It’s on the Oregon state flag and a symbol for Oregon State University: the North American beaver (Castor canadensis). But how much do you really know about these semi-aquatic mammals? Likely, not a lot. It turns out that not even scientists have a firm grasp on beaver ecology, despite the animal’s prominence in the Northwest. [...]
Category » Terra Blog
February 15, 2012
January 11, 2012
I admit it. I’m an armchair chef. I enjoy perusing heavily illustrated cookbooks. I fantasize about delicious dishes, with names like “Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola Dolce.” But when it comes time to make dinner, I’m stumped. I’m usually too intimidated by actual recipes with expensive ingredients and complicated techniques to cook up a meal from [...]
December 13, 2011
Chuang Xuan is at sea on the research vessel JOIDES Resolution studying magnetic and climate evidence in deep-sea sediment cores.
December 6, 2011
If you love 3-D graphics, the daily TV weather maps just keep getting better. With the sweep of an arm, an announcer can set winds and weather systems in motion like the master of ceremonies in a three-ring circus. We can sit back and watch clouds, rain and snow swirl over landscapes from local to [...]
October 28, 2011
When Patricia Gregg received an e-mail invitation from first lady Michelle Obama asking for her social security number, she assumed it was a scam. But on September 26, Gregg found herself at a White House event shaking hands with the First Lady herself. Gregg sat in the second row as one of 14 select scientists [...]
October 26, 2011
In “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare famously penned, “What’s in a name?” I’ve been asked that many times since our college changed its name in July. It may not have meant much to Juliet in the case of her beloved, but for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, it speaks to the very essence [...]
October 26, 2011
A woman hesitates to leave her home for fear of falling and breaking her hip. A child, enjoying fries and a soft drink in the backseat of the car, learns habits that may endanger his long-term health. A man with kidney problems faces a future hooked up to a dialysis machine in a clinic for [...]
October 12, 2011
The other day, I found myself sharing a room with 3 million dead bugs.
September 15, 2011
“The Congress has found that we have entered a period in which acute water shortages are hampering our industries, our agriculture, our recreation, and our individual health and happiness.”
September 14, 2011
You might have heard a few supposed facts about plastic in the ocean: 1) There is a massive swirling gyre of plastic, the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” between California and Japan that is twice the size of Texas; and 2) this plastic debris outweighs plankton and is growing in size. Interestingly, the scientific literature does [...]
September 9, 2011
I departed Oregon State University with a deep education, fun memories and well-respected degrees. Yet, moving along in my career and across the continent, I rarely looked back.
July 15, 2011
Boots, boats and campfire wood can carry exotic seeds, plants and other non-natives into the wilderness.
May 31, 2011
When undergraduate students do hands-on research with eminent professors on projects that matter, everyone wins. Students become better thinkers and citizens; the professors who mentor them become better teachers and researchers. Employers get access to employees with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that are so important in an economy increasingly dependent on innovation [...]
May 11, 2011
[Editor's note: Amy Schneider, a junior in zoology from Roseburg, Ore., is an intern with Terra magazine. She wants to write and do science and combines them whenever she can. Her interest in animals started at age three when she told her parents she would die if she didn't get a pet guinea pig.] [...]
May 9, 2011
In her effort to document the place names of her native King Island, Alaska, Deanna Paniataaq Kingston encountered cultural links to birds. Many of the names and stories referenced them. Kauna vaktuat is “the place where you can reach and get birds from rocks,” Tayaguq is “crested auklet place” and Iizrayaq is “sea gull cliff.” [...]
March 22, 2011
With a $275 million portfolio, OSU researchers work with entrepreneurs to nurture economic development.
March 6, 2011
Move your cursor over and click on the objects in the diagram below to learn what oceanographers have in their toolbox. (Illustration: Studio 208) Technology extends our vision. We’ve always known that the ocean is a dynamic environment, but satellite-borne sensors, sonar, time-lapse video, moored buoys and autonomous gliders are revealing new details: fish, [...]
March 2, 2011
Cities from Corvallis to London use greenbelts to preserve habitat and ease urban congestion. Who doesn’t want the benefits of city living with a backyard the size of New Jersey? Not all greenbelts, however, are created equal, and although some may save critical environmental features, others have failed to restrain urban sprawl. On his Per [...]
February 28, 2011
In June 2010, as OSU scientists were monitoring whales and toxins (see Down to the Gulf) and as clean-up crews frantically worked to minimize damage from the Deepwater Horizon well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Justin Bailie, a photographer from Seaside, Oregon, was documenting the impact on Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. His slideshow demonstrates residents’ strong [...]
February 23, 2011
In an underground bunker west of Corvallis, scientists monitor tremors around the world
February 19, 2011
Put on your rain coat and take a flashlight. Click on the video and join Oregon State University entomologist Chris Marshall on a trip to see beetles put on a show in Oregon’s Coast Range.
February 17, 2011
Talk about taking things in stride. Three scientists stand at a ship’s railing, arms on each others’ shoulders, sun on their faces and a calm blue sea behind them. They look like tourists on a cruise. Nothing in their calm expressions suggests that they have just pulled half a mile of rock out of the [...]
February 10, 2011
If your taste buds yearn for home-grown tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic, lettuce, potatoes and cukes, but your garden is the size of a postage stamp, Al Shay has an idea for you. The instructor in OSU’s Dept. of Horticulture has built a “green tower” that creates nearly 90 square feet of usable plant growing space [...]
February 8, 2011
This lesson plan brings the science of the tsunami into the classroom. The Great Wave A tsunami races through the ocean deep at jet-aircraft speed. Approaching the shore, it can crest to more than 100 feet, hitting coastal areas with devastating force. In this package of lessons and activities, students will learn what causes a [...]
January 31, 2011
My dad navigated merchant ships across the high seas long before his profession became dependent on satellites and GPS. All Karel Houtman needed to know his location was a clear sky, a sextant and a chart. He always felt more comfortable at sea than on land and would steer his way unerringly across the nearly [...]
January 25, 2011
On January 26, Oregonians will participate in the state’s first Oregon ShakeOut to raise earthquake awareness. What they learn could save lives when the next Big One hits.
January 19, 2011
By Kate Sinner, Director of Federal Relations Renewable ocean wave energy seems like a natural. It promises jobs for Oregon and carbon-free power for the nation. It can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and contribute to economic development. But before we can realize that potential, we need to be careful to find a balance. [...]
December 8, 2010
Dragging a net through the water, Ricardo Letelier and Angel White come up with bizarre creatures: animals with long antennae and others with a mouth twice the size of their bodies. Plants with spines. Some with tails that propel them like tiny rockets. The scientists’ net is standard equipment in oceanography, but the microbes they [...]
November 17, 2010
OSU alumnus Warren Washington received the National Medal of Science in a White House ceremony on Nov. 17, 2010.