Terra in Print: Fall 2011

Painting by Ron Mills de Pinyas

Painting by Ron Mills de Pinyas

Family Life

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It may be one family or several. Adults and children stand close together in a loose line, framed by fir trees and a cloud-streaked sky. Some hold hands. Others lounge nearby in the grass. Some children stand on adults’ shoulders. One is gazing upward. The scene is lit by a crisp brightness, as though the world were just made that morning.

This mural by Ron Mills de Pinyas, Linfield College professor of art, greets visitors to the new Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families at OSU. Three other murals in the center expand on his theme of people and nature. These large canvases speak of community and of our place in the world. Of health, laughter, love, the unity of life.

Mills’ works tie the center’s family-oriented research mission to the deep connections that we have with each other and with our environment. Healthy people depend on clean air and water, a point that villagers in rural China made to OSU anthropologist Bryan Tilt. In this issue of Terra, “Rice Paddy People” describes the people he encountered and the lessons he learned.

Healthy people also need to share their experiences with others. Kristin Barker documents that in her analysis of online communities where people describe disease symptoms and encounters with the health-care system. Read about her research in “Is There a Pill for That?”

Community is at the heart of the Hallie Ford Center. Partners in its research efforts include school teachers, Extension educators, engineers, county public health officers and childcare providers. The knowledge they create together will address some of the most vexing health-care issues we face today. As in Mills’ paintings, the world is indeed being made anew.

24/7 Checkup

24/7 Checkup

Fall 2011, Healthy People, Innovation

A new chapter in high-tech medicine is being written by electrical engineers at Oregon State University. A team led by Patrick Chiang has confirmed that an electronic technology called “ultrawideband” could lead to the development of sophisticated “body-area networks,” systems of wearable sensors and communication devices designed to track an individual’s health. Such networks would […]


Testing Our Metal

Testing Our Metal

Fall 2011, Healthy Economy, Innovation

Chain saws, baseball bats, truck bodies, jet engine parts and bridges. All from America’s industrial heartland, right? Or made in China? Wrong. Companies that produce these and other metal products — from kitchen knives and laboratory incubators to steel fabrication stock — employ thousands of Oregonians. One of the tools in their toolbox is a […]


Chemistry for Life

Chemistry for Life

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy People, Innovation, Vitality

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

Rice Paddy People

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy Planet, Inquiry

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 […]


Love of Language

Love of Language

Fall 2011, Healthy People, Inquiry, Stewardship

As a college student, Bryan Tilt spent three years in South Korea and returned with a love for a new culture and its language. “I don’t know that I would have gotten into anthropology without that experience. It just opened up doors for me that I didn’t even know existed, let alone knew how to […]


Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge

Earth, Fall 2011, Healthy Planet

With ice coverage shrinking in the Arctic and parts of the Antarctic, scientists are scrambling to predict future consequences. But one Oregon State University scientist isn’t as concerned with the ice itself as with the animals that use it to rest. Markus Horning, pinniped ecologist for the Marine Mammal Institute, will venture to the Antarctic […]


What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Fall 2011, Healthy People, Perspectives, Terra Blog, Vitality

In “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare famously penned, “What’s in a name?” I’ve been asked that many times since our college changed its name in July. It may not have meant much to Juliet in the case of her beloved, but for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, it speaks to the very essence […]


Heading for Health

Heading for Health

Fall 2011, Healthy People, Terra Blog

A woman hesitates to leave her home for fear of falling and breaking her hip. A child, enjoying fries and a soft drink in the backseat of the car, learns habits that may endanger his long-term health. A man with kidney problems faces a future hooked up to a dialysis machine in a clinic for […]


The Science of Design

The Science of Design

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy Economy, Innovation, Multimedia

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 […]


The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner

The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner

Fall 2011, Healthy Economy, Innovation

OSU is tightly linked with the Portland area’s apparel community. Examples include: The OSU Design Network The network brings together professionals across the industry for informal gatherings and annual events in Portland, like last year’s Recycled Fashion Show — the longest-running fashion show of designs made from recycled materials in the country. OSU’s Apparel Research […]


Co-conspirators in Melanoma

Co-conspirators in Melanoma

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy People, Vitality

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 […]


How Tumors Begin

Fall 2011, Healthy People, Vitality

Is There a Pill for That?

Is There a Pill for That?

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy People, Vitality

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

Birth Knowledge

Fall 2011, Features, Healthy People, Student Research, Vitality

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.


Bright Idea

Bright Idea

Fall 2011, Healthy Economy, Innovation, Summer 2011

In the beginning, there was silicon, and it was really good. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It gave us golden, sandy beaches and sunlit kitchen windows. Beer mugs and home insulation. Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Forest in the Pacific Northwest. Personal computers and the Information Age. And solar […]