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Solar Power to Rural People

Terra - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 9:20am
While most of the world has access to electricity, millions of people in rural Africa, Southern Asia and Central America do not. (Source: World Bank)

By Michelle Klampe, OSU News and Research Communications

Flip a switch, and the lights come on. Insert a plug into an outlet, and the cell phone starts to charge. Turn a knob, and the stove burner begins to glow red. For many of us, access to safe, reliable electricity is an essential component of everyday life, at home, work or school. It’s easy to forget how different life might be without it.

Yet electric power is still a luxury unavailable to more than 1.2 billion of the world’s people. Most live in poverty in developing nations, in rural or isolated areas where steep costs, remote terrain and lack of technology make it impractical or even impossible to extend the electric grid. The barriers might seem insurmountable, says Inara Scott, an attorney and assistant professor in the College of Business at Oregon State University.

Solar panels power a fish farm in Ghana. (Photo: John Selker)

And yet, electricity can transform lives. Girls can study by electric lamp after the sun goes down. Women can run sewing machines or other small appliances to operate home-based businesses. Farmers can extend their harvest hours into the evening under the glow of charged headlamps. Entrepreneurs can tap into financial systems using cell phones.

As the technology improves and costs come down, off-grid solar-energy systems present a potentially ideal path forward for communities in need of power. Solar could meet a basic need for millions of people without putting additional stress on our already taxed environment. But there are still many obstacles.

“The residents don’t have money to invest in new technology,” says Scott, whose research focuses on environmental law and sustainable business. “Charity doesn’t seem to work. What people really want are jobs and the ability to define their own destiny.”

Local Business 

Undaunted, Scott is embracing the challenge through her work at Oregon State. She believes the solution may be found in effective social entrepreneurship, which marries strategies founded in market-driven enterprise with goals tied to social benefits.

“I’m extremely interested in the positive aspects of capitalism – how we can make enterprise and capitalism work in a positive way to solve challenges,” she says. “How can we use the system of entrepreneurship to make things better? Can you serve people’s needs while meeting societal goals and financial goals?”

In a recent study of organizations delivering off-grid power to this market, known as the “base of the pyramid,” Scott has found that success requires addressing the needs of each community. She has shown that effective enterprises combine business savvy with partnerships and knowledge of the social fabric.

Solar array for a water pumping system in El Jocote, Nicaragua. (Photo: Kendra Sharp)

Many commercial, nonprofit and government organizations, she says, are driven by the spirit of social entrepreneurship, a desire to do good for others while also doing well personally and professionally, but they aren’t always finding an easy path.

“Social entrepreneurs tend to be motivated by really powerful values, but they don’t always know how to handle the business side of things,” Scott says. “Meanwhile, the rules of traditional business don’t necessarily apply in base-of-the-pyramid markets. But I think the market is growing and will continue to grow. I see a lot of interest in working in these areas.”

People in poor rural communities often lack access to financial resources, commercial institutions and markets that are needed to make a solar enterprise successful over the long haul. Even a small cost can be out of reach for people whose annual incomes are often less than $3,000 per year, Scott says.

“You’re not going to be successful just trying to sell a product. This is really a social enterprise, with the goal of trying to bring people out of poverty while also emphasizing sustainable development. You want to create a positive cycle of development and growth, but surviving and growing in this market is very different than in a typical commercial enterprise.”

Building on Fundamentals

Nevertheless, the benefits aren’t just about the economy. “Energy access is enormously important for education and basic health and safety as well as for economic opportunities, and it’s critical for sustainable development,” Scott says. “Providing electricity starts an incredible cycle of improvement for communities without reliance on charities or government aid. There are also environmental benefits to encouraging sustainable development using renewable resources.”

Solar electricity can make a measurable difference in people’s lives in remote communities, says Inara Scott, assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business. (Photo: Karl Maasdam)

The market for small solar lighting and charging units has grown dramatically in the last few years, and solar home systems offer cleaner, safer and cheaper lighting over time than kerosene, the primary alternative for lighting in developing nations. Health improves when light bulbs replace kerosene lamps and when indoor wood-fire cooking stoves give way to electric, reducing indoor air pollution dramatically.

With her expertise in business and legal systems, Scott feels compelled to work on these issues. “I look at my own life and how lucky I am to live in the West, where resources are abundant. There’s a lot of suffering in the world. How do I, as a positive and moral person, help lift people out of that situation? That’s the end goal for me. I want to find ways to work with communities to solve problems. That’s something I feel like I can do to contribute.”

Principles for Success

In reviewing how organizations perform in some of the world’s most remote communities, Inara Scott found that success would likely include four primary components:

  • Community interaction, working to understand local norms, culture, social issues and economic systems
  • Partnerships with other companies, government organizations, nonprofit groups or nongovernmental organizations, to share ideas and resources and gain support
  • Development of local capacity by considering potential customers as both producers and consumers and by training local entrepreneurs to be distributors, marketers and equipment installation/repair technicians</p>
  • Addressing barriers unique to the off-grid market, such as financing of upfront costs, educating people on the products and their benefits and building trust in quality and reliability

“You can’t do these things in a purely charitable way, but you also can’t have a pure capitalist approach,” she says. “The successful enterprises I’ve seen in these areas have all embraced a hybrid approach. The way to reach the market is by working with the market.”

The post Solar Power to Rural People appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Woodland Management and Restoration Tour: Bird Haven Tree Farm Conservancy

Forestry Events - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 2:34pm
Saturday, October 7, 2017 (all day event)

Come see some of the great things that our hosts Jan Irene Miller and Jim Bayuk have accomplished on their property outside of Stayton. Projects include riparian restorations along the main stem and side channel of the North Santiam River, managing oak groves and also thinning upland conifer stands for diversity objectives. They have done their projects in cooperation with the North Santiam Watershed Council and other partners. An important part of the tour will be to hear from North and South Santiam Councils about how woodland owners can work with Councils and other agencies to do large projects like the ones we will see. The tour is sponsored by the Marion/Polk and Linn Chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) and OSU Extension.

Please come prepared for the weather of the day and being in the brush. Bring a water bottle, snacks or other personal items you need.

