OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

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Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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NickFlynn
Nick Flynn

Author Paul Bogard to read from his book on Oct. 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Paul Bogard, author of “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light,” will read from his book on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. The reading begins at 7 p.m. at the library, located at 645 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis.

The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

In his book, Bogard examines the night and how people experience it, traveling to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Walden Pond, and the Canary Islands to explore degrees of darkness. After talking to astronomers, lighting professionals, nurses, and other night-time workers, Bogard writes about the cultural, social and health implications of a night that’s getting brighter every minute, thanks in part to parking lot lights and streetlights.

Publishers Weekly wrote: “Even readers unable to tell Orion from the Big Dipper will find a new appreciation for the night sky after spending some time with this terrific book.”

A native of Minnesota, Bogard teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University. He is also editor of the anthology “Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.” 

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Carly Lettero, 541-737-6198

Media advisory: Oregon State wildfire experts

MEDIA ADVISORY

The following Oregon State University faculty members have expertise related to wildfire issues and are willing to speak with journalists. Their specific expertise, and contact information, is listed below.  For help with other OSU faculty experts, contact Mark Floyd, 541-737-0788, mark.floyd@oregonstate.edu.

OSU wildfire experts

John Bailey, 541-737-1497, john.bailey@oregonstate.edu

Bailey studies the role of forest management in accomplishing landowner objectives, including fire resilience, habitat and restoration. His areas of expertise include:

  • Fuels management for fire risk reduction
  • Wildland fire ecology
  • Prescribed fire

Stephen Fitzgerald, 541-737-3562, stephen.fitzgerald@oregonstate.edu

Amy Jo Detweiler, 541-548-6088, amyjo.detweiler@oregonstate.edu

Detweiler and Fitzgerald are faculty members in the OSU Extension Service and co-authors of a publication, Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes, published in 2006 and due to be updated next year. They can discuss ways for homeowners to reduce fire risk to their homes.

  • Types of shrubs and trees that are less likely to burn
  • Maintenance tips for fire resistant plantings
  • Bark mulches and other ground covers
  • Fuel reduction around homes

 

Beverly Law, 541-737-6111, bev.law@oregonstate.edu

Law is a professor in the OSU Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society and former Science Chair of the Ameriflux network. She studies carbon and water cycling in ecosystems and exchange with the atmosphere, including the forests of the Pacific Northwest. She has focused on, among other topics, the role of fire in the carbon cycle. She can comment on:

  • Modeling ecosystem responses to disturbances such as fire and insects
  • The effects of climate change, fire and forest management on carbon and water cycles
  • The combination of remote sensing and field observations to understand regional ecosystem processes

 

Claire Montgomery, 541-737-1362, claire.montgomery@oregonstate.edu

Montgomery studies the economic implications of fire management decisions, from the initial determination whether to let a fire burn or to put it out. She can address the likely impacts of fire management decisions on the value of timber and other forest resources in the future.

  • Incentives for cost-effective wildland fire management
  • Community considerations of forest fuel treatments
  • The opportunity costs of fire suppression

 

Roger Hammer, 541-760-1009, rhammer@oregonstate.edu

Hammer is a professor in the School of Public Policy and studies the interface between communities and undeveloped lands such as forests. He studies strategies to mitigate fire risk in the face of urban development. He can comment on:

  • U.S. demographic trends at the urban-wildland interface
  • Fire risk and development at the urban-wildland interface
  • New construction after a fire

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

Dello is the deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service and associate director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. She studies Pacific Northwest weather patterns and compiles reports for use by businesses and government agencies. She can comment on weather patterns as they influence fire risk, including:

  • Long-term trends in Pacific Northwest weather
  • The impact of landscape features (mountains, forests) on weather
  • Weather data collection by citizens

 

Compiled by Nick Houtman

541-737-0783, nick.houtman@oregonstate.edu

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Nick Houtman, 541-737-0783

Scottish explorer David Livingstone’s writings, drawings now available through online archive

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students, researchers and the public will have extraordinary access to the drawings, letters and field diaries of Scottish explorer David Livingstone through an expanded digital archive and new website that is launching today.

