OSU Extension Blogs

MASON BEES-BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

LEARN ABOUT MASON BEES AS IMPORTANT POLLINATORS, AND BUILD A SPECIAL HOUSE FOR THEM TO TAKE HOME TO YOUR GARDEN.

PLEASE PRE PAY AND REGISTER ONLINE AT:http://bit.ly/JacksonMG2017

$15.00 IF PAID AT THE DOOR.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FOOD FOREST

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

A FOOD FOREST IS A TECHNIQUE WHICH MIMICS A WOODLAND ECOSYSTEM BY SUBMITTING EDIBLE TREES. SHRUBS, PERENNIALS AND ANNUALS.

PLEASE PRE PAY AND REGISTER ONLINE AT:http://bit.ly/JacksonMG2017

$15.00 IF PAID AT THE DOOR.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

On-Farm Food Safety Project

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Sunday, February 19, 2017 (all day event)

The OSU Center for Small Farms has teamed up with FamilyFarmed to bring their On-Farm Food Safety Project to Oregon in February in three day-long workshops: February 16, 17, and 19.

These workshops, taught by Atina Diffley, nationally known farmer & on-farm food safety expert, will cover practical food safety strategies for your farm, along with up-to-date guidance on FSMA requirements and compliance strategies.

Workshop #1 is designed for mid-scale produce farmers

  • February 16, 2017
  • OSU North Willamette Research & Extension Cente, Aurora, OR

Workshop #2 is designed for small-scale, diversified produce farmers

  •  February 17, 2017
  • Food Innovation Center, Portland, OR

Workshop #3 is designed for small-scale diversidied produce farmers

  • February 19, 2017
  • OSU Alumni Center, Corvallis, OR

 

For more information or to register, contact Heidi Noordijk (heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu) or visit this info & registration page

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Professor emeritus, Ross Penhallegon has more than 50 years of orchard management experience—come learn from the best! Classes will be held rain or shine, so dress weather appropriate. There will be an opportunity for a hands-on activity after the workshops, so bring your gloves and pruners. Please register for one of the following classes.To register by phone call 541-967-3871. You may register online at http://tinyurl.com/jj57qsv, or drop by the Benton or Linn County OSU Extension Service office 

4077 SW Research Way, Corvallis (Benton)
33630 McFarland Rd, Tangent (Linn)
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Professor emeritus, Ross Penhallegon has more than 50 years of orchard management experience—come learn from the best! Classes will be held rain or shine, so dress weather appropriate. There will be an opportunity for a hands-on activity after the workshops, so bring your gloves and pruners. Please register for one of the following classes. To register by phone call 541-967-3871. You may register online at http://tinyurl.com/jj57qsv, or drop by the Benton or Linn County OSU Extension Service office 
4077 SW Research Way, Corvallis (Benton)
33630 McFarland Rd, Tangent (Linn)
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oregon Small Farms Conference

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Saturday, February 18, 2017 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The Oregon Small Farms Conference is a daylong event geared toward farmers, agricultural professionals, food policy advocates, students and managers of farmers markets.  Thirty educational sessions are offered on a variety of topics relevant to the Oregon small farmers and include a track in Spanish. Speakers include farmers, OSU Extension faculty, agribusiness, and more.

More information available here:  http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfc

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

On-Farm Food Safety Project

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Friday, February 17, 2017 (all day event)

The OSU Center for Small Farms has teamed up with FamilyFarmed to bring their On-Farm Food Safety Project to Oregon in February in three day-long workshops: February 16, 17, and 19.

These workshops, taught by Atina Diffley, nationally known farmer & on-farm food safety expert, will cover practical food safety strategies for your farm, along with up-to-date guidance on FSMA requirements and compliance strategies.

Workshop #1 is designed for mid-scale produce farmers

  • February 16, 2017
  • OSU North Willamette Research & Extension Cente, Aurora, OR

Workshop #2 is designed for small-scale, diversified produce farmers

  • February 17, 2017
  • Food Innovation Center, Portland, OR

Workshop #3 is designed for small-scale diversidied produce farmers

  • February 19, 2017
  • OSU Alumni Center, Corvallis, OR

 

For more information or to register, contact Heidi Noordijk (heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu) or visit this info & registration page

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

On-Farm Food Safety Project

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Thursday, February 16, 2017 (all day event)

The OSU Center for Small Farms has teamed up with FamilyFarmed to bring their On-Farm Food Safety Project to Oregon in February in three day-long workshops: February 16, 17, and 19.

These workshops, taught by Atina Diffley, nationally known farmer & on-farm food safety expert, will cover practical food safety strategies for your farm, along with up-to-date guidance on FSMA requirements and compliance strategies.