Master Woodland Manager

Forestry Events - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 2:34pm
Saturday, October 7, 2017 12:00 PM

The Master Woodland Manager (MWM) is our Forestry and Natural Resources Extension premier forest steward-ship training program. This program has been running for over 25 years, serving more than 500 landowners around the state, and it is coming to Eastern Oregon beginning September 15th. Whether you own five or 1,000 acres, the MWM program will help you to: meet your long-term goals for your property; integrate forest management with ranching; make your forest better suited for wildlife, timber production and recreation; make your forest resilient to fire, insects and diseases, and much more!

Here is the schedule for the training (Friday sessions are evening based):


September 15 Introduction, Your Landscape & Setting
September 16 Upland Forest Ecology and Management
September 22 Watersheds, streams & fish
September 23 Riparian Forest Ecology Management
October 6 Forest Business Management
October 7 Marketing and Roads
October 20 Reforestation, Vegetation Management, Leadership & Volunteer Service
October 21 Forest Health & Graduation


This program only comes around to a given region about every 10 years, so take advantage of this opportunity!

For more information on the program, please contact Bob Parker at the OSU Baker County Extension Service office at 541-523-6418 or email at bob.parker@oregonstate.edu. You can also visit the MWM website at:
http://extensionweb.forestry.oregonstate.edu/mwm

Head Games

Terra - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 5:00pm
Illustration by James Steinberg

By Theresa Hogue, News and Research Communications

A decade ago, a high school football player who had suffered a blow to the head during a game would likely be put on the sidelines, watched carefully and sent back out to play once he appeared to be acting ‘normally’ again. Walking it off was common practice, without much consideration of the long-term impacts of the blow or a thought to the cumulative effect of frequent head trauma, big and small.

Today, the evolving science of identifying, treating and preventing concussions is taken extremely seriously by sports professionals. High-profile cases of severe injury and death as a result of head trauma, as well as a growing body of research on concussions, has profoundly changed the way athletes, both professional and amateur, are treated when they receive a blow to the head. And those changes are saving lives.

Dr. Doug Aukerman is a sports medicine physician with Samaritan Health Systems in Corvallis and a senior associate athletic director for sports medicine at Oregon State University. He manages the sports medicine program for all of OSU’s intercollegiate athletic sports teams. He studies concussions and other sports-related trauma, and applies the latest research directly to the care being given to OSU athletes. For Aukerman, the beauty of working in the Samaritan Athletic Sports Medicine Center on campus is partnering with the OSU research community.

Watching for Signs

A concussion typically occurs when a blow to the head or to the body exerts enough force on the brain to produce immediate and transient symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Such symptoms can include a rapid onset of impairment and other neuropathic signs (changes in peripheral nerves) and symptoms that can’t be explained by drugs or other injuries. Symptoms of a concussion can include confusion, stumbling, balance problems, mood shifts and headaches.

“We’re looking for changes to an athlete’s behavior or actions that aren’t congruent with what we normally see,” Aukerman says. This can be the result of one large blow or a series of multiple small blows that accumulate.

The actual collision isn’t always immediately recognized, but in the case of college sports, a person who serves as a concussion monitor is typically present during games to pay attention to potentially harmful collisions or blows. Coaches and athletes are trained not only to look for such events but to also pay attention to physical or behavior changes in teammates that may indicate that a concussion has taken place. At that point, the concussion monitor can replay recent footage and determine if a collision occurred.

Swift diagnosis is vital, Aukerman adds. Studies show that delayed reporting and treatment lead to a longer recovery time. And if an athlete receives a second blow without the first impact being recognized, the results can be much more severe, including massive brain swelling and the possibility of death.

“What happens during a concussion is a very complex process, and I don’t think that we have all the answers yet,” Aukerman says. “The things that are happening on a cellular and microscopic level are enormous. There are so many things happening at once.”

Ask the Athlete

While the science of concussions is still evolving, physicians have a fairly straightforward way of diagnosing them. A series of physical and mental tests can be applied quickly and easily on the sidelines of practice or a game to assess the athlete’s physical and mental state. The questions range from the time of day, to the last time the team scored, to the ability to remember and repeat a series of words.

If a physician determines that a concussion has occurred, the player is pulled from the field and further assessment is done. Then a plan of treatment is established. It includes cessation of any physical activity for a period of time and often academic activity and screen time as well. This can be difficult for students, especially when phones and computers become off limits. But screen time stimulates the brain areas that need to heal after a blow to the head.

It’s hard for athletes to stop playing, even briefly, but the break is crucial to healing.

“We’re very fortunate here to have a group of coaches who want what’s best for their student-athletes,” Aukerman says. “They want to win but not at the risk of their players being injured or hurt. And we’re doing a good job with educating coaches and athletes. They know if they report concussions and we manage it quickly, there will be far less loss of time on the field. Not reporting it could lead to weeks of recovery before they’re able to return to play.”

New Research Study

As part of the Pac-12 Conference, OSU will be taking part in the CARE Consortium as a CARE Autonomous Program (CARE stands for concussion assessment, research and education), an alliance between the NCAA and the Department of Defense. The large-scale, multisite study will focus on concussions in men and women in multiple sports in hopes of filling gaps in current knowledge and creating a large group of datasets for public use.

Doctors and researchers now recognize that there is not one type of concussion, Aukerman says. Subsets of the injury have different impacts to vision, emotion, balance and mental clarity. Some trigger headaches. Each subset must be treated differently. Some may allow a faster return to physical activity, while others demand longer rest periods.

NCAA Division 1 athletic teams commonly use computerized and in-person tests to establish a baseline of “normal” functioning for every athlete. Having such a profile helps physicians determine when an injured athlete has returned to his or her pre-concussive state.

“It’s just one tool out of the box,” says Aukerman. “It guides us in terms of returning the athlete back to normal.”

Small Steps to Injury Reduction

While concussions aren’t completely avoidable in high contact sports, both researchers and athletes are beginning to recognize that many small changes can add up to fewer harmful blows. Such changes may include reducing the amount of full contact during practice and looking at how protective gear, especially helmets, can increase the severity of blows if not properly fitted. Athletes are being trained to be more conscious of how contact on the field can negatively impact themselves and their opponents. Coaches can experiment with alternating practice with rest and recovery times to limit the amount of contact episodes.

