Spring 2006

Why Terra?

Spring 2006 cover
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As a land-grant university, OSU has long focused on the Earth and its resources: oceans, forests, farm fields, watersheds and ecosystems. These are the stages for the evolving human story. On them, we play out the full range of endeavors, from engineering and science to the arts, professions and humanities. Today, OSU researchers are writing new chapters, expanding their explorations with new technologies, creating benefits for society and life-changing opportunities for students. Terra — Latin for Earth — will be a window on their activities.

Terra will take readers well beyond the Corvallis campus. In this inaugural issue, we travel to the coastal community of Reedsport, Oregon. Timber and fisheries have been its bread and butter since this Douglas County town was established at the mouth of the Umpqua River in 1852. In the past few years, declining fish populations and a mill closure have hit the Reedsport area hard, resulting in empty schools and storefronts. Now, thanks to the work of two OSU engineers, opportunity comes in with the regularity of ocean waves. In her cover story in this issue, Lee Sherman describes a new wave energy technology and the ripples of hope it is bringing to the Reedsport area — and to other coastal towns like it.

Welcome to the world of OSU research.

Nick Houtman

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