Tag » Environment and Natural Resources

Polar Plunge
October 26, 2011

Polar Plunge

Fur coats may not be enough for Weddell seals

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 […]


Bug Zoo
October 12, 2011

Bug Zoo

OSU’s arthropod museum provides a window on the past and clues to our future

The other day, I found myself sharing a room with 3 million dead bugs.


On Call in Earthquake Country
September 23, 2011

On Call in Earthquake Country

Learning from devastation takes rapid response

When a severe earthquake strikes a distant community, Scott Ashford gets on a plane. He travels light but packs enough to be self-sufficient. He is, after all, going into a disaster zone where emergency personnel don’t need another mouth to feed. The head of the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering is […]


Hydro-deja vu: 50 Years of Water Resources Research at OSU
September 15, 2011

Hydro-deja vu: 50 Years of Water Resources Research at OSU

A statewide water research program has addressed critical issues for Oregon

“The Congress has found that we have entered a period in which acute water shortages are hampering our industries, our agriculture, our recreation, and our individual health and happiness.”


Going camping? Watch out for hitchhikers.
July 15, 2011

Going camping? Watch out for hitchhikers.

Boots, boats and campfire wood can carry exotic seeds, plants and other non-natives into the wilderness.


One Less Child
May 31, 2011

One Less Child

Reproductive choices affect long-term carbon emissions

If you’re concerned about sustainable living, you probably pay close attention to your “carbon footprint.” We all have one: the amount of climate changing carbon we emit to the atmosphere through our energy intensive lifestyles. Some of us even calculate our household’s footprint with one of the many carbon calculators available online. It helps to […]


A Slippery Slope
April 22, 2011

A Slippery Slope

Warm rains and glacial melting trigger dangerous debris flows

Grinding over ancient layers of lava and ash, the glaciers of the Cascade Range act like supersized sheets of shrinkwrap. Stretched taut across tons of pulverized rock, these blankets of frozen snow hold sand, gravel and boulders in place — that is, until they start to melt. Then the sediments, unlocked from the glaciers’ icy […]


Listening Post
February 23, 2011

Listening Post

Corvallis seismic monitoring station feeds data to an international network

In an underground bunker west of Corvallis, scientists monitor tremors around the world


Green Tower
February 10, 2011

Green Tower

A solution for the space-challenged gardener

If your taste buds yearn for home-grown tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic, lettuce, potatoes and cukes, but your garden is the size of a postage stamp, Al Shay has an idea for you. The instructor in OSU’s Dept. of Horticulture has built a “green tower” that creates nearly 90 square feet of usable plant growing space […]


After the Spill
January 5, 2011

After the Spill

Sarah Allan is tracking toxins in the Gulf of Mexico

The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought up bad memories for Sarah Allan. The Oregon State University Ph.D. student, who grew up in southeast Alaska, was a child in 1988, when the Exxon Valdez struck a reef and dumped millions of gallons of crude into another rich marine ecosystem, Prince William Sound. […]


Big mouths, glowing spines
December 8, 2010

Big mouths, glowing spines

Dragging a net through the water, Ricardo Letelier and Angel White come up with bizarre creatures: animals with long antennae and others with a mouth twice the size of their bodies. Plants with spines. Some with tails that propel them like tiny rockets. The scientists’ net is standard equipment in oceanography, but the microbes they […]


Quest for the perfect Christmas tree
December 7, 2010

Quest for the perfect Christmas tree

Christmas trees of the future will soon be growing in research greenhouses. (Photo: Lynn Ketchum)


A Name for Home: King Island
December 1, 2010

A Name for Home: King Island

If identity is linked to places on the landscape, names for those places become part of shared culture. An OSU research project has helped to document the culture of King Island, Alaska.


In Earth’s deep crust, microbes abound
November 30, 2010

In Earth’s deep crust, microbes abound

Near a mid-Atlantic Ocean ridge called Atlantis, scientists have discovered a rich microbial ecosystem in the deepest crustal rocks ever explored.


