OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of agricultural sciences

Art About Agriculture travels to Pendleton, Moro

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Art celebrating the Columbia Basin's heritage of dryland wheat farming will make special appearances in Pendleton and Moro over the next two months.

Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences is displaying 10 works of art from its Art About Agriculture permanent collection through Sept. 24 at the Sherman Junior/Senior High School Library in Moro. Ten additional works of art will join the traveling show when it moves to the Blue Mountain Community College's Betty Feves Memorial Gallery located in Pendleton. That show will be on display Sept. 25-Oct. 30.

"People going to the art show will be able to see how their work in agriculture is perceived by people who live in other parts of the state," said Shelley Curtis, curator for OSU's Art About Agriculture permanent collection. "It's very interesting to see that exchange between people who are agricultural producers and people who admire their work for aesthetic and creative reasons."

Many of the Eastern Oregon scenes embodied in the works of art are reflected in the nationally important research conducted by OSU's experiment stations in Pendleton and Moro.

The art show represents drawings, paintings, prints and photographs of grain storage, orchards, irrigation, livestock, shipping and transportation from OSU's permanent collection of fine art, which is supported by grants and donations.

The art exhibit’s visit to Moro will include a free reception from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 65912 High School Loop in Moro.

For more information about the Art About Agriculture permanent collection through OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences, visit http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/art.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Shelley Curtis, 541-737-5534

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Robert Schlegel's "Grain Elevator" is painted with acrylic on board. The Art About Agriculture permanent collection acquired his work in 2005. (Photo by Peter Krupp.)

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Sally Finch's "Dryland Farming 3: Moro" depicts weather data inside abstract squares, done with graphite and acrylic ink on paper. (Photo by Sally Finch)

Growing populations of brown marmorated stink bug could harm late-season crops

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University researchers warn of an increased risk of damage to late-ripening crops this year after discovering record levels of the brown marmorated stink bug, a newly established invasive pest in Oregon.

The alert comes at a critical time with harvest looming for many crops, including blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, hazelnuts, grapes, sweet corn, peppers, and edible beans. The pest has shown an appetite for more than 100 different crops.

Late-season feeding and contamination by adult stink bugs and nymphs can result in discoloration of fruit, vegetables and nuts – ultimately sullying the crops' value at the marketplace. While no economic damage from the pest has been documented thus far in Oregon, OSU researchers worry that could change after this summer.

"Even low levels of infestation can result in crop losses," said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist at OSU. "Stink bugs in commercial crops can lead to increased management costs, pesticide use and outbreaks of secondary pests. There's no question stink bugs could be an economic issue."

A native of southeast Asia, the brown marmorated stink bug arrived in the eastern United States in the late 1990s and has since spread to more than 30 states, reaching Oregon in 2004. The pest has damaged millions of dollars of crops on the East Coast.

OSU's statewide survey for the bug is ongoing and early returns this year show higher population densities in nearly every area of Oregon. While the stink bug been established in urban counties near Portland and the Willamette Valley for years – and in Hood River and Wasco County since 2012 – its range has recently expanded to more rural environments, including farms of all sizes. Most recently, the pest established a significant presence in the Columbia Gorge and southern Oregon.

Last year's mild winter in Oregon, coupled with this summer's heat, has driven the stink bug's population growth, said Nik Wiman, an OSU research entomologist. Populations are increasing faster than anticipated and tend to peak in late summer, he added.

"Pre-harvest is a time when stink bugs are more likely infest crops and lay eggs because late-stage crops are an attractive food source," said Wiman. "The adults and nymphs cause blemishes when they feed on ripening fruit, nuts and vegetables, rendering them unmarketable."

Farmers and growers are encouraged to look for the pest on their property or near crops as they ripen. The bugs are most easily found on indicator plants, like English holly, maples, lilacs or fruit trees.

If the pest is found, researchers recommend working with an OSU Extension Service entomologist or crop consultant to decide the best plan of action. For more information on managing the brown marmorated stink bug, Walton advises farmers and growers to use the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook, which is available for free online at http://pnwhandbooks.org/insect.

OSU's latest information and research on the pest can be found at http://BMSB.hort.oregonstate.edu.

