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How Fire Saves Water
December 26, 2012

How Fire Saves Water

Controlled burns can keep water-hogging juniper in check

Parts of the Oregon outback are a poetic juxtaposition of passionate color scattered among charred, stalagmitic trees piercing the sky above like mighty javelins. In autumn, the understory blazes in hues of red, orange and yellow — colors that light the burnt forest as if it were once again on fire.


Ground Lines
November 2, 2012

Ground Lines

Maps guide us through unfamiliar terrain

I remember my first day at what’s called “baby field camp” in the Oregon State geology program. Outside Bishop, California, we mapped the area around a cinder cone, long since dead. I quickly learned that the hot sun is a never-ending force of nature, not to be underestimated. I drank at least a gallon of […]


Drug Test
October 12, 2012

Drug Test

Chemists' prototype fingers fake medicines

By some estimates, a third to half of the artesunate, an anti-malarial drug, in some countries is counterfeit. The World Health Organization has called for faster, more accurate tests, and now a team of Oregon State University chemists has stepped up with an innovative approach.


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 […]


Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group
October 10, 2012

Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group

Committee advises federal policymakers

Oregon State’s vice president for research, Rick Spinrad, has been tapped to chair a federal committee on ocean observing systems. The 13 marine scientists, conservationists and industry stakeholders will advise the Integrated Ocean Observation System, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on data collection, management and technological innovation. As a former […]


The Biscuit Fire 10 Years Later
October 10, 2012

The Biscuit Fire 10 Years Later

What will the long-term data show?

The 2002 Biscuit Fire not only torched a half-million acres in Southern Oregon, it became a poster child for the debate over post-fire management and forest recovery. When the journal Science accepted a paper on the fire’s aftermath by then-graduate student Daniel Donato, it ignited a long-smoldering debate over what, if anything, should be done […]


Contributing to the Mars Mission
October 10, 2012

Contributing to the Mars Mission

NASA's quest for signs of life on Mars got a boost when Curiosity landed on the Red Planet

NASA’s quest for signs of life on Mars got a huge boost in August when Curiosity landed on the Red Planet.


Forms from the Sea
October 9, 2012

Forms from the Sea

Oregon artists reveal hidden worlds in plankton science

During a Pacific Ocean research cruise, Angel White peers into her microscope. The ship rides gentle swells and sways side to side. In her field of view, organisms the size of dust motes rise and fall through their own watery world. “It can be disorienting and enthralling at the same time. The microbes are dying […]


Drifters
October 9, 2012

Drifters

                Artist statement — Sara McCormick. My work is a form of digital art know as fractals: mathematical and natural forms that exhibit what’s known as self-similarity. Using a computer I render mathematical formulas into art of infinite depth and detail. More than anything else for me, my […]


The Collection
October 9, 2012

The Collection

Artist statement — Chi Meredith. I am a professional artist and also a retired oceanography research assistant. When asked to contribute to the da Vinci Days project, I anticipated making a two-dimensional oil painting of the beautiful photographs Dr. Angelicque White took of plankton gathered from the ocean.  However, while in North Carolina last winter, […]


Emiliania coccolithophore
October 9, 2012

Emiliania coccolithophore

                    Artist statement — Ella Rhoades. I went literal in my interpretation of Angelicque White’s photographs. The imagery of life beneath the microscope lends itself so beautifully to mosaic form. Optical filters are remnants from the oceanographic industry and generated the color palette for this piece […]


Parum Aqua Flora
October 9, 2012

Parum Aqua Flora

  Artist statement — Sidnee Snell. I was originally attracted to the lacy quality of sections of Angelicque White’s photograph. However, as I began to work with it, a floral image began to appear. Although I have no idea whether the plankton should be considered flora or fauna, I decided to follow that theme. The […]


Leviathan
October 9, 2012

Leviathan

Artist statement — Rakar West. All of Dr. White’s images of plankton are very beautiful and interesting to me. The one I chose as my main inspiration is the composite image of the cyanobacteria, protozoans and metazoans. My painting, Leviathan, refers to the food chain (or web), but is not a literal depiction. The word […]


