FES News

Discerning Plant Picks Its Pollinators

Being picky may increase access to genetic diversity and thus give the plants a competitive advantage over their neighbors, but there is a risk, researchers say. FES researchers Matt Betts and Adam Hadley were involved in this study.

California’s terrifying climate forecast: It could face droughts nearly every year

Beverly Law, a specialist in global change biology at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, co-authored a study of megadroughts three years ago. It showed that a drought that affected the American West from 2000 to 2004 compared to conditions seen during the medieval megadroughts. But the predicted megadrought this century would be far worse. Law said the NASA study confirmed her previous findings.

NW forest insect outbreaks compared from space

Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West – mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm. “This is the first time anyone has compared the impacts from these two insects in consistent units of change going all the way back to 1970,” said Garrett Meigs, who conducted his analysis while he was a Ph.D. student in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

Cattle damage to riverbanks can be undone

Simply removing cattle may be all that is required to restore many degraded riverside areas in the American West, although this can vary and is dependent on local conditions. These are the findings of Jonathan Batchelor and William Ripple of Oregon State University in the US, lead authors of a study published in Springer's journal Environmental Management.

Conservation needs to recognize nature’s intrinsic value, researchers say

Conservation policies may reflect the practical benefits of nature — food, medicine, clean water and air. But in this week’s issue of Conservation Biology, three scientists present a scientific and philosophical case for conserving nature on its own merits. “This paper changes the conversation by calling for rigorous thought and evidence in the discussion of intrinsic versus instrumental value,” said Michael Paul Nelson, a professor of environmental ethics in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

'Rewilding' dingoes could help reverse decline of Australia's native wildlife

“Predation by foxes and feral cats is the key driver of extinctions, so we need to change what we’ve previously done and look at if the dingo can help,” said Dr Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney, the report’s lead author. Dr. Newsome was a postdoctoral scholar in the College of Forestry in 2014.

Think Too Much: How we think about science matters

How we think about science might be more important now than ever — Michael P. Nelson, a professor at Oregon State University comments on a new study from the Pew Research Center that surveyed both citizens and scientists.

Bend filmmaker highlights Deschutes River flows

The flows also cause more sediment to build up in the river, said Matt Shinderman, a natural resources instructor at Oregon State University-Cascades. When flows are low, riverside plants die.

FES PhD Candidate selected as a Wilburforce Fellow in Conservation Science

David Mildrexler, a PhD in the LARSE lab, has been selected as one of the Wilburforce Fellows in Conservation Science. The Wilburforce Fellowship will build a community of conservation science leaders who excel in using science to help achieve durable conservation solutions in western North America.

Willamette Valley aspens could be Rocky Mountain refugees from prehistoric Missoula Floods

FES professor Steve Strauss is leading a team of scientists -- with the help of crowd-source funding and donors’ tips -- who believe the Missoula Floods deposited plants in the Willamette Valley.