Workshop #1 is designed for mid-scale produce farmers

  • February 16, 2017
  • OSU North Willamette Research & Extension Cente, Aurora, OR

Workshop #2 is designed for small-scale, diversified produce farmers

  •  February 17, 2017
  • Food Innovation Center, Portland, OR

Workshop #3 is designed for small-scale diversidied produce farmers

  • February 19, 2017
  • OSU Alumni Center, Corvallis, OR

 

For more information or to register, contact Heidi Noordijk (heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu) or visit this info & registration page

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Cider & Perry Orcharding

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Thursday, February 16, 2017 8:45 AM - 4:00 PM

Back by popular demand, NABC offers a workshop tailor made for the Orchardist wanting to grow cider & Perry fruit in marine climates. Gary Moulton, local Pomologist & Orchardist, will take you throught everything you need to know at this one-day workshop, addressing the critical issues for marine climate orcharding of these specalty fruits. Topics include:

  • Cider & Perry Varietals (discussion, sampling)
  • Soil Fertility and Amendmants
  • Planning, Planting & Orchard Layout
  • Rootstock, Irrigation, Harvest Methods
  • Pest Control
  • Grafting
  • Pruning, Training & Fruit Thinning

If you have unidentified fruit from your orchard, please feel free to bring a sample for indentification.

Workshop Registration Fee: $95.00

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register online at: www.agbizcenter.org (Classes & Workshops) 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

PROTECTING POLLINATORS: BENFITS FOR ECOSYSTEMS & FOOD SECURITY IN OREGON

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Saturday, February 11, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

THIS FORUM COMBINES SCIENCE AND POLICY FOR PROTECTING POLLINATORS TO UNSURE THEIR SURVIVAL - AND OURS.

PLEASE PRE PAY AND REGISTER ONLINE AT:http://bit.ly/JacksonMG2017

$15.00 IF PAID AT THE DOOR.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

CLAY SUPPORT GROUP

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

PLEASE PRE PAY AND REGISTER ONLINE AT:http://bit.ly/JacksonMG2017

$15.00 IF PAID AT THE DOOR.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

EcoFarm Conference

Small Farms Events - 5 hours 51 min ago
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - Saturday, January 28, 2017 (all day event)
The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) presents the 37th annual EcoFarm Conference January 25 - 28, 2017 in Pacific Grove, CA. As the oldest and largest organic farming event in the West, EcoFarm is a prime networking and educational hub for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, researchers, and educators - featuring over 70 workshops, keynote speakers, discussion groups, an exhibitor marketplace, seed swap, live entertainment, mixers, and delicious organic meals. To learn more and to register, visit www.eco-farm.org/conference.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Pesticide Private Applicator Training

Small Farms Events - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 2:35pm
Thursday, January 19, 2017 8:00 AM - Friday, January 20, 2017 12:30 PM

Designed to prepare agriculture workers to take the State of Oregon Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator exams. Class provides in-depth training and support for those who may be interested in pursuing pesticide applicator certification/license.

Obtain recertification credit for those who have certification/license. CR: 10 inc core -4

8:00 - 2:30, Thursday

8:00 - 12:30, Friday

Instructor: Isabela Mackey

Call 541-917-4929 for more information and to register

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Rural Living Basics

Small Farms Events - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 2:37pm
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:15 PM

This class is designed for rural residents to learn the basics of groundwater, water wells, and septic systems. Learn steps to protect the health of your family, neighbors, animals, your property investment, and the safety of groundwater resources.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Fire and Ice

Terra - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 1:51pm

Story and photos by Kimberly Kenny

The ship glides through the frigid stillness of the Arctic Ocean. On this September night, the Chukchi Sea off the northwest Alaska coast is a quiet, snow-globe world. A maze of ice sculptures screeches along the hull. Radio chatter mixes with banter between scientists and the gurgle of brewing coffee.

Laurie Juranek worriedly taps her long fingers on her thermos. Sea ice threatens her carefully laid plan to sample water from pre-determined spots. The map in front of her shows large swaths of ice directly over the ocean patches where she’d like to deploy equipment.

Sometimes, when the ship encounters ice, she stands on the bridge in fascination, visibly calmed, occasionally taking photos.

But tonight is not the time to be meditative; tough decisions must be made. Where should Juranek direct the ship? Which science should be prioritized? The cost to operate this vessel is about $50,000 per day. Teams from Oregon State, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Alaska Fairbanks all need time to collect data.

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Should the ship steam southwest and retrace a path that might yield promising results? Or should Juranek take a longer path and transit east around the ice field?

Juranek is a chemical oceanographer at Oregon State University and the chief scientist on a 28-day expedition aboard the research vessel Sikuliaq (“young sea ice” in the native Iñupiaq language). She is soft-spoken, humble, deliberate. She is also tough. Her early sea-going days were spent as the only female researcher on Ukrainian cargo carriers. Her faith in persistent work propelled her through a Ph.D. at the University of Washington and research trips in the South Pacific, the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic.

