Terra+ Fall 2014

OSU's Research Newsletter

The Seabird Connection

Citizen scientists join university researchers to study Oregon’s marine reserves.
Most of us glimpse saltwater fishes only as grilled fillets on a dinner plate or as HD images on a TV screen. Even the fishermen who catch our salmon steaks and cod cakes rarely see a live fish that isn’t thrashing on a line or flopping in a net. So how do we keep tabs on the hidden, finned denizens of the Pacific? How can we gauge their health and their habitat? Read More


Ethiopian woman

Seeking the Headwaters of Peace
Can a massive dam on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River become a “platform for peace” in the parched lands of Africa? Or will it instead spark new conflicts among neighboring nations? And what happens to the people whose homes will be submerged when the reservoir fills? Read More

Test tubes

Molecules for Healing
Custom-designed molecules for treating human disease are being manufactured in an unlikely place: the tiny, forest-products town of Philomath. Inside a low-slung industrial building nestled among grasses and alders on the slopes of Oregon’s Coast Range, a biotech startup called Gene Tools LLC is tailoring molecules that may someday help patients recover from infections like flu or chronic conditions like muscular dystrophy. Read More

undergraduate researcher

Challenging a Nobel Laureate
Linus Pauling won the 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his description of the chemical bond that holds protein molecules together. Sixty years later, an undergraduate researcher at Oregon State University, where Pauling did his own undergrad work, prompted scientists to take a hard look at that model. Read More


Pulled from the Headlines

Every day, breaking news from OSU researchers makes headlines around the world. Here’s a handful of recent examples:

Geckos stick to surfaces through something called “dry adhesion,” says mechanical engineer P. Alex Greany. See the Washington Post, LA Times, Forbes magazine and National Geographic.

Suggestive Facebook photos can hurt girls socially, psychologist Elizabeth Daniels finds. See Time magazine.

Abrupt climate shift found in ancient ice could be early warning signal, finds graduate student Summer Praetorius. See Scientific American.

Watch this Space
The Rufous hummingbird, the common murre and the California condor are among the bird species facing an array of threats across Oregon’s diverse ecoregions. Watch for the story, “Avian Nations,” along with articles on “blue carbon” and Irish theater in the fall issue of Terra, Oregon State’s award-winning research magazine, coming to this space in October.


New Research Enterprises

Oregon State University is Oregon’s leading public research university, receiving $285 million in research funding for fiscal year 2014. Here we highlight a few of our most recent grant-funded projects:

Pipeline to Leadership
Principal Investigator: Kevin Ahern, Professor of Biochemistry/Biophysics and Director for Undergraduate Research
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to Oregon State University to develop student leadership in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Pure Air to Breathe
Principal Investigator: Perry Hystad, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Human Sciences
The National Institutes of Health has awarded OSU more than $340,000 to conduct the first-ever global health study of outdoor pollution impacts on cardiopulmonary disease.

Generating Power at Home
Principal Investigator: Chris Hagen, Assistant Professor of Energy Systems Engineering, OSU-Cascades
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted $400,000 to Oregon State for research into the thermal efficiency, energy efficiency and costs of commercial home generators.

Ocean Warming and Acidity
Principal Investigator: Andreas Schmittner, Associate Professor of Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry
The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences has awarded $250,000 to Oregon State to broaden the scope of information generated by a global model of biogeochemical cycles in the ocean.


Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
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