By Lee Anna Sherman
When you play fetch with a killer whale, it makes an impression. When you play fetch with a killer whale and you’re only 7 years old, it can change your life. For Renee Albertson, the change was a long time in the making. But as she tried first one career and then another, she never forgot how it felt to look into that whale’s eyes one rainy day in Vancouver, B.C. — a species-to-species connection that eventually led her to Oregon State’s Marine Mammal Institute and expeditions to study whales and dolphins around the world. Her summer on the turquoise seas of French Polynesia was just her most recent research adventure.
Meanwhile, other Oregon State students were at work in equally exotic places around the planet, from Kenya to New Zealand to the countryside of France. They worked on projects as diverse as engineering water systems and experimenting with emulsifiers in ice cream. Here’s a sampling of stories from these intrepid student researchers around the globe.
For more information about education abroad opportunities for OSU students, contact the International Degree & Education Abroad (IDEA) office at 541-737-3006.
Zachary Dunn helps bring clean water to Kenyan farmers.
Legacy of a Whale
Marine mammal biologist Renee Albertson never forgot her childhood encounter with a killer whale.
The Earth Burps and Burns
Whether Earth’s gaseous emissions bubble up from “mud volcanoes” or seep out of the ocean floor, WeiLi Hong has his monitoring ear to the ground.
The Milky Way
Rachel Miller puts French ice cream to the taste and texture test.
Horns of Africa
In Yachats, where Dylan McDowell grew up, wildlife meant seals, whales and sandpipers. A new assemblage greets him in Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Fisher of Rivers
Haley Ohms has monitored salmon runs in Alaska followed fish in Oregon and California. Where else to go next but Hokkaido?
Rebecca Hamner tracked the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphins in the waters off New Zealand.
Labor of Love
Giving birth shouldn’t create a public health crisis.
Ireland’s first marine reserve caught the fancy of Caitlyn Clark.