campus life

Oregon State receives high “Cool School” ranking from Sierra Club

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Sierra Club has released its “Cool Schools” rankings based on the ‘greenness’ of participating universities, and Oregon State has the highest green ranking of any public college in the state (private college Lewis & Clark came in 5th). Oregon State is listed as 20th in the nation.

The Cool Schools ranking is open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the nation. The award honors more than 200 colleges that are helping to solve climate problems and making significant efforts to integrate sustainability into their teaching, research and engagement and to operate sustainably. Evaluations were based on survey information provided by the participating schools. The raw data for scoring came from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) STARS self-reporting tool, plus a supplemental question about fossil fuel investments.

Brandon Trelstad, sustainability officer for Oregon State, said that the university’s continued commitment to sustainability has led to a number of honors from national organizations over the years.

“We continue to prioritize our work to reduce our carbon footprint. Things like conserving energy and recycling and repurposing materials to keep them out of the landfill help support carbon emission reductions and offer numerous co-benefits,” Trelstad said. “I continue to consider myself lucky to do sustainability work at Oregon State and in the Pacific Northwest. Being green is part of OSU’s ethos, we consider ourselves good stewards of the planet and being a ‘Cool School’ highlights this work.”

The Sierra Club noted innovative research at OSU, calling out assistant professor Chad Higgins’ research into the impact on soil moisture from ground mounted solar panels, and the benefits of growing food there. Higgins’ preliminary findings indicated a co-benefit for the panels as well – cooler temperatures, which means more electricity production from the panels.

“Based on my casual summertime observations at our six-acre solar array,” Trelstad said, “it didn’t surprise me that the ground under panels might be good for some food crops. But I was elated to learn that growing crops could also increase solar production. This is the kind of synergy we look for in sustainability work; systems thinking and looking for co-benefits across those systems.”

Story By: 

Brandon Trelstad, 541-737-3307; brandon.trelstad@oregonstate.edu

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Solar panels at OSU

University hosts thousands for eclipse watch party to kick off OSU150 celebration

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University officially launched OSU150 – a 15-month-long celebration of its founding – with a solar eclipse watch party on Monday that drew as many as 5,000 visitors to Student Legacy Park, and hundreds more to other locations around campus.

Additionally, close to 1,000 people watched the eclipse in Culver, and nearly 100 more in Bend as part of activities hosted by OSU-Cascades. The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport also offered eclipse presentations in the days leading up to the event.

Visitors from all over the country, as well as from many nations around the world, came to the OSU campus in Corvallis, which was the first university in the United States in the path of totality for the eclipse. The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience on the university’s main campus Aug. 19-21 featured exhibits, talks, activities and entertainment.

“I think most people here would agree that the eclipse lived up to its billing,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing. “It really was a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime event that both awed and humbled people. The crowd cheered when the moon fully blocked the sun, and again when the sun began to emerge.”

Because hotel rooms in Oregon sold out months ago, Oregon State University opened some of its campus lodging for visitors and nearly 2,000 people stayed in 900 residence hall rooms and suites. Those guests came from some two dozen different states as far away as Florida, Hawaii and Texas, as well as several nations, including Australia, Germany and Ireland.

Clark said this was only the second time OSU officials could confirm closing the university for an event that was not weather-related. The university closed and classes were cancelled on Monday, Nov. 25, 1963, as part of a day of mourning over the death of President John F. Kennedy.

OSU also cancelled classes, but did not close the university, on Friday, May 8, 1970, for discussion and reflection over the Kent State University shootings.

Several research groups took advantage of the rare total eclipse to participate in research projects on campus and at the Oregon coast. Students from Linn-Benton Community College and OSU launched balloons from aboard the research vessel Pacific Storm to gather some of the first images of the eclipse reaching the continent.

And on campus, researchers and students from OSU and several other universities launched balloons from Peavy Field on the west end of campus.

The OSU150 celebration will continue over the next several months, culminating with the official 150th anniversary in October of 2018. An exhibit commemorating the university’s achievements during those 150 years will open in February at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland.

For more information on OSU150, go online at: oregonstate.edu/150

Story By: 

Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, (cell: 503-502-8217), steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Part of the solar eclipse watch party at OSU


Lady Dottie and the Diamonds to perform Aug. 20 during the eclipse festival

CORVALLIS, Ore – Award-winning classic rock and soul blues band Lady Dottie and the Diamonds will perform an outdoor concert Sunday, Aug. 20, in the Memorial Union Quad at Oregon State University.

The Plaehn-Hino Blues Band, a Corvallis-based blues and folk group, will open the show. The concert is one of the events planned during the three-day The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience, which will be held on campus Aug. 19-21.

General admission tickets are available for $15 online at Ticket Tomato. Admission is free for OSU students with ID and children under 10.

Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or low chairs for seating, which begins at 6:30 p.m. 

The concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with The Plaehn-Hino Blues Band’s blend of folk music and acoustic and electric blues. Founding members Dave Plaehn and Jeff Hino have been performing since 1990, exploring the interplay of blues harmonica, steel slide guitar and vocals.    

Next, concertgoers can dance, sing and reminisce with Lady Dottie and the Diamonds. The San Diego-based band will perform hits from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding and Diana Ross.

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The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience highlights the university’s lead role for the Oregon NASA Space Grant and is the start of a 15-month celebration of OSU’s 150th anniversary.

Media Contact: 

Lanesha Reagan, 541-737-4611


OSU summer choir presents eclipse-themed ‘The Path of Totality’ concert Aug. 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University summer choir will present “The Path of Totality,” an eclipse-themed concert, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, in the Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St., Corvallis.

In celebration of the upcoming solar eclipse and as part of the “OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience,” the concert program will explore a range of music from baroque to present. Works include excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah,” “Samson” and “Israel in Egypt;” Haydn’s “Creation;” Mendelssohn’s “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star;” Abbie Benitis’ “Lumen;” “My Song in the Night” by Paul Christenson; “Bright Morning Stars” by Sean Kirchner; Morten Lauridsen’s “Sure on this Shining Night;” “Lux Aeterna” by Tom Porter; “True Light” by Caldwell and Ivory; and “Lux Beatissima” by OSU music alumnus Joshua Rist.

The OSU summer choir is an annual tradition that brings together students, staff and community members. It also serves as a learning laboratory for graduate music education students. Steven Zielke, director of choral studies at Oregon State, facilitates the ensemble and mentors the five graduate conductors, Danika Locey, Terence Madlangbayan, Emma Nissen, Francis Sefton and Joseph Mikkelson, who lead the ensemble in performance.

Tickets are $10 for general admission; OSU students, K-12 students and guests who purchased lodging packages for the OSU eclipse event will be admitted free on a space available basis. Corvallis Arts for All discounts apply.  

Advance tickets are available at: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/events/music/osu-summer-choir-path-totality. Accommodations requests relating to a disability may be made by contacting Erin Sneller at 541-737-5592 or erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu at least one week in advance.

“The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience” is the start of a 15-month celebration of OSU’s 150th anniversary.

Media Contact: 

Zachary C. Person, 541-737-4671

History suggests weather on eclipse day will be sunny in Oregon (fingers crossed)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Visitors from around the world will flock to Oregon to be first in line to see the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but given the state’s reputation for clouds and rainfall – will there be anything to see?

Time will tell, experts say, but Oregon is usually delightful in the summer and whoever scheduled this eclipse picked a good date. August is just about the least likely time to experience inclement weather in the Beaver state.

“If you were going to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and put down a bet on which location in the United States will have good weather for the eclipse – Oregon would be a great choice,” said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University. “The average high temperature on Aug. 21 is 82 degrees and it just doesn’t rain very often here in August.”

OSU is the state’s largest university and located in Corvallis, which is on the eclipse’s path of totality. The university is expecting to host thousands of visitors for the eclipse and numerous events have been scheduled.

The city hasn’t experienced measurable rainfall in the past six weeks, Dello said. Whether that streak continues remains to be seen.

History is on the side of a sunny Aug. 21 in the state, statistics show. It hasn’t rained in Corvallis on Aug. 21 since 2008, when .02 inches fell, which, coincidentally, is the average for Aug. 21 when measured over more than a century. Most of that precipitation occurred during a rare storm in 1979 when 1.42 inches of rain pelted the Willamette Valley. Take away that one day, and it’s practically desert conditions in Corvallis on Aug. 21.

In fact, the average rainfall for the entire month of August in Corvallis and much of western and eastern Oregon is about a half an inch.

“The biggest threat during the summer months is low-level marine stratus sneaking its way into the valley,” Dello said. “But the chance of that is weighted more toward June than it is July, August or September. In Eastern Oregon sites like Madras – which also is on the path of totality – the biggest threat to cloudy skies in August would be an afternoon thunder shower. But the eclipse will be over by lunch.”

Scientists in Oregon and nationally will also be watching the eclipse to see what happens to temperatures when the sun disappears in mid-morning – and the effect of that on the rest of the day, according to Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State.

“Temperatures on a summer day in Oregon typically rise quickly between 9 a.m. and noon, but on Aug. 21, the shrinking sun from 9 to 10:15 a.m. could actually make the day get cooler during that period,” Mote said. “Once the shadow of the moon starts to pass, temperatures will resume their rise, but the eclipse will probably end up affecting the daytime high by several degrees.

“If it’s cloudy, the effects of the eclipse on the hour-by-hour temperatures will be less.”

