Engineers excel at solving problems. They can design systems that provide clean drinking water, generate electricity from sunlight and improve personal health. While the design of these systems demands technical skill, success or failure ultimately resides with the people who use and maintain them and whose lives depend on them — that is, with a […]
Category » Perspectives
September 28, 2013
To influence policy, research on climate change must incorporate many disciplines and bridge the divide between the natural and social sciences. I see similarities and important differences in the way that research is done in the environmental sciences and in economics. One similarity is that, like climate science, economics research on climate change has been […]
May 21, 2013
UAVs can help manage wildfires, support a search-and-rescue mission, plant trees to avoid wind or heat damage, monitor wildlife, improve irrigation, detect crop-disease outbreaks and gauge environmental health.
May 21, 2013
“For scholars, access to the work of their peers is fundamental to the advancement of research.”
January 23, 2013
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.
October 12, 2012
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, […]
June 29, 2012
When land grant universities were created 150 years ago, science was already an international activity. Well before the signing of the Morrill Act in 1862, American scientists aboard six U.S. Navy vessels had circumnavigated the globe, collected thousands of plant and animal specimens and mapped parts of the Pacific Ocean from the Columbia River to […]
May 30, 2012
At a recent meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans, I participated in a discussion of early warning systems that give the public time to take cover from tornadoes and to prepare for hurricanes. Today, we have hours or days to get out of harm’s way. Contrast that with the hurricane in Galveston, […]
May 25, 2012
Some people take a dim view of the idea that Oregon, as well as the rest of the world, could be expected to continue warming in coming decades. They may cite March snowfall in the Willamette Valley or unpublished comparisons of mean temperatures over a given time period in specific places. Appealing as it is, […]
February 20, 2012
Although population growth and development will add stress to the Willamette River, environmental restoration projects are already under way.
October 26, 2011
In “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare famously penned, “What’s in a name?” I’ve been asked that many times since our college changed its name in July. It may not have meant much to Juliet in the case of her beloved, but for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, it speaks to the very essence […]
September 14, 2011
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 […]
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. […]
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.