Dr. Nicholas Phillips runs the concussion clinic at Samaritan Athletic Medicine Center and is a certified impact practitioner. Current research and testing hasn’t revealed anything that can effectively prevent concussions, he says, but focusing on best practices is a good start.

“Concussion prevention overall is a very difficult thing to study and to achieve,” Phillips adds. “The best practices for prevention will likely be through appropriate equipment, appropriate rule adherence (with the possibility of evidence-based rule changes), proper technique on higher risk activities such as tackling, and potential activity restrictions to limit unnecessary exposures.”

There are also still myths surrounding concussions that have to be dispelled, says Phillips.

“One myth that I still frequently run into is that regarding a pre-determined, finite recovery period for concussion. I commonly hear that a coach said that a player must sit out for one week after the injury, but every concussion timeline is variable and return to play must be tailored to each case.

“I’m also still concerned about the downplaying of potential concussions in which coaches and parents say the athlete just ‘got their bell rung.’  By definition, if a player exhibits any abnormal neurologic signs or symptoms after a potential head injury, then that should be classified as a concussion.”

Athletes suffering from a concussion may discover that their symptoms are worsened by certain activities, including screen time, dehydration, intense physical and cognitive activities. “That’s why it’s so important to tailor treatment to each individual,” Phillips adds.

“Our community clinic and student-athlete management focus on early identification of concussion to allow appropriate management of the injury. While there is no one particular intervention to ‘cure’ concussion, the right combination of recommendations can lead to the quickest and safest recovery.”

Resources for Local Schools

In addition to work with OSU athletes, Aukerman, Phillips and others provide resources to local junior high and high schools regarding concussion prevention, identification and treatment.

And despite the risks of full-contact sports, Aukerman, who is a parent himself, says he hopes that families recognize that the benefits of taking part in team sports far outweigh the potential risks, especially when coaches and athletes are actively looking to minimize injury.

“There is so much that can be gained from sports participation,” he says, “including working as a team, interacting with people who are different from you, learning how much can be accomplished together, so many positive things. I hope parents wouldn’t say ‘I won’t let my child have that option.’ Sports can be approached in a safer way. There is no way we as parents can mitigate every risk to our children, but there is a risk in
being overprotective.”

The post Head Games appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Hunters and Their Prey

Terra - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 3:59pm

By Danielle Jarkowsky

Photos courtesy of Taal Levi

The Matsigenka people of the Peruvian Amazon hunt with surefooted agility. They can scale a tree without low branches in seconds and cross a ravine on a narrow log without hesitation.

A Matsigenka man makes barbed arrows designed for killing large game birds. He has ornamented the arrows with toucan feathers, and the fetching (the feathers that guide the arrow) is made from the feathers of a raptor.

They didn’t think Taal Levi was up to the challenge. It takes skill and stealth to hunt monkeys, among other animals, with a bow and arrow. And then there are the herds of wild pigs, aka peccaries, which are known to use their tusks to attack anything that threatens them.

So in 2004, when Levi asked to join a Matsigenka hunting party, the hunters were reluctant. He grew up in Los Angeles and had just completed a bachelor’s double degree at UC Berkeley in physics and biology. As a field technician on a crew from the University of East Anglia, he was studying the impact of hunting on the animals that the Matsigenka depend on for survival. Despite the hunters’ fears, they let Levi join monkey and peccary hunts near their settlement in Manu National Park in the Amazonian rainforest.

The Matsigenka have been hunting sensitive species such as tapirs and woolly and spider monkeys with bows and arrows for thousands of years, but there was growing pressure to remove indigenous settlements from the park. Levi and his colleagues weren’t so sure that native hunters threatened the sustainability
of wildlife.

The Matsigenka people of the Peruvian Amazon lived in relative isolation from Western influences until the 1960s. In 2004, OSU ecologist Taal Levi lived with the Matsigenka and studied their hunting practices.

The results of the study helped to settle the argument, at least for the time being. Publishing in Conservation Biology in 2007, the researchers showed that traditional bow-and-arrow hunting had not significantly depleted woolly and spider monkey populations.

Two years later, in a follow up study in the Journal of Applied Ecology, Levi and his colleagues used mathematical models to apply the same data to a future scenario. Under current conditions, the scientists projected that hunters would not appreciably reduce spider monkey populations over the next 50 years, even if the human population were to grow and spread out.

Manu National Park covers more than 6,600 square miles in southeast Peru.

However, the use of guns would change the picture dramatically. “If they switch to guns,” says Levi, “you need to restrict where humans can live with zoning or by providing infrastructure that people want — or the monkeys are toast.”

These studies helped to shift the discussion. Hunting with bows and arrows was no longer seen as incompatible with conservation. Officials permitted organizations to bring clean-water systems and other improvements to indigenous villages in Manu.

Science for Life

Just as Levi’s research laid the foundation for a new relationship with native people, it helped launch his scientific career. Today, he is a wildlife ecologist and assistant professor in Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. He uses mathematical modeling to explore questions about how humans and wildlife can coexist. The issues are cultural and biological, relevant to people everywhere who hunt and fish to survive. The topics in the Amazon would be familiar to hunting and fishing communities across the West: the ability of local people to maintain their livelihood, the conservation of animal species, the relationship between science and traditional knowledge.

As she nurses her own baby, a Matsigenka
mother feeds manioc root to a young whitelipped peccary. These animals roam in herds of hundreds and are key granivores (animals that predominantly eat seeds) in tropical
forests. They are often one of the most important wild meat items for humans.

Levi hopes his contributions will allow community-based programs and science-led conservation to inform decisions about managing natural resources for the benefit of nature and people.

Hunting is not his only interest. For him, the relationship between humans and wild animals turns in many directions: the spread of Lyme disease, low carnivore abundance in North America, sustainable salmon practices in Alaska and the impact of disease-carrying insects on human health in South America.

According to Jennifer Allen, environmental genetics lab manager in the Levi lab at OSU and Levi’s life partner, he has a photographic memory and one-track mind for science. “He is full of ideas and has his foot in many doors. He is social, collaborative and wants to be inclusive of everyone. If the project is cool, he wants to do it.”

