Tag » Sustainability

January 23, 2008

Breaking Through

Researchers take it to the marketplace

When Larry Plotkin took a buy-out package from Hewlett-Packard in 2005, he aimed to start a new business in the mid-Willamette Valley. He was familiar with OSU research on transparent transistors, algae-generated biodiesel and microbial fuel cells. “This is world-class stuff,” he says. And he felt that the potential for new products based on OSU […]


Vital Signs
July 23, 2007

Vital Signs

In late April, lush vegetation hems the Coquille Valley in hues of emerald and chartreuse and the forest-greens of Douglas fir. The fertile earth, alive with new growth, suggests vitality and prosperity. On Main Street, the truth is more complicated than that. Like so many rural Oregon communities, the small towns snuggled against timbered hills […]


Winds of Change
July 22, 2007

Winds of Change

Scientists link air and water currents as shifting conditions take their toll on the Oregon coast

In his 32 years as a crab fisherman off the central Oregon coast, Al Pazar has pulled up a lot of strange things in his pots: wolf eels, skates, huge starfish, fossilized rocks, octopi, fish that rarely stray south of Alaska, and others that prefer the warm subtropical waters off Mexico. But until July 2002, […]


July 4, 2007

Salmon Survival

Ocean conditions play a key role in the health of Northwest salmon runs, and scientists at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center are trying to pinpoint why. Clearly there are more salmon during cold-water regimes, when strong and persistent upwelling fertilizes the marine food web. Bill Peterson, a federal biologist at the Hatfield Center, says one […]


April 1, 2007

Lessons From the Zumwalt Prairie

Grazing for nature

When Marcy Cottrell Houle headed to the Zumwalt Prairie in the 1980s with her topo maps, tree-climbing gear and raptor leg bands to study hawks, she assumed wildlife and cows were incompatible. After all, that was the prevailing view — and there were millions of overgrazed acres across the West to prove it. So when […]


April 1, 2007

Minding the Dairy

Scientists reveal a killer’s M.O.

Little matters more to dairy farmers than the purity of their product and the health of their animals. So when Warren “Buzz” Gibson, co-owner and herd manager at the Lochmead Dairy in Junction City, Oregon, heard six years ago that an incurable cattle disease called Johne’s (pronounced “yo-knees”) could threaten his reputation for quality, he […]


April 1, 2007

Growing Technology

From microbes to plants, OSU researchers are leveraging biological materials to develop a variety of new products. Here are some highlights: Cellulose Power Professor Michael Penner in the Department of Food Science and Technology is studying one of the holy grails of the bio-based fuel industry: the economical conversion of woody plant materials into ethanol […]


High Alert
April 1, 2007

High Alert

Large carnivores promote healthy ecosystems by keeping browsers on edge

In a remote corner of Zion National Park, a small herd of mule deer browse quietly. Through the sun-dappled canyon burbles North Creek, its waters cool and clear, its banks green and reedy, alive with frogs, butterflies and bird-song. But this pastoral scene in southern Utah has a dark subtext, subtle yet unmistakable in the […]


July 23, 2006

After the Fire

On a winter day last February, it was standing room only in the Medford, Oregon, city hall.


April 23, 2006

Out of the Woods

A meeting of the minds on forest issues is rare. Yet an innovative energy project underway in Oregon’s Fremont National Forest has won near-unanimous support from stakeholders who are often at odds.


20/20 Vision
April 23, 2006

20/20 Vision

From a cabin deep in the Oregon Coast Range to the shoulders of a Cascade volcano, the Spring Creek Project asks a difficult question: "How should we understand our relationship to nature?"

The Spring Creek Project takes us into the wild through writing workshops, overland treks and public programs. The goal: to explore our relationship to nature.