Category » Student Research

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.


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 […]


Risk Assessment
September 17, 2012

Risk Assessment

When Annika Swanson arrived as a freshman at Oregon State in 2010, she already had a life purpose: join the ranks of research faculty studying the causes and effects of environmental pollution. “I’ve always had a deep interest in the environment and in environmental toxins and pollution. This began when I was younger and my […]


Horns of Africa
July 11, 2012

Horns of Africa

Dylan McDowell studies endangered rhinos in Tanzanian reserves

In the place where Dylan McDowell grew up, wildlife meant sea lions, sandpipers, salmon and passing pods of spouting whales. Where he’s going this summer, wildlife means something else entirely, something reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, exotic and fearsome: wildebeests, jackals, baboons, leopards, warthogs. And rhinos that have been poached nearly […]


Sea Urchin
July 11, 2012

Sea Urchin

Caitlyn Clark takes her love of ecology to Ireland's first marine reserve

On her first-ever research trip, Caitlyn Clark trudged up and down hundreds of spongy hummocks spanning miles of arctic tundra, all the while swatting at giant mosquitoes and scanning for hungry polar bears. She was in Manitoba to collect data about the habitats of boreal frogs and stickleback fish for Earthwatch Institute Student Challenge Awards […]


The Milky Way
July 11, 2012

The Milky Way

Mais oui! Rachel Miller puts French ice cream to the taste and texture test.

When Rachel Miller was shadowing a pie scientist in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, no one — not her teachers, not her parents, and certainly not she herself — could have predicted that her high school job shadow would lead to possibly the coolest summer internship in the universe: tasting ice cream in France. OK, […]


The Earth Burps and Burns
July 11, 2012

The Earth Burps and Burns

WeiLi Hong measures methane emissions in Korean ocean waters

When the Earth burps, WeiLi Hong listens. Whether Earth’s gaseous emissions bubble up from “mud volcanoes” on the planet’s surface or seep out of fissures on the ocean floor, the Oregon State University Ph.D. student has his monitoring gear to the ground. And sometimes, he’s actually in the ground. “I fell in twice,” Hong admits, […]


Legacy of a Whale
July 11, 2012

Legacy of a Whale

Renee Albertson’s childhood encounter led her, decades later, to French Polynesia

Rain was pouring hard the day Renee Albertson first connected, face-to-face, with a marine mammal. She was a 7-year-old visiting British Columbia’s Sealand aquarium (Canada’s now-defunct answer to California’s SeaWorld) with her mom and dad. The daily show had been cancelled because of the downpour. The usual crowds were absent. As the soggy trio from […]


Dolphin Defender
July 3, 2012

Dolphin Defender

Rebecca Hamner boats New Zealand’s coastline collecting DNA from endangered dolphins

A dolphin’s dorsal fin can be as distinctive as a human fingerprint. As the fin slices through the sea, its unique pattern of pigments, nicks and scars relays the animal’s personal story to observers on the surface. Often, scientists can use these markings to ID individual dolphins. But for some species, fin IDs are not […]


Labor of Love
June 27, 2012

Labor of Love

Master's student aims to solve health-care puzzle

The resilience of the women was surprising, as was their appreciation for just being heard. After all, they are at the bottom of the social hierarchy in one of the world’s poorest countries. No one had shown much interest in their stories until an Oregon State University student showed up last winter. Bonnie Ruder, a […]


Fisher of Rivers
June 6, 2012

Fisher of Rivers

Haley Ohms wades into Dolly Varden research in Japanese streams

A river runs through Haley Ohms’ life. Actually, a whole bunch of rivers. So spending the summer hip-deep in fast-moving water will feel familiar to the Oregon State University graduate student — even if those cold, tumbling waters flow on the other side of the Pacific Rim. The fish will seem familiar, too. The Dolly […]


Pumped Up
June 5, 2012

Pumped Up

Zachary Dunn helps bring clean water to Kenyan farmers

How far would you go to help someone get a glass of clean water? Zachary Dunn knows exactly how far he’d go: 9,000 miles. And that’s just one trip, one way. By summer’s end, Dunn and fellow Oregon State University students had traveled almost 36,000 miles — greater than the Earth’s circumference — to help […]


Data Driven
May 26, 2012

Data Driven

Chris Patton uses computer modeling to help build world-champion racecars

When Chris Patton was helping his Formula SAE team design a racecar for international competition, he made an unusual suggestion: angle the rear wheels outward in relation to the car. Common knowledge would warn against that move. Turning the rear tires outward makes the car less stable. But Patton, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering […]


Green mulch
May 25, 2012

Green mulch

More veggies and more fruit = more plastic mulch on farms. Oregon State students look for alternatives.

Bear with me; here’s the problem. Plastic mulch — those shiny sheets spread across row upon row of veggies, strawberries and other crops — enables farmers to produce more types and greater quantities of food. It makes farming more profitable, preserves soil moisture, reduces weeds and saves on labor costs. But this type of mulch […]


Quartet for the Earth
February 21, 2012

Quartet for the Earth

Four students bring distinct perspectives to climate change research

A mountaineer, a world traveler, an athlete and a Chinese scholar pursue answers to climate change questions.


