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Cougars in “The Blues”
December 29, 2015

Cougars in “The Blues”

How a science writer became an accidental animal handler in the wilds of Oregon

We bushwhacked into a steep, wooded ravine of pine and larch, stepping over sofa-sized boulders and towering mounds of blow-down. At the bottom, where the creek gurgled prettily, the hound suddenly let out a fearsome howl. He had scented the cougar.


December 28, 2015

Cougar Collaring Photo Gallery


Arsenic in Rural Oregon
October 28, 2015

Arsenic in Rural Oregon

Graduate student looked for pattern of contamination

When it comes to water, Lauren Smitherman doesn’t mind getting a little personal. As a graduate student in Water Resources Science at Oregon State University, she asked people in rural Oregon for permission to collect samples of their drinking water. Assured of confidentiality, most people welcomed her into their kitchens where Smitherman ran a stream […]


The Iran Nuclear Accord: Dangerous deal or step toward truce?
October 20, 2015

The Iran Nuclear Accord: Dangerous deal or step toward truce?

Oregon State researchers explore the roots of the accord and its impact on questions of war and peace

Whether it was an olive branch signaling a new era of peace or a trumpet sounding the coming of World War III, the Iran nuclear accord has opened a new chapter for the United States in security and international policy. Republicans and Democrats are lining up on opposite sides of the aisle to tell us […]


A Life of Discovery
October 15, 2015

A Life of Discovery

The “contagion” of research begins with caring mentors

My first scientific experiment happened by chance during a childhood ramble in eastern Iowa. I was 7 or 8, exploring the woods around rural Maquoketa with my grandmother, who loved the outdoors. I picked up a small brown nut and asked, “Granny, is this the kind of nut that’s good to eat?” “Well,” she said […]


Diet and the Microbiome
October 15, 2015

Diet and the Microbiome

Building evidence toward dietary recommendations

The gut microbiome — a teeming mass of bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea and protozoans that live in our lower gastrointestinal tracts — has captured the attention of health-conscious consumers. Through controlled studies with mice, scientists have learned that by manipulating the microbiome, we can induce weight loss, affect pain perception and decrease hormonal responses to […]


Making Your Research Findings Public
October 5, 2015

Making Your Research Findings Public

Help Is Close at Hand for Meeting Federal Data-Sharing Mandates

IN 2012, MORE THAN 65,000 PEOPLE PETITIONED the White House demanding public access to the results of taxpayer-funded research. An official response from John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), was an enthusiastic, “You bet!” (roughly paraphrased). Three years later, open access to the U.S. federal granting system […]


Kids Quizzed About Ocean Sciences
October 5, 2015

Kids Quizzed About Ocean Sciences

Salmon Bowl Creates Knowledge, Leadership, Networks

  THE AIR BRISTLES WITH ANTICIPATION inside Gilfillan Auditorium, whose perforated metal walls hum with the vibration of voices. Just moments before the championship round of a battle of the minds called Salmon Bowl at Oregon State University, everyone is focused on the two surviving teams. As the finalists wait nervously onstage, the earlier-round competitors […]


Networking for Greater Impacts
October 5, 2015

Networking for Greater Impacts

ORIN Gives Researchers a Place to Share Best Practices

                FUNDING AGENCIES ARE MORE EXPLICITLY REQUIRING activities to expand the impact and reach of research. OSU is answering the call and strengthening our commitment to our land-grant mission by building a community to better connect people and resources. The goal is to help each other meet the […]


Top of Mind:  This Is Your Research Office
October 5, 2015

Top of Mind: This Is Your Research Office

We’re Here To Guide and Support Grant Success

  RESEARCH IS INTEGRAL TO THE UNIVERSITY MISSION, to any university’s mission, to the very idea of a university. It crosses all colleges, all departments, all disciplines. That’s why the Research Office at Oregon State is laser-focused on growing the university’s research enterprise. And because that enterprise depends so heavily on you — our faculty, […]


September 10, 2015

Solving Global Issues Starts with Discovery

Since beginning my new role as the university’s vice president for research in late August, I’ve quickly seen how hard the researchers at Oregon State University are working to solve global problems and provide innovations that translate into economic growth for Oregon and the nation. Despite the current restriction of federal funds, the university’s research […]


This Year’s Drought: A Glimpse into the Future
September 5, 2015

This Year’s Drought: A Glimpse into the Future

The Pacific Northwest looks toward a hotter, drier climate in coming decades

How did we get to the point where a rainforest in one of the wettest parts of the contiguous United States is able to catch fire?


Antarctica Photo Gallery by Ari Friedlaender
September 3, 2015

Antarctica Photo Gallery by Ari Friedlaender

“The icy waters and snow-soaked mountains around the Antarctic Peninsula create a unique environment for a suite of animals that have evolved strategies to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.” Ari Friedlaender, Unframable


In the Eye of Antarctica
September 3, 2015

In the Eye of Antarctica

A marine mammal researcher documents an ecosystem that is as fragile and beautiful as it is harsh and unforgiving

Ari Friedlaender, an associate professor in the Bio-Telemetry and Behavioral Ecology Lab of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, investigates how whales and seals feed, swim, dive, socialize, mate and migrate — what he calls their “behavioral ecology.”


A Lost Diary, Revealed
September 3, 2015

A Lost Diary, Revealed

Field notes, maps and sketches from Scottish explorer David Livingstone's African explorations get new life online

“You can see flies that were smashed in notebooks, funny sketches, even drops of blood” in the field notes of Victorian-era explorer David Livingstone newly available online, says Oregon State University historian Megan Ward.


