Category » Winter 2011

A day in the life of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
February 28, 2011

A day in the life of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

In June 2010, as OSU scientists were monitoring whales and toxins (see Down to the Gulf) and as clean-up crews frantically worked to minimize damage from the Deepwater Horizon well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Justin Bailie, a photographer from Seaside, Oregon, was documenting the impact on Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. His slideshow demonstrates residents’ strong […]


Lines in the Water
February 1, 2011

Lines in the Water

Communities and scientists explore proposed marine reserves

As fishermen, scientists and coastal communities spar over Oregon’s system of marine reserves, OSU researchers and their partners are developing the science. One of their first testing grounds is Port Orford’s Redfish Rocks.


February 1, 2011

New Courses Explore Ocean Cultures

Centuries before modern science, humans traveled, exploited, contemplated and celebrated the seas as explorers, fishermen, whalers, merchants, poets, storytellers, musicians and philosophers. Two new courses sponsored by OSU’s Spring Creek Program and Environmental Leadership Institute will delve into this ancient human-ocean relationship. Inspired by the university’s upcoming symposium, Song for the Blue Ocean: Science, Art […]


Shellfish on Acid
February 1, 2011

Shellfish on Acid

How will acidic water affect Oregon's shellfish industry?

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter, “You’ve had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?” But answer came there none — And this was scarcely odd, because They’d eaten every one. — Lewis Carroll The Walrus and the Carpenter Whether or not you’re a fan of gulping down raw oysters doused with Tabasco, recent […]


Winter Storms Lead to Spring Bloom
February 1, 2011

Winter Storms Lead to Spring Bloom

New hypothesis supported by satellites and waterborne sensors

If you separate predators from their prey, you get more prey. Now that simple relationship has been used to explain one of the most important annual events in the ocean: the North Atlantic spring phytoplankton bloom. Since the 19th century, oceanographers have sought to explain its origins and have settled on the wintertime mixing of […]


Surprise in the Sargasso
February 1, 2011

Surprise in the Sargasso

Microbes are masters of adaptation. In some of Earth’s most extreme environments — Antarc- tica’s frigid ice fields, Yellowstone’s sulfuric hot springs, Crater Lake’s lightless depths, the oceans’ deep-sea basalts — Stephen Giovannoni has discovered thriving communities of bacteria. As the holder of the Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professorship in Microbiology, he has discovered some […]


Run Silent, Run Deep
February 1, 2011

Run Silent, Run Deep

OSU's growing fleet of underwater gliders monitors the Pacific Ocean

For more than half a century, oceanographers have ventured out of Newport to measure, probe and monitor the Pacific Ocean off the central Oregon Coast. And since the 1950s, these seafaring researchers have recorded about 4,000 “profiles” of the near-shore waters — surface to bottom measurements of temperature, salinity and oxygen levels that begin to […]


February 1, 2011

Dolphins Hunt Together

Watch spinner dolphins corral their quarry and work together to feed in these animations. Kelly Benoit-Bird used acoustic data of dolphins feeding at night near Hawaii. She reported her findings in the following journal article: Benoit-Bird, K.J. & Au, W.W.L. 2009 “Cooperative prey herding by a pelagic dolphin, Stenella longirostris.” Journal of the Acoustical Society […]


Genius of the Sea
February 1, 2011

Genius of the Sea

Ecosystem processes hidden in deep ocean waters are falling prey to Kelly Benoit-Bird's investigations

Kelly Benoit-Bird studies ocean organisms smaller than a microchip and bigger than a luxury motor home — the tiniest crustaceans to the mightiest cetaceans. In effect, she studies just about anything that swims or drifts in the sea: copepods and krill, diatoms and dinoflagellates, siphonophores and salps, spinner dolphins and Humboldt squid, Pacific sardines and […]


Down to the Gulf
February 1, 2011

Down to the Gulf

In the wake of the largest oil spill in U.S. waters, OSU scientists are monitoring whales, chemical pollution and fish.

Bruce Mate didn’t wait long. Within days of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, he was on the phone with officials from the U.S. Minerals Management Service. He and other OSU researchers are analyzing consequences of the largest spill in U.S. waters. Meanwhile, Oregon photographer Justin Bailie was on the scene in Terrebonne Parish.


