Tag » Environment & Natural Resources

Flight of the Bumblebees
January 10, 2014

Flight of the Bumblebees

Scientists will follow bumblebees with tiny sensors

Responding to the sting of declining honeybee populations, Oregon State University entomologists and engineers are planning to track native bumblebees with tiny sensors. Many aspects of bumblebee behavior are unknown, but better understanding may lead to bee-friendly agricultural practices, says Sujaya Rao, an entomologist in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Lack of pollination is a […]


Sustainability, Face to Face
November 11, 2013

Sustainability, Face to Face

A village on the Amazon leaves a powerful impression

Last February, when Lisa Baldinger arrived in Belém, a city of 2 million people on Brazil’s north coast, she didn’t speak a word of Portuguese. “I didn’t even know how to say ‘hello,’” she says. Baldinger had gone to Brazil to learn about grassroots environmental management in the Amazon rainforest. She came home with a […]


Roots of Relationship
February 26, 2013

Roots of Relationship

Under the pine needles lies one of the secrets to forest health

The summer is warm and sunny in Corvallis, but my travels draw me east. Over and past the Cascades is an open land where the cold sparkling waters of a river flow north, and the sweet smell of Ponderosa pine blends with the fresh scent of lodgepole — the Deschutes National Forest. My one-person tent […]


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.


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.”


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 […]


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.”


Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens
July 25, 2012

Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens

Oregon State Extension experiments with pest control in organic apple orchard

“Aw, no bugs!” exclaims Betsey Miller after meticulously pouring over a wheelbarrow’s worth of decomposing leaf litter and manure. “The chickens are doing a great job, but it’s still fun for us entomologists to find insects once in a while!” A pen of praiseworthy red-ranger chickens peck away at the grass a few yards away, […]


Horns of Africa
July 11, 2012

Horns of Africa

Dylan McDowell studies endangered rhinos in Tanzanian reserves

In the place where Dylan McDowell grew up, wildlife meant sea lions, sandpipers, salmon and passing pods of spouting whales. Where he’s going this summer, wildlife means something else entirely, something reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, exotic and fearsome: wildebeests, jackals, baboons, leopards, warthogs. And rhinos that have been poached nearly […]


Sea Urchin
July 11, 2012

Sea Urchin

Caitlyn Clark takes her love of ecology to Ireland's first marine reserve

On her first-ever research trip, Caitlyn Clark trudged up and down hundreds of spongy hummocks spanning miles of arctic tundra, all the while swatting at giant mosquitoes and scanning for hungry polar bears. She was in Manitoba to collect data about the habitats of boreal frogs and stickleback fish for Earthwatch Institute Student Challenge Awards […]


Relay for Wheat
June 20, 2012

Relay for Wheat

If wheat breeding were a relay race, the land grant all-star team would include Foote, Kronstad, Peterson and now Zemetra

When he was a college student, Bob Zemetra found the perfect career. “I liked working with plants, and I realized that in plant breeding — in theory — I could be outside in the good part of the year and inside in the bad part of the year.” Things didn’t turn out that way, he […]


Fisher of Rivers
June 6, 2012

Fisher of Rivers

Haley Ohms wades into Dolly Varden research in Japanese streams

A river runs through Haley Ohms’ life. Actually, a whole bunch of rivers. So spending the summer hip-deep in fast-moving water will feel familiar to the Oregon State University graduate student — even if those cold, tumbling waters flow on the other side of the Pacific Rim. The fish will seem familiar, too. The Dolly […]


Pumped Up
June 5, 2012

Pumped Up

Zachary Dunn helps bring clean water to Kenyan farmers

How far would you go to help someone get a glass of clean water? Zachary Dunn knows exactly how far he’d go: 9,000 miles. And that’s just one trip, one way. By summer’s end, Dunn and fellow Oregon State University students had traveled almost 36,000 miles — greater than the Earth’s circumference — to help […]