OSU undergraduate solves long-standing problem in organic chemistry
December 8, 2011

OSU undergraduate solves long-standing problem in organic chemistry

Sam Bartlett's findings make chemical synthesis faster, more efficient

When Sam Bartlett, an Oregon State University senior in chemistry, put on his lab coat, goggles and latex gloves in the summer of 2010, he didn’t expect to wind up helping organic chemists around the world. With guidance from Chris Beaudry, assistant professor of chemistry, he developed the most efficient and productive method yet reported […]


Mapmaker for the climate
December 6, 2011

Mapmaker for the climate

OSU grad student will help Web users visualize climate data

If you love 3-D graphics, the daily TV weather maps just keep getting better. With the sweep of an arm, an announcer can set winds and weather systems in motion like the master of ceremonies in a three-ring circus. We can sit back and watch clouds, rain and snow swirl over landscapes from local to […]


Vital contributions
November 28, 2011

Vital contributions

When Angelica Grizzle started college, her idea of research was scientists in lab coats looking into microscopes. When she found out that there were opportunities for undergraduate students to work with young kids on school readiness research, she jumped at the opportunity. Grizzle says the research seed was planted during her first year at Oregon […]


October 31, 2011

Bridging the Nuclear Divide

Historian connects scientists and Navajo people

Nothing could have prepared Linda Richards for her visit to the Navajo Nation in 1986. The landscape was littered with piles of uranium debris. Signs warning of radioactive contamination were hung on playgrounds and living areas. The water wasn’t safe to drink. Families were living in homes made of radioactive materials. “Many of the people […]


Birth Knowledge
October 4, 2011

Birth Knowledge

Master's student aims to solve devastating maternal health problem in Uganda

As a midwife in Eugene, Ore., Bonnie Ruder has overseen more than 150 successful homebirths. When she leaves for Uganda with her family in November, she will be investigating circumstances when things don’t go so well.


Cultural Designer
June 3, 2011

Cultural Designer

Contemporary images respect Ojibway traditions

Neebinnaukzhik means “summer evening” in the Ojibway (also known as Chippewa) language of the Great Lakes region. When Neebinnaukzhik Southall was growing up, she made handcrafts — friendship bracelets, dream catchers and beaded animals — and sold them to family and friends. She called her business Summer’s Specials.


June 1, 2011

10 Places for Undergrads to Look for Research Opportunities

Support for student research can be as far away as a phone call or click of a mouse.

1. To help their peers find opportunities and OSU faculty members to mentor undergrads, a group of students worked with Susie Brubaker-Cole, associate provost for academic success and engagement, and Dan Arp, dean of the University Honors College, to produce a comprehensive guide to undergraduate research at Oregon State. 2. The OSU Research Office maintains […]


Good Impressions
May 31, 2011

Good Impressions

How do we size each other up?

Call it gut instinct, intuition, street smarts or sixth sense. Good poker players need it. Success in business, politics and athletics demands it. Psychologists call it emotional intelligence, but unlike the myriad tests available to assess verbal and quantitative intelligence, a well-validated test for emotional intelligence has yet to be established, according to Frank Bernieri, […]


Building a Better Student
May 31, 2011

Building a Better Student

One research project at a time

When undergraduate students do hands-on research with eminent professors on projects that matter, everyone wins. Students become better thinkers and citizens; the professors who mentor them become better teachers and researchers. Employers get access to employees with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that are so important in an economy increasingly dependent on innovation […]


How Do You Know That?
May 31, 2011

How Do You Know That?

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.” — Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University in the 1970s, I immersed myself in learning about my field of choice, oceanography. I spent plenty of time in class studying the leading texts of the day. But my real education came from first-hand research experiences.


Blood Lines
May 28, 2011

Blood Lines

Ishan Patel found his niche in biomedical engineering

It wasn’t the most elegant way to enter a lab. Ishan Patel had just met his mentor for the summer of 2009, Dr. Owen McCarty at Oregon Health & Science University. The OSU bioengineering student wanted to make a good impression, and when McCarty told him to go across the hall and meet his research […]


Natural Defense
May 27, 2011

Natural Defense

Plant-based diabetes treatment shows promise

“I’m not one that is easily deterred,” Anneke Tucker says with a disarming smile. It’s a good thing. The 23-year-old Oregon State University senior from Lakeview, Oregon, has fixed her sights on nothing less than improving health care in rural communities. And along the way, she might throw in a new treatment for one of the nation’s most serious health threats, Type 2 diabetes.


Growth Factors
May 27, 2011

Growth Factors

High alcohol consumption inhibits bone healing

Feeding the rats was just the beginning. To get to the bottom of questions about the effects of alcohol consumption on bones, Cyndi Trevisiol learned how to remove the living cells from a femur and a tibia (purchased frozen from a biological supply house). She then removed the minerals — calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, silicon […]


Pathfinders
May 24, 2011

Pathfinders

Have you ever shot an electron beam through a molecule? Undergrads in Ken Hedberg's lab take aim and discover how matter is arranged.

Robert Johnson gets a lot of strange looks when he tells his friends what he does in Ken Hedberg’s lab. The senior from Salem and another student, Luke Costello from Corvallis, shoot beams of electrons through clouds of gasses and use the results to analyze molecular structure. “People ask ‘why?’” says Johnson. “I just say, […]


Lines in the Water
February 1, 2011

Lines in the Water

Communities and scientists explore proposed marine reserves

As fishermen, scientists and coastal communities spar over Oregon’s system of marine reserves, OSU researchers and their partners are developing the science. One of their first testing grounds is Port Orford’s Redfish Rocks.