Category » Student Research

School to School
February 3, 2016

School to School

How's the Weather in Your Country?

In the western Kenya city of Kisumo last spring, Leah Tai expected to meet with a few teachers from only three schools. The Oregon State graduate student in Water Resources Engineering was serving as a school program coordinator for TAHMO. In short order, she found herself at a workshop having lunch with 60 teachers. “They […]


Looking for Trouble
February 3, 2016

Looking for Trouble

When weather stations go bad

The reliability of a weather station is subject to the wanderings of wildlife. Frogs crawl into rainfall collection buckets. Insects build nests in air tubes. Rodents chew through wires. And that’s on top of damage from dust, high winds, ice and hail — or simple equipment failure. Maintaining weather station networks is a labor-intensive enterprise, […]


Swimming Through Science
February 3, 2016

Swimming Through Science

Culture and biology connect for an undergraduate from Bend

If science were the Pacific Ocean, Kylie Welch would be halfway to Japan by now. With the persistence of a long-distance swimmer, she has plunged through a double major in biochemistry and anthropology, worked in an oceanography lab and traveled abroad. Still amazed by new experiences, the Oregon State University senior sees herself as a […]


Arsenic in Rural Oregon
October 28, 2015

Arsenic in Rural Oregon

Graduate student looked for pattern of contamination

When it comes to water, Lauren Smitherman doesn’t mind getting a little personal. As a graduate student in Water Resources Science at Oregon State University, she asked people in rural Oregon for permission to collect samples of their drinking water. Assured of confidentiality, most people welcomed her into their kitchens where Smitherman ran a stream […]


Stormy Waters
October 15, 2015

Stormy Waters

Joe Kemper helps solve a local dispute over flooding and ditches

Maneuvering a tiny boat over thundering ledges in places like Oregon’s Opal Creek Wilderness is no more dodgy than facilitating a series of community meetings in a tiny Coast Range town.


Student Research: Electric Earth
May 11, 2015

Student Research: Electric Earth

Honors student looks at how the West was made

Through the science of geomagnetics, an Oregon State University senior from Beaverton is peering into the structure of the Earth’s crust with an eye on how the continent is put together and what that might mean for our future.


Taking the Plunge
May 11, 2015

Taking the Plunge

First-year engineering student hits her stride

If engineering still seems like a male domain, you wouldn’t know it by talking to Amber Meeks. While she says she was “that one girl” growing up in Gaston, Oregon, with three brothers, she has plenty of female engineering peers at Oregon State. They run the gamut from chemical and biomedical to electrical and civil […]


Solar Car Race Offers Gold Standard Learning in Abu Dhabi
February 26, 2015

Solar Car Race Offers Gold Standard Learning in Abu Dhabi

Call it the experience of a lifetime. Or just call it part of a great education at Oregon State. In January, nine OSU students took a solar car they built to the United Arab Emirates to participate in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, a four-day, 1,200 kilometer race. This was the first international competition for […]


Understanding Tropical Reefs
February 16, 2015

Understanding Tropical Reefs

Microbes may hold a key to threatened corals

    By David Baker All signs pointed to Ryan McMinds attending Oregon State University as an undergraduate. Both of his parents graduated from OSU, and he grew up just down the road in Jefferson, Oregon. It was always his default choice. “But at the last minute, I decided that I needed to travel and […]


Closing in on Cholera
February 10, 2015

Closing in on Cholera

A discovery holds promise for preventing a widespread disease

In the life of Bo Park, there’s a quirky connection between her early childhood in South Korea and her pharmacology research at Oregon State University: fish. In the city of Incheon where she was born, her mom and dad sold hot bowls of fishcake soup from the food truck they owned and operated. As a […]


Nuclear Sleuthing
January 12, 2015

Nuclear Sleuthing

The science of nuclear forensics helps thwart terrorist attacks

  “There’s still much too much material — nuclear, chemical, biological — being stored without enough protection.  There are still terrorists and criminal gangs doing everything they can to get their hands on it. And make no mistake, if they get it, they will use it; potentially killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, perhaps […]


Innovation: Smart Bike Helmet
October 10, 2014

Innovation: Smart Bike Helmet

Alert is sent after an accident

Bike helmets have long proven their worth by helping to prevent head injuries. Now a team of OSU student interns who worked at Intel last summer has turned the durable plastic shells into an emergency beacon, communicator and diagnostic tool in the event of an accident. Equipped with electronics that can detect and analyze a […]


Technical Assistance
October 10, 2014

Technical Assistance

Students develop robots to empower people

Last summer, Ben Arvey took an electric wheelchair for a test drive. He blinked his eyes, and as the Google Glass on his head relayed those small movements through the Internet, the chair moved forward. With no assistance from Arvey, it swerved to avoid a table and then straightened out as though traveling down a […]


Aspen Recovery in Yellowstone Spurred by Wildlife Shifts
October 6, 2014

Aspen Recovery in Yellowstone Spurred by Wildlife Shifts

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park is undergoing dramatic shifts with consequences that are beginning to return the landscape to conditions not seen in nearly a century. In the park’s northeast section, elk have decreased in number in their historic winter range in the Lamar Valley and are now more numerous outside the park. Aspen recovery […]


