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 […]
Category » Terra Blog
September 14, 2011
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.
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 […]