This future wasn’t apparent to Levi during his youth. His parents didn’t go to college, but his curiosity and love for solving puzzles guided his choice to study physics. During summer breaks, helped by his ability to speak Spanish, he traveled in Central and South America, volunteering with indigenous rights nonprofit groups and studying tropical ecology.

He enjoyed being outside, experiencing life first-hand rather than being in a lab studying physics, so in his fourth year he added biology as a second major. “Physics is good prep for biology,” he says. “I see a biological problem and think how to characterize the system.”

People Versus Parks

The 2004 study was motivated by an assertion from one of the world’s leading tropical ecologists, John Terborgh. In his 1999 book, Requiem for Nature, the member of the National Academy of Sciences argued that hunting should be banned in national parks. Terborgh first went to Manu in 1973 and helped run the Cocha Cashu Biological Station there for about 30 years. Reflecting on the mission of parks in the United States, he also wrote that people should not live in parks. Expanding human populations, he said, would threaten the purposes for which parks were established.

In response, Levi collaborated with ethnobotanist and anthropologist Glenn Shepard from the Goeldi Museum in Brazil and with tropical ecologists Douglas W. Yu and Carlos A. Peres, both at the University of East Anglia. They wanted to determine if Terborgh’s assertions were justified. Terborgh questioned the right of the Matsigenka — whose population in the park has about quadrupled since Terborgh first went to Manu — and other indigenous people to live, hunt and farm on parklands.

As a graduate student, Taal Levi learned to hunt with a palm-wood bow and arrows designed for killing monkeys. His bag was
woven by men using rope made from the bark of a cecropia tree. His bracelet was a present made by cutting a ribbon of skin from an iguana.

As he prepared to immerse himself in the yearlong project, Levi learned to speak Matsigenka by studying a dictionary created by missionaries who had tried to convert the tribe to Christianity. “On my first expedition into Manu, I was with Glenn (Shepard) who is a linguistic genius,” Levi says. “He knows a bunch of indigenous languages; he can read and write French, German, English, Spanish and Portuguese. He helped me become proficient in Matsigenka.”

The scientists focused on bow-and-arrow hunting of some of the most harvest-sensitive species, the large primates. As part of the project, Levi’s job was to teach the Matsigenka hunters to record their activities in detail: what animals they killed, how much the animals weighed, the animals’ gender and reproductive status.

During post-hunt interviews, Levi gathered as much information as possible to learn where and how bow hunting happens: How far from the house did they go? What time of day? Which weapon was used? What animals did they see, pursue, shoot, hit and retrieve?

At first, the Matsigenka were reluctant to allow Levi to participate on the hunts, but speaking the language helped him gain their trust. “The major insights happened because I attended a bunch of hunts,” Levi says. “I realized just how bloody hard it is to kill a smart, agile spider monkey with a palmwood bow and a bamboo-tipped arrow.”

Career Epiphany

When Levi returned to the United States, he reflected on his year with Manu National Park’s animals, plants and people. He admired the Matsigenka’s connection with nature, the simplicity of having their needs met by the natural world. He had immersed himself in their community and culture and formed strong relationships. He had even become the godfather to a child, despite a priest’s initial objections due to Levi’s disdain
for religion.

“I was assessing the moral landscape and my values. I thought, if we want monkeys and gorillas as species to exist, we need to find solutions to human-induced wildlife extinction,” Levi says. “I believe a species has a right to exist. I recognize that humans need to have good lives as well. I wondered, ‘How can we make these two goals compatible?’”

For Levi, it was a realization that integrated the mathematical modeling he had learned in physics with his biology background. By combining both fields, he envisioned becoming a quantitative ecologist, a scientist who uses math and statistics to interpret ecological data.

He became excited by the notion that he could use a mathematical model like a surgeon’s scalpel to dissect relationships between humans and wildlife. Models could answer deep questions about the impact of future human population growth in Manu and elsewhere.

Levi’s path led to graduate school at UC Santa Cruz where he created models to project hunting impacts into the future and over large areas. His work enables wildlife managers and scientists to estimate hunting’s impact through a network of factors such as the number of hunters, wildlife population sizes, distances from settlements, types of weapons used and time into the future.

An App for Wildlife

Levi hopes these and other models can continue to help inform policy and create strategies to get ahead of problems. He’s turned the models into a Windows-based software package for scientists and nonprofit organizations and is working on an app for smart phones. When there is no government-enforced wildlife management, indigenous communities could use it to create their own hunting regulations.

With Levi’s models, local communities can project the likely impact of hunting over a given area to determine how much land to designate as reserves and where to put them. The approach has drawn the interest of conservation groups such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Outside of national parks, says the IUCN, sustainable-use tropical forest reserves “conserve ecosystems and habitat, together with cultural values and traditional natural resource management.” The hope is that industrial development can be kept out of such areas. Otherwise, forests could be lost to oil and gas drilling, mining, ranching and agriculture.

After their work in Peru, Levi and Peres continued to collaborate on other aspects of tropical ecology. In 2013, they showed that large primates play a uniquely important role in dispersing seeds and maintaining the composition of tropical forests.

In 2016, Peres asked Levi to collaborate on another project, this time in Brazil’s western Amazon basin. As Peres and co-author João Vitor Campos-Silva reported in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, communities had been overharvesting arapaima fish. The fishery had collapsed, and, after communities agreed to a management plan — counting fish and harvesting no more than 20 percent — fish populations rebounded dramatically.

Levi is using data from Peres and others to create models to help the locals set sustainable harvest limits. As with the Matsigenka, the goal is both biodiversity and food security. True to form, Levi is learning Portuguese.

And despite their differing views, Terborgh and Levi are now collaborating on a study of tree ecology and seed dispersal. Terborgh admires Levi’s applied approach to science, his ability to immerse himself within a community’s customs and culture. “Taal is a rare individual with rare powerful quantitative skills, and he has a muddy-boots lifestyle,” says Terborgh. “People with quantitative gifts usually live in imaginary worlds.”

