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da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science
July 25, 2013

da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science

Oregon State scientists take audiences on a planetary journey

Leonardo da Vinci combined the practical and the beautiful, the mechanical and artistic. At the 2013 da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon State University scientists, engineers and mathematicians shared their journeys under Antarctic sea ice, to an African village, to Mars and through a mathematical landscape.


July 1, 2013

Designing an Experiment from Scratch

A neophyte learns the ropes of doing science

Designing an experiment from scratch is hard enough. Doing it in six months is a staggering feat. But Oregon State University graduate Kristin Jones pulled it off, immersing herself in scholarly papers, writing a detailed proposal, acquiring materials and constructing equipment in preparation for an intensive period of fieldwork — all while working as a […]


Threshold for Thriving
July 1, 2013

Threshold for Thriving

How much forest management is too much for northern house wrens?

Kristin Jones’ research aims to discover whether intensive forestry practices, such as herbicide use, interfere with wrens’ habitat.


A Bird’s-Eye View
June 28, 2013

A Bird’s-Eye View

Planners are looking at landscapes through a wider lens

Miles Hemstrom was a young boy when he began looking at the landscape from a bird’s-eye view. It started when he went fishing with his dad on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. He recalls driving up an old dirt road that wound along the side of a mountain through aspen and spruce-fir forest. “We could […]


Jake Tepper: “Coral reefs are dying.”
June 18, 2013

Jake Tepper: “Coral reefs are dying.”

When Jacob (Jake) Tepper was an eighth-grader, he and his dad traded in their 20-gallon saltwater aquarium and transferred its inhabitants — an anemone and a pair of clownfish — to a spacious 50-gallon reef tank. They added corals and a porcupine pufferfish who begged for food by squirting water at passersby. And then there […]


Katlyn Taylor: “OMG, so much science!”
June 18, 2013

Katlyn Taylor: “OMG, so much science!”

Katlyn Taylor’s life has bumped into practically every phylum of the Animal Kingdom. Ask her how she got into science, and she’ll spin a narrative that spans sea lemons, orphaned chickens, 4-H rabbits, endangered Asian elephants, gray whale migration, sea lion pups, the genetics of microbacterial phages and the coloration of sea stars. And she’s […]


Elliott Finn: “Blanket solutions aren’t the answer.”
June 18, 2013

Elliott Finn: “Blanket solutions aren’t the answer.”

What runs through the life of author Norman McLean is a river. In the life of Elliott Finn, it’s a plant. Vegetation, wild and domestic, wends through every childhood memory: playing hide-and-seek among fruit trees in his parents’ sprawling Soap Creek garden near Corvallis. Dashing through botanical gardens and greenhouses with his little brother Ian. […]


Allison Stringer: “There’s still hope.”
June 18, 2013

Allison Stringer: “There’s still hope.”

Siberia seldom tempts Western travelers to explore its vast taiga forests and endless permafrost  — unless that traveler happens to be Allison Stringer. For the OSU biology student, nothing could be more enticing than spending a summer month “out in the middle of nowhere”— living on a barge at the Northeast Science Station near a […]


Justin Conner: “Amphibians are crashing.”
June 18, 2013

Justin Conner: “Amphibians are crashing.”

When manatees and alligators are members of your backyard ecosystem, it’s like living with a ready-made science project. Justin Conner took full advantage of the biodiversity bursting in and around the Florida canal that linked his childhood home to the ocean. There were peacock bass and cichlids to hook. There were frogs and toads to […]


What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose
June 17, 2013

What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose

It’s physical and sensual.  It’s not an exercise in hypothetical counter-factuals or wonderings about brains in vats or the playing of a clever devil’s advocate.  It’s hot and uncomfortable and smelly.  You flail in vain at ginormous mosquitos with your forearms and shoulders (because your hands are covered in rubber gloves which are covered in […]


Jane Lubchenco kicks off OSU speaker series at da Vinci Days
June 11, 2013

Jane Lubchenco kicks off OSU speaker series at da Vinci Days

Popular arts and science festival celebrates 25 years

Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University professor and former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will give the opening night keynote address at Corvallis’ annual da Vinci Days festival on Friday, July 19. Her presentation, “From the Silly to the Sublime: Stories about Science in D.C,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Whiteside […]


On the Beach
May 22, 2013

On the Beach

Stranded whales are not always related

The mothers of beached whale calves often were missing entirely from the beach, a study found.


