Category » Student Research

After the Spill
January 5, 2011

After the Spill

Sarah Allan is tracking toxins in the Gulf of Mexico

The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought up bad memories for Sarah Allan. The Oregon State University Ph.D. student, who grew up in southeast Alaska, was a child in 1988, when the Exxon Valdez struck a reef and dumped millions of gallons of crude into another rich marine ecosystem, Prince William Sound. […]


A Name for Home: King Island
December 1, 2010

A Name for Home: King Island

If identity is linked to places on the landscape, names for those places become part of shared culture. An OSU research project has helped to document the culture of King Island, Alaska.


DIRT Camp
September 30, 2010

DIRT Camp

Scott Sell earned a paycheck on the way to his degree.


A World Apart
July 23, 2010

A World Apart

Jennifer Kue was just a little girl when she began assisting Portland’s Hmong community.


Partners in Rural Vitality
April 24, 2010

Partners in Rural Vitality

OSU students and faculty team with Wallowa Resources to address rural development

Beautiful landscapes may inspire us, but it takes more than scenery to create community vitality. Wallowa County and rural communities across the country struggle with economic development, a future for their youth and the cultural tensions that arise from changing land ownership. For more than a decade, such issues in Wallowa have been addressed by Wallowa […]


Reserve for Rockfish
April 24, 2010

Reserve for Rockfish

Policy and science in Port Orford

Redfish Rocks is home to a diverse collection of marine species — and to a unique collaboration among fishermen, university scientists and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The jagged reef off the shores of Port Orford, one of two pilot sites in Oregon’s developing marine reserve network, was established by coastal residents who […]


The Mythbuster
April 17, 2010

The Mythbuster

OSU graduate student Jesse Abrams interviewed ranchers, homeowners, business people and local officials to understand changes unfolding in Wallowa County.


Depths of Discovery
February 22, 2010

Depths of Discovery

A young oceanographer carries on a legacy of epic seafloor science.

The colossal clamshells caught the young scientist’s eye soon after he arrived at Oregon State University in the late 1970s. Giant bivalves the size of footballs were piled in the corners of offices and cradled in the arms of researchers walking the halls of the School of Oceanography. “I realized pretty quickly that they weren’t […]


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.


Summer of Opportunity
June 23, 2009

Summer of Opportunity

Students plug into research experiences at home and abroad

Ah, summer vacation. Time to kick back, right? Not so much for OSU students who are discovering opportunities to expand their horizons. They’re modeling blood flow, studying wildlife conservation in Africa, surveying Oregon’s old-growth forests and teaching entrepreneurship.


April 24, 2009

Eat Locally, Market Globally

Dann Cutter has maintained a reactor on a nuclear submarine and, for the past 12 years, kept the computer networks running at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. He serves on the Waldport, Oregon city council and two state advisory boards (rural health care and transportation). Why, then, would he return to college for […]


Committed to a Fault
January 24, 2009

Committed to a Fault

Ajeet Johnson is digging into Central Oregon's violent past

Growing up in Central Oregon’s spectacular landscape, Ajeet Johnson challenged the backcountry of the Cascades. She pulled herself hand-over-hand up Smith Rock and carved down slopes at Mt. Bachelor, but over time, she became curious about the forces that shaped the terrain and will influence its future.


Movie maker
September 11, 2008

Movie maker

Zebrafish star in amazing tale

Kate Saili’s films won’t show in theaters any time soon, but they do feature zebrafish, a rising star in molecular biology, in a dramatic role — regenerating tissues that have been injured. Saili, who grew up in Kalispell, Montana, studies the effect of nanomaterials on inflammation. She uses transgenic zebrafish whose white blood cells fluoresce […]


Student goes for gold
September 11, 2008

Student goes for gold

How do gold-based nanoparticles behave in the body?

Nanomaterials are on the health-care horizon. Gold-based materials have long been used to reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and to improve biomedical imaging. They have intrigued Lisa Truong since she first heard about their potential to help solve intractable problems from cancer to heart disease. Truong, who grew up in the Seattle area, wants […]


Devoted to Nano
June 1, 2008

Devoted to Nano

The submicroscopic search for a better battery

Undergrad Anna Putnam is squirming. The interviewer has touched a raw nerve in the chemical engineering major. “You’re digging deeply into my life,” she says, shifting in her chair. Her confession comes with reluctance: “My first term at OSU, I struggled in math.” Pressed, she admits the worst: “I got a C in vector calculus.” […]


Coastlines and Cultures
April 4, 2008

Coastlines and Cultures

Robbie Lamb’s international work with sustainable fisheries has earned him a Fulbright grant.