The site, Livingstone Online, www.livingstoneonline.org, is the digital home for the documents chronicling the life and work of Livingstone, a missionary, physician and abolitionist best known for his travels in Africa in the mid-19th century.

“The original Livingstone documents are scattered all over the world – in Africa, Scotland, England and in private collections,” said Megan Ward, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and associate director of the Livingstone Online project. “There’s never been a single physical location for these documents. We wanted to come up with a more comprehensive archive.”

The project, directed by Adrian S. Wisnicki, assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska, is being funded by a three-year, $265,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The website for the digital archive is being hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles.

Livingstone’s work provides insight into globalization, imperialism and the role of the British Empire and life in Africa during that period. Many of the themes prevalent in Livingstone’s work continue to resonate today, said Ward, who teaches and researches Victorian literature. Livingstone is an icon of the era, she said – his work inspired questions of empire throughout the literature of that time.

“He was seen as a great hero then, though the lens of time changes people’s perspective of him and his work,” said Ward, who teaches in the School of Writing, Literature and Film in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. “He left a complicated legacy. Due to his work to end the slave trade, he has been considered a freedom fighter for Africa, but his exploration also has been viewed as detrimental to Africa and its people.” 

The online archive was established in 2005 then dramatically expanded through a two-year, international collaboration among scholars, digital librarians, museum curators and others across the U.S., Scotland, England and South Africa. The beta version of the new, expanded site is being unveiled this week.

More than 7,500 original images of Livingstone’s writings can be found on the site and the archive is expected to expand to more than 12,000 images by 2016. The archive also includes drawings and illustrations depicting Livingstone’s work and findings.

Wisnicki and Ward have received another, $168,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant so they can use spectral imaging and processing technology to study one of Livingstone’s diaries in new ways.

“He ran out of paper and ink at one point and was writing on newspapers using ink made from local clothing dye,” Ward said.

Over time, the paper became fragile and the writing all but disappeared. The spectral imaging technology allows researchers to see the words that once were there. One illegible diary has already been restored using the technology.

The new grant will allow researchers to more closely examine a second, companion diary that is more legible. Researchers hope to use the spectral imaging technology to reveal other aspects of its history, such as how and when it was written, when pages were added and in what order the pages were assembled. That could provide further understanding of where and how Livingstone documented conflicts between Arab slave traders and the central African people, Ward said. 

The archive of Livingston’s work will serve as a resource for academic researchers as well as for students from elementary school through college. One section of the site contains outreach materials geared to students ages 9-13. Making the site compatible for use with mobile devices, including tablets and smart phones, is in future plans as well, Ward said.

“The digital images give these historical documents new life and make them available to a wider audience,” Ward said. “You can see flies that were smashed in notebooks, funny sketches, even drops of blood.”

To commemorate the launch of the new Livingstone Online site, Wisnicki and Ward are speaking this week at the British Library and the National Library of Scotland.

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Megan Ward, 541-737-1673, megan.ward@oregonstate.edu

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Lantern slide of Livingstone writing in his diary

Livingstone LanternSlide

Hand-drawn map from Livingstone's Field Diary

Livingstone Map

1871 Field Diary, unreadable

1871 Field Diary Unreadable

1871 Field Diary, spectrally-imaged to improve readability

1871 Field Diary Spectrally Imaged

OSU to celebrate iconic stick sculpture slated for removal this summer

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The large willow stick sculpture, “Pomp and Circumstance,” created by artist Patrick Dougherty in 2011 on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, will be removed this summer.

The College of Liberal Arts, which commissioned the temporary sculpture, will host a send-off party for the piece as part of graduation festivities. The celebration will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. June 12 in People’s Park on the west side of Gilkey Hall, 122 S.W. Waldo Place.

Students, staff, faculty and members of the public are invited to attend the event. Cuttings from the sculpture will be available to take home to plant and tags will be available to write send-off messages that will be attached to the sculpture.

