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Reality check on climate
February 21, 2012

Reality check on climate

Climate science is moving from “what if” to “when,” “how,” and “with what practical consequences.”


River of change
February 20, 2012

River of change

A resilient future for the Willamette River

Although population growth and development will add stress to the Willamette River, environmental restoration projects are already under way.


Learning to think like a planet
February 20, 2012

Learning to think like a planet

In a rapidly changing environment that will challenge human relationships, how can we maintain a respectful and ethical culture?


Communicating about climate change
February 17, 2012

Communicating about climate change

Knowledge of concerns and values leads to a respectful conversation on difficult topics

I remember when I felt that the climate change workshop would go well. After a period of planning and preparation, our Oregon Sea Grant team arrived in Port Orford not knowing how the diverse community group would respond to the issue of a changing local climate when we were all actually face to face. So, […]


Leave it to the beavers
February 15, 2012

Leave it to the beavers

Vanessa Petro wants to find out if these "nuisance" animals will create valuable salmon habitat

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. […]


Just cook it
January 11, 2012

Just cook it

Visiting science historian Ken Albala challenged Oregon Staters to cook from scratch

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 […]


Strange bedfellows: magnetism and climate
December 13, 2011

Strange bedfellows: magnetism and climate

What's magnetism got to do with it? An OSU postdoctoral scientist joins an expedition to the Atlantic to look for climate clues.

Chuang Xuan is at sea on the research vessel JOIDES Resolution studying magnetic and climate evidence in deep-sea sediment cores.


Mapmaker for the climate
December 6, 2011

Mapmaker for the climate

OSU grad student will help Web users visualize climate data

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 […]


Family Matters
October 28, 2011

Family Matters

Patricia Gregg is a pioneer in work-life balance for scientists

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 […]


What’s in a Name?
October 26, 2011

What’s in a Name?

In a new college of public health, community partnerships are key

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 […]


Heading for Health
October 26, 2011

Heading for Health

Research puts exercise and healthy food on the map

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 […]


Bug Zoo
October 12, 2011

Bug Zoo

OSU’s arthropod museum provides a window on the past and clues to our future

The other day, I found myself sharing a room with 3 million dead bugs.


Hydro-deja vu: 50 Years of Water Resources Research at OSU
September 15, 2011

Hydro-deja vu: 50 Years of Water Resources Research at OSU

A statewide water research program has addressed critical issues for Oregon

“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.”


Speaking of Plastic
September 14, 2011

Speaking of Plastic

Plastic doesn't belong in the ocean, but let's get real

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 […]


Growing Expectations
September 9, 2011

Growing Expectations

OSU's international research is breaking new ground

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.


Going camping? Watch out for hitchhikers.
July 15, 2011

Going camping? Watch out for hitchhikers.

Boots, boats and campfire wood can carry exotic seeds, plants and other non-natives into the wilderness.


Building a Better Student
May 31, 2011

Building a Better Student

One research project at a time

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 […]


Sea Lions Star in the Center Ring
May 11, 2011

Sea Lions Star in the Center Ring

[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.]   […]


Place names link birds and King Island culture
May 9, 2011

Place names link birds and King Island culture

Seabirds figure prominently in the island's history and culture.

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.” […]


Cradle of Innovation
March 22, 2011

Cradle of Innovation

With a $275 million portfolio, OSU researchers work with entrepreneurs to nurture economic development.


Ocean Views
March 6, 2011

Ocean Views

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, […]


Greenbelts Under Scrutiny
March 2, 2011

Greenbelts Under Scrutiny

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 […]


A day in the life of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
February 28, 2011

A day in the life of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

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 […]


Listening Post
February 23, 2011

Listening Post

Corvallis seismic monitoring station feeds data to an international network

In an underground bunker west of Corvallis, scientists monitor tremors around the world


February 19, 2011

When it rains, beetles fly

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.


Hard-rock story
February 17, 2011

Hard-rock story

Clues to the planet lie in rocks from underwater volcanoes

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 […]


Green Tower
February 10, 2011

Green Tower

A solution for the space-challenged gardener

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 […]


Lesson Plan: The Great Wave
February 8, 2011

Lesson Plan: The Great Wave

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 […]


Sea Change
January 31, 2011

Sea Change

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 […]


First Oregon ShakeOut
January 25, 2011

First Oregon ShakeOut

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.