FES News

For Rural Communities, Wildfire Brings Economic Help, Hardships

The economic consequences of fire on small communities have been borne out in several studies. Turns out, it’s complicated. Emily Jane Davis, an extension specialist and assistant professor with Oregon State University, conducted an analysis on the economic effects of wildfires on Trinity County, California, an area very much like the Methow Valley.

From clearcut trees to habitat for bees

A recent study led by wildlife biologist Jim Rivers, a professor in Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, indicated the removal of slash and other debris and compacting soil in recently harvested forestlands can create prime habitat for bees. In some areas, researchers found a threefold increase in population diversities in recently harvested stands. Similar research has shown prime pollinator habitat in recently burned areas.

Dr. Reem Hajjar on Researching Forestry

Dr. Reem Hajjar, an Assistant Professor of Integrated Human and Ecological Systems in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, is featured on the podcast "Research in Action." She is an interdisciplinary social scientist, and studies the relationship between forests and livelihoods, and how various governance mechanisms and institutions (policies, norms, and markets) shape that relationship.

Aspen is making a comeback in and around Yellowstone National Park, because of predators

This is the first large-scale study to show that aspen is recovering in areas around the park, as well as inside the park boundary, said Luke Painter, a wildlife ecologist at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. Wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995. The study shows their predation on elk is a major reason for new growth of aspen, a tree that plays an important ecological role in the American West.

Steve Strauss on OPB's Think Out Loud

Steve Strauss, a distinguished professor of biotechnology at OSU, joins OPB's Think Out Loud to discuss a recent field study that demonstrated trees can be genetically engineered to prevent new seedlings from establishing. They discuss the findings from the largest aggregate study of genetically engineered trees in the world.

Wild Bees May Benefit From Cleaning Up After Clearcuts

A recent study from Oregon State University suggests that removing timber harvest residue — also known as “slash” — could help wild bee populations thrive in the wake of a clearcut logging operation. The study was led by wildlife biologist Jim Rivers, principal investigator in OSU’s Forest Animal Ecology Lab.

Border wall a barrier to conservation

Oregon State University researchers William Ripple and Christopher Wolf, both part of the Global Trophic Cascades Program of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, are among the paper’s 18 co-authors.

Groundbreaking poplar study shows trees can be genetically engineered not to spread

The largest field-based study of genetically modified forest trees ever conducted has demonstrated that genetic engineering can prevent new seedlings from establishing. “There’s still more to know and more research to be done, but this looks really good,” said corresponding author Steve Strauss, distinguished professor of forest biotechnology at OSU. “It’s very exciting.”

The Ethics of Saving Wolves

Michael Paul Nelson, professor of environmental ethics and philosophy at Oregon State University, knows his wolves, and the issues related to their conservation. He’s the philosopher-in-residence and historian of the Isle Royale wolf-moose project, the world’s longest study of a single predator-prey system, as well as a noted researcher into trophic cascades, the effects on ecosystems caused by the introduction or removal of predators.

Researchers assess the health of forest pollinators and their link to agriculture

“There’s been concern for some time over pollinator declines,” said Jim Rivers, lead scientist and forest ecologist in the College of Forestry. “Some people have gone so far as to call it a pollinator crisis. There’s a potential for managed forests to promote pollinator abundance and biodiversity, but we don’t know the full extent because it’s been overlooked, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.”