Nevertheless, Terborgh remains convinced that the expanding Matsigenka community threatens the park. “The Matsigenka population is doubling every 20 years,” Terborgh says. “Nothing is sustainable in the context of a demographic explosion. What might be ‘sustainable’ today won’t be tomorrow.”

Levi doesn’t view the Amazon as a novel laboratory. Rather, he cares deeply for its biodiversity and indigenous peoples. He values how nature’s many attributes intertwine with human cultures. He brings an unpretentious confidence to the task of figuring out how the pieces fit together. This propels him to collaborate, to  challenge conventional theories and study ecology through the lens of human well-being.

In his view, it will take science-based wildlife management to balance that well-being with nature. “Many conservation biologists have a mentality of preservation but not of management,” he says. “I think that mentality of preservation is going to be very ineffective because so much of the land is occupied by people, and it’s always going to be occupied.

A pet night monkey, aka an owl monkey, rests on the head of a Matsigenka woman in the Peruvian Amazon. These nocturnal monkeys eat fruit,
leaves and insects. Other species of night monkeys live throughout the neotropical forests of southern Central America and tropical South America.

___________________________________

Editor’s note: Danielle Jarkowsky is the internship coordinator for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

The post Hunters and Their Prey appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Forest Health Field Day

Forestry Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Join us for a day of forest health updates.  The morning focuses on invasive forest pests and the afternoon will cover common insect and disease issues with Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, white and black oak, and madrone.  Both morning and afternoon will have a hands-on field component.  This free training is for arborists, natural resource professionals, and landowners.  Space is limited. 

Registration and online course:
http://pestdetector.forestry.oregonstate.edu/

 

Master Woodland Manager

Forestry Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 12:00 PM

The Master Woodland Manager (MWM) is our Forestry and Natural Resources Extension premier forest steward-ship training program. This program has been running for over 25 years, serving more than 500 landowners around the state, and it is coming to Eastern Oregon beginning September 15th. Whether you own five or 1,000 acres, the MWM program will help you to: meet your long-term goals for your property; integrate forest management with ranching; make your forest better suited for wildlife, timber production and recreation; make your forest resilient to fire, insects and diseases, and much more!

Here is the schedule for the training (Friday sessions are evening based):


September 15 Introduction, Your Landscape & Setting
September 16 Upland Forest Ecology and Management
September 22 Watersheds, streams & fish
September 23 Riparian Forest Ecology Management
October 6 Forest Business Management
October 7 Marketing and Roads
October 20 Reforestation, Vegetation Management, Leadership & Volunteer Service
October 21 Forest Health & Graduation


This program only comes around to a given region about every 10 years, so take advantage of this opportunity!

For more information on the program, please contact Bob Parker at the OSU Baker County Extension Service office at 541-523-6418 or email at bob.parker@oregonstate.edu. You can also visit the MWM website at:
http://extensionweb.forestry.oregonstate.edu/mwm

Woodland Management, A Basic Forestry Short Course

Forestry Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Instructor: Norma Kline, OSU Ext. Forester for Coos & Curry Counties

This five-session course is ideal for anyone who is just starting out taking care of a woodland property. Topics covered include: Getting started: Assessing your property and your site. What’s going on in your woods? Understanding tree biology and forest ecology.  Taking care of your woods:  Tree planting, care for an established forest, weed control.  Getting it done: Safety, timber sale logistics, and laws and regulations. FIELD TRIP: See real examples of things learned in class.

Pre-Registration Required: Class size is limited. No walk –ins

Online (credit/debit) at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/coos/ *Registration closes 09/01/2017 at  5:00 PM. Questions: Call Shawna at 541-572-5263 ext. 

Music a la Carte: Becky Jeffers & Angela Carlson - Four-Hands Piano

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

CPHHS Research Seminar

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

"International perspectives on adherence to HIV treatment and prevention" David Bangsberg, MD, MPH, Founding Dean, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Portland, Oregon

David Bangsberg, MD, MPH, is the Founding Dean of the joint Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health. He is a native Oregonian and former Professor at Harvard School of Medicine, Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, Visiting Professor at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, and Visiting Professor at Vellore Institute of Technology in India.

After completing a master’s degree in Philosophy of Science from King’s College London and medical school at Johns Hopkins, his research and advocacy focused on mitigating the harms caused by poverty, mental illness, substance use and HIV.

He completed his medical residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in north Harlem to care for patients afflicted by urban poverty, violence and HIV. Upon moving to the University of California, San Francisco, and completing fellowships in infectious disease and AIDS prevention as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, he became the leading expert in HIV and homelessness.

Dr. Bangsberg’s research discovered successful strategies for treating HIV infected homeless people which neutralized concerns that they should not be treated with antiretroviral therapy out of fear that incomplete medication adherence would create new strains of drug resistant HIV.
 
Based on the inspiration of a student, he then turned to sub-Saharan Africa to find that the poorest HIV-infected people in the world had some of the highest levels of HIV treatment adherence.

His work was described by President Bill Clinton as the “nail in the coffin” on the debate as to whether HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa would adhere to antiretroviral medications and neutralized the major criticism to providing multinational funding for global HIV treatment.

As Director of Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health, he brought together the expertise of Harvard and MIT to improve physical, mental, social, and economic health to the poorest regions of the world in several signature areas, including: HIV care, disaster response, cancer care, and medical technology innovation.

He has raised over $70 million dollars to advance public health, was the second highest NIH HIV/AIDS R01-funded investigator worldwide in 2008, and has helped over 25 junior investigators secure NIH funding. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and has published nearly 400 manuscripts generating over 29,000 citations and an h-index of 86.
 
The college-wide research seminar is Co-Sponsored by the College Research Office; the Hallie Ford Center; the Center for Healthy Aging; the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health; and the Center for Global Health. The seminar series provides a forum for faculty in the College of Public Health & Human Sciences and other researchers to present and discuss current research topics in an environment conducive to stimulating research collaboration and fostering student learning. Faculty and students from the Division of Health Sciences and other colleges, research centers and institutions are encouraged to participate. 

