot we can do to prepare for it right now that will make a difference. And we have the expertise right here at OSU – in engineering, business, earth sciences, health – to get these programs up and running.”
The initial subjects OSU researchers will focus on in the new program include:
- Studies of soil liquefaction, which can greatly reduce the strength of soils and lead to road, bridge, building and other critical infrastructure facility failure;
- Cost effective improvements that could be done to existing and older infrastructure;
- Evacuation routes for Oregonians to use following a major earthquake;
- Tools to plan for hazards and anticipate risks;
- Where and how earthquakes could trigger landslides in Oregon.
Ashford said the consortium will seek additional federal support for the needed research, and also more partners both in government and private industry.
OSU will also continue its collaboration with PEER, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, which includes work by the leading academic institutions in this field on the West Coast. The Cascadia Lifelines Program will add an emphasis on subduction zone earthquakes, which can behave quite differently and produce shaking that lasts for minutes, instead of the type of strike-slip quakes most common in California that last for tens of seconds. And the utility lifelines work will be focused on the specific challenges facing Oregon.
Aside from some of the infrastructure not being built to withstand major earthquakes, Oregon and the Willamette Valley may face particular risks from liquefaction, in which soil can develop the consistency of “pea soup” and lose much of its strength. Liquefaction helped cause much of the damage in Japan, which has still not recovered from the destruction more than two years after the event.College of Engineering Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Scott Ashford, 541-737-4934Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
Video of liquefaction in Japan:
CORVALLIS, Ore. – If you call yourself a "gardening geek" or simply want to know more about the natural world, now's the time to sign up for the Oregon State University Extension Service's annual Master Gardener training.
But don't be intimidated by the "master" part of a title that describes a dedicated volunteer force, said Gail Langellotto, the statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener program.
"The class is meant to be accessible to people from across a variety of educational backgrounds who have a passion for learning more about horticulture," Langellotto said. "The 'Master' title is used to designate volunteers for Oregon State University Extension Service, such as Master Food Preservers. More than anything, Master Gardeners have a good understanding of how to use research-based information to help people plan, plant and maintain sustainable gardens."
Master Gardeners are trained by the OSU Extension Service and offer reliable, relevant and reachable information and educational opportunities. They answer questions at OSU Extension offices, farmers markets and community events. They create and manage demonstration gardens, school gardens and community gardens. They also coordinate gardens at correctional facilities, health care centers and libraries. In addition, they host garden tours, workshops and classes.
A total of 4,160 Master Gardeners donated 194,898 hours of their time across Oregon in 2012, according to Langellotto.
The OSU Extension Service offers its Master Gardener training in 30 of Oregon's 36 counties. For a list of trainings and local coordinators, go to http://bit.ly/OSU_MGLocations. Registration deadlines vary by county.
Master Gardener training typically kicks off in January, though starting dates vary by county. Trainees take a series of classes from local and OSU experts on subjects ranging from botany basics to pest identification.
Master Gardeners volunteer their time so that they can teach others in their community about sustainable gardening. Master Gardener training fees vary by county and reflect local costs. OSU Extension requires a basic application. Those who want to work with children as part of their volunteer service must also undergo a background history check. Candidates must explain in a statement their reasons for volunteering and describe their volunteer history.
For those who work during the day, Extension offices in Lane County, central Oregon and Hood River offer night and Saturday classes. OSU's Professional and Noncredit Education unit offers an online version of the training at https://pne.oregonstate.edu/catalog/master-gardener-online.
Sign up to receive more information by e-mail about Master Gardener training at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/signup. OSU Extension also offers the following publications on the topic: "An Introduction to Being a Master Gardener Volunteer" at http://bit.ly/Intro_MG and a brochure at http://bit.ly/MG_Brochure.Extension Service Media Contact: Denise Ruttan Source:
Gail Langellotto, 541-737-5175Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
A new review suggests that excess omega-3 fatty acids could have unintended health consequences, and that evidence-based dietary standards need to be established.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new review suggests that omega-3 fatty acids taken in excess could have unintended health consequences in certain situations, and that dietary standards based on the best available evidence need to be established.
