Terra in Print: Spring 2006

Spring 2006 cover

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Why Terra?

As a land-grant university, OSU has long focused on the Earth and its resources: oceans, forests, farm fields, watersheds and ecosystems. These are the stages for the evolving human story. On them, we play out the full range of endeavors, from engineering and science to the arts, professions and humanities. Today, OSU researchers are writing new chapters, expanding their explorations with new technologies, creating benefits for society and life-changing opportunities for students. Terra — Latin for Earth — will be a window on their activities.

Terra will take readers well beyond the Corvallis campus. In this inaugural issue, we travel to the coastal community of Reedsport, Oregon. Timber and fisheries have been its bread and butter since this Douglas County town was established at the mouth of the Umpqua River in 1852. In the past few years, declining fish populations and a mill closure have hit the Reedsport area hard, resulting in empty schools and storefronts. Now, thanks to the work of two OSU engineers, opportunity comes in with the regularity of ocean waves. In her cover story in this issue, Lee Sherman describes a new wave energy technology and the ripples of hope it is bringing to the Reedsport area — and to other coastal towns like it.

Welcome to the world of OSU research.

Nick Houtman
Editor

LPI Researchers Take Aim at Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Departments, Healthy People, Spring 2006, Vitality

How did Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute become home to groundbreaking research on nerve cell degeneration?


Sexual Health: Asking the Tough Questions

Departments, Healthy People, Spring 2006, Vitality

Using the research tools of social science — questionnaires, focus groups, interviews and data analysis — Marie Harvey, chair of OSU’s Department of Public Health, delves into the most private of human behaviors and the attitudes that shape them.


Sounding an Arctic Retreat

Departments, Earth, Healthy Planet, Spring 2006

The Arctic doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight. A science team led by OSU oceanographer Kelly Falkner learned that the hard way last year when a sudden windstorm off the northern Greenland coast destroyed their tents and scattered debris for miles.


Fish Bones and Tree Rings

Departments, Earth, Healthy Planet, Spring 2006

Fish bones smaller than a fingernail have a big story to tell.


Common Ground: Gardens and Scholarship

Departments, Inquiry, Spring 2006

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a cultivator and connoisseur of pears. His protégé Henry David Thoreau grew beans on the shores of Walden Pond.


Amber Waves of SuperSoft Wheat

Departments, Healthy Economy, Innovation, Spring 2006, Stewardship

Wheat fields may have inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write a song about America’s beautiful “amber waves of grain,” but not all wheat is created equal.


Solutions for Business

Departments, Innovation, Spring 2006

The Business Solutions Group in the College of Business has performed those services for Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and public agencies such as the Oregon Department of Transportation.


Open Source, Hot and Cool

Departments, Healthy Economy, Innovation, Spring 2006, Student Research

Alex Polvi may work and study at OSU, but he gets paid by Mozilla, an Internet software company in Mountain View, California.


Today’s Forecast: Windy and Toxic

Departments, Healthy Planet, Spring 2006, Stewardship

Heading out to dig clams at your favorite beach? Someday you may be able to check the red tide forecast in addition to the tide tables.


Out of the Woods

Departments, Healthy Planet, Spring 2006, Stewardship

A meeting of the minds on forest issues is rare. Yet an innovative energy project underway in Oregon’s Fremont National Forest has won near-unanimous support from stakeholders who are often at odds.


20/20 Vision

20/20 Vision

Features, Healthy Planet, Inquiry, Spring 2006, Stewardship

The Spring Creek Project takes us into the wild through writing workshops, overland treks and public programs. The goal: to explore our relationship to nature.