Linking Climate Sciences and Society
November 20, 2010

Linking Climate Sciences and Society

Northwest universities team up to serve regional needs

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute will lead efforts to assist government agencies and the public.


Neil Shay to Lead OSU’s Wine Institute
November 20, 2010

Neil Shay to Lead OSU’s Wine Institute

A molecular biologist who makes wine from his own grapes will lead research to support Oregon’s wine industry.


Farming on the Fringe
November 19, 2010

Farming on the Fringe

Urbanization can bring benefits to farmers

Urban homeowners and farmers don’t always see eye-to-eye, but along with new neighbors come opportunities.


Model Maker, National Medal Winner
November 17, 2010

Model Maker, National Medal Winner

OSU alumnus Warren Washington received the National Medal of Science in a White House ceremony on Nov. 17, 2010.


Power Wave
October 30, 2010

Power Wave

Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, Oregon State University and the private sector, wave energy is moving out of the lab and into the ocean. And none too soon. In the race for carbon-free sources of electricity, this one may make a real difference for Oregon and the nation. There are […]


Light on Leaves
October 20, 2010

Light on Leaves

Lasers reveal forest structure in HD

Not long ago if you wanted to measure the height of a tree, you had to do trigonometry on the ground — or gear up for a climb. But these days you have a more sophisticated option: beaming lasers from the sky. A revolutionary airborne technology called LiDAR (“light detection and ranging”) is making it […]


Seismic Safety
October 19, 2010

Seismic Safety

In an earthquake, Tom Miller knows which buildings to avoid.


A Way Forward for Oregon’s O&C Forests
October 19, 2010

A Way Forward for Oregon’s O&C Forests

Any fair-minded reading of the history of the O&C (Oregon and California Railroad) lands in Western Oregon would conclude that they were intended to provide economic support for the 18 counties in which they reside.


October 12, 2010

Talking About Water

Lest we forget that environmental and human health are intimately connected, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill delivered that message in spades. Dead birds and seaturtles were the poster animals for an event that closed fisheries and elevated health risks from volatile oil-based compounds in the air and water. Oregon State University researchers are working […]


October 10, 2010

Land “evapotranspiration” taking unexpected turn: huge parts of world are drying up

The soils in large areas of the Southern Hemisphere, including major portions of Australia, Africa and South America, have been drying up in the past decade.


Countdown on the Columbia
October 2, 2010

Countdown on the Columbia

Deadline looms for the river that turned darkness to dawn

More than 400 dams produce power and control floods in the nation’s fourth largest river basin. The U.S./Canada treaty that established responsibilities for water flow and power sharing is due for renewal.


DIRT Camp
September 30, 2010

DIRT Camp

Scott Sell earned a paycheck on the way to his degree.


Stones on Ice
June 23, 2010

Stones on Ice

Greenland streams hold clues to future sea levels

Why should the residents of Seattle, San Francisco, New York City and Boston worry about warming in Greenland, an ice-laden island in the North Atlantic? Because if all the water locked in the massive Greenland Ice Sheet flowed into the oceans, low-lying coastal cities worldwide would be inundated. “The Greenland Ice Sheet could contribute up […]


April 23, 2009

Climate by the Numbers

Modelers explore future states of the planet

You can’t just walk into the data center in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS). The sign on the door says you need a pass card. There should be another sign too: Caution, planetary experiments in progress. Inside, computer clusters churn 24/7, spinning out information about ocean currents, winds, air temperatures, ice […]


Call to Order
July 19, 2008

Call to Order

Science on the agenda

Problem solver and data provider. Advocate, explorer and teacher. Scientists play these and other roles in the often contentious environmental policy process, but not everyone agrees on which role is most important or even proper. And many scientists shy away from policy arenas where they can see their efforts to understand complex systems reduced to […]


Expedition to the Edge
May 23, 2008

Expedition to the Edge

An OSU scientist braves an uncharted rainforest in a search for rare and endangered species

A love of bugs led Chris Marshall to take a white-knuckle flight into a remote South American rainforest. With an eye on cataloging the diversity of these rich ecosystems before they vanish, he returned with species never seen by scientists.