Connective Tissue
May 22, 2013

Connective Tissue

Hope grows where facts and values intersect

When Michael P. Nelson talks about his work, he mentions carcasses and cadavers to a startling degree — startling because Nelson is not a physician or a veterinarian or even a biologist. He’s a philosopher. So at first glance, necropsy seems an odd topic of discourse.  But it starts to make sense when you notice […]


From Data to Doing
May 21, 2013

From Data to Doing

Climate science leads to community action

Adapting to climate change requires two key things: good data and boots on the ground. As oceans rise, icecaps melt, snowpack diminishes, wildfires rage and aquifers dry up, coupling science to action becomes ever more urgent. But the barriers to linking science to practical action are formidable, often springing from deep disparities in worldview among […]


Sea Trio
May 21, 2013

Sea Trio

Oregon State will lead design and construction of coastal research vessels

Oregon State has been designated by the NSF as the lead institution for the design, building and launching of as many as three state-of-the-art research vessels.


Biochar video
May 3, 2013

Biochar video

Learn how biochar is made, sequesters carbon and protects water quality

Perry Morrow, student in the Oregon State University Water Resources Graduate Program, produced this video on biochar, the carbonized remains of plants. Turning low-value wood and other biomass into biochar sequesters carbon from the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The resulting material may also benefit water quality by absorbing pollutants such as copper, lead, zinc […]


Yellowstone: One of the World’s Largest Calderas
April 3, 2013

Yellowstone: One of the World’s Largest Calderas

Keep up on the latest research

The Yellowstone caldera is no typical volcano. Its elongated form measures about 35 miles by 45 miles, considerably larger than most. Yellowstone Lake stands at the center of the caldera and shows evidence of volcanic activity that has formed some of its arms. Yellowstone contains one of the world’s largest geothermal systems. The caldera has […]


Researcher Profile: Adam Schultz
April 3, 2013

Researcher Profile: Adam Schultz

A professor of geology and geophysics, Adam Schultz received his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1986. He came to Oregon State University in 2003 and directs the National Geoelectromagnetic Facility, which loans geophysics equipment to scientists, industry and government. His research interests include geothermal systems, the Cascade volcanic arc, the Cascadia subduction zone […]


Rethinking Yellowstone
April 3, 2013

Rethinking Yellowstone

The hotspot theory gets a makeover from the emerging science of magnetotellurics

A geological mystery lies beneath the majestic beauty of Yellowstone National Park. Once thought solved, the enigma continues to unfold through the lens of a young science known as magnetotellurics. As accepted theory goes, over the past 16 million years a rising plume of magma in the Earth’s mantle produced massive amounts of lava and […]


Roots of Relationship
February 26, 2013

Roots of Relationship

Under the pine needles lies one of the secrets to forest health

The summer is warm and sunny in Corvallis, but my travels draw me east. Over and past the Cascades is an open land where the cold sparkling waters of a river flow north, and the sweet smell of Ponderosa pine blends with the fresh scent of lodgepole — the Deschutes National Forest. My one-person tent […]


Posture for the Planet
February 14, 2013

Posture for the Planet

Green Yoga combines inner peace with ecological consciousness

For many people, yoga is a form of relaxation. But in India, the birthplace of the exercise, yoga is beginning to stretch beyond the boundaries of one’s self and into the ecological realm. A new movement called “Green Yoga” encourages men and women who practice yoga — called yogis and yoginis — to strive for […]


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.


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.


An Ethical Tightrope
January 30, 2013

An Ethical Tightrope

Learning to make delicate choices

Making ethical choices about animals can be a philosophical high-wire act — a precarious balance of practicality and principle. Weighing practical needs against “normative ethics” — right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust — requires more than a handbook of do’s and don’ts. “The institutional protocols — the laws, regulations, policies — provide […]


Documenting the Giants
January 29, 2013

Documenting the Giants

Canopy science for old-growth forests

Forest scientist and Oregon State University alumnus Steve Sillett studies and climbs the largest trees in the world. Since 1987, he’s climbed more than 1,000 of these arboreal giants, many of which reach heights greater than 200 feet tall and diameters upwards of 20 feet. Sillett’s study of old-growth forests — and in particular redwood […]


Oregon State University In Asia
January 29, 2013

Oregon State University In Asia

Scientific partnerships flourish across the region

For growth in research and educational opportunities, Oregon State University faculty and students increasingly look west. Connections to Asia are expanding. They encompass a wide range of activities including academic conferences, student exchanges and faculty collaborations. They focus on business, engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, wood science, music and more. The university’s growing international influence is fueled […]


The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards
January 23, 2013

The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards

Unsnarling the regulatory tangle in transportation planning

“This new tool will help speed up transportation projects while beefing up environmental stewardship.”


Ice Core Diaries
January 23, 2013

Ice Core Diaries

Records from the past carry warnings for our future

We are slowly beginning to understand the anatomy of global climate and how it changes, its geographic fingerprint and its tempo. Ice cores paint a complex and sometimes surprising picture, one that generations of scientists will spend decades trying to fully understand.