Evidence for Change
May 25, 2012

Evidence for Change

Rigorous climate science trumps our senses

Some people take a dim view of the idea that Oregon, as well as the rest of the world, could be expected to continue warming in coming decades. They may cite March snowfall in the Willamette Valley or unpublished comparisons of mean temperatures over a given time period in specific places. Appealing as it is, […]


Native health
February 2, 2012

Native health

Tribe and OSU scientists study exposure to wood-smoke pollutants

Stuart Harris can still remember the sights, scents and sounds of the autumn day when he gathered with his family as a boy and helped the adults smoke deer: crisp leaves, a dusting of frost and the laughter of children mingling with the smell of smoke in the air. For Harris, a member of the […]


Advocate for the planet
December 14, 2011

Advocate for the planet

Bill McKibben travels the Earth to save it

What we’ve come to understand in recent years is the scale of change and the pace of change that we’re now kicking off. We’re not going to be able to adapt past a certain point.


Strange bedfellows: magnetism and climate
December 13, 2011

Strange bedfellows: magnetism and climate

What's magnetism got to do with it? An OSU postdoctoral scientist joins an expedition to the Atlantic to look for climate clues.

Chuang Xuan is at sea on the research vessel JOIDES Resolution studying magnetic and climate evidence in deep-sea sediment cores.


Chasing the canine connection
November 16, 2011

Chasing the canine connection

When Cristina Eisenberg first heard a wolf howl, she felt comforted and curious.

[Editor's note: Ingrid Ockert is senior pursuing a liberal arts degree with a focus in the history of science ] When Cristina Eisenberg and her family moved to Montana in 1994, they received a warm welcome from their neighbors. On the first night in their new log cabin, they were greeted by the sonorous howls […]


Rice Paddy People
October 27, 2011

Rice Paddy People

In a rural village, farmers fight industrial pollution

The young Chinese laborer was desperate. Like millions of other migrant workers in China’s dash to industrialize, he had left his home and family to work in a factory in the rural interior. Now, environmental officials had closed the zinc smelter in Futian where he worked, and without a job, nearly out of money and […]


Place names link birds and King Island culture
May 9, 2011

Place names link birds and King Island culture

Seabirds figure prominently in the island's history and culture.

In her effort to document the place names of her native King Island, Alaska, Deanna Paniataaq Kingston encountered cultural links to birds. Many of the names and stories referenced them. Kauna vaktuat is “the place where you can reach and get birds from rocks,” Tayaguq is “crested auklet place” and Iizrayaq is “sea gull cliff.” […]


Cascadia Roulette
January 25, 2011

Cascadia Roulette

The odds are good that a major earthquake will strike the Pacific Northwest in the near future. We're overdue, says Robert Yeats.

Bob Yeats has spent his career preparing people for the possible: a catastrophic earthquake


First Oregon ShakeOut
January 25, 2011

First Oregon ShakeOut

On January 26, Oregonians will participate in the state’s first Oregon ShakeOut to raise earthquake awareness. What they learn could save lives when the next Big One hits.


Earth Ethics
November 19, 2010

Earth Ethics

Extension’s National Network for Sustainable Living Education has grown from the work of OSU professor Viviane Simon-Brown. Starting with 12 colleagues in five states in 2004, more than 80 people at 30 land grant universities now collaborate to promote planet-friendly lifestyles.


Windows on Watersheds
April 23, 2008

Windows on Watersheds

A clear look at industrial forests

Old-style logging left scars on the landscape, but nearly 40 years ago, research in Oregon changed tree-cutting practices. Now researchers are joining landowners to update the science behind modern forest management.


July 23, 2007

Grasping for Air

Nighttime breezes may be key to mountain forests

Under a blue sky in mid-March, an Oregon State University research team left Corvallis to collect data in a valley deep in Oregon’s western Cascades. The two-hour ride to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest gave the technicians and graduate students time to catch up before arriving at the facility’s headquarters near Blue River. They would […]