The Brain-Belly Connection
September 3, 2015

The Brain-Belly Connection

Fat and sugar cause bacterial changes that may be linked to loss of cognitive function

Science is connecting the dots between diet and brain function through an unlikely route: your intestine. Researchers at Oregon State University have found new evidence that fats and sugars alter brain function via changes in the microbiome – a complex mixture in the digestive system of about 100 trillion microorganisms.


Taking a Quick Scan
June 29, 2015

Taking a Quick Scan

New instrument promises better, faster information about ancient Earth

We can learn a lot by going back in time, but scientific methods for looking at the past can take, well, a lot of time. Ancient ash, pollen and chemical changes in ocean sediment cores give us glimpses into a long-gone world, but they also provide clues to our future. And yet, analyzing these cores […]


Deep Data
June 25, 2015

Deep Data

Scientists put the last piece into place

Craig Risien overlooks the deck of the Pacific Storm as the Endurance Array team prepares the buoy and anchor for deployment. Photo: Craig Risien. The drizzle faded and the skies cleared as the Pacific Storm slipped under the graceful arch of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. The 85-foot trawler turned research vessel carried a full contingent […]


June 1, 2015

Engaging In Opportunity Creation

Congressional staffers and D.C. lobbyists can be powerful allies for researchers

  YEARS OF KNITTING TOGETHER A network of strategic partnerships have shown me that focusing mostly on proposal writing can limit your research horizons. If you’re trying to build something big, engaging more broadly in what I call “opportunity creation” may be something to think about. I was a graduate student in mathematics departments where […]


On the Ground with Kevin Ahern
June 1, 2015

On the Ground with Kevin Ahern

Tips for Working with Undergraduate Researchers

Making connections and advocating for students who seek real-world research practice is Kevin Ahern’s focus as the university’s director of undergraduate research.


Chain of Mentorship
June 1, 2015

Chain of Mentorship

Looping in Underserved Students with Solid Linkages

  WHEN YOU TELL PEOPLE you work in a cryopreservation lab, it sounds like you’re in a sci-fi movie. But the students who work for Oregon State bioengineering professor Adam Higgins say there’s nothing fictitious about the learning they’ve acquired as part of his broader-impact program. In the Higgins Laboratory in the School of Chemical, […]


June 1, 2015

Top of Mind: Capturing Research Dollars

It takes the whole team to win

IN DECEMBER 2013, I LAUNCHED THE Office for Research Development with the goal of establishing a framework to catalyze the competitiveness of faculty researchers in winning funding for their research.  The creation of the office was driven by a task force of visionary faculty recognizing the need for someone to facilitate the development of large-scale […]


The Adams File:  Beyond Appearances
May 13, 2015

The Adams File: Beyond Appearances

Diversity creates opportunities and challenges

“In a multicultural environment, the boundaries of behavior and appearance are wider than they are in a single culture. But they matter less than the content of ideas and the commitment to values.”


Perspectives: Discovering Our “Research-Impact” Identities
May 11, 2015

Perspectives: Discovering Our “Research-Impact” Identities

Transcending the academic rat race and remembering why we do science

“It’s essential to help faculty transcend the rat race, to create something new, to grow research impacts from the set of underlying principles that burn in the heart of each researcher.”


May 5, 2015

GMOs in Agriculture

The science of genetic engineering

To help inform policy discussions and public discussion about genetically engineered (GE) agricultural products, Dan Arp, Dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, commissioned a series of white papers to explore five areas of public interest.


Oregon Welcomes Wayfaring Fish
April 15, 2015

Oregon Welcomes Wayfaring Fish

Finned stowaways travel 5,000 miles in a wrecked boat

THEY SCHOOL SILENTLY in a big blue tank, their slender, 2-foot-long bodies slipping through the saltwater like silken sashes. In their midst swims a different fish, smaller and blocky with black-and-white stripes. Outwardly, nothing about this scene at the Oregon Coast Aquarium seems especially noteworthy. But on this Friday afternoon, April 10, TV crews jostle […]


Unraveling the Origins of Heart Disease
April 13, 2015

Unraveling the Origins of Heart Disease

Using big data to shed light on the No. 1 cause of death

TO TEASE OUT THE COMPLEX INTERPLAY of immunity and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), biomedical researcher Stephen Ramsey has designed software that can analyze both gene expression measurements and genetic information. With this new tool, he and his interdisciplinary team have found a significant increase in heart disease among animals deficient in a particular protein […]


Editor’s Note: Getting Along with the Neighbors
April 12, 2015

Editor’s Note: Getting Along with the Neighbors

The wildlife in our yards and neighborhoods may please or sometimes annoy us, but they connect us to a web of life that appears to be unraveling before our eyes.


Communicating for Public Health
April 6, 2015

Communicating for Public Health

Factual information can dispel fear, says ABC News health and medical editor

When Dr. Richard Besser was reporting from the Ebola crisis in Liberia in 2014, he knew how to keep himself safe. But, says the health and medical editor for ABC News, there was more at stake than his personal welfare. “Whenever I’m doing a story, I’m looking for what information I can give people to […]


Adrift in a Sea of Data
April 3, 2015

Adrift in a Sea of Data

Stunning images of rare zooplankton garner worldwide citizen input

  THEY FLOAT IN THE OCEAN BY THE BILLIONS, these wandering animals whose Greek name means “drifter.” Most are smaller than a pinpoint, their adaptive peculiarities (whip-like propellers, bug-like antennae, hair-like fringes for foraging on algae) visible only under a microscope. Others can be seen with the naked eye, ranging in size from a pencil […]