Departmental News

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!

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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. 

Dr. Cristina Eisenberg Wants Wolves in Our Backyards

Most people would sound the alarm at the sight of wolves in their backyard while breathing a sigh of relief once they’ve left. For FES post-doc Cristina Eisenberg, it was the exact opposite. She wanted them back. “Wolves touch everything in an ecosystem. They are what keep the web of life healthy and thrumming with energy,’ explains Dr. Eisenberg during an email correspondence from her home in rural Montana, just south of the Canadian-American border. “Coexisting with them is far more feasible than some people think.”

Blue Mountain timber: Top forester backs ambitious program of tree thinning and restoration

Many of the open, park-like expanses of Ponderosa pine that once characterized the Blue Mountains have disappeared, victims of a century of wildfire suppression and selective logging. According to Oregon State University extension agent Paul Oester of La Grande, fire-tolerant Ponderosas have been replaced by dense, unhealthy and explosively flammable stands of grand fir, Douglas fir and other tree species. In those dense stands, Oester said, wildfires burn fast and hot, and "ladder fuels" - underbrush, dry grass and low branches - carry flames upward into the forest crowns.

FES PhD candidate received fellowship

Garrett Meigs, a PhD candidate in the Forest Ecosystems and Society Department, was recently selected to receive the P.F. & Nellie Buck Yerex Graduate Fellowship by the Graduate School for the 2013-14 academic year.  Only one of these fellowships is awarded each year across the entire OSU campus to a student in a science or technology field.  Many outstanding nominees are considered for this award and receiving it is a significant honor.  Congratulations Garrett!

Dude ranch looks to expand its scientific efforts

A western Garfield County, Colorado guest ranch that sits in the middle of the region's gas patch is looking to expand its growing focus on scientific research aimed at protecting the area's natural environment. The proposed Cottonwoods/High Lonesome Institute project received a comprehensive plan amendment approval and sketch plan review by the Garfield County Planning Commission earlier this month. The High Lonesome Ranch already has a five-person science and conservation education staff, including FES forestry professor Hal Salwasser and FES post-doc Cristina Eisenberg.

The Nature of Oregon: Master Naturalists share their love of the land

The Oregon Master Naturalist Program is for people interested in Oregon’s natural history and natural resources management who want to dedicate their time as volunteers. Nearly 30 states nationwide have similar programs. Jason O'Brien, director of the program and FES member, is featured in this video about the program.

Where Few Trees Have Gone Before

Tall trees block light that meadow grasses, shrubs and wildflowers need to survive. Once trees become established, the surrounding seed banks of native grasses tend to fade away. The meadows' “biodiversity value is much larger than the amount of area they occupy,” explains lead author Harold S. J. Zald, postdoctoral research associate at Oregon State University in the FES department, who hatched the idea for the study while backpacking in the Cascade Range. The researchers do not yet know which plant or animal species would be endangered.

Report: Warming bringing big changes to forests

Big changes are in store for the nation's forests as global warming increases wildfires and insect infestations, and generates more frequent floods and droughts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns in a report released Tuesday. Beverly Law, FES professor of global change forest science at Oregon State University, said in an email that her research in Oregon showed that despite more fire, the amount of carbon stored in forests continues to increase.