Robbie Lamb’s love of marine biology started with his mother’s pre-dawn knocks on his door when he was a child. She woke him so the two could drive from their Portland home to see the Oregon coast’s well-known tide pools. He hated getting up early, but once there, Robbie managed to shake off his drowsiness. […]


Invaders in the Dunes
January 23, 2008

Invaders in the Dunes

Unnoticed by most beach–goers, a showdown is under way in Oregon’s coastal dunes, and the winner could pack increased risks for coastal property, especially during winter storms. OSU scientists have documented a slow but steady takeover by American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata), an invasive species from the East Coast and Great Lakes. They have found […]


Cyberforest Unplugged
July 23, 2007

Cyberforest Unplugged

OSU undergrad team designs wireless sensor system

The science of mountain airsheds requires a strong back as well as a sharp mind — especially when you’re lugging a 65-pound golf-cart battery in your pack. An interdisciplinary team of OSU students spent 10 weeks this summer scaling the steep slopes of H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest to enable researchers to unplug their high-tech gear […]


Found in Translation
July 23, 2007

Found in Translation

Words and language have always fascinated Michael Goodman. Growing up in Florence, Oregon, he liked tracing the roots of words that most of us take for granted, and at Oregon State University, he has minored in Japanese. But it is his affinity for computers that is propelling the senior in the School of Electrical Engineering […]


Dreaming of Hurricanes
July 23, 2007

Dreaming of Hurricanes

When Kim Johnson was 8 years old, she would race through her school work so she could watch the Weather Channel. Her favorite show was “Weather in the Classroom,” and Johnson was in love with the subject. Seeing weather in action gave her a thrill. Now, the OSU senior and Honors College student from Beaverton, […]


June 4, 2007

Feast or Famine

Gray whales have roamed the world’s oceans for some 30 million years. The species hasn’t survived that long without adapting to changes, such as those in the California Current over the past decade. 2006 was a banner year for the whales and whale watching on the central Oregon coast. In kelp beds a mere quarter-mile […]


April 1, 2007

Seed Biology Program Gives Undergrads a Boost

Learning the secrets of seed germination is helping an OSU student grow her own career as a physician. Jing Sun, a junior in microbiology from Corvallis, Oregon, has wanted to become a doctor ever since a childhood bout with hepatitis A put her in the hospital. “That made a big impression on me, mostly on […]


April 1, 2007

Fishing for Life

Every spring, the Umatilla people of northeastern Oregon join other Columbia River tribes in celebrating the return of the salmon. Growing up on the reservation in the foothills of the Blue Mountains east of Pendleton, Patrick Luke learned to appreciate the bond between fish and people. When he wasn’t helping to tend the family’s horses, […]


April 1, 2007

A Student’s View

To become a research scientist and a teacher — that’s Sam VanLaningham’s goal. The OSU Ph.D. student from Ellensburg, Washington, received his master’s degree working with Andrew Meigs in the Department of Geosciences. For his Ph.D., VanLaningham walked next door to study with Bob Duncan and Nick Pisias in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric […]


April 1, 2007

Bibliotherapy in Kenya

It was at the bedside of a dying relative that the idea for Daphne Kagume’s doctoral dissertation took hold. As her beloved uncle succumbed to AIDS in a Kenya hospital, the OSU graduate student witnessed the heartbreaking isolation that so often afflicts AIDS patients in her native country. She resolved to help. With guidance from […]


February 1, 2007

Medical Pioneer

At one time, Erin Rieke might have been hesitant to take risks, glad to let someone else step up. Hard to tell now. The 22-year-old senior in bioengineering from Tualatin, Oregon, has been doing extraordinary things for an undergraduate: culturing breast cancer cells, exposing them to controlled doses of radiation, learning how to make nanoparticles […]


Tense Times
July 23, 2006

Tense Times

In middle school, why do some students glide through while others struggle?

Remember middle school? No stress, right? Psychologist Jennifer Connor-Smith knows firsthand how difficult that transition can be. She and her students are looking at how personality helps or hinders teens’ ability to deal with the crisis of the day.


July 23, 2006

Undergrads in the Lab

Undergraduate researchers Janelle Quest and Kathryn Cellerini have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with their professor Jennifer Connor-Smith to identify and isolate the factors that influence adolescent stress management. As part of a cadre of research assistants in OSU’s Department of Psychology, they are getting the kind of nuts-and-bolts experience in social science that typically comes along […]


April 23, 2006

Open Source, Hot and Cool

Alex Polvi may work and study at OSU, but he gets paid by Mozilla, an Internet software company in Mountain View, California.