Raised Voices
February 1, 2011

Raised Voices

Sea Grant Extension helps communities address problems

Fishing is hard enough. The weather, changing ocean conditions and the fickleness of fish make it tough to track your quarry let alone catch them. Now competition for space in the ocean — an oxymoron in an environment defined by its seemingly limitless expanse — poses new concerns along the West Coast. In the future, […]


OSU Marine Science by the Numbers
February 1, 2011

OSU Marine Science by the Numbers

Critical Mass 350 OSU faculty engage in marine research and outreach activities. 120 OSU and 180 state and federal researchers collaborate on ocean science at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Research Grants Nearly $100 million in 2008-09, or 37 percent of OSU research expenditures, was directly tied to marine-related issues. Education 828 M.S. […]


Smooth Sailing
February 1, 2011

Smooth Sailing

Oregon has become an international center for ocean research

For the past decade, Oregon State University has boasted an oceanography program ranked among the top five in the nation, and its broad spectrum of marine and coastal research has an international reputation that few institutions can match. OSU Marine Science by the Numbers 350 OSU faculty, nearly $100 million in research, more than 150,000 […]


From Research to Retail
February 1, 2011

From Research to Retail

Bringing science and business together for Oregon seafood

Gilbert “Gil” Sylvia spent childhood summers riding a bus through the lake-studded military base where he lived, hauling buckets of live fish from pond to pond. He and his buddies were trying to alter the balance of species for one reason: to boost their own catches. They never guessed that by dumping sunfish, bass and […]


Plankton Planet
February 1, 2011

Plankton Planet

Ocean microbes hold the key to marine ecosystems.

On a South Pacific research expedition, Angelicque White and Ricardo Letelier encountered a surprise: An intense red tide surrounded the ship. (Photo: Angelicque White)


Undersea Eruptions Led to Massive Landslide
February 1, 2011

Undersea Eruptions Led to Massive Landslide

An erupting undersea volcano near Guam in the western Pacific continues to reshape the seafloor. In March 2010, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and OSU led another in a series of expeditions to NW Rota-1 in the Mariana Arc. Eruptions have been practically continuous since first discovered in 2003, says Bill Chadwick, […]


Lionfish Outcompete the Natives on Coral Reefs
February 1, 2011

Lionfish Outcompete the Natives on Coral Reefs

Lionfish memo to coral reefs in the Bahamas: There’s a new predator in town. Native to the South Pacific, the invasive lionfish is reducing the abundance of native fishes on coral reefs in the Bahamas (see “Deep Ecology,” in Terra, spring 2008). OSU zoologist Mark Hixon leads a team of graduate students and other collaborators […]


Hope Rides on Tagged Gray Whale
February 1, 2011

Hope Rides on Tagged Gray Whale

An electronic tag attached to a single western gray whale may lead to conservation of one of the world’s most endangered whale populations. Bruce Mate, director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, affixed the tag to the animal, a male known as “Flex,” last summer off Sakhalin Island, Russia, in the western Pacific. Mate […]


Tipping Point
February 1, 2011

Tipping Point

West Coast research consortium tackles ocean acidification

In the summer, you may have to go 20 miles out to sea to find it, but close to the seafloor, near the edge of Oregon’s continental shelf, is a preview of the future: water as acidic as what the world’s oceans may be like in 50 to 100 years. “The future of ocean acidification […]


Sea Change
January 31, 2011

Sea Change

My dad navigated merchant ships across the high seas long before his profession became dependent on satellites and GPS. All Karel Houtman needed to know his location was a clear sky, a sextant and a chart. He always felt more comfortable at sea than on land and would steer his way unerringly across the nearly […]


Balance of Power
January 19, 2011

Balance of Power

OSU helps forge national marine energy policy

By Kate Sinner, Director of Federal Relations Renewable ocean wave energy seems like a natural. It promises jobs for Oregon and carbon-free power for the nation. It can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and contribute to economic development. But before we can realize that potential, we need to be careful to find a balance. […]


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. […]


Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit
December 22, 2010

Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit

The popular aquarium fish are rebounding after being nearly wiped out

Marine ecologists at Oregon State University have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and “re-seed” fish stocks significant distances away – more than 100 miles in a new study from Hawaii.


Uncharted Waters
July 23, 2010

Uncharted Waters

Communities, engineers and scientists prepare for the next tsunami

It may come like it did the last time, in the middle of a cold and blustery January night. Suddenly the ground will begin to shake, windows will shatter, bridges collapse, the electricity will go out and parents will frantically try to find a flashlight and dig sleepy kids out of bed, ignore everything else […]