“What looked like a slam dunk a few years ago may not be as clear cut as we thought,” said Norman Hord, associate professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and a coauthor on the paper.
“We are seeing the potential for negative effects at really high levels of omega-3 fatty acid consumption. Because we lack valid biomarkers for exposure and knowledge of who might be at risk if consuming excessive amounts, it isn’t possible to determine an upper limit at this time.”
Previous research led by Michigan State University’s Jenifer Fenton and her collaborators found that feeding mice large amounts of dietary omega-3 fatty acids led to increased risk of colitis and immune alteration. Those results were published in Cancer Research in 2010.
As a follow-up, in the current issue of the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids, Fenton and her co-authors, including Hord, reviewed the literature and discuss the potential adverse health outcomes that could result from excess consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies have shown that omega-3s, also known as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), are associated with lower risk of sudden cardiac death and other cardiovascular disease outcomes.
“We were inspired to review the literature based on our findings after recent publications showed increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and atrial fibrillation in those with high blood levels of LCPUFAs,” Fenton said.
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which is one of the reasons they can be beneficial to heart health and inflammatory issues. However, the researchers said excess amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can alter immune function sometimes in ways that may lead to a dysfunctional immune response to a viral or bacterial infection.
“The dysfunctional immune response to excessive omega-3 fatty acid consumption can affect the body’s ability to fight microbial pathogens, like bacteria,” Hord said.
Generally, the researchers point out that the amounts of fish oil used in most studies are typically above what one could consume from foods or usual dosage of a dietary supplement. However, an increasing amount of products, such as eggs, bread, butters, oils and orange juice, are being “fortified” with omega-3s. Hord said this fortified food, coupled with fish oil supplement use, increases the potential for consuming these high levels.
“Overall, we support the dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association to eat fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout or sardines, at least two times a week, and for those at risk of coronary artery disease to talk to their doctor about supplements,” he said.
“Our main concern here is the hyper-supplemented individual, who may be taking high-dose omega-3 supplements and eating four to five omega-3-enriched foods per day,” Hord added. “This could potentially get someone to an excessive amount. As our paper indicates, there may be subgroups of those who may be at risk from consuming excess amounts of these fatty acids.”
Hord said there are no evidence-based standards for omega-3 intake and no way to tell who might be at health risk if they consume too high a level of these fatty acids.
“We’re not against using fish oil supplements appropriately, but there is a potential for risk,” Hord said. “As is all true with any nutrient, taking too much can have negative effects. We need to establish clear biomarkers through clinical trials. This is necessary in order for us to know who is eating adequate amounts of these nutrients and who may be deficient or eating too much.
“Until we establish valid biomarkers of omega-3 exposure, making good evidence-based dietary recommendations across potential dietary exposure ranges will not be possible.”
Sanjoy Ghosh from University of BC-Okanagan, Canada and Eric Gurzell from Michigan State University also contributed to this study, which was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Diabetes Association.College of Public Health and Human Sciences Media Contact: Angela Yeager Source:
Norman Hord, 541-737-5923
Researchers have discovered a new way to study aqueous aluminum - a fundamental advance that should open doors to many new technologies and products.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon today announced a scientific advance that has eluded researchers for more than 100 years – a platform to study and fully understand the aqueous chemistry of aluminum, one of the world’s most important metals.
The findings, reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, should open the door to significant advances in electronics and many other fields, ranging from manufacturing to construction, agriculture and drinking water treatment.
Aluminum, in solution with water, affects the biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and anthrosphere, the scientists said in their report. It may be second only to iron in its importance to human civilization. But for a century or more, and despite the multitude of products based on it, there has been no effective way to explore the enormous variety and complexity of compounds that aluminum forms in water.
Now there is.
“This integrated platform to study aqueous aluminum is a major scientific advance,” said Douglas Keszler, a distinguished professor of chemistry in the OSU College of Science, and director of the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry.
“Research that can be done with the new platform should have important technological implications,” Keszler said. “Now we can understand aqueous aluminum clusters, see what’s there, how the atomic structure is arranged.”
