Terra in Print: Winter 2009

Winter 2009 cover

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Three times a week, as dawn breaks over the Willamette Valley, 25 women show up at the Benton Center gym in Corvallis. Their exercise clothes are loose and casual. No spandex for this crowd. On average, they’re my mother’s age and as feisty as they are friendly. “Oh, there’s men creatures in here,” clucks one when she sees me and a photographer. “Watch where you point that camera,” says another.

They hang up coats and put on tennis shoes. Some don weighted vests. Under bright lights and past mirrors and brightly colored exercise balls, they begin to walk around the gym. They share the latest news about themselves (“I walked four miles yesterday to see a friend”) and their families (“At the bone lab yesterday, my grandson got all excited because he got to see my skeleton”). Then they collect in a circle so the instructor can lead them through exercises that have them stretching, lunging, panting and “glistening” (not sweating, says one) for an hour.

For these women, the Better Bones and Balance class provides more than a few laughs and a faster pulse. It generates resilience. For some, it has already meant the difference between avoiding a fall and taking a trip to the hospital. OSU laboratory tests confirm that exercisers strengthen muscles and maintain or increase bone mass, reducing the risk of debilitating injury.

Resilience, the ability to adapt or recover from injury, comes into play in our cover story, too. Salmon researchers aim to increase the resilience of this iconic Northwest fish. The future of salmon depends on two things: their ability to respond to habitat changes and our management of hatcheries, watersheds and harvesting practices.

Resilience is also a cultural asset. Teaching Oregon Native Languages offers a view of language diversity at the time of statehood. Today, the native language movement is preserving knowledge and experience that has been encoded in the way people speak.

As exercisers know, building resilience takes work and commitment, but it’s well worth the effort. Our future depends on it.

– Nick Houtman,

Salmon diets are skin deep

Departments, Healthy Planet, Multimedia, Stewardship, Winter 2009

Scientists at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center look for clues to what salmon eat in an unlikely place: the mucus that fish produce on their skin. In this video, David Noakes, professor in the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Senior Scientist, Oregon Hatchery Research Center; and Robbins Church, an Environmental Research Scientist with […]

From Margin to Mainstream

Fall 2009, Features, Winter 2009

“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.” […]


Healthy People, Terra Blog, Vitality, Winter 2009

Three times a week, as dawn breaks over the Willamette Valley, 25 women show up at the Benton Center gym in Corvallis.

Living Downwind

Departments, Healthy People, New Terrain, Stewardship, Winter 2009

By collecting and testing the toxicity of particles in Northwest air samples, OSU Ph.D. student Julie Layshock is shedding light on the relative health threat posed by long-distance air pollution.

“Expedition” in Computational Sustainability

Departments, Healthy Planet, Innovation, New Terrain, Winter 2009

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 […]

Chemistry Goes Green in New OSU-UO Center

Departments, Healthy Economy, Innovation, New Terrain, Winter 2009

Creating more efficient, environmentally friendly electronics manufacturing practices is the goal of a new Green Materials Chemistry Center at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

Lubchenco Nomination Underscores OSU’s National Leadership

Departments, Healthy Planet, New Terrain, Stewardship, Winter 2009

The nomination of Oregon State University marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reflects OSU’s growing leadership in federal environmental science programs.

Oregon’s Linguistic Landscape

Departments, Inquiry, Winter 2009

What became the state of Oregon, an area stretching south from the Columbia Gorge to the Siskiyous, and east from the Pacific over the Coastal Range and Cascades to the High Desert, was a land of many languages, each one encoding information about the land and how to survive on it.

On Course

Departments, Healthy Economy, Innovation, Stewardship, Winter 2009

Rob Golembiewski wears a size-13 shoe, but that’s nothing compared with the shoes he has to fill. The former head of the golf and turf management program at the University of Minnesota’s Crookston campus has replaced Tom Cook as the director of Oregon State University’s turf management program. Thirty-one years ago, the hardworking and revered […]

Targeting an Old Foe

Departments, Vitality, Winter 2009

M. tuberculosis is a tenacious germ. Armored in a thick, waxy wall impervious to water, the bacterium can lie dormant in the lungs for decades, waiting for a weakness in its human host.

Once and Future King

Once and Future King

Healthy Economy, Healthy Planet, Multimedia, Stewardship, Winter 2009

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were early witnesses to the majesty that is the salmon in the Pacific Northwest. When the explorers first came upon the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia rivers, they observed a scene that was both confusing and awe-inspiring. Wrote Clark: “This river is remarkably Clear and Crouded with Salmon in […]

Committed to a Fault

Committed to a Fault

Departments, Earth, Healthy Planet, Student Research, Winter 2009

Growing up in Central Oregon’s spectacular landscape, Ajeet Johnson challenged the backcountry of the Cascades. She pulled herself hand-over-hand up Smith Rock and carved down slopes at Mt. Bachelor, but over time, she became curious about the forces that shaped the terrain and will influence its future.

Was Nature Ever Wild?

Was Nature Ever Wild?

Inquiry, Winter 2009

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

Wired Watershed

Earth, Features, Healthy Planet, Innovation, Winter 2009

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.

Lessons from the Magic Planet

Lessons from the Magic Planet

Features, Healthy Planet, Inquiry, Winter 2009

Researchers are engaging the curious in meaningful inquiry

Lunging for Life

Lunging for Life

Features, Healthy People, Vitality, Winter 2009

The risk of falling rises as we get older, but researchers and fitness instructors have a prescription: Better Bones and Balance. Even if you’re 88 years old, there’s a class for you.