Stories

Elusive Equity
May 13, 2015

Elusive Equity

Oregon State tackles the persistent bias inhibiting women in STEM fields

“It is not lack of talent, but unintentional biases and outmoded institutional structures that are hindering the access and advancement of women.”
— Beyond Bias and Barriers, National Academy of Sciences


Kathleen Bogart
May 13, 2015

Kathleen Bogart

Assistant Professor, School of Psychological Sciences

Kathleen Bogart doesn’t take communication for granted. Even as a child, she was aware that people responded to her differently. She was born with Moebius Syndrome, a condition that causes facial paralysis and difficulty in moving eyes from side to side. She had to work to make herself understood. In college, Bogart found that Moebius […]


Margaret Burnett
May 13, 2015

Margaret Burnett

Professor of Computer Science, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

When Margaret Burnett was growing up in the 1960s, being a female with a gift for math led to one likely career: teaching. She didn’t see herself in front of a classroom, but when a neighbor got a job with IBM after majoring in math in college, Burnett saw an opportunity. As an undergraduate at […]


Lisa Gaines
May 13, 2015

Lisa Gaines

Director, Institute for Natural Resources

Lisa Gaines’ grandmother made it a priority to educate her girls. “I will educate my daughters before I educate my sons,” Gaines remembers her saying. Gaines’ grandmother lived her entire life in the black community in St. Louis and saw that young men “always found a way of making it through, but women did not.” […]


Julie Greenwood
May 13, 2015

Julie Greenwood

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, College of Science

A video in Julie Greenwood’s lab catches cancer cells in the act of invading the brain. They are glioblastoma cells, agents of the same disease that killed Senator Ted Kennedy. “Glioblastoma cells are very effective at invading the neighboring tissue of the brain,” says Greenwood. “In many cases, these cells sprint.” Although surgery is often […]


Catalina Segura
May 13, 2015

Catalina Segura

Assistant Professor, College of Forestry

As the daughter of a physics professor and a lawyer, Catalina Segura set her sites on working in a university. Her father was “truly excited to use science to make a difference,” she recalls. “He was very inspiring.” But growing up in Bogotá, Colombia, which ranks among the world’s 25 largest cities, Segura turned her […]


Holly Swisher
May 13, 2015

Holly Swisher

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics

In her first year in college (Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma), music almost won out over mathematics for Holly Swisher’s attention. During her high school years in Salem, she had played piano and bassoon in a youth symphony, sang in a choir and even played drums in the marching band. But her love of math wouldn’t […]


Faux Snakeskin and Power Suits
May 13, 2015

Faux Snakeskin and Power Suits

From sweatshops to high-fashion runways, contradictions abound in the apparel industry

In her tailored navy-blue blouse and dark pinstriped trousers, Minjeong Kim looks all business — muted, buttoned-down. But then you notice her shoes. Sitting at her desk in Milam Hall, she lifts her foot to show off the wedged sneaker with its hidden two-and-a-half-inch heel.


Undersea Gliders Think Like a Fish
May 12, 2015

Undersea Gliders Think Like a Fish

Sensors will shed light on ocean ecology

  BY EQUIPPING UNDERWATER GLIDERS with acoustic sensors and computer software, Oregon State oceanographers are teaching the autonomous vehicles to identify biological hot spots in the oceans. “We want to get a better handle on what kind of marine animals are out there, how many there are, where they are distributed and how they respond […]


Computing Resilience
May 11, 2015

Computing Resilience

University consortium targets community infrastructure

Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other natural disasters strike with little or no warning. By developing new computer tools to evaluate buildings, utility networks and other infrastructure, Oregon State is helping communities to reduce damage and speed recovery.


OSU Advantage: Wood Panel Promise
May 11, 2015

OSU Advantage: Wood Panel Promise

Rapid construction, quake-resistant performance

Not since the development of plywood has a material innovation so thoroughly changed the construction process. “It’s an entirely new technology,” says Lech Muszynski. “It revolutionizes the way we build with wood.”


Lack of Vitamin E May Threaten Brain Health
May 11, 2015

Lack of Vitamin E May Threaten Brain Health

Micronutrient could be an Alzheimer’s risk factor

New research shows that vitamin E is needed to prevent a dramatic loss of a critically important molecule in the brain and helps explain why vitamin E is needed for brain health.


Student-Built Solar Car to the Middle East
May 11, 2015

Student-Built Solar Car to the Middle East

Oregon State’s Phoenix runs in Abu Dhabi’s first solar race

AT LAST WINTER’S ABU DHABI Solar Challenge, residents of the Persian Gulf emirate would pull alongside competitors on the highway, lean out and take photos of the solar-powered vehicles. Solar cars are as much a novelty there as in the United States, says John Ren, a member of the solar car team at Oregon State […]


Of Mice, Astronauts and the Elderly
May 11, 2015

Of Mice, Astronauts and the Elderly

Studying bone loss on the International Space Station

With funding from NASA, scientists from Oregon State are looking at how mice expend energy under weightless conditions. Specifically, they want to know if the manner in which animals regulate body temperature affects bone loss.


Student Research: Electric Earth
May 11, 2015

Student Research: Electric Earth

Honors student looks at how the West was made

Through the science of geomagnetics, an Oregon State University senior from Beaverton is peering into the structure of the Earth’s crust with an eye on how the continent is put together and what that might mean for our future.