“The piece’s ongoing popularity surprised everyone,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “It has become a well-loved part of OSU’s identity, even though it was always meant to be ephemeral.”

Dozens of students and community volunteers helped Dougherty build the sculpture using willow sourced from local weavers in 2011. Expected to decay over time, the sculpture held up much longer than expected, but parts of it are beginning to sag, and it has become a potential hazard.

College of Liberal Arts officials plan to replace the sculpture with a “similarly exciting new installation that will continue to draw people to interact with our natural art,” Rodgers said.

“We recognize that Dougherty’s sculpture is a fixture on campus, and though we’re sad it has to go, we’re dedicated to keeping People’s Park a destination where students, community members and families can congregate, relax and explore,” he said.

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Celene Carillo, 541-737-2137, Celene.carillo@oregonstate.edu

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Patrick Dougherty's "Pomp and Circumstance"

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Girls receive conflicting career messages from media, new research shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Teenage girls like and feel more similar to women in appearance-focused jobs such as models and actresses, though they find female CEOs and military pilots to be better role models, according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University.

For the study, 100 girls and 76 boys ages 14 to 18 were shown photographs of model Heidi Klum, actress Jennifer Aniston, CEO Carly Fiorina and military pilot Sarah Deal Burrow. Klum and Aniston represented the appearance-focused careers and Fiorina and Deal Burrow represented the non-appearance focused careers.

Girls generally rated the women in the appearance-focused careers higher on likeability than the women in the non-appearance focused careers. Girls also rated the women in the appearance-focused photos as more competent than the other women. Boys, on the other hand, found the women in the non-appearance focused careers were more competent. The boys also ranked the appearance-focused photos lower on likeability.

The findings highlight the conflicting messages girls receive in the media about careers and success for women, said researcher Elizabeth Daniels, an assistant professor of psychology who studies the effects of media on body image and gender.

“Girls know they should look up to female doctors and scientists, but they also know that women in appearance-focused jobs get rewarded by society,” Daniels said. “It is, therefore, reasonable to think they would prefer women in those jobs.”

But the study also shows that teenage girls, as well as boys, value women in roles that are not appearance-focused and generally find those women to be better role models. That should encourage movie, television and advertising executives to showcase a much wider range of working women and move beyond the “moms and models” that are the most common examples of women in media, Daniels said.

“The dominant belief is that sex sells,” she said. “But our findings show teens have positive attitudes toward other images of working women, providing evidence that there is support for these other images.”

The research was just published in the Journal of Adolescent Research. The co-author is Aurora M. Sherman, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU. The study was conducted while Daniels was on the faculty at OSU-Cascades; she’s now working at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

The researchers wanted to study adolescents’ attitudes about working women in part because they are under-represented in the media and are often depicted in stereotyped roles. In film and prime-time television, for example, women are less likely to be shown working in professional roles such as executives at a major corporation. That could send a message to young people that such occupations are unattainable or inappropriate for women.

“We already have a lot of research about the negative effects of sexualized or idealized media images on young women,” Daniels said. “But there is very little research about the effects of other types of positive images of women, such as CEOs or military pilots. We wanted to understand how young people respond to those images.”

The teens in the study were given a brief description of each woman’s occupational accomplishments with each photo. The teenagers then answered a series of questions about the women in the photos, including: likability, competence and similarity to themselves.

The majority of both boys and girls rated the military pilot and the CEO as good role models, at 90 percent and 79 percent, respectively, while 58 percent said the actor was a good role model and 48 percent said the model was.

“The most striking finding is the disconnect between girls’ role model evaluations and their ratings of women’s competence,” Daniels said.

But the research also shows there is interest in and appetite for more diverse images of working women in media and advertising, she said. “Those images are reviewed positively by audiences, but it is really rare to see women featured in their careers.”

Additional research is needed to understand how media may affect the career aspirations of children and adolescents.

“Does it affect the teens’ aspirations of what they can be? Does exposure to a female CEO or military pilot encourage girls to join a computer coding club or take math or science classes? We don’t know yet,” Daniels said.

