In an underground bunker west of Corvallis, scientists monitor tremors around the world
Category » Terra Blog
February 23, 2011
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.
November 15, 2010
OSU professor Jon Lewis reflects on how The Godfather came to be the blockbuster that boosted the sagging fortunes of Paramount Pictures.
November 1, 2010
Innovation comes in many forms: life-saving robots, microbial fuel cells, carbonated fruit, plant-based lubricants and adhesives, and clothing that adjusts to your lifestyle.
October 30, 2010
Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, Oregon State University and the private sector, wave energy is moving out of the lab and into the ocean. And none too soon. In the race for carbon-free sources of electricity, this one may make a real difference for Oregon and the nation. There are […]
October 26, 2010
There are a lot of ways to boil water. Nuclear energy does it without emitting as much carbon as coal, oil or gas. In the search for safer and more efficient nuclear technology, Oregon State University operates one of the few nuclear reactors on a college campus in the United States. A new production by […]
October 19, 2010
Any fair-minded reading of the history of the O&C (Oregon and California Railroad) lands in Western Oregon would conclude that they were intended to provide economic support for the 18 counties in which they reside.
October 12, 2010
Lest we forget that environmental and human health are intimately connected, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill delivered that message in spades. Dead birds and seaturtles were the poster animals for an event that closed fisheries and elevated health risks from volatile oil-based compounds in the air and water. Oregon State University researchers are working […]
September 9, 2010
Engineers like to break things. In my years reporting on university research, I’ve seen them bend reinforced wood beams as wide as my front door until they shatter. They’ll pummel stud walls repeatedly until the nails cry uncle. Bunker-sized concrete bridge beams will crack from one end to the other as they are stressed with […]
June 25, 2010
On June 24, Stan Gregory opened a window into Lookout Creek. It was HJA Day, the annual field day which this year drew about 150 scientists, students, writers, foresters and community members to witness the exciting ecosystem research that makes H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest one of the crown jewels of the National Science Foundation’s […]
June 17, 2010
Another piece of conventional wisdom about severe forest fires appears to be falling. First, Oregon State University professor Beverly Law showed this year that such fires emit far less carbon than had been assumed, closer to 10 percent of above-ground live carbon stocks instead of 30 percent. Now, two forest scientists — Jane E. Smith […]
June 15, 2010
Scott Baker had no idea that when he agreed to participate in the making of The Cove, a documentary about a dolphin slaughter in Japan, that the movie would win an Academy Award. Neither did he expect to find as much evidence of traffic in endangered whales when he analyzed DNA from purchases made in […]
May 24, 2010
OSU climate scientist Phil Mote and colleagues are calling attention to the need for a national strategy to adapt to climate change. Part of a Congressionally mandated report called America’s Climate Choices, their recommendation is the latest call for adaptation going back more than 20 years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, NOAA and […]
May 17, 2010
When OSU’s Megan McClelland found out that a news story about her had made its way onto the Internet Movie Database, the go-to website for anything movie-related, she exclaimed, “Wow, should I start getting ready for the movie business now?” Not quite Megan, but the bubbly OSU researcher who is almost as well-known for her […]
May 10, 2010
We’re overdue. If the Cascadia subduction zone behaves as it has in the past, an 8.0 to 8.5 earthquake and a resulting tsunami have a good chance of striking the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years. That’s the take-home message from OSU marine geologist Chris Goldfinger’s studies of offshore debris flows. He has identified […]
May 5, 2010
Tropical rain forests capture our imaginations with their breathtaking beauty and diversity. But acre for acre, when it comes to absorbing and storing carbon from the air, they can’t beat the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. At a time when landowners are beginning to see cash for carbon, that means opportunity. The science of […]
February 22, 2010
“As Arctic ice thins, sea levels rise and glaciers recede, Ken Faulk takes stock of his trees in the Oregon Coast Range. Last summer, he began measuring his stands of Douglas fir and white oak by pounding plastic pipes into the ground to mark the centers of circles nearly 30 feet across. Working steadily in […]
August 14, 2009
Some of the first clues about biological clock genes came from studies with fruit flies. These genes affect everything from when flies mate to when they get up in the morning. Now, for gardeners and farmers, the latest OSU research finding: fruit flies are more vulnerable to pesticides at some times of the day than […]
July 24, 2009
OSU English professor Jon Lewis loves movies and knows the biz. In the fall issue of Terra, he’ll share his observations about the power of Hollywood and the health of film. See a brief Powell’s Books synopsis of Jon’s book, American Film, A History.
June 24, 2009
For OSU coral reef scientist Mark Hixon, climate change is personal. He studied a tropical reef for a decade, and the results of his work stunned and inspired him. In a new book, Thoreau’s Legacy, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Penguin Books, Hixon describes the calamity that struck in 1998. His is […]