Archive » June, 2013

A Bird’s-Eye View
June 28, 2013

A Bird’s-Eye View

Planners are looking at landscapes through a wider lens

Miles Hemstrom was a young boy when he began looking at the landscape from a bird’s-eye view. It started when he went fishing with his dad on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. He recalls driving up an old dirt road that wound along the side of a mountain through aspen and spruce-fir forest. “We could […]


Purrs, Moans and Shrieks from the Deep
June 28, 2013

Purrs, Moans and Shrieks from the Deep

“Rapunzel Project” studies humpback vocalizations in Alaska

In their foraging grounds of the dark, frigid waters in southeast Alaska’s Fredrick Sound, humpback whales are calling to one another with “purrs,” “shrieks,” “wops” and “moans.” To find out why they speak and what they might be saying, Oregon State University graduate student Michelle Fournet is listening.


Jake Tepper: “Coral reefs are dying.”
June 18, 2013

Jake Tepper: “Coral reefs are dying.”

When Jacob (Jake) Tepper was an eighth-grader, he and his dad traded in their 20-gallon saltwater aquarium and transferred its inhabitants — an anemone and a pair of clownfish — to a spacious 50-gallon reef tank. They added corals and a porcupine pufferfish who begged for food by squirting water at passersby. And then there […]


Katlyn Taylor: “OMG, so much science!”
June 18, 2013

Katlyn Taylor: “OMG, so much science!”

Katlyn Taylor’s life has bumped into practically every phylum of the Animal Kingdom. Ask her how she got into science, and she’ll spin a narrative that spans sea lemons, orphaned chickens, 4-H rabbits, endangered Asian elephants, gray whale migration, sea lion pups, the genetics of microbacterial phages and the coloration of sea stars. And she’s […]


Elliott Finn: “Blanket solutions aren’t the answer.”
June 18, 2013

Elliott Finn: “Blanket solutions aren’t the answer.”

What runs through the life of author Norman McLean is a river. In the life of Elliott Finn, it’s a plant. Vegetation, wild and domestic, wends through every childhood memory: playing hide-and-seek among fruit trees in his parents’ sprawling Soap Creek garden near Corvallis. Dashing through botanical gardens and greenhouses with his little brother Ian. […]


Allison Stringer: “There’s still hope.”
June 18, 2013

Allison Stringer: “There’s still hope.”

Siberia seldom tempts Western travelers to explore its vast taiga forests and endless permafrost  — unless that traveler happens to be Allison Stringer. For the OSU biology student, nothing could be more enticing than spending a summer month “out in the middle of nowhere”— living on a barge at the Northeast Science Station near a […]


Justin Conner: “Amphibians are crashing.”
June 18, 2013

Justin Conner: “Amphibians are crashing.”

When manatees and alligators are members of your backyard ecosystem, it’s like living with a ready-made science project. Justin Conner took full advantage of the biodiversity bursting in and around the Florida canal that linked his childhood home to the ocean. There were peacock bass and cichlids to hook. There were frogs and toads to […]


What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose
June 17, 2013

What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose

It’s physical and sensual.  It’s not an exercise in hypothetical counter-factuals or wonderings about brains in vats or the playing of a clever devil’s advocate.  It’s hot and uncomfortable and smelly.  You flail in vain at ginormous mosquitos with your forearms and shoulders (because your hands are covered in rubber gloves which are covered in […]


Jane Lubchenco kicks off OSU speaker series at da Vinci Days
June 11, 2013

Jane Lubchenco kicks off OSU speaker series at da Vinci Days

Popular arts and science festival celebrates 25 years

Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University professor and former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will give the opening night keynote address at Corvallis’ annual da Vinci Days festival on Friday, July 19. Her presentation, “From the Silly to the Sublime: Stories about Science in D.C,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Whiteside […]


An Evolutionary Tale
June 11, 2013

An Evolutionary Tale

Stress leads to genetic changes in laboratory worms

A tiny worm is wiggling its way toward our understanding of evolution and the genetics of aging. We know that mutations in DNA enable organisms to evolve. But how? Jeremy Northway, an undergraduate in the Oregon State University Honors College, is intent on using this worm, known as C. elegans, to find answers. Few animals […]


June 4, 2013

After the Quake

Saving lives is everybody's business

As an epidemiologist, Jeff Bethel understands the vital role of public health in saving lives after a natural disaster. Most at risk, he says, are vulnerable populations — migrant laborers and people who live alone or have chronic illnesses. “If you’re in your little bubble, you’re at higher risk,” says the assistant professor in the […]