Tag » environment

da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science
July 25, 2013

da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science

Oregon State scientists take audiences on a planetary journey

Leonardo da Vinci combined the practical and the beautiful, the mechanical and artistic. At the 2013 da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon State University scientists, engineers and mathematicians shared their journeys under Antarctic sea ice, to an African village, to Mars and through a mathematical landscape.


How Fire Saves Water
December 26, 2012

How Fire Saves Water

Controlled burns can keep water-hogging juniper in check

Parts of the Oregon outback are a poetic juxtaposition of passionate color scattered among charred, stalagmitic trees piercing the sky above like mighty javelins. In autumn, the understory blazes in hues of red, orange and yellow — colors that light the burnt forest as if it were once again on fire.


From Problem to Profit
July 17, 2010

From Problem to Profit

Western juniper could benefit Oregon's "green" economy

Which of Oregon’s abundant tree species can provide not only logs for your vacation cabin but scented oil for your afternoon massage and flavor for your evening cocktail? Juniperus occidentalis, western juniper. This hardy species – which is endemic to the dry, rocky grasslands east of the Cascades – has heartwood that is both beautiful […]


Summer of Science
July 17, 2010

Summer of Science

Experience Oregon's beauty and bounty through OSU research

Take a hike! Summer may have arrived a bit late in the Pacific Northwest, but you can make up for lost time by exploring Oregon through OSU’s Summer of Science Google map.


Partners in Rural Vitality
April 24, 2010

Partners in Rural Vitality

OSU students and faculty team with Wallowa Resources to address rural development

Beautiful landscapes may inspire us, but it takes more than scenery to create community vitality. Wallowa County and rural communities across the country struggle with economic development, a future for their youth and the cultural tensions that arise from changing land ownership. For more than a decade, such issues in Wallowa have been addressed by Wallowa […]


Living on the Fault
April 23, 2010

Living on the Fault

On a computer generated diagram of seismic profiles from Nepal and Tibet, John Nabelek traces a thin blue line. “That’s the interface between the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates,” he says. The earthquake-prone, mountainous terrain above it is home to an estimated 40 million people. “It is very steep. In earthquakes, landslides come tumbling […]


The Mythbuster
April 17, 2010

The Mythbuster

OSU graduate student Jesse Abrams interviewed ranchers, homeowners, business people and local officials to understand changes unfolding in Wallowa County.


March 23, 2010

From Margin to Mainstream

Scientists help farmers boost organic production

“The organic movement has evolved from a fringe element associated with a lost generation to a core business strategy of the world’s largest corporations.” –Reuters News Service, September 2008 When California-based Amy’s Kitchen opened a plant in Southern Oregon in 2006, the Oregon Department of Agriculture called it “a large feather in Oregon’s organic cap.” […]


February 22, 2010

Regulating Immunity: Toxicologists seek novel gene therapies

Dioxin, the chemical pollutant made infamous by Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange, has long been known to suppress immune function in humans and other animals. Surprisingly, this dangerous side effect has a scientific silver lining. While studying the toxin’s health effects, researchers discovered the genetic pathway to immune system malfunction. For people who would actually benefit […]


February 22, 2010

Girding the Grid: Engineers rethink power storage for wind

As wind turbines and solar arrays sprout up across the landscape, an urgent challenge arises: How to capture all that alternative energy for the electrical grid. Wind velocity and solar intensity vary wildly as weather changes and as seasons shift — fluctuations that are often out of sync with power demand. With $399,973 in funding […]


Living on Credit
February 22, 2010

Living on Credit

Forest landowners are beginning to turn carbon to cash

As Arctic ice thins, sea levels rise and glaciers recede, Ken Faulk takes stock of his trees in the Oregon Coast Range. Last summer, he began measuring his stands of Douglas fir and white oak by pounding plastic pipes into the ground to mark the centers of circles nearly 30 feet across. Working steadily in […]


February 22, 2010

The Range Keepers

A perennial partnership of ecologists, hydrologists and ranchers is renewing Oregon’s grasslands

The Hatfield and McCormack ranch families of Brothers, Oregon, have partnered with OSU for generations to improve rangeland ecology. (Photo: Mark Reed)


November 22, 2009

Green Solutions

Farming that fosters ecological balance and biological diversity is the goal of OSU’sOrganic Agriculture Program in the Department of Horticulture. The program’s 29 researchers are investigating sustainable solutions for everything from weeds and soil-borne diseases to beetle infestations and livestock waste management. Here is a sampling of studies under way. Anita Azarenko The head of […]


June 23, 2009

Climate Impacts

Abrupt global warming could shift monsoon patterns and cut agricultural output

At times in the distant past, an abrupt change in climate has been associated with a shift of seasonal monsoons to the south, a new study concludes, causing more rain to fall over the oceans than in the Earth’s tropical regions, and leading to a dramatic drop in global vegetation growth. If similar changes were […]


April 24, 2009

Where Grass Seed Is King

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the undisputed “grass-seed capital of the world.” In close partnership with growers and scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, OSU researchers and agronomists have been at the forefront of an industry worth $500 million. Here are some of the milestones. 1909 Seed lab starts up on campus for research and […]


April 24, 2009

Restoring the Flow

If you had happened upon Lake Creek, a tributary of Central Oregon’s Metolius River, in the fall of 2007, you might have seen Matt Shinderman and his Ecological Field Methods students standing nearly knee-deep in the water with dip nets in hand, hovering over tic-tac-toe style grids. And you might have been puzzled when they […]


February 24, 2009

“Expedition” in Computational Sustainability

Scratch below the surface of a natural resources question and you’ll often find a tough nut to crack. The complex interactions among species and their habitats have bedeviled scientists from before Charles Darwin’s day to the present, preventing them in many cases from generating information that managers need to develop effective policies. Now a group […]


Was Nature Ever Wild?
January 24, 2009

Was Nature Ever Wild?

The human face in 
environmental restoration

When Spanish expeditions explored what is now the Santa Barbara, California, region in the 16th and 17th centuries, they found thriving native communities.


Wired Watershed
January 23, 2009

Wired Watershed

Fiberoptics bring new precision to ecosystem sensing

It took a potato launcher, a canoe and a helium-filled balloon to propel a high-tech scientific enterprise during an international workshop at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.