Departmental News

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. 

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!