Laurie Juranek served as chief scientist on the Sikuliaq research cruise.

Getting access to the Arctic at this time of year proved to be a tricky and lengthy process for Juranek’s team. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission had misgivings about allowing a research vessel in the area at a time when bowhead whales are known to be migrating. After much negotiation, the cruise was allowed to proceed, as long as it remained at least 30 miles offshore and a community observer was present onboard.

Hot Zone for Climate Change

If you want to see the effects of climate change right now, look no further than the Arctic. It is being transformed by the unprecedented retreat of the ice. What was normal for this region decades ago is no longer guaranteed or even predictable. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice is declining at an increasing rate in all months of the year. In September alone, when sea-ice coverage normally reaches its annual minimum, NASA satellites indicate a decline of about 13 percent per decade.

This trend matters for many reasons. Sea ice acts as a reflective blanket on top of the ocean. Without it, water absorbs more sunlight and warms more quickly. Average air temperatures in the Arctic have increased twice as fast as the global average. Warmer seasons stretch longer; animal species adjust their behavior; indigenous communities that have thrived for thousands of years struggle to adapt; and scientists scramble to keep up.

These might seem like distant dramas, but what happens in the Arctic affects the rest of the world. This ocean is in constant motion. When ice forms here, cold, salty water sinks and circulates through the deep ocean around the planet with consequences for marine chemistry and biology that spread like the tentacles of some giant sea creature.

Launching equipment takes a coordinated effort.

And then there’s the annual feeding frenzy that occurs during the Arctic summer. Whales, seals and birds flock here to reap the bounty of plankton “blooms,” tiny sea plants that are so important to the food chain that scientists call it primary productivity. News that primary productivity in the Arctic has increased almost 50 percent since 1997 made headlines last fall. Individual blooms are getting larger and occurring earlier in the year.

But what hasn’t been well studied is whether or not this trend is continuing later in the season, after summer passes and sunlight starts to wane. That’s the issue that concerns Juranek and her team on the Sikuliaq. With funding from the National Science Foundation, they are investigating primary productivity during the barely studied late season from August to November.

“What we’re trying to figure out is how biology is impacted by the lack of sea ice,” Juranek says, “In general, there’s less ice coverage later in the season than there has been historically. And that is likely to impact how things grow and live and die.”

Course of the R/V Sikuliaq in September 2016 (Map: Heather Miller)

Course Change

“Back to the Wainwright line,” Juranek says in characteristic brevity to Captain Adam Seamans, who receives the decision with an empathetic shrug, their normal mode of communication. The Wainwright line stretches toward the north away from the coast. It is part of a larger network of study sites created by the Arctic research community.

For the next several weeks, the Sikuliaq crisscrosses the Chukchi sea, stopping to collect water samples at stations along the line. At each one, scientists deploy an instrument known as a CTD. Consisting of sensors and two-dozen cylinders that can open and close to grab water, the CTD provides clues about marine organisms and ocean conditions — conductivity, temperature, depth — at selected locations from the surface of the sea to the bottom.

Sediment cores contain evidence of changing ocean biology and chemical processes. Miguel Goni, OSU oceanographer, coordinated drilling activities on the Sikuliaq.

When the CTD is hoisted out of the water, OSU professor Miguel Goñi rousts troops of undergraduates and research technicians who run lab equipment and record data. Eager scientists peek through the circular window of a water-tight door in the lab. After the all-clear is given, the door opens and they clamber en masse toward the CTD. They squat next to nozzles and fill bottles, cold water running over their hands. A few minutes later, in the Sikuliaq’s two labs, water whirls through tubes, down funnels and over filters.

Farther aft, after the CTD is out of the water, a winch lifts another piece of equipment called a multi-corer from the deck. The crew watches closely as the multi-corer sways off the ship and into the water. As it sinks to the ocean floor, scientists in the computer room watch a live video feed of its progress. When the multi-corer makes its landing on the seafloor, brittle stars, worms and other creatures embedded in mud come into view. The multi-corer projects a tube into the mud and collects a sample to bring back to the surface. On deck, this column of sediment will later be sliced into sections, each representing a layer of ocean history.

Dale Hubbard and Burke Hales, Oregon State oceanographers, deployed the “SuperSucker” to gather data on water chemistry ad biology.

With the CTD and multi-corer safely stowed on deck, OSU oceanographer Burke Hales goes to work with another sampling device that he developed. It goes by the scientific name of “SuperSucker.” As the crew tows the sensor-laden instrument behind the ship, it pumps water into the lab for rapid analysis. Data arrive as colored lines on Hales’ computer screen, indicating levels of oxygen, carbon and other elements dissolved in the sea.

From day to day, the science team and crew alternate between collecting water with the CTD and bringing up mud with the multi-corer. These activities become routine. Day and night, the work proceeds in shifts in a schedule governed by the need to accomplish the task at hand. The ship becomes its own ecosystem of personalities working toward the goal of discovery.