In the meantime, OSU researchers are testing specific insecticide controls for the brown marmorated stink bug, as none are registered for the insect. Herbicides and fungicides are not known to be effective.

The public can report sightings of the bug to bmsb@hort.oregonstate.edu to assist researchers in tracking its dispersal through the state. OSU Extension has published a free guide for distinguishing the brown marmorated stink bug from look-alike insects in both English and Spanish at http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/content/biology-and-identification.

OSU is one of 11 institutions studying the brown marmorated stink bug in a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additional supporting funds are from the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, as well as the Oregon Blackberry and Raspberry Commission.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

 Vaughn Walton, 541-740 4149;

Peter Shearer, 541-386-2030, ext. 215;

Nik Wiman 541-737-2534;

Silvia Rondon 541-567-8321, ext.108

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Oregon State University graduate student Chris Hedstrom is part of the OSU research team tracking the pest's spread through the state, while investigating new ways to suppress its impact on crops. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

A brown marmorated stink bug feeds on a red pepper plant in an Oregon State University lab in Corvallis. The pest feeds on more than 100 plants and has a particular appetite for late-ripening crops, such as hazelnuts, blueberries, raspberries and grapes. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Researchers use circulation models, genetics to track “lost years” of turtles

CORVALLIS, Ore. – When green turtles toddle out to the ocean after hatching from eggs at sandy beaches they more or less disappear from view and aren’t seen again for several years until they show up as juveniles at coastal foraging areas.

Researchers have long puzzled over what happens to the turtles during these “lost years,” as they were dubbed decades ago. Now a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society outlines where they likely would be based on ocean currents.

It is the first quantitative estimate of juvenile turtle distribution across an entire ocean basin and experts say it is significant because it gives researchers in North America, South America, Europe and Africa an idea of where hatchlings that emerge on beaches will go next, and where the juveniles foraging along the coastlines most likely came from.

“Hatchling sea turtles are too small for transmitters and electronic tags, and their mortality rate is sufficiently high to make it cost-prohibitive anyway,” said Nathan F. Putman, a post-doctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “Even if you could develop a perfect sensor, you would need tens of thousands of them because baby turtles get gobbled up at such a fast rate. So we decided to look at an indirect approach.”

Putman and his colleague, Eugenia Naro-Maciel of City University of New York, used sophisticated ocean circulation models to trace the likely route of baby green turtles from known nesting sites once they entered the water. They also identified known locations of foraging sites where the turtles reappeared as juveniles, and went backwards – tracing where they most likely arrived via currents.

“This is not a definitive survey of where turtles go – it is more a simplification of reality – but it is a starting point and a big and comprehensive starting point at that,” Putman pointed out. “Turtles have flippers and can swim, so they aren’t necessarily beholden to the currents. But what this study provides is an indication of the oceanic environment that young turtles encounter, and how this environment likely influences turtle distributions.

“When we compared the predictions of population connectivity from our ocean current model and estimates from a genetic model, we found that they correlate pretty well,” said Putman, a researcher in OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Each approach, individually, has limitations but when you put them together the degree of uncertainty is substantially reduced.”

The researchers simulated the dispersal of turtles from each of 29 separate locations in the Atlantic and West Indian Ocean and identified “hot spots” throughout these basins where computer models suggest that virtual turtles would be densely aggregated. This includes portions of the southern Caribbean, the Sargasso Sea, and portions of the South Atlantic Ocean and the West Indian Ocean.

In contrast, they estimate that the fewest number of turtles would be located in the open ocean along the equator between South America and central Africa.

Based on the models, it appears that turtles from many populations would circumnavigate the Atlantic Ocean basin. “Backtracking” simulations revealed that numerous foraging grounds were predicted to have turtles arrive from the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Southwest Indian oceans. Thus, a high degree of connectivity among populations appears likely based on circulation patterns at the ocean surface.

Putman said the next step in the research might be for turtle biologists throughout the Atlantic Ocean basin to “ground truth” the model by looking for young turtles in those hotspots. Knowing more about their early life history and migration routes could help in managing the population, he said.

“Perhaps the best part about this modeling is that it is a testable hypothesis,” Putman said. “People studying turtles throughout the Atlantic basin will have predictions of turtle distributions based on solid oceanographic data to help interpret what they are observing.

“Finding these little turtles is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack,” Putman added. “But at least we’ve helped researchers understand where that haystack most likely would be located.”

Putman also has a study coming out in Biology Letters using similar methodology to predict ocean distribution patterns for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Nathan Putman, 205-218-5276; Nathan.putman@oregonstate.edu

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Hatchling green turtle

 

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Distribution of turtles
from Florida

OSU receives $1.2 million to expand fermentation science program

CORVALLIS, Ore. - In the closing days of the 2013 legislative session, Oregon lawmakers approved $1.2 million for Oregon State University to enhance the Agricultural Experiment Station’s fermentation sciences program.

Demonstrating broad bipartisan support, the legislation was sponsored by 41 Oregon lawmakers.

“It’s significant that a strong coalition of industry members and key legislators supported this initiative, given the challenging funding environment,” said Jim Bernau, founder of the Willamette Valley Vineyards. “This research effort will create more Oregon jobs in these growing industries.”

The funding will support university research in all aspects of the production of high value wine, beer, cheese, breads and distilled spirits, all products of fermentation.

Fermentation adds value to many of Oregon’s crops, according to Bill Boggess, an economist and interim director of the Oregon Wine Research Institute. For example, he said, artisan cheese increases the value of a gallon of milk ten-fold; high quality wine increases the value of Pinot noir grapes up to eight times; and craft beer increases the value of hops and barley as much as 30 times. In addition, distillation adds significant value to fruits and grains.

Among other enhancements to the existing program, the legislative funding will help establish a new research distillery at OSU, adding another key feature to its fermentation program.

The program began in 1995 when the Oregon legislature voted to match a $500,000 gift from Jim Bernau to establish the nation’s first endowed professorship in fermentation science. It quickly grew into a full suite of programs in brewing science, enology and viticulture, dairy, and breads.

With the additional investment from the 2013 legislature, OSU will be the first university in the nation with a working research winery, brewery and distillery, keeping pace with Oregon’s rapidly diversifying fermentation industries, according to Bob McGorrin, Jacobs-Root Professor and head of OSU’s Food Science and Technology Department.

“Oregon’s distilled spirits industry is relatively young and rapidly growing,” McGorrin said, “similar to where the Oregon wine and microbrew industries were 25 years ago.

In fact, all Oregon’s fermentation industries are advancing rapidly, bringing with them an increased demand for quality local ingredients, such as fruits, grains and milk, according to Dan Arp, Reub Long Professor and dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We need to advance our research in order to keep up with these industries and their needs for product innovation, food safety and sustainable production. It’s all part of assuring Oregon’s reputation for premium quality products,” Arp said.

Besides the establishment of a new distilling program, the legislative funding will expand OSU’s fermentation research in areas such as:

• new methods for assessing beer bitterness;

• molecular and microbial factors that affect wine quality;

• cheese fermentation methods for greater consistency and food safety.

Funding will also support research into the sustainable production of high quality ingredients used in fermentation, with emphasis on:

• wine grape research and innovative vineyard management;

• barley, hop and wheat breeding, creating new varieties for new products;

• milk production research and teaching at the OSU Dairy herd and student experience producing Beaver Classic cheese;

• anticipating agricultural challenges from emerging pests, disease, and climatic conditions.

Oregon is home to more than 460 wineries, 850 vineyards, and 170 microbreweries. The annual economic impact of Oregon’s wine and beer industries is approximately $5.5 billion, according to the Oregon Wine Board and the Oregon Brewers’ Guild.

In parallel with the growth of industries, student enrollment in the fermentation sciences program at OSU has grown 500 percent in the last 10 years, according to McGorrin.

OSU’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs build on certificate and associate degree programs at Chemeketa and Umpqua community colleges, partners in providing a strong workforce for Oregon’s fermentation industries, McGorrin said.

Representatives from those industries, in particular Sam Tannahill of A to Z Wineworks and Ed King of King Estate Winery, were instrumental in supporting funding for fermentation sciences at OSU.      

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Bob McGorrin, 541-737-8737;

Bill Boggess, 541-737-1395;

Dan Arp, 541-737-2331

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OSU's research brewery

Professors Tom Shellhammer (second from left) and Shaun Townsend (far right) test the taste and aroma of an experimental beer in Oregon State University's research brewery on campus. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)

OSU hotline opens for food preservation questions

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As interest grows in preserving produce, the Oregon State University Extension Service is offering its summer food preservation and safety hotline for queries on testing pressure canner gauges, ensuring jam sets properly and preparing tomato salsa.

The hotline at 1-800-354-7319 runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from July 15 to Oct. 11.

Extension-certified Master Food Preserver volunteers from Lane and Douglas counties take the calls.

More young people ages 25-40 are becoming are interested in local food and taking OSU Extension's Master Food Preserver training, said Nellie Oehler, the master food preserver coordinator in Lane County.  

"There's a whole new generation coming up that wants to know how we did it in the old days and wants to go back to the land and back to the basics," she said.

Oehler emphasized that proper techniques must be used to ensure canned foods are high quality and safe to eat. The hotline is one of several resources, including publications and classes, which OSU Extension offers on food safety.

Master Food Preservers who staff the hotline must undergo 40 hours of training. They educate the public about safe food handling and preservation over the phone and at workshops and exhibits. Last year, 374 new and veteran master food preservers throughout the state contributed 23,150 volunteer hours.

Master Food Preservers answered 3,425 calls during the 2012 summer season. About 80 percent dealt with food safety questions, Oehler said.

For more information about the Master Food Preserver Program, go to http://bit.ly/OSU_FoodPreservation and http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/food-safety. OSU Extension's Ask an Expert service also takes online questions about food preservation at http://bit.ly/OSU_AskAnExpert. Additionally, Master Food Preservers run a holiday food safety hotline every November. 

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Nellie Oehler, 541-868-6897

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Michele Pryse, a master food preserver trained by the Oregon State University Extension Service, teaches food preservation techniques in the Medford area. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Aquaculture industry may benefit from water mold genome study

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Oregon State University scientist and partners borrowed some technology from the Human Genome Project to more clearly identify the genes used by a type of water mold that attacks fish and causes millions of dollars in losses to the aquaculture industry each year.

Researchers compared the fish and plant pathogens to clearly identify the genes involved. By better understanding how these pathogens invade animals, the aquaculture industry can develop more effective control methods, such as improved vaccines and fungicides, researchers said.

The water mold belongs to a group of more than 500 species of fungus-like microorganisms called "oomycetes" that reproduce both sexually and asexually. Oomycetes, close relatives of seaweeds such as kelp, are serious pathogens of salmon and other fish. This is a particular problem in regions of the world where trout and salmon are raised, including the Pacific Northwest, Scotland and Chile.

Brett Tyler, professor and director of the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, led a project that mapped the entire genome of an oomycete species known as Saprolegnia parasitica. This is the first time these methods have been applied to water mold pathogens of fish.

The pathogen causes a disease called saprolegniosis, characterized by visible grey or white patches of mycelium on skin and fins that can also transfer into the muscles and blood vessels of fish. The potato late blight pathogen that caused the great Irish famine of the 1840s is a relative of S. parasitica. While saprolegniosis can't affect humans, relatives of S. parasitica can.

People around the world now get more protein from fish than from beef, Tyler said. As natural fish stocks decline, farmed fish are more vital to fulfill increasing global demand. But farmed fish are also more prone to disease because of crowding, which can spread to wild fish.

"Developing new, environmentally sustainable ways to reduce fish disease will cut down on the use of chemicals on fish farms, while also protecting wild fish, such as salmon, found in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest," Tyler said.

Key findings of the research include:

  • S. parasitica can rapidly adapt to its environment through changes to its genes, allowing it to spread to new fish species or overcome fungicides.
  • S. parasitica contains an enzyme that can actively suppress a fish's initial immune response, leaving it less able to defend against initial stages of infection. 
  • Plant pathogens can change the physiology of their hosts by using special enzymes that suppress plant immunity, while animal oomycetes have developed different enzymes, proteins and toxins that enable infection of fish.
  • S. parasitica has more enzymes involved in adaptation than humans, allowing it to recognize and quickly adapt to a wide variety of environments.
  • S. parasitica is vulnerable to an antifungal agent called a chitin synthesis inhibitor, contrary to previous beliefs that animal-damaging oomycetes did not contain any chitin.

The study was published in the journal PLOS Genetics at http://bit.ly/101mVfd. Major research partners include the University of Aberdeen and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Brett Tyler, 541-737-3347

Oregon State University names Andrew Hulting to Hyslop Professorship

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has selected a weed management specialist with the Extension Service for a major endowed professorship.

Andrew Hulting began July 1 as OSU's fourth Hyslop Professor. He will serve in the role for five years.  

Hulting will train graduate students to work on weed management projects, including in-depth studies of grass weed species, such as annual bluegrass and roughstalk bluegrass. He will train seed industry professionals to improve weed management practices. Additionally, he plans to work with undergraduate students on weed management research.

"The Hyslop Professorship is an extremely important position because it allows us to target funds to issues important to the industries related to seed production," Hulting said. "It's a great honor. I'm so thankful that the Hyslop family had the foresight to create this endowment. It's a rare opportunity to have this amount of time to develop important projects."   

George R. Hyslop's family and friends established a large endowment with the OSU Foundation that provides funds for several activities, including the Hyslop Professorship, within OSU's Crop and Soil Science Department. Hyslop was the first to head the Department of Farm Crops at Oregon Agricultural College in the early 1900s.

Hulting assumes the position as Oregon seed production charts a course toward a more prosperous future.

"We've come out of a huge downturn in grass seed production, and the market is looking more positive," Hulting said. "We've seen a lot of growth in clover seed production and in some other important seed crops. There's good demand for our products and we are starting to turn around and see a more positive outlook for all seed production."

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Andrew Hulting, 541-737-5098;

Russ Karow, 541-737-2821

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Oregon State University has named Andrew Hulting, weed management specialist for the OSU Extension Service, to its Hyslop professorship. (Photo by Emmalie Goodwin.)

OSU to test new tools to assess health risk from Superfund sites

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University aims to test new technologies for measuring the toxicity of environmental chemicals to determine their health risk and see if cleaning up hazardous waste sites generates even worse chemicals.

The work will be funded by a $15.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The long-term goal is to improve human health by reducing exposures to toxic chemicals.

"The focus is to improve technologies for identifying and measuring the levels and toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs] found at a large percentage of Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and to better assess the impact of PAHs on human health," said OSU's Dave Williams, the lead scientist on the project.

The research could help local, state and federal agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, better understand the risk posed by PAHs, he added.

PAHs are produced when coal, gas, oil and wood are burned and even when meat is smoked or grilled. Some can cause cancer, impede normal development or harm neurological and reproductive systems, Williams said.

OSU chemists Staci Simonich and Kim Anderson will collect PAHs in the sediment, soil and water from 13 locations, including several Superfund sites. Superfund sites are abandoned or uncontrolled parcels of land or water where hazardous waste was dumped and may harm the environment or people.

At several of the sites, OSU scientists will identify which PAHs in soil and sediment get converted into other chemical compounds as a result of cleanup efforts. These remediation methods may include heating the contaminated soil and sediment, exposing it to ultraviolet light, or adding chemicals, bacteria, fungi or charcoal to it to break it down, said Simonich, a professor in the colleges of science and agricultural sciences.

"We don't know what's being formed during remediation," Simonich said. "We're going to investigate that and figure out if it is bad for human health."

Anderson will test a new device with a silicone membrane that absorbs chemicals much like a person's skin cells would. Knowing which chemicals can be absorbed by a human body is key, she said. If they can't be absorbed, then it might be safer to leave the waste in place rather than dredging it up and possibly creating even more dangerous chemicals that can indeed enter the body, she said.

Robert Tanguay, a biochemist at OSU, will test the original PAHs as well as the derivatives that formed from cleanup efforts to see how toxic they are. He'll use zebrafish, the aquatic equivalent of lab rats. Scientists use the tiny fish because they’re transparent during development, mature rapidly and share about 80 percent of their genes with humans. This allows researchers to run many tests in a short time on a huge number of subjects.

Researchers will also see if chemicals become more or less toxic when mixed together versus when they're isolated.

"We are not exposed to one chemical at a time," said Anderson, a professor in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. "We want to understand what the toxicity is of the mixture we're exposed to."

In partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Williams will assess how humans absorb, metabolize and eliminate extremely small doses of PAHs. This data could later be used by regulatory agencies, including the EPA, to estimate risk from exposures to PAH mixtures. These agencies have had to rely on results from animal studies that involve high dosages, said Williams, a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Interacting with communities impacted by nearby hazardous waste or exposure to PAHs is an important additional component of the university's research. So Anderson, in a partnership created by OSU public health scientist Anna Harding, will work with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon to address tribal concerns about environmental chemicals. Anderson will measure tribal members' exposure to PAHs from woodstoves in their homes using portable air samplers and by asking them to wear silicone wristbands that she developed to absorb atmospheric chemicals. Exposures to PAHs from eating smoked salmon will also be investigated by testing tribal members' urine to see how their bodies metabolized the PAHs. 

On Fidalgo Island in Washington, Anderson will carry out a study at the Swinomish Indian Reservation, where oil refinery waste was once disposed, and at the Samish Indian Lands. She'll measure PAHs from sediment and tissues of butter clams, which tribal members' eat.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a partner on the grant and an integral part of the research. Rick Corley, a toxicologist at the lab, will develop computational models to predict internal doses of biologically active PAHs in sensitive target organs of humans at different life stages – from the fetus through adulthood – under real-world exposure conditions. Katrina Waters, a computational biologist there, will provide bioinformatics support to determine linkages between exposure and disease.

In 2009, the NIEHS designated OSU as home to one of the nation’s 18 Superfund Research Programs. As part of that, it awarded the university $12.4 million to study the health risks from PAHs in the Pacific Northwest and China. More information on the program at OSU is at http://oregonstate.edu/superfund.

Since then, OSU scientists have studied fetal exposure to carcinogens and Chinese residents' cancer risk from electronic waste sites. They've also investigated the impact of air pollution on Beijing residents' health and tested the water and air along the Gulf Coast after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To read stories about OSU's work with PAHs, go to http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons.

In the latest grant, researchers will collect PAHs from the following locations:

  • McCormick and Baxter Creosoting Co. site (Portland, Ore.)
  • Portland Harbor (Oregon)
  • Lower Duwamish Waterway (Seattle, Wash.)
  • St. Maries Creosote site (St. Maries, Idaho)
  • Anniston PCB site (Alabama)
  • American Creosote Works site (Winnfield plant) (Louisiana)
  • Grasse River Study Area (New York)
  • Dewey Loeffel Landfill (Nassau, N.Y.)
  • Passaic River-Newark Bay Study Area (New Jersey)
  • Hudson River PCBs site (New York)
  • Swinomish Indian Reservation (Fidalgo Island, Wash.)
  • Samish Indian Lands (Fidalgo Island, Wash.)
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Oregon)
Media Contact: 
Source: 

Dave Williams, 541-737-3277

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Staci Simonich, OSU professor

Chemist Staci Simonich examines a vial containing air pollutants at her lab at Oregon State University. (Photo by Tiffany Woods.)

Robert Tanguay

Biochemist Robert Tanguay checks tanks of zebrafish at his lab at Oregon State University. He uses the fish to test the toxicity of certain chemicals. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

OSU agricultural students earn $22,000 in scholarships

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University's Agricultural and Resource Economics Department has awarded 22 of its students $22,000 in scholarships made possible by gifts to the department.  

Recipients are:

BONANZA: Mieke deJong, a senior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,000 Edward Earnest Scholarship in Agribusiness Management.

CORVALLIS: Kelsey Burkum, a senior majoring in environmental economics, policy and management, received a $1,000 William P. "Chip" Harris Memorial Scholarship. Emily Honey, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received a $1,000 William P. "Chip" Harris Memorial Scholarship. Tyler Knapp, a post-baccalaureate student majoring in environmental economics and policy, received the $1,000 Fred Obermiller Memorial Scholarship.

COQUILLE: Julia Scolari, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,000 Edward Earnest Scholarship in Agribusiness Management.

CORNELIUS: Conner Duyck, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $500  JELD-WEN Scholarship.

ESTACADA: Aaron Schoknecht, a senior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $700 Rachel and Harold Hollands Scholarship as well as the $150 LeRoy Breithaupt Award.

LA GRANDE: Briana Tanaka, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,600 Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon Scholarship.

LANGLOIS: Cora Wahl, a senior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,600 Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon Scholarship.