Researchers and “citizen scientists” around the country will be recording temperatures and sharing them with the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NASA). To learn more, go to https://go.nasa.gov/2tBJyxH.

Here are some Aug. 21 weather statistics for various Oregon locations on the path of totality:

  • Corvallis: Average high and low temperatures of 82/51, with a record high of 99 degrees in 1942, and a record low of 37 degrees in 1973. The average precipitation for Aug. 21 is .02 inches, with a record that day of 1.42 inches in 1979.
  • Newport: Average high and low temperatures of 65/52 degrees, with a record high of 74 (1997) and record low of 40 (1987). Average precipitation is .02 inches, with a record of .59 inches in 1971.
  • Madras: Average high and low temperatures of 84/45 degrees, with a record high of 100 (2009) and a record low of 30 (1933). Average precipitation is .01 inches, with a record of .26 inches in 1979.
  • John Day: Average high and low temperatures of 87/48 degrees, with a record high of 103 (2009) and a record low of 36 (1950). Average precipitation is .02 inches, with a record of .50 inches in 1954.
  • Baker City: Average high and low temperatures of 83/44, with a record high of 98 (2005) and a record low of 35 (1966). Average precipitation is .02 inches, with a record of .58 inches in 1959.
Story By: 

Kathie Dello, 541-737-8927, kdello@coas.oregonstate.edu

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Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

OSU’s Fairbanks Gallery presents eclipse-related art exhibition, ‘Totality’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Totality,” a cosmos-themed art exhibit saluting the rare total solar eclipse occurring in August, will run Aug. 14 through Sept. 28 in Oregon State University’s Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

 “Totality” brings together a group of artists who make work about people’s relationship with the Cosmos in some manner. The emphasis is on lyrical, conceptual, scientific, fantasy and historic responses to the universe or to humankind’s space exploration.

Selected artists and their artworks include photographer Eric William Carroll’s project “Standard Stars,” which documents the deterioration of emulsion peeling off astronomical glass plate negatives. Artist Penelope Umbrico samples images of the most-photographed subject matter - sunsets - in her single-channel video “Sun/Screen.” Corvallis-based astrophotographer Tom Carrico exhibits his photographs of nebulae, which are clouds of dust, hydrogen, helium and plasma in space and can be challenging to photograph.

The exhibition was curated by Julia Bradshaw, assistant professor of photography and new media at OSU. Bradshaw also has assembled a host of arts-related special events for visitors coming to Corvallis and the OSU campus during the weekend prior to the eclipse, which will occur Aug. 21.

“I relish the range of imaginative and fact-based artistic responses to the Cosmos,” Bradshaw said of the exhibit. “Making and viewing artwork that explores philosophies of space puts us in touch with our humanity in ways that are particularly thought-provoking.”

Additional arts programming the weekend prior to the eclipse will include photography workshops and performances in the gallery. Activities are free and take place at Fairbanks Hall. For a complete schedule of events, visit: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/school-arts-and-communication/art/fairbanks-gallery-art/upcoming-exhibitions/totality.

Fairbanks Gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 17 and Sept. 21 for the Corvallis Art Walk. The gallery will also be open Aug. 19 and 20 leading up to the eclipse. A closing reception for “Totality” will take place Sept. 21 in conjunction with the Corvallis Art Walk.

“Totality” is part of the OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience, and SPARK, a year-long celebration of the arts and science.

Story By: 

Julia Bradshaw, 541-737-5014 or julia.bradshaw@oregonstate.edu

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“Sunburst,” by John Whitten

Photograph by Eric William Carroll
Eric William Carroll

“Laika’s Lullaby,” by Julia Oldham


Summer Veterinary Experience targets high-achieving, underrepresented students

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two dozen high-achieving high school students from underrepresented populations, including many from low-income families, will spend a week on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus in mid-August to get a hands-on look at the veterinary profession.

The annual Summer Veterinary Experience feeds the students’ interest in animals while also trying to make the profession more diverse.

“Our faculty work hard to provide interesting, real-world classes that will engage the interest of these talented young people,” says Susan Tornquist, dean of OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Many past participants came to the program with a vague interest in veterinary medicine, among other fields, but they left with a passion for the profession.”

The selected students, 20 of whom are from Oregon high schools, will work with student mentors from the College of Veterinary Medicine and also take a variety of classes, including equine acupuncture, small animal rehabilitation, and surgery skills. In addition they will work on a research project designed to develop teamwork and leadership during their time on campus, Aug. 13-18.

This is the first year out-of-state applications were accepted, and this year’s students have a mean grade point average of 3.69.

“This program gives many of these students a glimpse into college life they may not have had otherwise,” says Summer Veterinary Experience admissions coordinator Tess Collins. “Our goal is to provide a realistic understanding of the field of veterinary medicine, and to get participants excited about higher education, even if they decide veterinary medicine isn’t for them.”

The program offers scholarships, including housing and meals, to students who meet established criteria. The application cycle will be open again in March 2018. For more information, visit http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/osu-summer-veterinary-experience.

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Jennifer Warnock

Summer Veterinary Experience

Bard in the Quad at OSU to present ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ for 12th season

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s Bard in the Quad returns for its 12th season this August with a western-themed production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, “Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. nightly from Aug. 3-6 and Aug. 10-13 in the Memorial Union Quad, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis. 

Bard in the Quad performances are held outside and no seating is provided, creating a fun, laid-back atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to bring low lawn chairs and/or blankets, warm clothing and food if desired. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. and no one will be seated prior to that time.

“Two Gentlemen of Verona” is a romantic comedy about Proteus and Valentine, two inseparable friends living happily in Verona. When Valentine seeks his fortune in Milan and ends up leaving Proteus behind, promises are broken as Proteus finds himself suddenly infatuated with Valentine’s love-interest, Sylvia. 

With a new setting in the American Wild West and music presented by Miss Kitty and the Barn Bangerz, the story of action, disguise, mistaken identity, and a scene-stealing dog unfolds.

This summer’s production will feature adoptable dogs playing the role of a senior dog named Crab for each performance. The dogs will be provided by Heartland Humane Society and Heartland volunteers will join the cast and crew in promoting the organization’s work caring for homeless animals in Benton County. 

The cast features Oregon State University students, staff, alumni and community members including: Stuart Ashenbrenner as Valentine; Sedona Garcia as Sylvia; Forest Gilpin as Thurio; Matt Holland as Launce; Emily Peters as Miss Kitty; Andrew Schiek as Speed; Cheyenne Dickey as Antonia/Bandit; Matt Easdale as Bandit; Genesis Hansen as Julia; Kay Keegan as musician; Grace Klinges as Lucetta/Bandit; Mac Powers as musician; Mike Stephens as Duke of Milan; and Kyle Stockdall as Proteus.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors, and $5 for OSU students. Tickets are available online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/ or available by phone at the Theater Arts Box Office at 541-737-2784. A box office also will be available in the MU quad at 6:30 p.m. on performance evenings.

For disability access accommodations or information about group sales call Marissa Solini, the box office manager, at 541-737-2853.

Media Contact: 

Lanesha Reagan, 541-737-4611, oregonstateuniversitynews@oregonstate.edu


Elizabeth Helman, 541-737-3067, Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu

Executive & Audit Committee of the OSU Board of Trustees to meet July 20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Executive & Audit Committee of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees will hold a telephonic meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 20, to consider potential candidates to recommend to the governor for a vacant board position.

The meeting is open to the public. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by calling the toll-free number listed on the agenda. The Trysting Tree Room at CH2M Hill Alumni Center, 725 S.W. 26th St. on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus, will also be open to the public as a site for listening to this meeting.

The agenda and meeting materials will be posted at http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings. If special accommodations are required, please contact Marcia Stuart at (541) 737-3449 or marcia.stuart@oregonstate.edu at least 48 hours in advance. 

Media Contact: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787


OSU shatters goal and collects nearly 36,000 pounds during annual Move Out Donation Drive

Oregon State University on-campus students donated nearly 36,000 pounds of household goods and other discarded items during the annual Residence Hall Move-out Donation Drive this year.

The items are then donated to local non-profits, such as Linn-Benton Food Share and The Arc. The donation drive aims to reduce material from going to the landfill. Since 2010, the donation drive has diverted more than 100,000 pounds of items from the landfill.

This year, the drive far exceeded its 24,000-pound donation goal and reached the highest since weight tracking began in 2010. Donations of housewares, food, toiletries, school supplies, clothing, linens and shoes were 19 to 33 percent higher this year.

The largest increase came from wood, which totaled 7,864 pounds – a more than 600 percent increase from the previous year. The increase may be due to more residents using loft kits and donating the wood instead of taking it home or throwing it away.  

“We are unclear as to why donations increased as much as they did,” said Andrea Norris, the marketing and development coordinator for Campus Recycling. “Given we do not have weight data for trash, we are unable to speculate if donations were higher because less was landfilled. Regardless, we are very happy to see such a large increase from last year.”

Additional information on previous year’s results, as well as a full list of the donation recipients, can be found at http://tiny.cc/donation-drive.

An off-campus drive was also held for the first time this year. Organized by OSU’s Corvallis Community Relations, it was open to students living off-campus. During its inaugural run organizers collected furniture and other goods from 32 students.

The Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive is a collaboration between OSU Campus Recycling, Surplus Property and University Housing and Dining. Campus Recycling manages a comprehensive waste management system at Oregon State University that focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling with disposal as a last resort.

Story By: 

Andrea Norris, 541-737-5398, andrea.norris@oregonstate.edu