Ah Ha! Moment

Near the end of the cruise, the decision to change course pays off. Goñi bounds into the computer room, balancing a laptop on his forearm and pointing at the screen. “It looks like a phytoplankton bloom! We’ve got a phytoplankton bloom,” he tells Juranek.

Results from the CTD and the SuperSucker show there might be higher primary productivity on the Wainwright line than expected. Juranek is cautious to jump to conclusions, but she admits that her own measurements of oxygen levels are also higher than expected, a telling indicator of increasing primary productivity.

“There’s a lot of focus on the early season,” says Juranek. “There’s a huge bloom when the ice retreats. It turns a big, green, goopy color, just loaded with phytoplankton. We’re finding higher levels of primary productivity than we thought would be here at this time of year, than people think there is. But somehow — and the how is really what we’re after — phytoplankton are able to grow and be happy at this time of year too.”

Back to School

The expedition has gone well and is ahead of schedule. The Sikuliaq makes a brief stop at Point Hope, Alaska. The local school welcomes Juranek and other researchers who share a bit of their science and what they hope to accomplish on their journey. They would clearly like to inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.

Aurora borealis from the deck of the R/V Sikuliaq

After the ship docks at Nome, the OSU scientists return to their labs in Corvallis. They are still analyzing their data, but a preliminary look suggests that the trend of increasing primary production is indeed continuing late in the season. By tracking dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases in the water throughout the cruise, Juranek was able to see hot spots of biological activity. To her, the evidence is compelling but by no means the end of the story.

“I’m interested in what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis,” says Juranek, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “But I see it as a small piece of a bigger whole. As a community, scientists are trying to figure out the way our Earth works. And we’re making this incremental progress. Nobody gets the answers in one go.

“Even throughout a whole career, you might just get a few little pieces of information that then get passed down to the next generation for people to build on. I feel like I’m contributing to the understanding of the way our planet works, and hopefully that will bring knowledge and some insight into courses of action.”

As the altered Arctic continues to unfold, scientists are focusing on more than the extent of seasonal ice or a change in productivity. What’s at stake is a fundamental shift in a massive ecosystem. Primary productivity adds fuel to the fire of life, from whales to polar bears, in a place that is still draped in darkness half the year. By studying a region so clearly positioned at the forefront of climate change, scientists are gaining valuable clues about the likely future of the planet.

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var stackedResizer = function(){ $('.aesop-stacked-img').css({'height':($(window).height())+'px'}); } stackedResizer(); $(window).resize(function(){ stackedResizer(); }); }); Sunrise from the aft deck (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Dale Hubbard and Burke Hales, Oregon State oceanographers, deployed the "SuperSucker" to gather data on water chemistry ad biology. (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Writer/photographer Kim Kenny (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Walrus were a frequent sight in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Polar bears depend on ice floes to rest and hunt. (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Launching equipment takes a coordinated effort. (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Miguel Goni, OSU oceanographer, with a sediment core. (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) The lounge on the R/V Sikuliaq (Photo: Kimberly Kenny) Aurora borealis (Photo: Kimberly Kenny)

Editor’s note: Kimberly Kenny received honors baccalaureate degrees in biology and international studies from Oregon State in 2015 and a master’s in journalism from Stanford University in 2016. Her participation in the Sikuliaq cruise in September 2016 was supported by the National Science Foundation.

The post Fire and Ice appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Renewal

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:34pm
Resolutions. Renewal.

Renewal is appropriate for the new year. So are resolutions.

It has been over a month since I blogged here. And the longer I wait for inspiration, the harder it is to write.

But I’m waiting for inspiration. Really difficult, to be sure.

We all know that resolutions have a great tendency to fail.

So how can one find renewal in these difficult times?

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Priorities can change. Depending on circumstances.

Is this a time for you to be more articulate?

Or a time to be more proactive?

A time to be more (fill in the blank)?

Writer’s block

Sheila Robinson the sometime Saturday contributor for AEA 365 offers the following guidelines. Perhaps they can serve as a grounding for my 2017 resolutions.

“Rad Resource: Check out HubSpot’s The Ultimate List of Websites Every Blogger Should Bookmark. Sites listed include ones that help you keep organized, sites for blog ideation, data analysis, writing, editing, and sharing on social media. Just for laughs (and I got them!) I tried Portent’s Content Idea Generator which supplies you with a title (useful when you have writer’s block), if you give it a keyword. Of course, I tried “evaluation” and got several, um, interesting title ideas, including this one: Why Evaluations are Cuter Than a Kitten (feel free to write and send me the article, if that particular title inspires you!). Not all were as light-hearted as that one, and several were quite good, but the idea is that you get enough options for what to write about that something is certain to inspire you.”

This blog is short on words. I do want to acknowledge that I have maintained this blog almost weekly since December, 2009. A long time. So this is an anniversary of sorts.

