Category » Earth

Cyberforest Unplugged
July 23, 2007

Cyberforest Unplugged

OSU undergrad team designs wireless sensor system

The science of mountain airsheds requires a strong back as well as a sharp mind — especially when you’re lugging a 65-pound golf-cart battery in your pack. An interdisciplinary team of OSU students spent 10 weeks this summer scaling the steep slopes of H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest to enable researchers to unplug their high-tech gear […]


Dreaming of Hurricanes
July 23, 2007

Dreaming of Hurricanes

When Kim Johnson was 8 years old, she would race through her school work so she could watch the Weather Channel. Her favorite show was “Weather in the Classroom,” and Johnson was in love with the subject. Seeing weather in action gave her a thrill. Now, the OSU senior and Honors College student from Beaverton, […]


Glass Half Full (roughly speaking)
July 23, 2007

Glass Half Full (roughly speaking)

It takes a model to measure subsurface water

The next time you sip a glass of spring water, consider this: Before it got to your lips, that water was soaking through soil, creeping along basalt crevices or flowing through porous volcanic rock. It nurtured microbes, carried dissolved minerals and may have spread the byproducts of human activities. Its pivotal role in the environment […]


July 23, 2007

Grasping for Air

Nighttime breezes may be key to mountain forests

Under a blue sky in mid-March, an Oregon State University research team left Corvallis to collect data in a valley deep in Oregon’s western Cascades. The two-hour ride to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest gave the technicians and graduate students time to catch up before arriving at the facility’s headquarters near Blue River. They would […]


Winds of Change
July 22, 2007

Winds of Change

Scientists link air and water currents as shifting conditions take their toll on the Oregon coast

In his 32 years as a crab fisherman off the central Oregon coast, Al Pazar has pulled up a lot of strange things in his pots: wolf eels, skates, huge starfish, fossilized rocks, octopi, fish that rarely stray south of Alaska, and others that prefer the warm subtropical waters off Mexico. But until July 2002, […]


April 1, 2007

Fishing for Life

Every spring, the Umatilla people of northeastern Oregon join other Columbia River tribes in celebrating the return of the salmon. Growing up on the reservation in the foothills of the Blue Mountains east of Pendleton, Patrick Luke learned to appreciate the bond between fish and people. When he wasn’t helping to tend the family’s horses, […]


April 1, 2007

Grinding Out Lessons From the Earth

When Jeremiah Oxford, a master’s student from Coos Bay, Oregon, isn’t in class or writing a paper, he puts his mind to that most unacademic of tasks: grinding rocks. Tedious as it might sound, his work in Robert Duncan’s lab in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences isn’t a punishment. Instead, he is preparing […]


April 1, 2007

A Student’s View

To become a research scientist and a teacher — that’s Sam VanLaningham’s goal. The OSU Ph.D. student from Ellensburg, Washington, received his master’s degree working with Andrew Meigs in the Department of Geosciences. For his Ph.D., VanLaningham walked next door to study with Bob Duncan and Nick Pisias in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric […]


April 1, 2007

Lessons From the Zumwalt Prairie

Grazing for nature

When Marcy Cottrell Houle headed to the Zumwalt Prairie in the 1980s with her topo maps, tree-climbing gear and raptor leg bands to study hawks, she assumed wildlife and cows were incompatible. After all, that was the prevailing view — and there were millions of overgrazed acres across the West to prove it. So when […]


February 1, 2007

Genes of Autumn

“Its leaves have been asking it from time to time, in a whisper, ‘When shall we redden?’” Henry David Thoreau Autumnal Tints, 1862 The magical transformation of autumn leaves inspires poets and awes observers. But the genetic triggers that produce those stunning colors have long baffled scientists. Until now. OSU researchers, studying aspens with scientists […]


February 1, 2007

Scientists Witness Undersea Eruption

As OSU volcanologist Bill Chadwick watches live images of a violent series of explosions deep in the Pacific, he searches for words that capture the otherworldly scene. “It’s like a balloon popping, or a pillow!” Chadwick is witnessing for the first time what no one has seen before: explosive eruptions of a submarine volcano. Terra […]


February 1, 2007

Underwater Volcano Eruption

No need to duck! Watch an underwater volcano erupt in this video shot by OSU researchers.


April 23, 2006

Sounding an Arctic Retreat

The Arctic doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight. A science team led by OSU oceanographer Kelly Falkner learned that the hard way last year when a sudden windstorm off the northern Greenland coast destroyed their tents and scattered debris for miles.


April 23, 2006

Fish Bones and Tree Rings

Fish bones smaller than a fingernail have a big story to tell.