Tondos
October 9, 2012

Tondos

Artist statement — Jenny Gray. My work Titled “Tondos” is based on looking  at the Plankton rather than the Plankton itself, I just keep thinking  of these scientists looking and looking through the microscope. My work is a mixed media piece, collage and paint and drawing. Eugene, Oregon 2012 For other works submitted to the […]


Drifters 1
October 9, 2012

Drifters 1

  Artist statement — Leah Wilson. My paintings are created in the intersections of science, philosophy and art. Years ago, I created paintings in response to the natural river environment — the effect of light, movement and rhythms of its elements. The elements, especially water, provide a framework, a reference to return to in the […]


Benthos
October 9, 2012

Benthos

                        Artist statement — Jerri Bartholomew I am not a formally trained artist. Instead, my education is in science, having received degrees in fisheries and microbiology at Oregon State. This background informs and influences my art. I enjoy the anticipation of opening the kiln […]


Blue Button
October 9, 2012

Blue Button

Artist statement – Sandra Schock-Houtman There are infinite possibilities when one uses the Earth and its progeny as sparks for creativity.  I found Dr. White’s photographs of plankton engaging at first sight. The biggest problem I encountered in creating work for this show was choosing one photo to focus on! For several years, I have […]


Under the Hood
September 10, 2012

Under the Hood

Geologists reveal the steady personality of Oregon’s signature peak

Mount Hood last erupted more than 200 years ago, but at Crater Rock, not far from the summit, the signs of volcanic activity are unmistakable. Gas vents and hot springs emit sulfur fumes. Vapors rising from deep under the mountain carve snow caves, which can seem like sanctuaries for climbers but often hold deadly concentrations […]


Space Dreams
August 6, 2012

Space Dreams

Don Pettit talks about exploration, colonizing other planets and raising zucchini on the International Space Station

When he’s on Earth, Don Pettit dreams about space. But when he’s in space, he dreams about walking on Earth.  “Dreams may have something to do with humans never being satisfied, which is why we go exploring in the first place,” he says. If there’s a gene for the urge to explore new worlds, Pettit […]


Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens
July 25, 2012

Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens

Oregon State Extension experiments with pest control in organic apple orchard

“Aw, no bugs!” exclaims Betsey Miller after meticulously pouring over a wheelbarrow’s worth of decomposing leaf litter and manure. “The chickens are doing a great job, but it’s still fun for us entomologists to find insects once in a while!” A pen of praiseworthy red-ranger chickens peck away at the grass a few yards away, […]


The Heart of Mass
July 25, 2012

The Heart of Mass

Discovery of the Higgs opens a new chapter in the exploration of nature

The term “God particle” tends to rankle physicists. The flippant reference to the recently discovered particle believed to be the Higgs boson was coined by Leon Lederman, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Fermilab and Nobel Prize winning physicist. But, says Ken Krane, nuclear scientist and emeritus professor of physics at Oregon State […]


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 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 […]


Science Without Borders
June 29, 2012

Science Without Borders

Want to do science today? Make sure your passport is up to date.

When land grant universities were created 150 years ago, science was already an international activity. Well before the signing of the Morrill Act in 1862, American scientists aboard six U.S. Navy vessels had circumnavigated the globe, collected thousands of plant and animal specimens and mapped parts of the Pacific Ocean from the Columbia River to […]


Floating Dock from Japan Carries Potential Invasive Species
June 7, 2012

Floating Dock from Japan Carries Potential Invasive Species

Starfish, crabs, oysters and algae are among the Asian hitchhikers

When debris from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan began making its way toward the West Coast of the United States, there were fears of possible radiation and chemical contamination as well as costly cleanup. But a floating dock that unexpectedly washed ashore in Newport this week and has been traced back to the […]


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 […]


Running Clear
May 30, 2012

Running Clear

Gary Klinkhammer turned water analysis into environmental protection

The Arctic Ocean, 1997. Gary Klinkhammer had strapped a water chemistry analyzer onto the hull of a retired U.S. Navy nuclear submarine to measure carbon. He had come to this bleak and desolate place looking for organic matter, fertile detritus dumped into the ocean by massive rivers in Siberia and North America. “The Arctic in […]