OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Departmental News

Viviane Simon-Brown awarded for Climate Change Handbook

Climate Change Handbook –A Citizen’s Guide to Thoughtful Action won both a Western Regional and National Educational Piece - Team Award from NACDEP – the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.  FES professor Viviane Simon-Brown was one of the authors of this handbook and was recognized at the annual conference in Park City, UT.

Rise of the coyote: The new top dog

FES professor Bill Ripple is quoted in an article in Nature.  Shape-shifting coyotes have evolved to take advantage of a landscape transformed by people. Scientists are now discovering just how wily the creatures are. “Invading a landscape emptied of wolves may trigger a whole new pathway in terms of the coyote's evolution,” says Bill Ripple, an ecologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “And the coyote's arrival will have unpredictable effects on other species in the ecosystem.”

Feeding the birds

If you feed them, they will come.  At least, Oregon State University researchers are hoping that’s the case with area hummingbirds. The university has tapped fourth-graders at Timber Ridge School, among students at other mid-valley schools, to hang feeders to help researchers collect data.  Todd Bertwelt, an undergraduate in OSU’s College of Forestry, came to Timber Ridge in late April to explain the project.

Matt Betts receives award from Phi Kappa Phi

FES professor Matt Betts received an Emerging Scholar Award at Phi Kappa Phi's initiation. The OSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has established the Emerging Scholar Faculty Award in order to recognize non-tenured faculty for outstanding research or creative activity in his or her field of study. This award is open to faculty in the early stages of their professional careers and provides a $1,000 honorarium and a one-year active membership in Phi Kappa Phi to the recipient.

Biofuel Goes Back to the Future

Two five-year projects to create new aviation fuels and high-value chemicals out of tree plantations and forest residues in the Pacific Northwest were announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One of these projects is being run by University Distinguished Professor Steve Strauss (FES), forest biotechnology expert and an international leader in the genetics of trees. He will receive $577,000 to study ways to avoid gene movement from genetically engineered poplar trees to wild forests.

Predators and Plants

FES professor William Ripple was featured on Science Update. The subject was how eliminating bears, wolves, and other top predators has far-reaching consequences.

Carbon Choices, Carbon Consequences

Professor Mark Harmon (Richardson Chair in Forest Science) and Research Associate John Campbell, both in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society (FES) have found that while fuel reduction treatments can help reduce the severity of fire, these treatments may actually release more carbon to the atmosphere than any amount saved by successful fire prevention.

Future of ecological forestry is here

When Jerry Franklin and FES professor Norm Johnson look past the Pilot Joe restoration project, they see forests with a future.  The Mail Tribune reports on their work in Southern Oregon.  The goal of ecological forestry is to preserve the largest trees and improve forest health, including protecting northern spotted owl habitat, while producing wood for mills and county coffers, and reducing wildfire devastation, according to Franklin and Johnson.

Forest biomass not a solution for climate change

A team of academic researchers including FES professor Beveryly Law from Oregon State University has concluded that a major shift to using forest biomass to produce energy is unsustainable and will increase rather than decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  View the full story from Sustainable Life.

Breaking down the wall: communication at the interface of environmental policy and science

FES professor Lisa Ganio is a panelist in an upcoming Women in Policy and Women in Science public event, "Breaking down the wall: communication at the interface of environmental policy and science".   This event will be held on April 25 from 6:00-7:30pm in MU 109.  Panelists will be discussing the need to bridge the communication gap in environmental science and policy in the face of critical changes to the environment, as well as answering audience questions.

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