MCMINNVILLE: Amanda Noble, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,600 Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon Scholarship. Jenna Way, a senior majoring in environmental economics and policy, received the $1,000 Ermine L. and Norma Olson Potter Memorial Fund Award.

OREGON CITY: Gerald Hosler, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,600 Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon Scholarship.

PORTLAND: Erik Levi, a senior majoring in environmental economics and policy, received the $1,000 Ermine L. and Norma Olson Potter Memorial Fund Award.

SALEM: Ashley Grucza, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $500 Oregon Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Award and an additional $500 Oregon Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Award.

SILVERTON: Tim Nicholson, a senior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $500 Western Agricultural Economics Association Outstanding Senior Award-Certificate of Merit.

SUTHERLIN: Rozalyn Patrick, a junior majoring in environmental economics and policy, received the $1,000 Dustin Goedeck Memorial Scholarship.

TIGARD: Amanda Carlson, a sophomore majoring in agricultural business management, received the $500 JELD-WEN Scholarship.

TUALATIN: Kathryn Jernberg, a freshman majoring in agricultural business management, received the $750 D. Curtis Mumford Award.

WARREN: Teri McGettigan, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,600 Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon Scholarship.

WHITE CITY: Gabriella DeSimone, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $1,000 Edward Earnest Scholarship in Agribusiness Management.

California

WOODLAND: Zach Millang, a junior majoring in agricultural business management, received the $400 E.L. Potter Scholarship.

Washington

REDMOND: Tyler West, a senior majoring in environmental economics and policy, received the $500 Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics Outstanding Senior Award.

Raising funds for scholarships is a priority of The Campaign to OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, donors have committed more than $930 million toward the $1 billion goal, including nearly $160 million for scholarships and fellowships.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Tjodie Richardson, 541-737-1399

OSU study suggests reducing air-polluting PAHs may lower levels of lung cancer deaths

CORVALLIS, Ore. – High emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be linked to lung cancer deaths in the United States and countries with a similarly high socioeconomic rank, including Canada, Australia, France, and Germany, according to a study by Oregon State University.

Researchers reviewed a range of information from 136 countries, including average body mass index, gross domestic product per capita, the price of cigarettes, smoking rates, and the amount of PAHs emitted into the air. PAHs are a group of more than 100 chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic when inhaled or ingested. They most commonly come from vehicle exhaust and burning coal and wood.

OSU researchers calculated how measures of health, wealth and pollution related to lung cancer deaths in each country.

"Analyzing data on a global scale revealed relationships between PAH emissions and smoking rates on the lung cancer death rates in each country," said Staci Simonich, a co-author of the study and toxicologist at OSU. "Ultimately, the strength of the relationships was determined by the country’s socioeconomic status."

While the link between smoking and lung cancer is well-established, OSU researchers did not find a correlation between cigarette smoking rates and lung cancer death rates in countries with high levels of income. Researchers attribute this conclusion to previous studies showing high-income smokers tend to light up less often.

OSU's study also suggests that reducing smoking rates could significantly lessen lung cancer deaths in countries with a lower socioeconomic status, including North Korea, Nepal, Mongolia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and many others. Researchers found that lung cancer mortality rates in these countries negatively correlated with price – meaning cheaper cigarettes are often associated with higher levels of deaths from lung cancer.

Detectable lung cancer can take 20 years to develop, and the poorest countries in the study had an average age of death of 54. OSU researchers suggest heavy smokers in these countries can sometimes die before tumors attributable to lung cancer become apparent.

"If the life expectancies were the same in all of the countries we reviewed, it's possible we would see a consistent relationship between PAH emissions and lung cancer," said Simonich, an OSU professor of environmental and molecular toxicology.

The study, "Association of Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emissions and Smoking with Lung Cancer Mortality Rates on a Global Scale," was recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Toxicology.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Richland, Wash. assisted with calculating the statistical associations between data used in the study. The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences funded the research through OSU’s Superfund Research Program.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. Lung cancer accounts for 12 percent of all cancer diagnoses and is the leading cancer killer of men and second among women, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Staci Simonich, 541-737-9194

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Staci Simonich, OSU environmental chemist

Staci Simonich, an OSU environmental chemist, calculated how measures of health, wealth and pollution related to lung cancer deaths around the world. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)