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Roots of Relationship
February 26, 2013

Roots of Relationship

Under the pine needles lies one of the secrets to forest health

The summer is warm and sunny in Corvallis, but my travels draw me east. Over and past the Cascades is an open land where the cold sparkling waters of a river flow north, and the sweet smell of Ponderosa pine blends with the fresh scent of lodgepole — the Deschutes National Forest. My one-person tent […]


Posture for the Planet
February 14, 2013

Posture for the Planet

Green Yoga combines inner peace with ecological consciousness

For many people, yoga is a form of relaxation. But in India, the birthplace of the exercise, yoga is beginning to stretch beyond the boundaries of one’s self and into the ecological realm. A new movement called “Green Yoga” encourages men and women who practice yoga — called yogis and yoginis — to strive for […]


SimCity for Your Greenhouse
February 8, 2013

SimCity for Your Greenhouse

USDA Gives Technology Award to Forestry Student

When Lee Buckingham’s dad brought home a broken HP computer, Lee took it apart and fixed it. He was 15 years old. Through high school and college, the Oregon State graduate student in Forest Engineering, Resources and Management fed his appetite for technology (“I like to build them from parts”) and taught himself to write […]


Corps of Discovery
February 1, 2013

Corps of Discovery

Mastering the natural history of Oregon's storied lands and waters - and passing it on

Just as some babies are born with special gifts for music or math, Harvard’s Howard Gardner argues, others come into the world with an exceptional sensitivity to nature. The Oregon Master Naturalist program was designed to tap into this devotion to the land and build a statewide corps of expert volunteers.


Concord Elementary School
January 31, 2013

Concord Elementary School

Where vegetables sprout (and kids, too)

Amid the chaos, the kids are learning about the art of gardening.


Lake of the Woods
January 31, 2013

Lake of the Woods

Where the wild things are

“The three key words in the mission of Oregon Master Naturalists are explore, connect, contribute.”


An Ethical Tightrope
January 30, 2013

An Ethical Tightrope

Learning to make delicate choices

Making ethical choices about animals can be a philosophical high-wire act — a precarious balance of practicality and principle. Weighing practical needs against “normative ethics” — right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust — requires more than a handbook of do’s and don’ts. “The institutional protocols — the laws, regulations, policies — provide […]


Documenting the Giants
January 29, 2013

Documenting the Giants

Canopy science for old-growth forests

Forest scientist and Oregon State University alumnus Steve Sillett studies and climbs the largest trees in the world. Since 1987, he’s climbed more than 1,000 of these arboreal giants, many of which reach heights greater than 200 feet tall and diameters upwards of 20 feet. Sillett’s study of old-growth forests — and in particular redwood […]


Oregon State University In Asia
January 29, 2013

Oregon State University In Asia

Scientific partnerships flourish across the region

For growth in research and educational opportunities, Oregon State University faculty and students increasingly look west. Connections to Asia are expanding. They encompass a wide range of activities including academic conferences, student exchanges and faculty collaborations. They focus on business, engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, wood science, music and more. The university’s growing international influence is fueled […]


Normative Science
January 23, 2013

Normative Science

It is easy — and wrong — for scientists to become stealth policy advocates

Too often, however, scientific information presented to the public and decision-makers is infused with hidden policy preferences. Such science is termed normative, and it is a corruption of the practice of good science.


The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards
January 23, 2013

The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards

Unsnarling the regulatory tangle in transportation planning

“This new tool will help speed up transportation projects while beefing up environmental stewardship.”


Twice the Rice
January 23, 2013

Twice the Rice

Adding vitamin B1 may boost nutrition and immunity

A new breed of rice could fend off crop-damaging diseases and improve human health at the same time.


The Glove Goes Wireless
January 23, 2013

The Glove Goes Wireless

Student team wins national award for innovative design

A student-designed “wireless hand sensor” may not only help reduce hand and wrist injuries associated with repetitive motion but may have applications in robotics, medicine and computer gaming.


The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants
January 23, 2013

The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants

Chemicals may harm brain development in young children

Your old sofa, as comfy as it is, could be a hazard to your children’s health.


Ice Core Diaries
January 23, 2013

Ice Core Diaries

Records from the past carry warnings for our future

We are slowly beginning to understand the anatomy of global climate and how it changes, its geographic fingerprint and its tempo. Ice cores paint a complex and sometimes surprising picture, one that generations of scientists will spend decades trying to fully understand.


Sex in Play
January 23, 2013

Sex in Play

From dolls to sports, sexualized culture affects youth

It takes media savvy and strong role models to promote healthy development in the face of what the American Psychological Association calls “the massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”


Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School
January 18, 2013

Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School

Sara says, "jump!"

