Category » Inquiry

Put a Book in Your Backpack
July 17, 2010

Put a Book in Your Backpack

Summer adventures abound in the Northwest, not only across the region’s magnificent landscape but within the covers of books written by Northwesterners about the people and places that make the region unique.


A Bracero’s Story
October 22, 2009

A Bracero’s Story

Farm labor is a family affair

It started with Salvador, the patriarch. In 1959, he left his wife and children near Guadalajara, Mexico, to work the fields of California.


October 9, 2009

Jon Lewis’ Five Favorite Indie Films

1. Stranger than Paradise — directed by Jim Jarmusch. Composed entirely of awkward long-takes … a low-key, black-and-white film that captured everything that was cool about off-Hollywood movies, circa 1984. 2. Repo Man — directed by Alex Cox. Also 1984. Punk aesthetics, extraterrestrials in urban LA, something about a plate of shrimp … and it […]


April 24, 2009

On the Trail of America’s First People

Along the Oregon coast, in Idaho’s Salmon River canyon and in Baja California, Loren Davis has searched for signs of North America’s earliest inhabitants. His work along the southern Oregon coast has pushed back documented occupation of this area by 1,500 years. Now, the OSU archaeologist will take a deeper look into the inland and […]


April 24, 2009

Hiding Man — The Art of Story

In 1948, Donald Barthelme was not quite 17 years old when he and a friend decided to hitchhike from Houston to Mexico City. They had a total of thirty dollars, and since both liked to write, they stopped at a drug store to pick up pencils and notebooks. They left a note for Barthelme’s parents […]


April 23, 2009

Stage Kiss

Romance, history and science converge in OSU theater production

Arianne Jacques pondered the graphs projected on the screen and listened intently to Professor Ken Krane’s explanations – Newton’s First Law of Physics, Chaos Theory. She filled her notebook with scribbles about thermodynamics, algorithms, fractals and cosines. But at “iterative process,” the 21-year-old junior exclaimed, “I don’t get it!” and tossed down her pen. She […]


February 24, 2009

Oregon’s Linguistic Landscape

In the year of statehood, Oregonians spoke many languages

What became the state of Oregon, an area stretching south from the Columbia Gorge to the Siskiyous, and east from the Pacific over the Coastal Range and Cascades to the High Desert, was a land of many languages, each one encoding information about the land and how to survive on it.


Was Nature Ever Wild?
January 24, 2009

Was Nature Ever Wild?

The human face in 
environmental restoration

When Spanish expeditions explored what is now the Santa Barbara, California, region in the 16th and 17th centuries, they found thriving native communities.


Lessons from the Magic Planet
January 23, 2009

Lessons from the Magic Planet

Researchers are engaging the curious in meaningful inquiry

Researchers are engaging the curious in meaningful inquiry


Musical Panache
April 30, 2008

Musical Panache

OSU steel drum ensemble taps into Caribbean rhythms

OSU percussionist Bob Brudvig is leading a five-person ensemble in a practice session on the second floor of historic Benton Hall. It may be winter in Corvallis, but the music makes you forget the drizzle outside. It evokes palm trees, Caribbean sun and pre-Lenten carnivals. Brudvig works the melody on his chrome-plated steel drum, tapping […]


Football as Product
January 23, 2008

Football as Product

(From 1970 to 1973, Michael Oriard played professional football with the Kansas City Chiefs. After completing his doctorate in American literature at Stanford, he joined the OSU English department in 1976.) To a short list of milestones marking the creation of the new NFL — May 7, 1982, when Al Davis won the right to […]


Risk Versus Cost
January 23, 2008

Risk Versus Cost

The Politics of Safety

Why have years of expert warnings failed to mobilize citizens and their representatives to fully fund an overhaul of transportation infrastructure? Bill Lunch, chair of OSU’s Department of Political Science, has devoted decades to observing and analyzing Oregon’s political and public-policy scene. The professor, who is well-known to listeners of Oregon Public Broadcasting, recently shared […]


The Priority of Story
July 23, 2007

The Priority of Story

Faith and reason arise from narrative

In the modern university, the academic and spiritual quests for understanding appear to be in conflict: the rational versus the mystical. The natural versus the supernatural. The intellectual versus the intuitive. Mind versus heart. But these are false dichotomies, according to OSU English Professor Chris Anderson. The quest of the scholar, he argues, is the […]


April 27, 2007

Teaching Evolution – audio

Paul Farber talks about Charles Darwin’s personal quest to understand life’s most fundamental principles. A rare specimen in the soup Marry? Or not marry? The Malthus analogy


April 1, 2007

Young Immigrants

Growing up in a strange land

Coming of age in a new land is an American story. Children who bridge two cultures — their parents’ homeland and their adopted country — struggle to find a transnational identity and to succeed. In a child’s mind, memories of friends, familiar play places and sounds compete with a strange world and unintelligible language. In […]


April 1, 2007

Edith Molina: In Her Own Words

Growing up in a strange land

As an OSU student, Edith Quiroz Molina (Class of 2002) participated in the research that led to the “One and a Half Generation Mexican Youth in Oregon” report. Now living in Troutdale, Oregon, she is the chief executive officer of BilingualHire, a Chicano consulting business in Portland, with two other OSU alumni. She also works […]


Teaching Evolution
April 1, 2007

Teaching Evolution

Central to science

Most textbooks treat evolution as “just another topic” rather than as the overarching theory that ties life systems together, says OSU Distinguished Professor Paul Farber. “Evolution, which synthesizes the disparate disciplines of the life sciences, rarely emerges in biology courses or texts as the unifying thread that makes sense of all the material,” Farber wrote […]


February 1, 2007

Reinventing High Schools

High school today is startlingly like it was in the days of “Grease.” Kids may be wearing low-rise jeans and nose rings instead of poodle skirts and letterman sweaters, but their path to a diploma looks and feels much like their parents’ — or their grandparents’. For many students, the old ways aren’t working. Low […]


July 23, 2006

The Weight of Wine

For Jim Kennedy, it’s all about mouth feel. The sensation of wine on the palate can be silky and smooth or coarse and hard. Wine experts call it texture.


April 23, 2006

Common Ground: Gardens and Scholarship

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a cultivator and connoisseur of pears. His protégé Henry David Thoreau grew beans on the shores of Walden Pond.


20/20 Vision
April 23, 2006

20/20 Vision

From a cabin deep in the Oregon Coast Range to the shoulders of a Cascade volcano, the Spring Creek Project asks a difficult question: "How should we understand our relationship to nature?"

The Spring Creek Project takes us into the wild through writing workshops, overland treks and public programs. The goal: to explore our relationship to nature.


March 23, 2006

Mind Your Math

It just adds up — math education is about more than learning to add and subtract.