Oceanography Boot Camp
August 14, 2014

Oceanography Boot Camp

Students take the science helm in Oregon coast research cruise

If they had come home early, you wouldn’t have been surprised. Half of them got seasick. Equipment failed. And the weather changed unexpectedly. But last April, 11 Oregon college students from three institutions — Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Clatsop Community College — stuck it out for four days at sea on […]


Across the Cultural Divide
July 8, 2014

Across the Cultural Divide

OSU art student portrays the tools of science

For an artist, science can be confusing, full of numbers, variables and technical terms. Whereas for a scientist, art can seem like a fantasy, a distraction from the real world. Such differences lie behind the classic chasm between art and science, which British scientist and author C. P. Snow immortalized in his famous 1959 speech, […]


Learning to Dive
May 28, 2014

Learning to Dive

OSU’s scientific diving course opens underwater opportunities

It seemed that Kyle Neumann had a dream job: video broadcasting for the Portland Timbers. But something kept nagging at him. “For me, it just wasn’t fulfilling a higher purpose,” says the Oregon State University senior. He wanted to use his video storytelling skills, he decided, not for professional sports but for Planet Earth. First, […]


May 28, 2014

Wanted: A Strong Work Ethic

You might think the No. 1 quality professors seek in an undergraduate researcher is braininess. Yes, brains matter. But there’s another valued trait, perhaps less obvious but at least as important: a strong work ethic. In the labs in Oregon State’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, work ethic is often the deciding […]


Searching the Past
May 28, 2014

Searching the Past

Doing archaeology takes endurance and patience

Since 2009, students from Oregon State and around the country have come to the lower Salmon River canyon and lived in tents for eight hot summer weeks. When not cooling off in the river, they dig, sift, haul and record as they participate in the search for traces of some of the earliest human activity […]


Bioengineering Students Jump-start Their Careers
May 28, 2014

Bioengineering Students Jump-start Their Careers

A team effort to find a new way to treat sepsis has provided myriad hands-on opportunities for undergraduate and graduate bioengineering students at Oregon State. They’ve made vital contributions to the research and advanced their careers. “This is such a large project that we’ve probably had a couple dozen or more students involved in recent […]


Future Doctors
May 23, 2014

Future Doctors

Students studying genetic properties of a fungal species hope to use their knowledge in medical careers.


Delving Into Censorship
May 23, 2014

Delving Into Censorship

The past seemed familiar to Matthew Schuck when he began scouring the Valley Library Archives for clues to censorship during WWI.


Taking the Measure of Seals and Those Who Study Them
April 18, 2014

Taking the Measure of Seals and Those Who Study Them

An undergrad tests her stamina on a frozen continent

In Antarctica, when you sedate a 1,000-pound Weddell seal, it can take a while for the animal to settle down.


The Gas Track
January 22, 2014

The Gas Track

OSU-Cascades undergrad builds a lab

For an undergraduate, Josh Tibbitts faced an unusual problem last winter: where to find a source of high-pressure natural gas for a new research lab. We’re not talking about double or triple the pressure that produces the blue flame in your furnace or a kitchen stove — typically less than one-quarter of a pound per […]


Shoring Up Our Coasts
January 22, 2014

Shoring Up Our Coasts

Ocean communities plan for climate change by building trust

As a scholar in environmental communications, Miriah Russo Kelly is digging into the interpersonal dynamics of collaboration and cooperation among people who may share little in common except locale — fishermen and hotel managers, loggers and grocers, political leaders and homeowners, climate scientists and climate skeptics.


Great IDEA
November 13, 2013

Great IDEA

International Programs helps Oregon State students to study abroad

Oregon State University students increasingly use the globe as their campus. They might live with a family in the Amazon rainforest, go scuba diving in the Caribbean and hear life-changing stories in health clinics in South Africa and India. They witness wildlife management on an African safari ranch and in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. […]


Sustainability, Face to Face
November 11, 2013

Sustainability, Face to Face

A village on the Amazon leaves a powerful impression

Last February, when Lisa Baldinger arrived in Belém, a city of 2 million people on Brazil’s north coast, she didn’t speak a word of Portuguese. “I didn’t even know how to say ‘hello,’” she says. Baldinger had gone to Brazil to learn about grassroots environmental management in the Amazon rainforest. She came home with a […]


Swimming with Sharks
November 4, 2013

Swimming with Sharks

Childhood inspiration led Courtney Jackson to the ocean

For Courtney Jackson, everything began when she saw a shark swim across a television screen. She was in second grade, and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week took her underwater and face-to-face with fearsome predators. At the end of it, she came to one conclusion: She wanted to be the scientist swimming with the sharks. A […]


“I’ve Never Been So Excited”
October 10, 2013

“I’ve Never Been So Excited”

A young scientist goes to the White House

Portland ninth-grader Meghana Rao was scouring the Web for information on biochar when she stumbled across an intriguing paper by a researcher named Markus Kleber. When she realized he was at Oregon State University, just 90 miles down the freeway from where she was a student at Jesuit High School, she emailed him with “a […]


Getting the Lead Out
August 20, 2013

Getting the Lead Out

Erik Dove investigates toxic glazes in Ecuador

An International Studies biology student delves into a health risk in rural Ecuador: lead contamination in local pottery.