View a list of upcoming CPHHS Research Seminars

Goat Health and Nutrition Workshop

Small Farms Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 2:37pm
Friday, October 6, 2017 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Basic health topics including diseases to be aware of, vaccinations and hoof health.  Nutritive values of feeds including browse, hay, grains, and protein & mineral supplements.  Poisonous plants for goats and methods for weed management.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Charles Estill, VMD
  • Shelby Filley, OSU Extension Service Livestock & Forage Specialist
  • Melissa Fery, OSU Extension Service Small Farms Agent

Friday, October 6th  ~  5:30-8:30 PM

Creswell Community Center (99 N 1st St, Creswell, OR 97426)

Snacks will be provided.

Cost: $15/individual $25/ two farm partners  

Registration Required: http://bit.ly/2hp5Ih2

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oregon Season Tracker: An OSU Extension Citizen Science Program

Forestry Events - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 6:07am
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

As a citizen scientist volunteer you will gather scientific data on precipitation and seasonal plant changes (phenology) at your home, woodland, farm, ranch or school to share with other observers and research partners statewide. Do you like the outdoors and like the idea of contributing to science research? If so, join us and become an OST citizen scientist volunteer!

Information and Registration

Twilight Tour & Woodland Owner Social

Forestry Events - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 2:39pm
Thursday, October 5, 2017 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Held at BRranch, (owned by Evan Barnes & Lorreen Robinson) in Roseburg. 4:30pm - 7pm. Free. Hosted by the Douglas Small Woodlands Association & OSU Extension Service. Just before twilight, tour the tree farm, followed by discussion & apple cider in the barn. Save the date - more info to come!

RSVP by September 29th to Tami Braz, btbraz@dcwisp.net or 541-459-1402

Living on the Land - Lane County

Forestry Events - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 2:39pm
Thursday, October 5, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Living on the Land is a workshop series tailored for small acreage landowners and those new to managing land. There are 5 two hour classes in the series, 6-8pm. You can take just one class for $10, or all of the classes for $30. This program is sponsored by the OSU Extension Service in Lane County and Eugene Water and Electric Board. 

Topics covered include: land stewardship planning, soils, and water resources; well and septic systems; woodlands and wildlife; pasture and grazing management; weed management

Information and Registration

Living on the Land (Lane)

Small Farms Events - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 2:39pm
Thursday, October 5, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Learn the basics of planning for natural resource management, including soil health and water rights. Living on the Land is a workshop series tailored for   small acreage landowners and those new to managing land. There are five classes in the series. This program is sponsored by the OSU Extension Service in Lane County and Eugene Water & Electric Board. This this the first in the series of five.  For additional information, go to the website: http://bit.ly/LaneSmallFarms  Preregistration required.

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Going in for the Krill

Terra - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 5:43pm
Shenandoah Raycroft, field assistant on OSU oceanographer Kim Bernard’s research team, pilots the boat, Ms. Chippy, near Antarctica’s Palmer Station

By Mark Floyd, OSU News and Research Communications

“When all of a sudden the city air filled with snow,
the distinguishable flakes
blowing sideways,
looked like krill
fleeing the maw of an advancing whale.”

 — Billy Collins, from Neither Snow

One of the most important animal species in the world lives in the frigid Southern Ocean, where individuals may reach a ripe old age of six or seven years, despite growing to a length of only 2 inches and not being able to swim against currents or tides to escape predators.

And the predators are many — from the largest animal to have ever lived on Earth, the blue whale, to Adélie penguins, seals and a host of seabirds. Of late, a new predator has emerged to this small, aquatic crustacean known as Euphasia superba — or Antarctic krill. It is humans, who are harvesting krill at an increasingly brisk rate as entrepreneurs have discovered lucrative markets for them as a nutritional supplement. Krill oil tablets, touted for their omega-3 oils and other health benefits, cost $20 to $30 for a small bottle.

The biomass of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, is thought to exceed the total mass of all the humans on Earth.

Krill are so abundant, there historically have been few concerns about overharvesting them. In fact, if you put all of the Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean on one side of a giant scale and the world’s 7.5 billion humans on the other side, the scale would tip in favor of the krill.

On the other hand, it wasn’t that long ago that people pointed to the iconic salmon in the Pacific Northwest and said it was a limitless resource.

Count Oregon State University marine ecologist Kim Bernard among those who are beginning to hear faint warning bells. It isn’t just an increase in human harvesting of krill — which also are used for aquaculture feed and pet food — that concerns the native of South Africa. It is what humans are doing to the planet that may be the biggest threat to the Antarctic krill, she says.

“For being as important as they are, there is a lot that we don’t know about Antarctic krill,” Bernard says. “We know that there are certain regions or ‘hot spots’ of phenomenal numbers of krill in the Southern Ocean, and no one had really known why. We also know that there is a correlation between abundant sea ice and healthy krill populations. Again, we’re not sure why.

“But we do know that warmer conditions along the West Antarctic Peninsula have resulted in reduced sea ice extent and duration and that is a major concern. It has had major ramifications across the entire pelagic (open ocean) food web in the region.”

Krill is a Norwegian word for ‘whale food’, and it fits this tiny shrimp for a good reason. Most baleen whales eat little else — and they can really pork out on krill. One study found that the gargantuan
blue whale, which can grow to the length of three school buses, eats as much as

4 tons of krill in a single day. In one mouthful, a blue whale can down half a million calories.

It’s easy then to see how an abundant krill population is important for cetaceans. They are not alone. Bernard’s own studies have found krill abundance, and convenience, is critical for Adélie penguins.

Kim Bernard and her team have documented ocean upwelling that produces ideal conditions for krill.

In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, the assistant professor in Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and her colleagues spent four consecutive summer seasons in the Antarctic mapping the patterns in distribution and biomass of Antarctic krill near Palmer Station, a known hot spot for the crustacean. They also sought to identify the environmental conditions responsible for the hot spot.

What they discovered is a near-perfect system in which krill aggregations situated over the Palm Deep Canyon, a region of nutrient-rich waters that produce a lot of food for krill, are delivered close to shore by tidal currents and winds. When the winds are westerly and the tides are diurnal — one high tide and one low tide each day — the krill biomass close to shore is at its peak, and krill aggregations are huge.