AEA 365 started shortly there after. AEA 365 has the entire AEA membership from which to draw and write blog posts. Writing daily results in a lot of work. Almost weekly is fine with me.

I value the folks who read my blog and the comments I get.  I will read through the comments and make a post of them. THANK YOU, ALL. And Happy New Year!

The post Renewal appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

North Willamette Horticulture Society Annual Meeting

Small Farms Events - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:38pm
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - Thursday, January 12, 2017 (all day event)

The North Willamette Horticulture Society is a group of farmers, Extension agents and other agricultural professionals. Every January we host our three-day annual meeting which includes an Organic Crops Section, Vegetable Section and Berry Section. The meeting also features exhibitor booths with information from leading suppliers.

The 62nd Annual North Willamette Horticulture Society Meeting will be held at the Clackamas County Event Center in Canby.

~~ Tuesday, January 10 – Organic Crops Section ~~

~~ Wednesday, January 11 – Vegetable Section ~~

~~ Thursday, January 12 – Berry Section ~~

For more information registration forms please visit: http://nwhortsoc.com/

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Getting work done in the woods: hiring a chemical applicator

Tree Topics - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 3:43pm

Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

Many landowners depend on professional operators to help get things done on their property.  This includes weed control. Finding the right person for the job is important. The process starts with knowing what you are looking for.

Good weed control is a boon to seedling survival

Like most forestry management practices, weed control is actually a mix of different activities. Depending on what you know and can do yourself, hiring a chemical applicator means you are actually looking to hire a mix of knowledge and skill, equipment and labor.

It is important to get this right. Otherwise you may waste money or injure your trees.  Worse still, it could mean causing damage to the environment or a neighbors’ crops, either of which would create a liability issue for you.

So how do you go about selecting the right chemical applicator for you? In conversations with some forestry professionals and landowners recently, it all boiled down to communicating about needs and expectations.  Here are some key questions and things to discuss before hiring a chemical applicator to work on your property.

Questions to ask potential providers:

What are your qualifications?

Before you hire anyone to apply chemicals, you want to know that they are qualified to do the job well, legally, safely and will not

create a liability for you. Here are some specific things to talk about:

  • Ask to see their commercial and/or consulting applicators license and proof of business insurance. Are they current?
  • Ask about their forestry application experience. Who have they worked for? What types of application have they done?
  • Ask about their familiarity with ODF forest practice rules for spraying buffers, weather restrictions, record keeping, and using restricted herbicides such as atrazine.
  • Are they up to speed on training their workers about the new worker protection standards?
  • Are they qualified to develop spray prescriptions? 

What services do you provide?

 It is important that you be clear about the services you are looking for so you can determine if the operator has the knowledge,

Herbicides applied to cut surfaces (here with marker dye) is an effective way to control many shrubs and stump sprouts.

equipment and staff needed for your job.

Specific herbicides are used in many different situations such as site preparation (before) or release (after planting) to control both leafy and woody plants. It can be done in different ways including broadcast spray, spot or directed spray, “hack and squirt” or stump treatment and using different tools such as backpack, vehicle mounted sprayers or squirt bottle.  The right combination and approach

(generally referred to as the “prescription”) depends on the season, type of weed and crop tree species.

  • Clarify what parts of the job you are doing yourself and what you are hiring for – developing the prescription, doing the application, or maybe both. Does that match their qualifications?
  • What types of application can they do and what equipment do they use?
  • Who will provide the chemicals for the job?
  • Who will submit the “Notice of Operation” to the Oregon Department of Forestry for the application? You or them?

How will work be done?

  • Ask about their workforce (number and size of crews). What experience and certification does the foreman overseeing your job have?
  • Will they be able to get your job done in the timeframe that it needs to be sprayed?
  • What photos or maps do they need from you to make sure they and their crew understand exactly where to spray?
  • Will the operator provide you with official chemical application records in a timely manner? These include specific chemicals, location and rates at which they were applied, information on weather conditions during application, etc.

 

How will I be charged for your services?

There are a variety of ways to work this out. It is important that you communicate expectations and reach a clear agreement up front.

Herbicide damage to seedlings and other non-targets should be avoided.

Shop around for bids and check references.

  • Ask how they charge. Itemized by time, travel and materials, or by the acre?
  • Ask about billing and when is payment due.
  • Do they guarantee their work? Will they come back and fix something if it isn’t done right? How will you determine satisfactory service?
  • Get an estimate for the job.

 Where to look for a chemical applicator

The list of qualified chemical applicators in an area is constantly changing. Here are some ways to find potential operators.

  • Your local landowner association!
    • Ask other landowners who they use and any issues they have had to deal with.
  • Ask a neighboring industrial forester if they could share contacts for applicators they use
  • State Department of Forestry and Extension offices
    • Although they cannot make specific recommendations, both may be able to provide a list of applicators in your area.

There you have it, my short list of questions to think about before calling potential spray operators and some things to discuss when talking to them. I hope it is helpful.  Did I miss something important that you have learned?  Let me know.

My thanks to Jeff Classen (ODF), Shaney Emerson (Helena Chemical), Rita Adams (Benton County landowner) and the others who shared their ideas on this.

The post Getting work done in the woods: hiring a chemical applicator appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

5 ways to abuse your tree seedlings (and how to avoid them)

Tree Topics - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 2:24pm

By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

Tree planting season is upon us. Once the deep freeze departs western Oregon woodland owners will be heading out, shovels and seedlings in hand, to plant the next generation of forests.  The saying “green side up” implies that tree planting isn’t rocket science; but inevitably, come late summer some people will return their planting sites to find that their trees didn’t fare so well.  Weather and other uncontrollable factors cause seedling mortality some years more than others.  But, it’s also easy to unintentionally harm your trees before they even get in the ground. So before you go to a seedling sale this year to pick up a few trees, here are some common cases of seedling abuse and how to avoid perpetrating them.

A balmy sunny day might entice you outdoors, but it’s not ideal weather for tree planting.

#1: Heating them up. Transporting trees in the heated cab of your vehicle, leaving the seedling bags in a place that receives direct sunlight, or too close to a heat source are all ways seedlings can quickly heat up and become stressed. Consider bringing along a large cooler, some bags of ice, or some other type of insulating material to the sale. Once home, store the seedlings outside in deep shade or along a north wall or unheated overhang, but also not exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.

#2: Drying them out. Exposing the roots to drying air is another no-no.  This can happen if you leave the planting bag open, or if you take seedlings out of their bag and carry them around the planting site without their roots protected.  Misting the roots with a spray bottle or dipping them in water when transferring them from one container to another is a good practice.  Cover the roots with something moist in whatever container you are using to carry seedlings from one planting spot to the next.

#3: Drowning them. On the other hand, don’t leave the seedlings in a bucket of water. They’re not cut flowers!

#4: Waiting too long. Trees undergo a pulse of root growth in the winter before budbreak and shoot growth begins in the spring. If you plant too late in the season, you will have missed that root growth window and your newly planted seedling will grow lots of new foliage without enough root mass to support its water needs. Plant as soon as possible after your site is prepared and in good condition for planting.

At the end of the first summer post-planting, without any vegetation management

#5: Neglect. If you’re relying on non-chemical weed control, you’ll want to revisit your site for the first maintenance sooner than you think, or you may not be able to find your seedlings! Time your herbicide treatments carefully during the first year  to optimize weed response and minimize damage to seedlings. Consult the Forestry chapter of the PNW Weed Management Handbook for guidance.

Now, I’m expecting someone to respond to this article telling me about the time they got behind schedule and planted the only seedlings they could get their hands on in the middle of May after they had sat neglected behind the barn for three weeks, and then they didn’t get around to spraying that year and lo and behold, they all survived and are doing great!  (It’s like those of us that were kids before the 1980’s, without being strapped into car seats or bike helmets!)  I’ve heard stories like this before. And with some luck, this could happen to you. But why take chances? Treat the next generation of your forest as you would the next generation of your family, and at least you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ve done everything you could to get them off to a good start in life.

For more tips on successful tree planting, refer to The Care and Planting of Tree Seedlings on Your Woodland or the even more thorough Guide to Reforestation in Oregon.

The post 5 ways to abuse your tree seedlings (and how to avoid them) appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

<p>The numbers of women mathematicians

Terra - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 12:43pm

From left: Elise Lockwood, Christine Escher, Holly Swisher, Elaine Cozzi, Mary Beisiegel, Vrushali Bukil, Malgo Peszynska, Mary Flahive. (Photo: Hannah O’Leary)

By Srila Nayak

Mathematics associate professor Holly Swisher is eloquent about what it means to be a woman mathematician at a time when the number of female research mathematicians continues to remain low.

“I think the biggest obstacle for an individual in an underrepresented group is just being able to see yourself doing a certain job that people have never imagined someone like you doing. I can think of at least three instances when a female student has come up to me and said, ‘Meeting you makes me visualize myself in this job.’”

Swisher is one among nine women tenure track faculty in Oregon State University’s Department of Mathematics, an impressive number considering the national trend. When you do the math, that’s 30 percent women in the department, which is home to 30 tenured and tenure-track faculty.

According to a 2010 survey by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, women comprise only 14 percent of the tenured and tenure-line faculty at doctoral-level mathematics departments. Despite gains in the numbers of women opting to study math and science*, a large disparity exists between men’s and women’s representation in tenured and tenure-track positions in the fields of mathematics, physics and engineering.

The statistics clearly indicate that the gender composition of OSU’s Mathematics Department marks a striking departure from the norm.

Currently, the department has three tenure-track women mathematicians: Elaine Cozzi, Mary Beisiegel and Elise Lockwood. It has two associate professors, Vrushali Bokil and Holly Swisher, and four professors, Mina Ossiander, Mary Flahive, Christine Escher and Malgo Peszynska.

Ossiander, who joined the department in 1988, was the first woman to become a full professor. The women mathematicians boast of highly impressive research and teaching accomplishments. They have received competitive research grants from prestigious institutions across the country and have been lauded for their extraordinary teaching and service contributions.

Cozzi was awarded a four-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a project on mathematical fluid mechanics and the graduate student faculty award for her mentorship and teaching. Bokil has received multiple NSF awards as well as grants from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). She is currently collaborating with a mix of biologists and mathematicians on a project funded by NIMBioS, the NSF-funded National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

Escher has received grants from the NSF and the Association for Women in Mathematics for her work in algebraic topology and differential geometry. Mary Flahive has collaborated with Bella Bose in computer science on work funded by NSF. She has written three books, including a research monograph published by the American Mathematical Society, and has received the College of Science’s Olaf Boedtker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.

A computational mathematician, Malgo Peszynska has received numerous NSF and Department of Energy grants (DOE, NETL) for her interdisciplinary research projects spanning applications in hydrology, oceanography, environmental engineering, physics and materials science.

Ossiander, whose research encompasses theoretical and applied probability, has been principal investigator and co-investigator on a number of grants from NSF and other governmental agencies. Recently she has contributed her expertise in statistical modeling to interdisciplinary projects in hydrology and geostatistics.

Holly Swisher is a member of one of the most ambitious mathematical collaborations in recent times. She was chosen to join a team of more than 70 mathematicians from 12 countries who worked over a period of five years to create a massive mathematical database called the “L-functions and Modular Forms Database” (LMFDB). The database catalogs objects of central importance in number theory and maps out the intricate connections between them.

A specialist in mathematics education for post-secondary teaching, Mary Beisiegel has been awarded an NSF “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education” grant, a collaborative effort among 11 institutions aimed at improving teaching in lower-division mathematics and science courses.

Elise Lockwood, an expert in mathematics education research, is a co-principal investigator on a grant awarded by the NSF Research on Education and Learning (REAL) program.

Lockwood investigates student learning in a variety of mathematical environments. “My zeal for math education research developed when I took a combinatorics class,” Lockwood observed. “I fell in love with counting problems and became obsessed with learning everything I could about why students struggle to solve such counting problems and how I could help them improve.”

Many say they learn something new every day as mathematicians.

“I loved math before I knew what a ‘career’ is,” said Peszynska, who grew up in Poland and once encountered a university professor who called her parents to suggest they steer their daughter to a career other than mathematics. Her sentiments toward the pursuit of mathematics are widely shared by her colleagues.

“What inspires me is my love for teaching mathematics and sharing the conceptual ideas and representations with students,” emphasized Beisiegel. Escher enjoys studying the “powerful tools” of algebraic topology and their uses in various other fields such as differential geometry and theoretical physics. “It is a beautiful connection between different areas of mathematics that leads to strong classification theorems.”

Dual career mathematician couples

In a study of dual-career academic couples by Stanford University’s Clayman Institute of Gender Research, a participant remarked, “Talented academics are often partnered, and if you want the most talented, you find innovative ways of going after them.” Not surprisingly, traditionally a lack of institutional support for dual-career hiring or meeting the needs of academic couples has held women back from pursuing competitive jobs in academic STEM fields.

A key reason behind the Mathematics Department’s success in hiring and retaining higher numbers of female mathematicians is its friendly and encouraging attitude toward accommodating academic couples. The department has successfully implemented a dual hiring initiative in several cases and currently has five mathematician couples in tenured or tenure-track positions — all of whom were partnered before they arrived at Oregon State.

There is ample evidence suggesting that lack of career support for partners leads to a high proportion of women accepting non-tenure-track and part-time positions at research universities, instead of tenured or tenure-track positions. The American Association of University Professors views partner hiring at academic institutions as “common and necessary.”

There is yet another unconventional feature that sets the Mathematics Department apart from most other academic departments. In most of its dual partner hires, the woman was the first hire. According to a survey of 9,000 full-time faculty at 13 leading U.S. research universities, men comprise the majority of first hires — 58%, in fact, reported Stanford University’s Clayman Institute. OSU’s Mathematics Department has reversed the gender ratio in this respect.

Bokil observed that four of the six women mathematicians were the first hire. OSU was able to successfully hire their partners for faculty positions as well. It was a win-win situation: the partner hires brought skills and qualifications that matched important research and teaching objectives in the department.

When Cozzi was interviewed, she informed the hiring committee that her mathematician spouse, Clay Pletsche, was in the job market as well. They were both interviewed and both offered tenure-track jobs.

“The department made a huge effort to consider both of us for jobs. They are very good at taking advantage of situations where there are two people who want to come and are quality candidates,” said Cozzi.

Mentorship has also played a significant role in enhancing the career success of women faculty.

“This department has been, in addition to creating space for spouses, really good in mentoring young faculty,” Bokil pointed out. She was mentored by men and women in the department and received valuable advice on writing grants, editing proposals and applying to workshops and conferences.

“In our department, people go out of their way to think of others, help others, promote others,” added Bokil. Several research studies have shown the significance of mentoring for women’s success in achieving tenure and promotion.

A number of OSU women mathematicians say they attended Ph.D. programs where there were no or very few female research professors. Flahive, who did her doctoral studies at Ohio State University in the 1970s, was just one of two women students in her year.

Swisher had very few women professors in graduate school. “At University of Wisconsin-Madison, while I was a graduate student, there were only two female faculty out of 50 professors. It was very different from here,” said Swisher.

Little wonder then that Oregon State’s Department of Mathematics feels like a breath of fresh air to its women professors.

The department’s younger women mathematicians were encouraged at what they saw during the interview process: the hiring committees were either chaired by women or comprised women members.

“I think, in some degree, I was drawn to a department where I saw other women. OSU Math has done a really good job ensuring they interview qualified women candidates and then give them a chance to showcase their work,” said Cozzi.

Flahive, who joined the department in 1990, has witnessed the gender diversification of the Mathematics Department over the years.

“It has something to do with the attitude of my colleagues. We don’t think of hiring women mathematicians as unusual.”

Overcoming biases and stereotypes

Society at large continues to stereotype mathematics as a male domain, and such beliefs can discourage women from entering or pursuing  mathematical careers. A 2010 CBMS survey reported that women earn 45% of the undergraduate degrees in mathematics, but women comprise only 11% of tenured faculty and 27% of tenure-eligible faculty in doctoral mathematics departments.

OSU’s Mathematics Department has done its fair share to overturn stereotypes about gender and mathematical ability and send a powerful message that women can do math and excel at very high levels of mathematical performance.

Women mathematicians at OSU have mentored and advised high numbers of women undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers over the years. Bokil proudly mentioned that her first doctoral student was a woman who is pursuing a successful research career at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

They are also acutely aware of their influence as educators and mentors in a field that has fewer female role models.

Swisher is the organizer and faculty mentor of OSU’s highly successful Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in Mathematics, an NSF-funded research program in mathematics and theoretical computer science for undergraduate students that has been held nearly every summer since 1987.

Focused on cutting-edge research in pure and applied mathematics, the REU program supports 10 undergraduate students and runs for eight weeks in the summer. The program has a strong track record of enrolling at least 50 percent female students in each cohort from large and small, public and private universities who would not otherwise be exposed to the research process.

There were times as a student when Cozzi, who conducts research in mathematical analysis, admits she would find herself thinking, “I am the only woman in this room. Maybe there is something to this idea that I don’t belong.” Cozzi is pleased that some of the women she is teaching may see her and believe that a research career in mathematics is possible.

Over the years, Bokil has found herself thinking about cultural forces that stand in the way of women mathematicians. After attending numerous mathematics conferences throughout her career, she was struck by the privileges enjoyed by men.

“I notice that male mathematicians at conferences get more exposure, more access to research networks and collaborations. It can appear as an impenetrable men’s club.” This year, Bokil is part of a research group of three women that has received funding to do research at the Institute of Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University and the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach (MFO) in Germany.

“I was determined to find more women mathematicians to work with. I think this is one way women mathematicians can be successful — by coming together to form research teams,” Bokil said.

A number of initiatives exist to redress gender imbalance in mathematics and combat entrenched sociocultural biases that hold back women mathematicians in the areas of research collaboration, promotions, research awards, inclusion in journal editorship, scientific associations and conference committees. Prominent among them is the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), which supports domestic and foreign research travels for women mathematicians and has recently received a $750,000 NSF ADVANCE grant to help establish research networks for women by fostering research collaborations at conferences and AWM Workshops.

*According to the National Science Foundation, women earned 6 percent of doctorates in mathematics in 1966. In 2006, nearly 30 percent of mathematics doctorates were earned by women.

 

Sources:

Schiebinger, Londa, et al. “Dual-Career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know.” Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University, 2008.

Blair, Richelle, et al. Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences Survey Reports 2010. American Mathematical Society, 2013.

Jaschik, Scott. “Doing ‘Dual Career’ Right.” Inside Higher Ed, 2010.

National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, 2008, Science and engineering degrees: 1966–2006. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/degrees

Peszynska, Malgorzata. “Meet Malgorzata Peszynska.” Oregon Women in Higher Education, 2015. http://www.owhenet.jigsy.com/entries/bios/july-meet-malgorzata-peszynska

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs