OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Departmental News

What Do Birds Do for Us?

FES associate professor of landscape ecology Matt Betts and his research are featured in this recent article in Audubon Magazine.  Researchers use microphones to mechanically monitor bird songs in the western Cascade Mountains during (and before) the breeding season. “The minute the bird arrives from its wintering grounds, you know when it showed up,” says Matt Betts. “Then, if you start comparing those data across years, you can get some idea of how arrival times shifted. As the climate starts warming, are we seeing birds arriving earlier?"

Children’s book set in HJ Andrews

Retired OSU professor Judy Li has written her first book - also the first children's book from OSU Press - called "Ellie's Log, Exploring the Forest where the Great Tree Fell."  The book tells the story of two kids exploring HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades.

Wolves Teach Scientists Their Limitations

The lone wolf’s genes quickly became a new source of inbreeding. “His positive effect was powerful but very short-lived,” says Michael P. Nelson, an environmental philosopher at Oregon State University and longtime collaborator with the Isle Royale study. A shorter-term view would have missed that genetic wave and its decline, he adds. “When you watch something for a very long time, sometimes the simplest observation can have a great deal of meaning,” Nelson says, “and it’s only because of that context.”

Bills to regulate GMOs 'unwise,' professor tells panel

In a legislative hearing, a university biotech specialist characterized bills to regulate biotech crops at the state and county levels as "unwise" and "technologically regressive." Steve Strauss, professor of forest biotech at Oregon State University and director of the university's Outreach in Biotechnology program, said the bills "are based on poor science ... fundamentally undemocratic ... and appear to contradict federal regulations."

Thinking About Animals Thinking

March 8th, on the Oregon State University Campus, an expert panel of scientists, naturalists, and ethicists met to discuss the topics of behavior, emotions, morals, and relationships in animals.  Two FES professors participated: Bill Ripple gave a talk titled Predators and Prey: The Ecology of Fear, and moderator Michael Nelson talked about Science and Ethics.

Science that Breaks Your Heart

It was late Friday afternoon at Dearborn Hall. Professors Michael Nelson and Kathleen Dean Moore stood before an audience packed with scientists. Mixed in were students, community members and a few stray poets, attentive and expectant for a presentation titled “Five Tools of Moral Reasoning for Climate Scientists” and sponsored by Oregon State’s Environmental Humanities Initiative.  Michael Nelson is a FES professor and lead principle investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.

Roots of Relationship

Maria Garcia is embarking on an expedition. As a graduate student in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, she is exploring something that lurks in the soils of Central Oregon — a fuzzy microscopic fungus that colonizes tree roots and might predict the future of the forest. But why is the future of the forest at stake, and why dig underground when we are concerned about trees? The answer lies in the effects that organisms have on one another in a forest ecosystem. 

Study explores long-term water quality trends in near-pristine streams

For the first time, a study has compared water quality trends in forested streams across the country that are largely undisturbed by land use or land cover changes. "Much of what we know about changes in stream water quality comes from studies where basins have been impacted by human activity," said Alba Argerich, a postdoctoral research associate with FES and the study's lead author. "Our work intentionally focused on relatively undisturbed streams, the very reference sites that serve as benchmarks for evaluating water quality trends."

FES Spring Newsletter Released

The FES March 2013 Newsletter is now available!

Related Documents: 

Trees to Know in Oregon: On sale now through Arbor Day, April 26!

Save 33% on the popular, full-color field guide to tree identification in Oregon by FES professor Ed Jensen. Contains keys to identifying common conifer and broadleaf trees and discusses ornamental, shade, and fruit trees as well. For each species, provides identifying characteristics, range, and distinctive features. Includes hundreds of photos and drawings and a list of Oregon's champion trees. Indexed by common and scientific tree name. This 60th anniversary edition includes over 70 new color photos! For a limited time, this reference book is just $12. 

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