Ecological Reflections

Features, Spring 2006

Science blends with art and writing in Spring Creek’s Long-Term Ecological Reflections (LTER) project at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. In 2004, Robert Michael Pyle, nature writer and scientist, served as the first LTER writer-in-residence. He focused on a 200-year-long log decomposition study. Its purpose: to understand forest cycles of growth and decay. Other participating […]


Finding Today

Features, Spring 2006

By Steven R. Radosevich Excerpted from Good Wood: Growth, Loss, and Renewal Oregon State University Press, 2005 Steven Radosevich is a professor and graduate program coordinator in the Department of Forest Science at OSU. His research interests focus on plant ecology, sustainable forestry and agriculture, and the impacts and ethics of human land uses. He […]


Namesake for a Generation of Holsteins

Features, Spring 2006

In Benton County, a disproportionate number of newborn calves are christened “Chuck.” That’s because when Dr. Charles Estill is called out to attend a birth — usually in the dark hours before dawn — the mother is in distress, and the outcome is precarious. So a successful birth warrants proper recognition of the doctor’s skills. […]


Going to College on the Black Angus Plan

Features, Print Issues, Spring 2006

Dana Hoyt’s college fund didn’t grow in the bank. It grew in the pasture. “My parents gave me my first cow when I was eight,” she says. Eventually, young Dana had a herd of 35 beef cattle, which she raised on the family farm in Klamath Falls. Tuition for her undergraduate education in animal science […]


Trading Muck Boots for a Clean, White Lab Coat

Features, Spring 2006

Squatting beside a 1,500-pound dairy cow, Jaime Ueda reaches for the udder and pulls tentatively on one of the teats. The thin stream of milk that squirts out misses the plastic sample tray Ueda is aiming for, instead dousing the face of fellow student Dana Hoyt. “Oops! Welcome to Dairy 101!” Ueda jokes. The fourth-year […]


Born with a Stethoscope in Her Hand

Features, Spring 2006

“Cow No. 231, possible early pregnancy,” Dr. Bronwyn Crane calls out to Professor Charles Estill, who stands by with a clipboard to record the reproductive status of the Van Beek Dairy herd. Crane moves along the row of Holstein hindquarters, doing “preg” tests with practiced efficiency — lifting tails, feeling for signs of new life, […]


Boot Camp for Vets

Boot Camp for Vets

Features, Spring 2006

Chuck Estill knows that taking care of large animals can be tough. That’s why he takes OSU veterinary medicine students out to Willamette Valley farms where they can confront their fears — and see wonders.


Down on the Farm

Features, Spring 2006

As OSU’s mobile veterinary clinic travels from farm to farm in Benton County, small-talk is all about large animals and their care. Professor Charles Estill, resident vet Bronwyn Crane, and fourth-year students Jaime Ueda and Dana Hoyt trade stories of midnight emergencies during on-call rotations — of a difficult birth that ended in euthanasia, of […]


Sea Power

Sea Power

Features, Spring 2006

OSU electrical engineers Annette von Jouanne and Alan Wallace and their students are developing innovative wave energy devices. Their plan to create a wave energy research park near Reedsport, Oregon, brings hope to a community hit hard by economic decline.


Wave Power Prototypes

Features, Spring 2006

OSU’s “direct-drive” buoy approaches allow electrical generators to respond directly to ocean waves. Inside the Permanent Magnet Linear Generator Buoy, wave motion causes specially designed electrical coils to move through a magnetic field, inducing voltages and generating electricity. The Contact-less Force Transmission Generator Buoy uses large, high-strength permanent magnets configured as a “piston.” It transforms […]


Coastal Views

Features, Spring 2006

Scott Hartzell Fisherman Taking an annual harvest of a quarter-million pounds of Dungeness from his 85-foot craft Ossian, this crabber brings a lifetime of ocean experience to his role as an “industry cooperator” with OSU. “I’m interested in the location of the wave park, how it’s going to be anchored, how invasive it’s going to […]


Water as Destiny

Water as Destiny

Spring 2006

Annette von Jouanne There’s something serendipitous, almost poetic, about von Jouanne’s work in wave energy. She was raised in Seattle, a metropolis laced with lakes and bedeviled by drizzle. Growing up, she never went anywhere without first tossing a Speedo in her backpack, just in case a chance for a swim presented itself. When she […]


Mind Your Math

Departments, Inquiry, Spring 2006

It just adds up — math education is about more than learning to add and subtract.