Future research also could look specifically at why boys downgraded the competence and likeability of women in appearance-focused jobs but teen girls did not, Sherman said.

“We speculate that teens may be receiving some deeply mixed messages about the importance of appearance for femininity that may be at odds with the messages they are learning about competence in occupations,” she said.

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Elizabeth Daniels, 831-345-8447, edaniels@uccs.edu; or Aurora Sherman, 541-737-1361, Aurora.sherman@oregonstate.edu

Student-directed one-act play festival runs June 3-7 at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s annual Spring One-Act Festival, featuring four original one-act plays written and directed by OSU students, will run June 3-7 in the Lab Theatre.

The plays, which feature a large cast of OSU students, are:

  • “The Mark,” written by Elise Barberis and directed by Anna Mahaffey, tells the story of Steve, a reluctant cult leader brought into power by a group of well-meaning followers on the morning of Doomsday.
  • “Caffeinated Crisis,” written by Bryanna Rainwater and directed by Teri Straley, follows the adventures of a plucky news reporter who uncovers an absurd conspiracy brought on by the Northwest’s major coffee chains.
  • “Answer Me,” written by Amanda Kelner and directed by Sam Zinsli, features Tegan, who finds herself working for Madam Matilda, an eccentric psychic who actually has the ability to tell the future.
  • “Cheep! Cheep!,” written by Joseph Workman and directed by Alex Reis, is a comic exploration of Maxwell, a stick-in-the-mud employee at a chicken-themed amusement park filled with perky oddballs.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 3-6 and 2 p.m. June 7. The Lab Theatre is located in Withycombe Hall, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors, $5 for youths and students, and $4 for OSU students. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784 or visit the website at http://bit.ly/1jdKUgy.

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Hazing remains a concern in college marching bands, new study shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nearly a third of college marching band members surveyed in a national study observed hazing in their programs but few of the students reported the activities, often because of fears of retribution or loss of social standing, according to researchers.

Public verbal humiliation and public degradation were the most common forms of hazing reported by the band members, said Jason Silveira, an assistant professor of music education in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, published recently in the Journal of Research in Music Education. Co-author of the study is Michael Hudson of the University of Kentucky.

The findings indicate there may still be confusion about what constitutes hazing and band members may need more education to understand what hazing is and why it shouldn’t be tolerated, Silveira said.

“Despite all of our efforts, the message about hazing is still not getting out there,” he said. “Band participants might say it’s no big deal, it’s what we do. It may not be a big deal to that person, but to someone else it may be.”

Silveira and Hudson began investigating marching band hazing after several high-profile hazing incidents at colleges across the country, including the death of Robert Champion, a member of the Florida A&M University marching band who died during a hazing incident in 2011. Silveira had recently finished graduate school at another Florida institution at the time of Champion’s death.

They found that few researchers had examined hazing in the performing arts; the little research that did exist tended to be part of larger hazing studies involving athletics or Greek organizations as well, Silveira said. So Silveira and Hudson set out to learn more about students’ attitudes toward, understanding of and exposure to hazing in their marching bands.

“We wanted to pull back the veil of secrecy and see if there was anything we could do to help prevent hazing incidents in the future,” Silveira said.

With permission from band directors, the researchers queried more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students who participate in NCAA Division I marching band programs in 30 states across the U.S. Student participation in the online survey was voluntary.

Overall, band members reported that they had never been forced to participate in most of the 18 types of hazing incidents listed in the survey. Only four types of hazing had been experienced by at least 10 percent of the respondents.

Nearly 20 percent of band members indicated they had been required to sing or chant by themselves or with selected others while in public and nearly 20 percent reported being yelled at, cursed at or sworn at. Nearly 15 percent of the band members reported that they had been asked not to associate with certain specific people but not others. And nearly 12 percent of the students reported depriving themselves of sleep.

The numbers were even lower when students were asked if they had participated in hazing others. About 3 percent of the survey respondents reported forcing others to participate in a drinking game, for example. Nearly 8 percent reported forcing others to sing or chant in public and 5 percent reported yelling, cursing or swearing at other members.

The vast majority of the students indicated they were aware of their university’s hazing policies and expressed negative views toward hazing activities, Silveira said.

“That’s a promising finding, that hazing is not being supported,” he said.

However, nearly a third of the band members also reported observing some type of hazing. That indicates a possible disconnect in band members’ understanding of what hazing is, Silveira said.

Silveira suggested band directors or other band leaders may need to step up education and reporting efforts to root out hazing in their programs. That might include establishing a system for anonymous reporting of hazing; comprehensive reviews of hazing policies with members; or using role-playing to help members better understand what hazing is.

“There was a sense that band members didn’t see some behaviors as hazing,” Silveira said. “Giving students concrete examples that help delineate what hazing is might help.”

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Jason Silveira, 541-737-2514. Jason.silveira@oregonstate.edu

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Jason Silveira

Jason Silveira

Author Claire Vaye Watkins to read at Oregon State May 22

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Claire Vaye Watkins will read at Oregon State University on Friday, May 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda (201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis).

The event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading.

Watkins is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. She also is the co-director of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

Watkins’ stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, New Stories from the Southwest 2013, the New York Times and elsewhere. In 2012, she was selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.”

Her collection of short stories, “Battleborn,” won numerous awards, including the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Rumpus called Watkins, “Exceptional… A writer of great precision and greater restraint, [she] is a natural storyteller whose material enriches that gift rather than engulfing it… One doesn’t have to be from the Battleborn state to recognize and appreciate literature that resonates like this.”

This event is part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.

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Oregon State University to host ‘The Co.’ – an interactive event focused on maker culture

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University on May 28 will host “The Co.,” an interactive event showcasing the wide array of “maker” activities happening in and around Corvallis.

The event, which is free and open to people of all ages, will run from noon to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

Maker culture is a popular movement that honors craftsmanship and technology. It brings together do-it-yourself enthusiasts, designers and engineers to share knowledge, skills and resources – and to collaborate, innovate and create.

The Co. was designed to honor the simple act of creating and to allow campus and community groups to network. It will feature an array of activities including a maker fair, speakers, interactive demonstrations, kinetic sculptures from the da Vinci Days festival and more.

“Our title stems from the prefix of applicable words such as collaborate, co-design, co-create,” said Charles Robinson, the event’s director. “Our goal is to promote an inclusive culture that knocks down barriers and offers instead a collaborative model for making, creating, and hands-on learning.”

Exhibitors at the maker fair include several OSU departments and programs such as wood science and art students from the College of Forestry, the College of Liberal Arts, the Craft Center, robotics, Precollege Programs, the College of Business, and the OSU Solar Vehicle Team.

Community exhibitors include Bricks 4 Kidz, da Vinci Days, NuScale Power, Corvallis Arts Center, the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and the Pacific Slope Archaeological Laboratory. A “2-D room” presented by the OSU libraries will focus on print technologies.

Scheduled presenters include Frankie Flood, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who teaches jewelry and metal-smith and oversees a digital craft research lab; Barry Kudrowitz, a toy designer, musician and engineer from MIT and the University of Minnesota; and OSU robotics professor Yigit Mengüc. A full list of speakers, times and locations will be posted online: http://gototheco.tumblr.com.

A maker film festival will be held in advance of the event. Maker-themed films such as “Handmade Nation” and “Maker: A Documentary on the Maker Movement” will be screened.  On May 19 and May 26, films will be shown in Owen Hall Room 103; on May 20 and May 27, screenings will be held in Milam Auditorium. All screenings begin at 6 p.m.

Satellite events will be held May 28 in Hood River and in Tillamook through a partnership with OSU’s OPEN Campus network. The Hood River event will be held at Hood River Valley High School, 1220 Indian Creek Road.  The public is welcome from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Tillamook event will be held at Tillamook Bay Community College; details are still being finalized.

For a complete schedule and more information, or to sign up to exhibit at The Co., visit: http://gototheco.tumblr.com.

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Charles Robinson, 541-737-6535, charles.robinson@oregonstate.edu