Departmental News

Not Your Imagination: Fall Colors Have Been Especially Good This Year

It's not your imagination: Fall colors have been spectacular in the Northwest this year. But if you want to catch a glimpse, you'd better hurry.  If you remember from grade school, leaves change color when the process of turning the sun’s rays into food winds down. There's no objective scale for measuring a region's autumnal brilliance. But Oregon State University forestry instructor Paul Ries says this year's colors are among the best.

Fresh look at the wolf-grizzly relationship

A study by Oregon State University ecologist and FES professor Bill Ripple has, for the first time, linked the welfare of wolves to the welfare of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem. This was big news when the story broke in August, which means that either the story hit during the doldrums of the 24/7 news cycle, or that grizzly bears and wolves have been promoted to front-page fodder by the mainstream press.

OSU Extension publishes new field guide to shrubs of Northwest forests

On your next hike, instead of puzzling over the name of that large upright shrub with tiny white flowers and small red fruits, reach for the new field guide "Shrubs to Know in Pacific Northwest Forests" to quickly identify it as the native red elderberry. Ed Jensen, a professor in Oregon State University's College of Forestry, authored the full-color, easy-to-use field guide for the OSU Extension Service.

NSF grants foster new understanding of biological systems on regional to continental scales

FES professor Chris Still was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  To better detect, understand and predict the effects of climate and land-use change on organisms and ecosystems at regional to continental scales, the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences recently awarded $15.3 million in 10 new macrosystems biology grants.  Since the Macrosystems Biology program was launched in 2011, NSF has made 50 such awards.

UM professor, Nobel laureate, lives life of solitude

Driven into hiding by his notoriety as a contributor to Nobel Prize—winning research, Steven Running spends most of his free time in solitude.  Running considers forest ecologist Richard Waring, now professor emeritus at FES, his intellectual godfather.

Extension Sustainability Summit features Viviane Simon-Brown

FES Emeritus Professor Viviane Simon-Brown attended the Extension Sustainability Summit in Park City, Utah.  She is featured along with 3 others in this program by Access Utah.  The event brought in extension educators on sustainability from all across the nation, to discuss what major environmental sustainability programs are currently being delivered through Cooperative Extension and began talking about future goals.

Gray Wolves May Lose Endangered Status, But Not Without a Fight

Cristina Eisenberg, an ecology researcher at Oregon State University, added that "wolves travel up to a thousand miles to find a mate and establish new territory." Eisenberg, who is working on a book about conservation policy for large carnivores, told LiveScience that delisting wolves on a nationwide basis means that states like Colorado and Utah are unlikely to have a wolf population in the future.

Federal forestlands would benefit from Oregon rules: Guest opinion

Hal Salwasser, FES professor and the former dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, contributed to an Oregonian opinion piece. They argue that managing some of the federal O&C forestlands more like private forestlands, as is supported by Oregon's Reps. Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader, would produce a better set of environmental and economic outcomes than is currently the case.

Climate Change Insurance: Scientists Call on President Obama to Protect Public Forests

Scientists specializing in forest ecosystems and climate change called on President Obama to protect public forests from logging and development in efforts to forestall global warming and compliment the president’s recent proposal for tighter restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Pointing to forests in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Bev Law, a forest carbon scientist at Oregon State University, said that forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change.

Fading beauty: Trees slowly invading Jefferson Park's iconic meadows

Research conducted by Oregon State University and published in the journal Landscape Ecology says Jefferson Park’s iconic meadows are being invaded by an increasing number of trees.Warming temperatures and decreasing snowpack in the Cascade Range have provided better growing conditions for mountain hemlock, said FES researcher Harold Zald, the lead author of the study — a local example of climate change’s impact.