Chong Fang, an assistant professor of chemistry in the OSU College of Science, called the platform “a powerful new toolset.” It’s a way to synthesize aqueous aluminum clusters in a controlled way; analyze them with new laser techniques; and use computational chemistry to interpret the results. It’s simple and easy to use, and may be expanded to do research on other metal atoms.
“A diverse team of scientists came together to solve an important problem and open new research opportunities,” said Paul Cheong, also an OSU assistant professor of chemistry.
The fundamental importance of aluminum to life and modern civilization helps explain the significance of the advance, researchers say. It’s the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, but almost never is found in its natural state. The deposition and migration of aluminum as a mineral ore is controlled by its aqueous chemistry. It’s found in all drinking water and used worldwide for water treatment. Aqueous aluminum plays significant roles in soil chemistry and plant growth.
Aluminum is ubiquitous in cooking, eating utensils, food packaging, construction, and the automotive and aircraft industries. It’s almost 100 percent recyclable, but in commercial use is a fairly modern metal. Before electrolytic processes were developed in the late 1800s to produce it inexpensively, it was once as costly as silver.
Now, aluminum is increasingly important in electronics, particularly as a “green” component that’s cheap, widely available and environmentally benign.
Besides developing the new platform, this study also discovered one behavior for aluminum in water that had not been previously observed. This is a “flat cluster” of one form of aluminum oxide that’s relevant to large scale productions of thin films and nanoparticles, and may find applications in transistors, solar energy cells, corrosion protection, catalytic converters and other uses.
Ultimately, researchers say they expect new technologies, “green” products, lowered equipment costs, and aluminum applications that work better, cost less and have high performance.
The research was made possible, in part, by collaboration between chemists at OSU and the University of Oregon, through the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry. This is a collaboration of six research universities, which is sponsored and funded by the National Science Foundation.College of Science Media Contact: David Stauth Source:
Douglas Keszler, 541-737-6736Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
In an effort to encourage bike and pedestrian safety, Oregon State University is inviting the public to the Memorial Union quad on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a special Be Bright! Be Seen! event.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – In an effort to encourage bike and pedestrian safety on campus and around Corvallis, Oregon State University is inviting the public to the Memorial Union quad on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a special Be Bright! Be Seen! event.
Just in time for Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 3, the Be Bright! event will feature a variety of illuminated giveaways, educational materials, and the chance to get bicycles registered by Campus Public Safety. Additionally, a number of OSU, city and county organizations will be on-hand to give out prizes and discuss a variety of alternative transportation programs available for OSU students, staff and faculty, as well as the general public.
Bike lights, reflective gear and even some coveted illuminated umbrellas will be given away during the event.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 70 percent of pedestrian deaths occur at night, and three out of four occur in urban areas. Making yourself visible as a pedestrian or bicyclist can be a life or death issue.
The Be Bright! Be Seen! public safety campaign is sponsored by OSU and the city of Corvallis, and includes a variety of partners, including the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative, Campus Public Safety and the Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee.
For more information, visit http://oregonstate.edu/main/be-brightGeneric OSU Media Contact: Theresa Hogue Source:
Steve Clark, 541-737-3808
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students across the state are getting their hands dirty in school gardens and learning where their food comes from with the help of the Oregon State University Extension Service.
A 22-page report, "Oregon State University School and Youth Gardens," describes the OSU Extension Service's role in supporting 132 gardens in 27 counties from Seaside to Portland to Ontario with 154 staffers and volunteers. The report lists each garden, school and town served by OSU Extension.
"This report shows that school gardens are important not just in teaching kids about nutrition and health, but also in learning valuable skills in agriculture, biology, leadership development and making a difference in their communities," said Maureen Hosty, 4-H youth development faculty with OSU Extension and lead author of the report.
Hotsy developed the report as part of her work representing OSU on the steering committee for the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network. OSU Extension staffers and volunteers with all program areas, including 4-H, Master Gardeners and Family and Community Health, are involved. They help plan, implement and organize projects, provide on-site consultations, train teachers and students, develop curriculum and support after-school clubs.
