Category » Spring 2008

Thinking Like a Physicist
February 21, 2011

Thinking Like a Physicist

OSU leads national effort to reform upper-level physics education

Walk into an upper-level college physics classroom almost anywhere in the country, and you’ll see students sitting down, listening to the professor and taking notes. Despite years of education research showing that students learn better by being active, the common curriculum for juniors and seniors in physics still emphasizes passivity. In recent years, a revolution […]


Sacred Landscape
May 23, 2008

Sacred Landscape

Tribes confront the cultural risks of contaminant exposure

The traditions of native cultures — making reed baskets, eating wild foods, participating in sweat lodges — sustained people for centuries. Now those cultures are threatened by contamination. Researchers from the Umatilla reservation and OSU show why.


Expedition to the Edge
May 23, 2008

Expedition to the Edge

An OSU scientist braves an uncharted rainforest in a search for rare and endangered species

A love of bugs led Chris Marshall to take a white-knuckle flight into a remote South American rainforest. With an eye on cataloging the diversity of these rich ecosystems before they vanish, he returned with species never seen by scientists.


May 23, 2008

The Proboscis Hypothesis

Were dinosaurs bugged to death?

Was the mighty dinosaur done in by a midge? Very likely, argues OSU zoologist George Poinar in his new book, What Bugged the Dinosaurs? Insects, Disease and Death in the Cretaceous. Midges, together with millions of other Cretaceous insect species, may well have landed the “final knockout blow” to the giant reptiles by infecting them […]


Musical Panache
April 30, 2008

Musical Panache

OSU steel drum ensemble taps into Caribbean rhythms

OSU percussionist Bob Brudvig is leading a five-person ensemble in a practice session on the second floor of historic Benton Hall. It may be winter in Corvallis, but the music makes you forget the drizzle outside. It evokes palm trees, Caribbean sun and pre-Lenten carnivals. Brudvig works the melody on his chrome-plated steel drum, tapping […]


Windows on Watersheds
April 23, 2008

Windows on Watersheds

A clear look at industrial forests

Old-style logging left scars on the landscape, but nearly 40 years ago, research in Oregon changed tree-cutting practices. Now researchers are joining landowners to update the science behind modern forest management.


April 23, 2008

OSU Watersheds Research Cooperative

Networking is key in watershed science. The WRC spurs collaboration by researchers from OSU, government and private companies. Members contribute money or in-kind resources such as land and expertise. Current WRC projects include the Hinkle Creek, Trask and Alsea projects. Funding has come from state and federal funds as well as WRC members. The WRC […]


April 23, 2008

Inside the Hinkle Creek project

Stream flow Measuring flow rate and and stream height reveals how water moves through the landscape. Researchers are also tracking stream sediment loads using the next generation of computerized water-sampling devices. Arne Skaugset’s water-quality lab analyzes more than 2,000 samples per year from the Hinkle Creek, Trask, Alsea and Oak Creek (near Corvallis) watersheds. Insects […]


April 23, 2008

From Oppression to Religious Freedom

By Renée Roman Nose

It took centuries for religious practices of American Indians to receive full protection under U.S. law. Until 1994, when President Clinton signed legislation granting Native Americans the right to use peyote for ceremonies without fear of losing their jobs, tribes suffered oppression and even death for their spiritual beliefs. Most notorious was the massacre at […]


April 23, 2008

Baskets of Concern

Food is only the most obvious way contaminants enter the human body. Poisons also come in through the pores of the skin and the lobes of the lungs. Living in intimate contact with the landscape, as many indigenous peoples do, raises the risks of exposure. Traditional practices of the Umatilla members of the Columbia Basin […]


April 23, 2008

Born To Love Bugs

Living a boyhood obsession

There are two kinds of entomologists: those who love insects intellectually and those who love them viscerally. Without a doubt, Chris Marshall fits into the second category. The love of bugs smote him early, and it smote him hard. He grew up combing the fields and woodlands of his New England neighborhood with a glass […]


April 23, 2008

“Bug Poop Grows Trees” (BPGT)

Insect collection aids ecological research

In Andrew Moldenke’s forest ecology course, students get the BPGT acronym drilled into their heads from Day One. Oregon’s fabled old-growth forests owe their existence to insect digestion, and the professor wants to make sure nobody forgets it. “Old, decayed, and decaying logs and other detritus,” Moldenke explains to author Jon Luoma in the 1999 […]


Deep Ecology
April 4, 2008

Deep Ecology

From coral reefs in the tropics to Oregon’s rocky banks, Mark Hixon investigates coastal marine fishes

When talk turns to the mud-dwelling creatures of the deep seafloor, Mark Hixon jumps up from his swivel chair, strides to a cabinet in his office and swings open the door. Taking out a long cardboard box, he gently lays it on his desk. “This,” he says, reaching inside, “is a sponge from just off […]


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. […]


A New Lens on Wildlife
April 1, 2008

A New Lens on Wildlife

What do the following Oregon animals have in common: the northern red-legged frog, the chestnut-backed chickadee, the western pond turtle and the river otter? All fall into the traditional wildlife designation “non-game.” “It’s a catch-all category for those species that aren’t being managed for hunting or fishing,” says OSU wildlife ecologist Bruce Dugger. That once-undifferentiated […]