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Survivors from the Depths of Time
January 24, 2014

Survivors from the Depths of Time

Scientists and tribes work urgently to save the ancient Pacific lamprey

As one of the “first foods” of Northwest Indians (along with salmon, elk, huckleberries and camas bulbs) lamprey hold a place of high honor in tribal culture. But outside Indian culture, Pacific lamprey have a PR problem.


The Warsaw Discourses
January 24, 2014

The Warsaw Discourses

When the world convened in Poland for climate talks, Gregg Walker was there

Gregg Walker is making his way toward the University of Warsaw where the Global Landscapes Forum is being held as part of the United Nations climate change negotiations for 2013. The Oregon State University professor has been attending these international climate conferences for half a decade.


A Place of Belonging
February 2, 2013

A Place of Belonging

Once a child immigrant, Susana Rivera-Mills’ past became her future

It was tragic enough that Susana Rivera-Mills’ girlhood was visited by war. It was frightening enough to flee her hometown of San Salvador on a dark night bundled in the backseat of the family Fiat with her little brother Fabio. And yet, as improbable as it seems, the hardest part was still ahead.


Words to Live By
February 2, 2013

Words to Live By

Language and culture meet identity

The early findings from Independence reveal a community that is holding onto Spanish for five and six generations.


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.”


South Slough
January 31, 2013

South Slough

Where the waters mix

Anne and Philip Matthews have explored every twist and tangle of the South Slough, which became the nation’s first national estuarine research reserve in the 1970s.


Rimrock Ranch
January 31, 2013

Rimrock Ranch

Where steelhead will swim again

Guiding tours for the Deschutes Land Trust has been, for years, an outgrowth of Mary Crow’s passion for the land.


Caring for Cows
January 30, 2013

Caring for Cows

Humane treatment of livestock benefits industry as well as animals

Studies show that a stressed animal is more likely to be a sick, scrawny, infertile animal — hardly the formula for business success if you’re a rancher or dairyman.


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.”


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 […]


Surf’s Up!
January 19, 2012

Surf’s Up!

Scientists help coastal communities plan for an uncertain future

If you love big surf, go to Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast during a winter storm. As swells rise and break offshore, winds whip ocean spray high into the air, but the waves move inexorably toward the harbor (the “world’s smallest navigable harbor,” reads a road sign), channel through rocks and, with a resounding […]


Contraceptive vaccine under study for elephants and horses
November 21, 2011

Contraceptive vaccine under study for elephants and horses

For Ursula Bechert, reducing conflicts between wild animals and people comes down to good birth control.

The first lesson the elephants taught Ursula Bechert was that they had a sense of humor.


Chemistry for Life
October 27, 2011

Chemistry for Life

The foundation for OSU's new science center was built a century ago

In 2011, the first Baby Boomer turned 65 — the leading edge of a wave that is going to change the country. By 2030 one in every five Americans will be older than that. People are already living longer, taking time to travel and to enjoy their families. Think gourmet cooking classes, fishing trips and […]


Rice Paddy People
October 27, 2011

Rice Paddy People

In a rural village, farmers fight industrial pollution

The young Chinese laborer was desperate. Like millions of other migrant workers in China’s dash to industrialize, he had left his home and family to work in a factory in the rural interior. Now, environmental officials had closed the zinc smelter in Futian where he worked, and without a job, nearly out of money and […]


The Science of Design
October 26, 2011

The Science of Design

On the cutting edge of functional apparel for health, comfort and sustainability

One day last spring, a Nike executive was touring Oregon State University’s apparel design facilities. After being shown the textile lab, the thermal lab and the chemistry lab, he blurted out: “Oh my gosh! This is design with beakers!” He was right — but only partly. Beakers are just the beginning of science-based apparel design […]


Co-conspirators in Melanoma
October 26, 2011

Co-conspirators in Melanoma

Researchers discover "partners in crime" in deadly skin disease

Americans spend billions to beautify their outermost organ — to make it softer and younger, to erase wrinkles, conceal freckles, fake a tan, flaunt a tattoo. In our obsession with skin’s cosmetic qualities, it’s easy to forget the role it plays as nature’s biohazard suit. It defends our bodies against a barrage of environmental and […]


Is There a Pill for That?
October 25, 2011

Is There a Pill for That?

How the Internet is changing the way Americans seek health care

Instead of blindly following “doctor’s orders,” patients can power up their iPad, Google their symptoms and join a chatroom for a different kind of “expert” opinion — that of ordinary people who have “been there, done that.” In this brave new world of “e-health,” there are bounteous benefits, says Kristin Barker, a sociologist at Oregon State University.


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.


Carbon Sink
September 23, 2011

Carbon Sink

Forests can absorb more U.S. carbon than previously thought

Oregon State University forestry scientists have a habit of redefining the conversation about carbon and forests. Professors Beverly Law, Mark Harmon and their colleagues have demonstrated that old-growth stands on the west side of the Cascades store as much carbon or more than that held in tropical rain forests. In 2009, Law reported that forests […]


On Call in Earthquake Country
September 23, 2011

On Call in Earthquake Country

Learning from devastation takes rapid response

When a severe earthquake strikes a distant community, Scott Ashford gets on a plane. He travels light but packs enough to be self-sufficient. He is, after all, going into a disaster zone where emergency personnel don’t need another mouth to feed. The head of the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering is […]


The Secret Life of Honeybees
July 5, 2011

The Secret Life of Honeybees

Ramesh Sagili investigates the causes of honeybee decline

Strapped into a small holding device, the honeybee amiably wiggles its antennae. Like a toddler in a highchair, it seems to reach greedily for the dropper with sugar water that appears over its head. As its mouth opens, its tongue darts out for a taste of the sweet liquid.


Canines to the Rescue
June 1, 2011

Canines to the Rescue

Dogs with cancer point scientists to treatments for people

The similarities are uncanny. Bone tumors, whether from a teenager’s leg or the paw of the teen’s pet dog, look virtually identical. If you biopsy those tumors and examine them under a microscope, you’d be hard pressed to tell one from the other. That’s why oncology research at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine […]


Saving Orion
June 1, 2011

Saving Orion

OSU's cutting-edge oncology clinic offers hope for one family's dog

Unlike humans, whose hair falls out during chemotherapy, dogs don’t lose their fur. I didn’t learn that when I was training to be an oncologist. I know it now because my dog has cancer. My 9-year-old golden retriever Orion, who is undergoing a pioneering cancer treatment at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, still […]


Holding Out Hope
May 28, 2011

Holding Out Hope

A tenacious scientist's quest for the causes of Lou Gehrig's disease

He hit .295 with 29 home runs and 114 RBIs that last year in 1938 — a season most baseball players could only dream about. They called him the “Iron Horse” because he was known for his durability. But even in 1938, he was feeling tired by mid-season. And for him, a season like that was considered mediocre.


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, […]