School gardens such as the one run by Walt Morey Middle School in Troutdale have benefited. The school built a 9,000-square-foot rain garden in 2008 to manage stormwater runoff. An Extension-trained Master Gardener helped organize the project, and students selected and planted the landscape in 2008. The school also works with 4-H Wildlife Stewards, an OSU Extension 4-H program of trained volunteers who help students and teachers create wildlife habitats for schools.
Sixth-grade science teacher Michele O'Brien said children collect weather data, observe the garden's natural environment, identify wildlife, study wetlands, write about their experiences in journals and make charts and graphs of their observations. Master Gardeners help maintain the rain garden in the summer and work alongside students during the school year.
"That first class of students who helped build it in 2008 has now graduated from high school," O'Brien said. "When I periodically run into them, they ask about the rain garden. Some of them have gone onto career paths in environmental science in college, and I think the rain garden got them thinking about that. The impact has been tremendous. Without Master Gardeners working with us between their volunteer hours and expertise, it would have been extremely difficult to do this project."
Lea Bates, a coach with Lookingglass Elementary School in Roseburg, coordinated the school's garden for more than 20 years with the support of OSU Extension and other community partners. The large garden includes vegetables, fruit trees, grapes, ornamental plants and even a butterfly garden. Children learn about horticulture, nutrition, math, science and language arts as they weed, plant, water and participate in an after-school 4-H club.
"It's been a wonderful project for the kids and an opportunity for them to supplement what they're learning in the classroom," Bates said. "It's real world experience and an educational opportunity that gets kids out of doors. Everyone says it's fun even though it's also work."
And at Springwater Trail High School in Gresham, English teacher and garden coordinator Paul Kramer receives logistical advice from Extension's 4-H faculty as well as support in curriculum development at the school's one-year-old vegetable garden. Kramer volunteers to coordinate an after-school garden club in which high school students are finishing harvesting lettuce and radishes and learning about cooking and nutrition. They made their own homemade salad dressing, roast beets and pickle cucumbers.
In the process of learning about horticulture, Kramer sees his students gaining aptitude in problem solving and critical thinking. They're also building patience and discipline.
"The most interesting thing they got from the garden was camaraderie and the companionship," Kramer said. "I wasn’t expecting that. Students who would never have hung out together the past were now spending time outside, interacting with another and helping each other."
To download a copy of the report, go to http://bit.ly/OSU_SchoolGardenReport13.Extension Service Media Contact: Denise Ruttan Source:
Maureen Hosty, 541-916-6075Multimedia Downloads Multimedia:
A student at Concord Elementary School in Milwaukie shows off produce from the school garden to Maggie Thornton Farrington, a Master Naturalist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. OSU Extension supports 132 school and youth gardens throughout Oregon. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)
Poets Charles Goodrich and Mary Szybist will read from their most recent poetry collections at Oregon State University on Friday, Nov. 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Poets Charles Goodrich and Mary Szybist will read from their most recent poetry collections at Oregon State University on Friday, Nov. 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda.
A question and answer session and book signing will follow. This is the first reading of the 2013-2014 Literary Northwest Series.
Goodrich is the author of three volumes of poems, “A Scripture of Crows” (2013), “Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden” (2010), and “Insects of South Corvallis” (2003), and a collection of essays, “The Practice of Home” (2004). Goodrich is director for the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at OSU.
Joseph Bednarik of The Oregonian wrote, “What is so utterly gorgeous about ‘Going to Seed’ is that Goodrich utilizes the obvious metaphors of a garden – growth, decay, work, interdependence, cycles – and ushers them into eye-opening, heart-expanding, humorous and heady territory.”
Szybist is a 2013 National Book Award Finalist and the author of “Granted” (2003), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “Incarnadine” (2013). Szybist teaches at Lewis & Clark College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Craig Morgan Teicher of NPR says, “Szybist is a humble and compassionate observer of the complicated glory of the world and humanity's ambivalent role in it, as inheritors and interlopers.”
Each year the Literary Northwest Series brings Pacific Northwest writers to OSU. This 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 Media Contact: Angela Yeager Source:
Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817