Tag » Sustainability

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 […]


A Cheaper Cell
October 10, 2013

A Cheaper Cell

Antifreeze shows promise in solar cell manufacturing

Faster, cheaper, better. The conventional wisdom says you can’t get all three at the same time. But researchers at Oregon State say otherwise — at least when it comes to new materials for making solar cells. Engineers have found a less expensive, less toxic, better performing — and surprising — substance for solar cell manufacturing: […]


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 […]


Posture for the Planet
February 14, 2013

Posture for the Planet

Green Yoga combines inner peace with ecological consciousness

For many people, yoga is a form of relaxation. But in India, the birthplace of the exercise, yoga is beginning to stretch beyond the boundaries of one’s self and into the ecological realm. A new movement called “Green Yoga” encourages men and women who practice yoga — called yogis and yoginis — to strive for […]


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 […]


Behind the Screens
September 10, 2012

Behind the Screens

OSU-UO partnership aims at greening the flat-panel display industry

Some of today’s flat-panel TV and computer screens are nearly as big as a living room wall. They bring us unimaginably sharp detail, from the spots on butterfly wings to the grimace on a linebacker’s face. Whether hooked up to your cable feed, DVD player or wi-fi, this technology is becoming integral to daily life. However, our love of flashy high-res has a dark side.


Wheat for the West
June 7, 2012

Wheat for the West

Land grant research catapulted wheat farming into an economic power that feeds the world

It is arguably the plant that made the West. Pioneers brought wheat in practically every wagon on the Oregon Trail. It fed farm families in the Willamette Valley and miners in the John Day and California gold-rush towns. It was currency and foreign exchange. As the nation grew, scientists developed dryland and irrigated growing techniques. […]


Toward a scholarly embrace
April 11, 2012

Toward a scholarly embrace

Environmental Humanities Initiative brings science and the humanities together

Ambling along the oaky trails at Finley Wildlife Refuge last Saturday morning — one of the first days without rain in a long, long time — my two friends and I paused at the edge of a pond along Woodpecker Loop.  Just under the murky surface, several rough-skinned newts were swimming in slow motion, their […]


Quartet for the Earth
February 21, 2012

Quartet for the Earth

Four students bring distinct perspectives to climate change research

A mountaineer, a world traveler, an athlete and a Chinese scholar pursue answers to climate change questions.


Learning to think like a planet
February 20, 2012

Learning to think like a planet

In a rapidly changing environment that will challenge human relationships, how can we maintain a respectful and ethical culture?


State of Change: Building Our Shells
February 20, 2012

State of Change: Building Our Shells

“The attitudes of Oregonians toward climate change are somewhat unknown, but small-scale surveys indicate that many residents of our state would consider it a problem worth attention by policymakers.”
– Oregon Climate Assessment Report


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 […]


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.”


Speaking of Plastic
September 14, 2011

Speaking of Plastic

Plastic doesn't belong in the ocean, but let's get real

You might have heard a few supposed facts about plastic in the ocean: 1) There is a massive swirling gyre of plastic, the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” between California and Japan that is twice the size of Texas; and 2) this plastic debris outweighs plankton and is growing in size. Interestingly, the scientific literature does […]


Bright Idea
September 14, 2011

Bright Idea

The future of solar energy could be on your desk — the inkjet printer

In the beginning, there was silicon, and it was really good. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It gave us golden, sandy beaches and sunlit kitchen windows. Beer mugs and home insulation. Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Forest in the Pacific Northwest. Personal computers and the Information Age. And solar […]


Sticky Business
September 14, 2011

Sticky Business

Incidental discovery could lead to a revolution in the adhesives industry

The OSU researchers were working toward a hot-melt adhesive made from cheap and plentiful vegetable oils that could be used in wood composites. For that purpose, they were making little progress. But at one point, Kaichang Li, an international expert in wood chemistry and composites, and his postdoctoral research associate, Anlong Li, noticed that their […]


Optimizing Energy
April 26, 2011

Optimizing Energy

Simulations and modeling help to boost a fuel cell's energy output

Imagine a black box with knobs on the outside that you can turn. If you add fuel, the box produces electricity. By adjusting the knobs, you can change the power output, but there’s a catch — you’re not sure how far to turn the knobs to produce the most power. For researchers at Oregon State […]


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 […]


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 […]


Lines in the Water
February 1, 2011

Lines in the Water

Communities and scientists explore proposed marine reserves

As fishermen, scientists and coastal communities spar over Oregon’s system of marine reserves, OSU researchers and their partners are developing the science. One of their first testing grounds is Port Orford’s Redfish Rocks.


Raised Voices
February 1, 2011

Raised Voices

Sea Grant Extension helps communities address problems

Fishing is hard enough. The weather, changing ocean conditions and the fickleness of fish make it tough to track your quarry let alone catch them. Now competition for space in the ocean — an oxymoron in an environment defined by its seemingly limitless expanse — poses new concerns along the West Coast. In the future, […]


From Research to Retail
February 1, 2011

From Research to Retail

Bringing science and business together for Oregon seafood

Gilbert “Gil” Sylvia spent childhood summers riding a bus through the lake-studded military base where he lived, hauling buckets of live fish from pond to pond. He and his buddies were trying to alter the balance of species for one reason: to boost their own catches. They never guessed that by dumping sunfish, bass and […]


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


Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit
December 22, 2010

Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit

The popular aquarium fish are rebounding after being nearly wiped out

Marine ecologists at Oregon State University have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and “re-seed” fish stocks significant distances away – more than 100 miles in a new study from Hawaii.


The Greening of Wood Products
November 20, 2010

The Greening of Wood Products

Wood composites offer resilience, efficiency and strength.


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.


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 […]


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 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.