The Crossing
May 11, 2015

The Crossing

A scholar resides comfortably astride the sciences-humanities divide

English professor Raymond Malewitz will take you on an intellectual romp that careens from crime-scene forensics to IKEA hackers, from the Sokal hoax to mad-cow disease, from “salvagepunks” to the Adventures of Tintin.


Anatomy of a Climate Tool
May 11, 2015

Anatomy of a Climate Tool

A scientist and a student achieve mind-meld with sagebrush managers

A climate scientist and a student surveyed land managers in sagebrush country to create a blueprint for a practical, nimble, accessible computer tool for helping manage fires, protect wildlife, reseed vegetation and control invasives in a shifting landscape.


Taking the Plunge
May 11, 2015

Taking the Plunge

First-year engineering student hits her stride

If engineering still seems like a male domain, you wouldn’t know it by talking to Amber Meeks. While she says she was “that one girl” growing up in Gaston, Oregon, with three brothers, she has plenty of female engineering peers at Oregon State. They run the gamut from chemical and biomedical to electrical and civil […]


Natural Determination
April 27, 2015

Natural Determination

Documenting women’s fight for equity in wildlife biology

To be a wildlife biologist, it helps to have skills: to climb 30 feet up a tree to reach an eagle’s nest, to monitor a tranquilized wolf before it wakes or to track a wolverine in the high country. And in years past, it would have helped to be a man. For much of the […]


Reefs Under Siege
April 22, 2015

Reefs Under Siege

The nose of the Boston Whaler dips into the trough of the wave for a stomach-dropping second. The crew and divers now face a wall of water topped by the frothing curl of a break. They ride up so steeply that the boat seems about to topple backward.


April 14, 2015

Wired for Sound

Designing a musical instrument for the electronic age

JUST TO LOOK AT IT, YOU’D NEVER KNOW Daren Keck’s handmade gizmo is a musical instrument. A flat plastic contraption about the size of a thin paperback novel, it bristles with wires of yellow, red, green and black alongside a row of stainless-steel switches. Any resemblance to, say, a violin or an oboe is nil. […]


Oceanic Oscillation
April 13, 2015

Oceanic Oscillation

Observing the secret lives of jellyfish

Jessica Luo and Kelly Robinson are jelly lovers — not the jellies you smear on your toast but the ones that float in the ocean, their bell-shaped bodies pulsing like slow-motion heartbeats in the currents of the sea. “I’m just blown away by the beauty and diversity of the jellies,” says Luo, a Ph.D. student […]


April 8, 2015

Dive inside…

Welcome to Terra+, OSU’s research e-newsletter. In this issue, you’ll get a glimpse of the vast, underwater world of drifting marine animals called zooplankton. These life forms — mostly tiny, transparent and gelatinous — are the focus of study in our Plankton Lab here at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center (which, by the way, is […]


February 13, 2015

Toward Optimal Health

On Our Borderless Orb

On a lonely planet beset by toxic chemicals, animal-to-human infections, cancers of all kinds, rampant obesity and a looming Centenarian Boom, the “One Health” concept just makes sense


Child Obesity
February 13, 2015

Child Obesity

Solving the weighty matter of kids’ health

“Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, and problem-solving tasks.” — John Medina, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving  and Thriving at Work,  Home, and School Back in the 1950s, stay-at-home moms cooked meals from scratch while kids ran and played outdoors till dinnertime. Fast-forward to the dual-income or single-parent families of the […]


Public Exposure
February 13, 2015

Public Exposure

Tracking the Wind

“Except for the original blueprint of our chromosomes, all the material that is us — from bone to blood to breast tissue — has come to us from the environment.” — Sandra Steingraber,  Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment In 2010, the President’s Panel on Cancer reported that, in the course […]


Inside Job
February 13, 2015

Inside Job

New drugs turn the tables on pathogens

Carnivores eat their prey from the outside, author David Quammen writes in his 2012 book Spillover. Pathogens attack from within and are no less deadly. They enter our bodies unseen when we breathe, have sex, take a drink of water or just walk in the woods.


Cancer
February 13, 2015

Cancer

Unraveling the tangled threads of a stealthy disease

Last fall, the nation was riveted to the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman afflicted with inoperable brain cancer. She captured the media spotlight when she moved to Oregon to access lethal drugs under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. Maynard had chosen to die before the tumor took her autonomy.


The Silver Tsunami
February 13, 2015

The Silver Tsunami

Growing older and staying healthy

“At 80 the marks of decay are all too visible. … Perhaps, with luck, I will make it, more or less intact, for another few years and be granted the liberty to continue to love and work, the two most important things, Freud insisted, in life.” — Oliver Sacks, “The Joy of Old Age. (No […]


Mining the Micronutrient Mother Lode
February 13, 2015

Mining the Micronutrient Mother Lode

Millions visit LPI website to learn about vitamins

The nutrition aisle of your local supermarket can make you dizzy. Row upon row, bottle after bottle of tablets and capsules promise health, youth, vigor, longevity, energy, regularity — even better sex. How do you choose one from another? How much should you take? Should children take a daily multivitamin? Do supplements even work? To […]