“It’s neat. We can predict exactly when humpback whales will be close to shore off Palmer Station just based on the tides,” Bernard says. “When there are diurnal tides, you’ll see krill from the surface to the ocean floor. They are everywhere. And when they are, the whales are there, too.

“This concentration and transport toward shore are particularly important for the penguins that breed there. The farther they have to go to forage, the less their chicks have to eat, and chick weight is a huge factor in their survival. A difference of a few hundred grams in chick weight is the difference between life and death.”

Bernard became interested in krill while working as a post-doctoral scientist on  the Palmer Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research project. She began studying the variability of their distribution and aggregation structure and looking at the relationship between krill and Adélie penguins.

The research, and the region, gripped her.

“Working in Antarctica is incredible. It’s hard to describe. I would spend all day out on a small, inflatable rubber boat with my field assistant, acoustically mapping krill. Some days would be bright and sunny, the ocean reflecting like a mirror. Penguins would ‘porpoise’ past us as we slowly motored along. Some days, we’d see humpback whales lunge-feeding on the krill. Other days were less calm and the wind can pick up very fast out there.

Penguins feed krill to their young. If the ice recedes, the birds may have to travel farther to reach their favorite food.

“I remember more than once when the winds picked up almost instantly, and waves of ice water were crashing over me as we raced back to Palmer Station, my hand gripping the tiller and staring straight ahead through snow- and ice-covered goggles as the frigid water stung my face. It was frightening, but honestly it was the most alive I’ve ever felt.”

Now Bernard is hoping to return to Palmer Station, this time in the winter, to see how Antarctic krill survives the frigid months, how oceanic conditions may differ, and most importantly, what role sea ice plays.

“We see very strong correlations between krill biomass and sea ice,” she noted. “When the sea ice is low, the krill populations crash the next summer. It could be a change in algae or other food for them, or it could be that sea ice provides shelter from predators, or affects the currents in some way. We just don’t yet know. But I’m hoping to find out.”

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var stackedResizer = function(){ $('.aesop-stacked-img').css({'height':($(window).height())+'px'}); } stackedResizer(); $(window).resize(function(){ stackedResizer(); }); }); The U.S. base at Palmer Station is located just north of the Antarctic Circle. Humpback whales are frequent visitors to the waters around Palmer Station, Antarctica. A southern giant-petrel chick peeps from underneath its parent. Penguins feed krill to their young. If the ice recedes, the birds may have to travel further to reach their favorite food. Megan Cimino, now a post-doc at Scripps, at the helm of the Zodiac Bernard and her team call Ms. Chippy. OSU oceanographer Kim Bernard (standing) and her team conduct an acoustic survey for krill as an autonomous glider collects data for Rutgers University researchers. Shenandoah Raycroft, OSU field assistant, at the helm of Ms Chippy during an acoustic survey for krill near Palmer Station, Antarctica. An echo sounder extends below Bernard's Zodiac, Ms. Chippy. The device emits acoustic signals that can reveal the presence of animals such as krill. Shenandoah Raycroft keeps ice away from the echo sounder below the Zodiac Ms. Chippy. The device emits signals that reveal the presence of animals such as krill. It was OSU field assistant Shenandoah Raycroft's (standing, left) birthday . Kim Bernard (kneeling, left) had baked her cupcakes as a surprise while they were out running an acoustic survey. "We had four boats with friends from Palmer Station and enjoyed birthday cupcakes and tea before getting back to work," says Bernard. "There were whales around too, which always makes for a great birthday." Shenandoah Raycroft, field assistant on OSU oceanographer Kim Bernard's research team, pilots the boat, Ms. Chippy, near Antarctica's Palmer Station (Photo: Chris Linder) Kim Bernard and her team have documented ocean upwelling that produces ideal conditions for krill. The biomass of Antactic krill, Euphausia superba, is thought to exceed the total mass of all the humans on Earth. As scientists depart Palmer Station in Antarctica, OSU oceanographer Kim Bernard jumps into the sea, a typical way for colleagues to say bon voyage. Adelie penguins, as well as seals, whales and other marine animals, depend on krill for survival.

The post Going in for the Krill appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Seed and Seedling Field Tour For Forest Landowners and Christmas Tree Growers

Forestry Events - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:36pm
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us for a fascinating look at cone and seed processing. See the lean but effective method of removing seed from cones. We’ll learn the complete process from cone processing to hardening off seedlings before you receive them at your woodlot or Christmas tree farm. You will get an insider’s viewpoint of:
•Cone quality, storage and processing
•Innovative equipment tailor-made for seed cleaning
•Seed cleaning in action
•Seed storage and environmental requirements
•Seed treatment before planting
•Timing and how crucial it is
•Seedling growing conditions
•Hardening off seedlings for success in field
•Best practices for ordering seedlings for fall or winter


We’ll start at IFA Nursery (1887 N Holly St., Canby) where you can leave your vehicles. We’ll tour IFA Nursery’s cone and seed processing warehouse, seed lab and seedling production facilities. We’ll then board vans and stop at Molalla River State Park to eat lunch. Our last stop will be PRT Nursery in Hubbard where we’ll learn about seed pre-treatment, view aeration tanks in their Seed Lab and see their seedling production greenhouses. We will then return to vehicles at IFA nursery.


The cost is $15/person for transportation and handouts. Bring your own sack lunch and water and dress for rain or shine field conditions. Pre-registration is required online by September 29: Register at this link: https://apps.ideal-logic.com/osuextension?key=F3T9-25VWY_WPG5-2H2G_68ea7c7c. Registration questions can be directed to Jean Bremer at 503-655-8631 or jean.bremer@oregonstate.edu. Program questions can be directed to Jen Gorski at 503-655-8684 or Jennifer.gorski@oregonstate.edu.

Marine Studies Initiative on Track

Terra - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:40am

The chemistry of Oregon’s coastal waters and the health and productivity of fisheries have become high priorities for Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Initiative. The MSI links research, a new academic program and coastwide collaboration, says Jack Barth, executive director of the MSI and a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

“The MSI brings the liberal arts and sciences together to address challenges facing our coastal communities and the oceans,” says Barth. “The Port Orford Field Station and the new facility due to be built in Newport add to the great network we already have through the Experiment Station, Extension and Oregon Sea Grant.”

