Stories

Corps of Discovery
February 1, 2013

Corps of Discovery

Mastering the natural history of Oregon's storied lands and waters - and passing it on

Just as some babies are born with special gifts for music or math, Harvard’s Howard Gardner argues, others come into the world with an exceptional sensitivity to nature. The Oregon Master Naturalist program was designed to tap into this devotion to the land and build a statewide corps of expert volunteers.


Concord Elementary School
January 31, 2013

Concord Elementary School

Where vegetables sprout (and kids, too)

Amid the chaos, the kids are learning about the art of gardening.


Lake of the Woods
January 31, 2013

Lake of the Woods

Where the wild things are

“The three key words in the mission of Oregon Master Naturalists are explore, connect, contribute.”


South Slough
January 31, 2013

South Slough

Where the waters mix

Anne and Philip Matthews have explored every twist and tangle of the South Slough, which became the nation’s first national estuarine research reserve in the 1970s.


Rimrock Ranch
January 31, 2013

Rimrock Ranch

Where steelhead will swim again

Guiding tours for the Deschutes Land Trust has been, for years, an outgrowth of Mary Crow’s passion for the land.


Caring for Cows
January 30, 2013

Caring for Cows

Humane treatment of livestock benefits industry as well as animals

Studies show that a stressed animal is more likely to be a sick, scrawny, infertile animal — hardly the formula for business success if you’re a rancher or dairyman.


An Ethical Tightrope
January 30, 2013

An Ethical Tightrope

Learning to make delicate choices

Making ethical choices about animals can be a philosophical high-wire act — a precarious balance of practicality and principle. Weighing practical needs against “normative ethics” — right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust — requires more than a handbook of do’s and don’ts. “The institutional protocols — the laws, regulations, policies — provide […]


Oregon State University In Asia
January 29, 2013

Oregon State University In Asia

Scientific partnerships flourish across the region

For growth in research and educational opportunities, Oregon State University faculty and students increasingly look west. Connections to Asia are expanding. They encompass a wide range of activities including academic conferences, student exchanges and faculty collaborations. They focus on business, engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, wood science, music and more. The university’s growing international influence is fueled […]


Staying in Touch
January 23, 2013

Staying in Touch

My mother had her eyes focused on the future.


The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards
January 23, 2013

The Road to Ecosystem Safeguards

Unsnarling the regulatory tangle in transportation planning

“This new tool will help speed up transportation projects while beefing up environmental stewardship.”


Twice the Rice
January 23, 2013

Twice the Rice

Adding vitamin B1 may boost nutrition and immunity

A new breed of rice could fend off crop-damaging diseases and improve human health at the same time.


The Glove Goes Wireless
January 23, 2013

The Glove Goes Wireless

Student team wins national award for innovative design

A student-designed “wireless hand sensor” may not only help reduce hand and wrist injuries associated with repetitive motion but may have applications in robotics, medicine and computer gaming.


The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants
January 23, 2013

The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants

Chemicals may harm brain development in young children

Your old sofa, as comfy as it is, could be a hazard to your children’s health.


Ice Core Diaries
January 23, 2013

Ice Core Diaries

Records from the past carry warnings for our future

We are slowly beginning to understand the anatomy of global climate and how it changes, its geographic fingerprint and its tempo. Ice cores paint a complex and sometimes surprising picture, one that generations of scientists will spend decades trying to fully understand.


Sex in Play
January 23, 2013

Sex in Play

From dolls to sports, sexualized culture affects youth

It takes media savvy and strong role models to promote healthy development in the face of what the American Psychological Association calls “the massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”


Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School
January 18, 2013

Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School

Sara says, "jump!"

Playing games may be fun and exciting for young children, but researchers have found they also can be academically beneficial. Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. student Sara Schmitt is finding out just how much. “One of the primary studies I’ve been involved in here at Oregon State is trying to develop a screening tool […]


Long Life and Naked Mole Rats
January 18, 2013

Long Life and Naked Mole Rats

An undergraduate researcher searches for the key to long life

At 7 a.m., Minhazur Sarker is the first person to arrive in Tory Hagen’s lab on the third floor of the Linus Pauling Science Center. Hagen, a renowned researcher with the Linus Pauling Institute, studies the human healthspan. The research that takes place in his lab is focused toward a lofty goal: promoting healthy, less […]


January 10, 2013

Advantage for Business

Oregon State creates "one stop shop" for businesses to access market-driven research, skilled workforce

OSU officials have launched a new initiative called Oregon State University Advantage, designed to boost the university’s impact on job creation and economic progress in Oregon and the nation. “Oregon State University Advantage should foster increased bottom-line success for business,” said Rick Spinrad, OSU vice president for research. “It will dramatically increase private industry access […]


The Ethic of Care
October 12, 2012

The Ethic of Care

Respect for animals guides their treatment in teaching and research

The three rats snoozing in Cage 57 don’t know it, but they could someday help save thousands of human lives. Snuggled in their EcoFresh bedding, the rodents are digesting a meal that may hold clues to preventing colon cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. On their cage, equipped with HEPA […]


High Grades for Animal Care
October 12, 2012

High Grades for Animal Care

Accreditation panel praised Oregon State's laboratory-animal standards and practices

In awarding full accreditation to Oregon State University in March, AAALAC offered the following remarks to Rick Spinrad, vice president for research. “The Council commends you and your staff for providing and maintaining an excellent program of laboratory animal care and use.” Especially noteworthy, the council said, was the high level of administrative commitment to […]


Doctor at the Top
October 12, 2012

Doctor at the Top

How lambs, preemies, “death cap” mushrooms and research pigs steered a stellar career

A human life can pivot on the quirkiest of convergences. In the life of Helen Diggs, it was the accidental nexus of five unfortunate hikers, a bagful of poisonous mushrooms and a few heroic pigs that set change in motion. It all started early one morning in 1988 when Diggs, then a young veterinarian, heard […]


A Whole Lot of Seriousness
October 12, 2012

A Whole Lot of Seriousness

With lives on the line, there’s no room for nonchalance

“Nothing is more important in an animal study than the animal itself,” says Steve Durkee. His tone is reminiscent of Moses handing down the stone tablets. Just like Moses, Durkee is not kidding around. The righteous idealism that fed Durkee’s Greenpeace activism in his “younger, wilder days” still beats in his chest as administrator of […]


Ten Discoveries at Oregon State
October 12, 2012

Ten Discoveries at Oregon State

With the help of animals, Oregon State scientists have made important discoveries in human health (see The Ethic of Care). “These findings would not have been possible relying only on cell cultures or experimenting with yeast and bacteria,” says pharmacy researcher Mark Leid. His lab created and used genetically modified mice to discover important roles […]


Drug Test
October 12, 2012

Drug Test

Chemists' prototype fingers fake medicines

By some estimates, a third to half of the artesunate, an anti-malarial drug, in some countries is counterfeit. The World Health Organization has called for faster, more accurate tests, and now a team of Oregon State University chemists has stepped up with an innovative approach.


Staph Attack
October 12, 2012

Staph Attack

Vitamin therapy shows promise in treating "superbug"

Deadly staph infections may have a potent new foe: Vitamin B3. Megadoses of the vitamin can help the immune system fight the superbug MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and other institutions have found. The findings could lead to new treatment options for health officials who have […]


Far and Away
October 12, 2012

Far and Away

Oregon State students make discoveries from French Polynesia to the African savannah

When you play fetch with a killer whale, it makes an impression. When you play fetch with a killer whale and you’re only 7 years old, it can change your life. For Renee Albertson, the change was a long time in the making. But as she tried first one career and then another, she never […]


Business Partnerships Lead Research Growth
October 11, 2012

Business Partnerships Lead Research Growth

Private support, technology licenses lead increase in Oregon State research revenues

Oregon State University recorded its second-best year ever in research funding and achieved a new milestone in research support from the private sector in the fiscal year that ended June 30. In all, Oregon State research totaled almost $281 million last year, just shy of OSU’s top research performance achieved in 2010. Meanwhile, private sector […]


Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group
October 10, 2012

Spinrad to Lead Ocean-Observing Group

Committee advises federal policymakers

Oregon State’s vice president for research, Rick Spinrad, has been tapped to chair a federal committee on ocean observing systems. The 13 marine scientists, conservationists and industry stakeholders will advise the Integrated Ocean Observation System, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on data collection, management and technological innovation. As a former […]


The Biscuit Fire 10 Years Later
October 10, 2012

The Biscuit Fire 10 Years Later

What will the long-term data show?

The 2002 Biscuit Fire not only torched a half-million acres in Southern Oregon, it became a poster child for the debate over post-fire management and forest recovery. When the journal Science accepted a paper on the fire’s aftermath by then-graduate student Daniel Donato, it ignited a long-smoldering debate over what, if anything, should be done […]


Eco-roofs and Earthquakes
October 10, 2012

Eco-roofs and Earthquakes

Research will guide new structural standards

Growing greenery on roofs brings many benefits. Buildings stay cooler, saving energy. Roofs last longer, saving money and materials. Birds and insects find new habitat, helping ecosystems. And green roofs make urban spaces more aesthetically and spiritually pleasing, as well as reducing heat-island effects for city dwellers. But there are some costs that need to […]