Terra in Print: Spring 2013

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Babies don’t wait for you to get your master’s degree. They arrive on their own schedules and change your life. Drew Arnold learned that lesson when he became a father. He also found that sleep comes in a distant third to family and education.

EditorLetterIn 2010, he began a graduate program in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. He wanted to work on innovative, high-risk projects that solve problems and push technology in new directions. So for his thesis, he aimed to reduce injury risk for chainsaw users. The problem is called “kickback” and happens when the tip of a fast-moving chain accidentally hits an object and lurches toward the user’s face. Chainsaw injuries now send about 36,000 Americans to the emergency room every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arnold combined a miniature gyroscope with other sensors to create a brake that would stop the chain more rapidly than the mechanical devices used on most saws today.

When baby Claire entered the world, she shifted priorities for Drew and his wife Ashleigh. Education became more than progress toward a degree and an engineering career. It became a stepping stone toward a secure future for their daughter.

Personal and professional lives overlap. Take two other examples from this issue of Terra. Ruth Milston-Clements is on-call 24/7 for the care of laboratory fish. The phone might wake her from a deep sleep or interrupt dinner for her family. Scott Ashford, an earthquake engineer, understands what will happen when the next major quake hits the Northwest. He worries about the safety of his own family as well as the future of communities across the region.

Drew Arnold now works as a product engineer for one of Oregon’s most respected manufacturers, Blount International in Portland. His job is demanding, but the Arnold family also enjoys company-sponsored Easter egg hunts, barbecues and other activities. Moreover, through the Oregon State University Advantage program, Blount sharpens its competitive edge with research by Oregon State engineers. The company’s long-term success rides on the shoulders of such partnerships and on the babies who are our future.

What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose

What It’s Like to Necropsy a Moose

Healthy Planet, Spring 2013, Terra Blog

It’s physical and sensual.  It’s not an exercise in hypothetical counter-factuals or wonderings about brains in vats or the playing of a clever devil’s advocate.  It’s hot and uncomfortable and smelly.  You flail in vain at ginormous mosquitos with your forearms and shoulders (because your hands are covered in rubber gloves which are covered in […]


After the Quake

Healthy People, Spring 2013, Vitality

As an epidemiologist, Jeff Bethel understands the vital role of public health in saving lives after a natural disaster. Most at risk, he says, are vulnerable populations — migrant laborers and people who live alone or have chronic illnesses. “If you’re in your little bubble, you’re at higher risk,” says the assistant professor in the […]


Oregon 9.0

Oregon 9.0

Earth, Healthy People, Spring 2013

Professor Scott Ashford has seen the consequences of “megathrust” quakes in Chile, Japan and New Zealand: buildings and bridges tilted and broken like toys, beachfront tourist towns reduced to rubble, pipelines squeezed out of the ground like toothpaste out of a tube, businesses closed or forced to relocate.


Of Texts and Textiles

Of Texts and Textiles

Healthy People, Inquiry, Spring 2013

For the rich and the royal, arras hangings were status symbols. They depicted ancient stories of valor and virtue. Often designed to inspire viewers to be braver and better, they also were instruments of political propaganda and puffery.


Aquatic Vigil

Aquatic Vigil

Healthy People, Multimedia, Spring 2013, Stewardship, Vitality

It boils down to a centuries-old debate among philosophers, scientists, veterinarians, farmers, ranchers, aquarists, and pet owners: What is our obligation to captive animals?


Online and Face-to-Face

Online and Face-to-Face

Healthy People, Innovation, Spring 2013

The hallowed “sage on the stage” tradition is giving way to a more interactive process leavened by Wi-Fi and the Web.


Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

Healthy Economy, Innovation, Spring 2013

Oregon scientists and startups have joined forces to create the next generation of “Low-E” window technology.


On the Beach

On the Beach

Healthy Planet, Spring 2013, Stewardship

The mothers of beached whale calves often were missing entirely from the beach, a study found.


Hmong Health Study Defies Expectations

Hmong Health Study Defies Expectations

Healthy People, Spring 2013, Vitality

The risks are especially high among the Hmong, whose cervical cancer rates are some of the nation’s highest.


Connective Tissue

Connective Tissue

Healthy Planet, Inquiry, Spring 2013, Stewardship

When Michael P. Nelson talks about his work, he mentions carcasses and cadavers to a startling degree — startling because Nelson is not a physician or a veterinarian or even a biologist. He’s a philosopher. So at first glance, necropsy seems an odd topic of discourse.  But it starts to make sense when you notice […]


Ethical Evolution

Ethical Evolution

Healthy People, Spring 2013, Stewardship

Barely a century has passed since Louis Pasteur developed a vaccination for rabies. Since then, scientists have discovered treatments for some of the worst human scourges: smallpox, tuberculosis, polio and influenza. Much of their success can be traced to experiments on animals under circumstances that would shock us today. Pasteur learned about rabies by infecting […]


Balancing Work and Family

Balancing Work and Family

Healthy Economy, Innovation, Spring 2013, Terra Blog

Babies don’t wait for you to get your master’s degree. They arrive on their own schedules and change your life. Drew Arnold learned that lesson when he became a father. He also found that sleep comes in a distant third to family and education. In 2010, he began a graduate program in mechanical engineering at […]


OSU Advantage: Sustainable Semis

OSU Advantage: Sustainable Semis

Healthy Economy, Innovation, Spring 2013

Trucking companies are looking for new ways to cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. A partnership between Oregon State and Daimler is making inroads


From Data to Doing

From Data to Doing

Healthy Planet, Spring 2013, Stewardship

Adapting to climate change requires two key things: good data and boots on the ground. As oceans rise, icecaps melt, snowpack diminishes, wildfires rage and aquifers dry up, coupling science to action becomes ever more urgent. But the barriers to linking science to practical action are formidable, often springing from deep disparities in worldview among […]


Sea Trio

Sea Trio

Healthy Planet, Innovation, Spring 2013

Oregon State has been designated by the NSF as the lead institution for the design, building and launching of as many as three state-of-the-art research vessels.


Grape Crush

Grape Crush

Healthy Economy, New Terrain, Spring 2013

As you sip your favorite Oregon wine, do you ever wonder what happened to the discarded remains of those luscious grapes?


Flight Plan

Flight Plan

Healthy Economy, Innovation, Perspectives, Spring 2013, Terra Blog

UAVs can help manage wildfires, support a search-and-rescue mission, plant trees to avoid wind or heat damage, monitor wildlife, improve irrigation, detect crop-disease outbreaks and gauge environmental health.


Freedom of Access

Freedom of Access

Healthy Economy, Perspectives, Spring 2013, Terra Blog

“For scholars, access to the work of their peers is fundamental to the advancement of research.”


Nomads No More

Nomads No More

Healthy People, Spring 2013, Stewardship, Student Research

Pressure from encroaching modernization threatens traditional patterns of migration and collaboration in Inner Mongolia. Tom Conte, master’s student in anthropology, traveled there to learn about impacts on the grasslands and Mongolian culture.


On the Drawingboard

On the Drawingboard

Innovation, Spring 2013

A new learning laboratory will be a seedbed for the latest concepts in active teaching and learning to Oregon State.