Playing games may be fun and exciting for young children, but researchers have found they also can be academically beneficial. Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. student Sara Schmitt is finding out just how much. “One of the primary studies I’ve been involved in here at Oregon State is trying to develop a screening tool […]


Long Life and Naked Mole Rats
January 18, 2013

Long Life and Naked Mole Rats

An undergraduate researcher searches for the key to long life

At 7 a.m., Minhazur Sarker is the first person to arrive in Tory Hagen’s lab on the third floor of the Linus Pauling Science Center. Hagen, a renowned researcher with the Linus Pauling Institute, studies the human healthspan. The research that takes place in his lab is focused toward a lofty goal: promoting healthy, less […]


January 10, 2013

Advantage for Business

Oregon State creates "one stop shop" for businesses to access market-driven research, skilled workforce

OSU officials have launched a new initiative called Oregon State University Advantage, designed to boost the university’s impact on job creation and economic progress in Oregon and the nation. “Oregon State University Advantage should foster increased bottom-line success for business,” said Rick Spinrad, OSU vice president for research. “It will dramatically increase private industry access […]


Octo-Enchantment
November 6, 2012

Octo-Enchantment

Finding solace and stress relief in an elusive cephalopod

A volunteer told me later that the nocturnal octopus rarely comes out during the day.


Ground Lines
November 2, 2012

Ground Lines

Maps guide us through unfamiliar terrain

I remember my first day at what’s called “baby field camp” in the Oregon State geology program. Outside Bishop, California, we mapped the area around a cinder cone, long since dead. I quickly learned that the hot sun is a never-ending force of nature, not to be underestimated. I drank at least a gallon of […]


The Ethic of Care
October 12, 2012

The Ethic of Care

Respect for animals guides their treatment in teaching and research

The three rats snoozing in Cage 57 don’t know it, but they could someday help save thousands of human lives. Snuggled in their EcoFresh bedding, the rodents are digesting a meal that may hold clues to preventing colon cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. On their cage, equipped with HEPA […]


Doctor at the Top
October 12, 2012

Doctor at the Top

How lambs, preemies, “death cap” mushrooms and research pigs steered a stellar career

A human life can pivot on the quirkiest of convergences. In the life of Helen Diggs, it was the accidental nexus of five unfortunate hikers, a bagful of poisonous mushrooms and a few heroic pigs that set change in motion. It all started early one morning in 1988 when Diggs, then a young veterinarian, heard […]


A Whole Lot of Seriousness
October 12, 2012

A Whole Lot of Seriousness

With lives on the line, there’s no room for nonchalance

“Nothing is more important in an animal study than the animal itself,” says Steve Durkee. His tone is reminiscent of Moses handing down the stone tablets. Just like Moses, Durkee is not kidding around. The righteous idealism that fed Durkee’s Greenpeace activism in his “younger, wilder days” still beats in his chest as administrator of […]


Ten Discoveries at Oregon State
October 12, 2012

Ten Discoveries at Oregon State

With the help of animals, Oregon State scientists have made important discoveries in human health (see The Ethic of Care). “These findings would not have been possible relying only on cell cultures or experimenting with yeast and bacteria,” says pharmacy researcher Mark Leid. His lab created and used genetically modified mice to discover important roles […]


Drug Test
October 12, 2012

Drug Test

Chemists' prototype fingers fake medicines

By some estimates, a third to half of the artesunate, an anti-malarial drug, in some countries is counterfeit. The World Health Organization has called for faster, more accurate tests, and now a team of Oregon State University chemists has stepped up with an innovative approach.


Staph Attack
October 12, 2012

Staph Attack

Vitamin therapy shows promise in treating "superbug"

Deadly staph infections may have a potent new foe: Vitamin B3. Megadoses of the vitamin can help the immune system fight the superbug MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and other institutions have found. The findings could lead to new treatment options for health officials who have […]


After Fukushima
October 12, 2012

After Fukushima

Nuclear power's future remains strong

As concern about climate change has grown, nuclear energy — long a polarizing subject — has gained increasing favorability. Its low carbon footprint, reliable power supply and strong safety record convinced many critics that nuclear power should be a bigger part of our energy mix. That newfound favorability suffered a setback on March 11, 2011, […]


Far and Away
October 12, 2012

Far and Away

Oregon State students make discoveries from French Polynesia to the African savannah

When you play fetch with a killer whale, it makes an impression. When you play fetch with a killer whale and you’re only 7 years old, it can change your life. For Renee Albertson, the change was a long time in the making. But as she tried first one career and then another, she never […]


Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group
October 10, 2012

Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group

Committee advises federal policymakers

Oregon State’s vice president for research, Rick Spinrad, has been tapped to chair a federal committee on ocean observing systems. The 13 marine scientists, conservationists and industry stakeholders will advise the Integrated Ocean Observation System, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on data collection, management and technological innovation. As a former […]