Groundbreaking for the new $50 million MSI building is anticipated next spring with completion in 2019.

Private support launched the MSI effort and has continued to be key. In the last year, research on the biology of Oregon’s largest fishery, Dungeness crab, has received a boost from Bob Eder and Michelle Longo Eder, leaders in the coastal fishing community. “They see the MSI as the connector to get this work done,” says Barth. Previously, The Schmidt Family Foundation contributed to the ongoing effort to study ocean acidification and to develop courses based on the latest research.

The College of Liberal Arts will be the home for a marine studies degree program, which is making its way through the academic review process. New classes, Barth notes, will have a cross-disciplinary emphasis.

The post Marine Studies Initiative on Track appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Following the Blues

Terra - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:29am
Bruce Mate

By Bruce Mate, director, OSU Marine Mammal Institute

Nothing prepared me for snorkeling with a sperm whale. I felt the pressure of its acoustic probing in my chest. I trusted its sonogram would reveal my bones, so the whale would know I wasn’t a squid, its normal food. But there was that moment of doubt at 20 feet away that brought me face-to-face with my mortality.

That experience only deepened my sense of respect, scale and awe for the magnificent animals we call “whales.” You may get the feeling of size and other-worldliness by watching gray whales spouting off Depoe Bay or humpbacks breaching near Cannon Beach.

Regrettably, not all whales have recovered from commercial whaling. While the grays have done very well, others are still struggling. In the vast Antarctic, whalers killed 366,000 blue whales from 1900 to 1950, taking them close to extinction. With 50 years of full protection, blues have made modest gains, but the Antarctic population is just 2,000, less than 1 percent of what whalers killed. The eastern North Pacific (ENP) has about 1,700, perhaps 30 percent of the worldwide population.

Oregon State scientist Kim Bernard’s discovery of an enormous Antarctic krill patch (see “Going in for the Krill,” is good news for blues there, which dine almost exclusively on these shrimp-like crustaceans. Marine Mammal Institute (MMI) scientist Leigh Torres uses drones to study the energy demands and resources of New Zealand blues that forage on surface krill. The MMI Telemetry Group tags whales with sensors to describe their feeding during deep dives in the eastern North Pacific. Researchers know the fate of blue whales is tied to krill.

Unfortunately, since 2014, two Pacific Ocean warm-water “blobs” and an El Nino have been unfavorable for krill. Blues normally stay in coastal waters off California, Oregon and Washington during the summer and fall because krill are usually abundant. However, when krill are scarce, the whales just keep moving, trying to find dense krill patches. MMI scientists found that 50 to 80 percent of the blues they approached off California were too skinny to tag, and few calves were seen.

Our recent studies have shown that some blue whales swim south to reproductive areas two months earlier than usual. We suspect they are finding less abundant but possibly more dependable feeding opportunities. Something is better than almost nothing.

Gray whale and her calf

We are committed to understanding what changing ocean conditions mean for blue whales and other marine life. Fortunately, OSU is up to the task because of extraordinary support from donors who share our passion for the ocean. The institute will occupy part of the new marine studies building being constructed at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. MMI scientists hope to be mentoring OSU undergrads with the latest research findings on whale ecology.

MMI doesn’t do this work for its own sake. We want our findings to improve conservation and management practices. Tracking tells us about where, when and how whales migrate between reproductive and feeding areas. By determining seasonal habitats and behaviors that put whales at risk, we can help reduce unintentional human impacts. We’ve already helped reduce the number of whales hit by ships.

When it comes to environmental change, we know that there will be winners and losers. We want to identify the issues that determine how whales adapt and rebound so our children’s children can see healthy populations of whales and experience the deep feelings of respect and awe these whales instill in us today.

The post Following the Blues appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

A Culture of Engagement

Terra - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:18am
Cynthia Sagers, vice-president for research at Oregon State University

By Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research

The shouts of children echo through the halls, gym and swimming pool of the Women’s Building on campus. It’s IMPACT day, a typical Friday in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. These kids with special needs are developing new skills, and the Oregon State students who guide them are getting an invaluable educational experience.

Beyond the campus, Latino high school students and their families are meeting in weekly workshops, after-school clubs and summer camps. They are also visiting college campuses. The program called Juntos (meaning “together” in Spanish) is raising graduation rates and academic achievement. It is offered by OSU Extension in more than 20 school districts across Oregon.

In coastal communities from Port Orford and Newport to Astoria, OSU is partnering with community colleges and other local organizations to expand educational opportunities and ensure the resilience of our ocean-based economy. The Marine Studies Initiative builds on the university’s longstanding commitment to the coast. The MSI draws strength from an oceanography research community ranked No. 3 in the world on the basis of scientific publications.

I could cite many more examples that underscore Oregon State’s “Community Engagement” classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. OSU is the only Oregon university to hold both that distinction and the foundation’s ranking for “very high research activity.”

These two recognitions go hand in hand. OSU students benefit from the experiential opportunities and research that stem from the communities in which they live and work. This kind of education doesn’t happen in a bubble. It reflects the practical issues and needs that shape our neighborhoods, state and nation. It is informed by the daily lives of people who make their living from the land and sea and strive for a better future for our children.

As a 21st century land grant university, OSU research combines this commitment to practical application with support for basic, curiosity-driven work. This strategy emerged from lessons learned by the “greatest generation,” our predecessors who struggled through the Depression and World War II. The advances in science and technology they unleashed led to America’s global leadership in innovation. This reputation attracts students from around the world to Oregon State and other American universities.

In this issue of Terra, we share some of that work. We explore what’s known about brain injury and athletics, a growing concern for coaches, athletes and parents. We consider how hunting by indigenous people affects wildlife populations, how solar electricity can succeed in some of the world’s most remote corners and how rising seas might spur future migration across the country.

As we embark on OSU’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration, we share our research journeys and welcome citizens into the day-to-day work. It is in the shouts of the children, the accomplishments of our students and the solutions to difficult problems where we find the real value of what it means to carry out the land grant mission, “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life,” as the Morrill Act of 1862 directed us to do.

The post A Culture of Engagement appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs