April 2013

Volume IV - Issue 2

Dan's Observations

Dan Arp


We have recently concluded a successful search for just the right person to serve as assistant dean for our College's Office of Academic Programs. From a field of excellent candidates--each of whom took part in a series of interviews and presentations that involved faculty, staff, and students--we selected Penny Diebel for this important role. She begins in her new job as Spring Term opens here.

Penny Diebel is an associate professor in our Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics who joined Oregon State in 1995 from the faculty of Kansas State University. Her initial assignment for our College was as a faculty member in the OSU Agriculture Program at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. She relocated to the Corvallis campus in 2010.

The assistant dean is point person at the College level for our students, so we sought someone who understands and has experience working with students across a broad range from recruitment to advising, curriculum development and teaching, retention to career planning, and beyond. There's a hint about Penny's effectiveness in many of those roles when one notes that students chose her in 2012 as the College's Professor of the Year.  (Read more at Dan's blog)

Recent News

Bounty & Community

Art About Agriculture - 2013 Bounty and Community - Beginning with Food and Agriculture

To celebrate and be inspired by agricultural bounty and by people who are part of food and agriculture communities—consumers, farmers, marketers, and purveyors of food in association with restaurants, grocery stores, food cooperatives, farmers’ markets, or roadside stands— all these together are the heart of Art About Agriculture this year. The College of Agricultural Sciences presents its 31st annual art exhibition, uniting creative expressions by seventeen regional artists. LaSells Stewart Center Giustina Gallery, Corvallis, Oregon:  April 1-25, 2013. Reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 19, 2013.  The public is invited.  Press release

FFA2013 Oregon FFA Convention held at OSU

(By Bennett Hall, Corvallis Gazette-Times) The organization goes strictly by FFA now, not Future Farmers of America. But it’s still all about the future. More than 1,500 FFA members from 110 high schools across the state, wearing distinctive blue jackets with their chapter names embroidered across the backs in gold, descended on Oregon State University [in late March] for the annual convention. The four-day gathering, which started Friday and continues through Monday, features a host of events aimed at preparing young people for adulthood, from public speaking and marketing competitions to science projects and a career fair. (Photo credit Jesse Skoubo/Mid-Valley Sunday) (Read more...)

OSU Update

2013 Federal Priorities

OSU Federal Priorities for 2013

Oregon State University has an unwavering commitment to excellence, service, innovation and leadership. Our world-class faculty inspire students to expand their horizons and develop the knowledge to achieve their goals. Our cutting-edge research and community outreach and engagement promote a healthy planet, wellness and economic progress. OSU generates more than $2 billion in annual economic impact through our teaching, research, outreach and engagement. Our unique presence in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, establishes the university as a vital partner in workforce and economic development, locally focused research and public health.

(Read more...)

Our Best

V Dolja

Dolja elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Valerian Dolja, professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  The Academy is the "honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology".  The Academy recognizes "excellence, originality, and creativity".  Valerian's election to this group is a mark of distinction.

(Valerian Dolja's faculty page)

Bill Young, Cody Younger and John HartHart and Young awarded Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association Award

For the first time ever, the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association gave a joint award for exceptional extension service. On January 16, 2013, emeritus professors John Hart and William Young were awarded the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association Service Award for 2013, recognizing their combined 62 years of service to the seed industry in Oregon.  The award recognizes their valuable on-farm research efforts thatencompassed alternatives to field burning and nutrient management. (Read more...)

Tim DeBoodt receiving SRM awardDeBoodt receives outstanding achievement award

Tim DeBoodt, Animal and Rangeland Sciences, is a recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award of the Society for Range Management. The award was given at the SRM annual meeting in Oklahoma City for outstanding achievement (eminently noteworthy) in any range management-related area. 

(Read more...)

US Fisheries & Wildlife Service logo

Northern Spotted Owl Modeling Effort selected as USFWS Recovery Champions

Bob Anthony, Katie Dugger of the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Nathan Schumaker of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Betsy Glenn of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office will be recognized as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champions for their contributions to the spotted owl modeling process that began in 2009 as part of the Spotted Owl Recovery Plan and continued as an important part of the 2012 Spotted Owl Critical Habitat network.

They developed state-of-the-art modeling tools to design and evaluate habitat conservation networks for their contributions to spotted owl conservation and ultimately helped refine a critical habitat network—the first time that such modeling tools had been utilized to help designate critical habitat.

Program Highlight:  OSU Agriculture Program at Eastern Oregon University

Students of OSU Agriculture Program at EOU

Unique partnership drives OSU Agriculture Program at EOU

OSU and EOU created a cooperative partnership in 1984 to extend educational opportunities and services to residents of the 10-county region of eastern Oregon. It was made possible through a unique cooperative effort between Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Students in the program benefit from instruction by OSU faculty, EOU faculty, and Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center scientists.  Students earn their first 90 credits at EOU, then apply for admission to OSU.  (Visit our new website)



Merger of OSU Agriculture Program at EOU and Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center

Two units were merged effective July 1, 2011 as part of an ongoing OSU College of Agricultural Sciences effort to improve efficiencies and maximize program delivery, while operating within a reduced budgetary environment.  The integration of undergraduate students in ongoing research at Union and Burns Branch Experiment Stations and the USDA added emphasis on experiential learning, most notably research on rangeland weeds, watershed management and more recently, livestock distribution and their interaction with wolves.

OSU at EOU StudentsDegree programs

Large campus opportunities are provided in a small campus environment. A student can earn an OSU Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences, Crop & Soil Science, Natural Resources and Rangeland Sciences while attending all classes on the EOU campus. 

Also offered are six agriculture and natural resources minors, as well as courses in wildlife and forestry.


Program Head:  Tim DelCurto, Associate Professor
Agricultural Sciences:  Jeff Sherman, Instructor
Crop and Soil Science: Gary Kiemnec, Associate Professor; Austin Hawks, Instructor
Rangeland Ecology and Management:  Ryan Limb
EOARC- Union Experiment Station Animal Science: Tim DelCurto, Director; Chad Mueller, Assistant Professor
Fish and Wildlife:  Pat Kennedy, Professor
Agricultural Program Staff:  Angela Gorham - Office and Advising Coordinator

EOU Ag ProgramLike us on Facebook!

OSU Ag students are among the most active students on the EOU campus; activities include collegiate athletics, Ag Exec student government, Ag Club, Range Club, Collegiate FFA, Rodeo Club, theatre, choir, and domestic and international exchange programs. For a window into the regular activities and adventures of the students, like us on Facebook!


Recent NewsPenny Diebel named assistant dean of Academic Programs

Students in the College of Agricultural Sciences have a new assistant dean looking out for them.  Penny Diebel of the Agricultural and Resource Economics department has accepted the assignment effective spring term.

After earning her bachelors in outdoor recreation management and masters degree in agriculture and natural resource economics at Colorado State University, Penny was awarded the doctorate in agricultural economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her professional focus has been on agricultural and natural resource economics and policy especially related to water allocation and water quality issues, and alternative agricultural practices.

She will join Brett Jeter and Paul Dorres in the Academic Programs Office in 137 Strand Agriculture Hall.

To learn more about Penny Diebel's education, experience and research interests visit her faculty page.


MANRRS brings home honors from national meeting

Several students and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) chapter adviser, Wanda Crannell and Fisheries and Wildlife Faculty member Dana Sanchez, attended the 28th Annual National MANRRS Career Fair and Training Conference during March in Sacramento, CA. Seven OSU students competed in research contests with graduate student Latreese Denson winning 2nd place award for the Graduate Oral Division I Presentation. Kimberly Melendez-Rivera received 2nd place for her research presentation in the Oral Undergraduate Division II completion. The OSU MANRRS chapter received the Region VI Outstanding Chapter Award and was judged in the top three national Chapters. Oregon State received 2nd in a close (horse race) behind University of Kentucky and ahead of The Ohio State University.

Magdalena Pope

January Student of the Month: Magdalena Pope, Leadership

Magdalena sees leadership as more than the stereotypical view of overseeing others.  It is the development of working as a team, listening to others’ input and being the type of role-model others want to be like.  One must be mindful that others are watching your behavior.  Leadership development takes a lifetime to learn.

Actively serving and leading in Air Force ROTC, she has graduated as a Fellow of the Leadership Academy, and received OSU’s prestigious Waldo-Cummings Award for outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular collegiate and leadership roles.  She has raised two brothers while attending college, has participated in volunteer and club activities, and set a record of 59 pushups in one minute.

(Read more...)

Eric LarsenMarch Student of the Month:  Eric Larson, Undergraduate Research

Eric Larson is working as an undergraduate research assistant in Jennifer Parke’s laboratory.  His own research has targeted P. ramorum, (Sudden Oak Death pathogen) control in nursery irrigation. Phytophthora ramorum has been detected in nurseries and associated waterways in several states.  Chemical treatment of runoff water from nurseries could reduce spread of P. ramorum to the environment, but may be toxic to aquatic life.  Eric has been researching the use of algaecides with potential for less toxic disinfection of runoff water. Eric is lead author for a poster to be presented at the 2013 American Phytopathological Society meeting in Austin, Texas.

(Read more...)

Mary Kohl

 Horticulture student profile - Mary Kohl

When Mary Kohl was selected to work as a Garden Assistant at Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis through the Healthy Youth Program at the Linus Pauling Institute, she was excited about the opportunity to work with students to help them learn about the benefits and the challenges of growing food.

It's a great opportunity for Kohl, a senior graduating in Spring 2013 with a B.S. in Horticulture, with an option in Environmental Landscapes (now called Ecological Landscapes and Urban Forestry), to teach children the basics of nutrition through fresh grown fruits and vegetables.

Helping people achieve a healthier life through research is the Linus Pauling Institute's mission, and the Healthy Youth program began as a way to promote better eating and nutrition among school aged children. This fall, the Healthy Youth Program acquired the Lincoln Elementary School garden, and Kohl, who had interned with the Healthy Youth Program over the summer designing and implementing their new summer camp, was selected for the position.

(Read more...)


Soils student profile - Melissa Stresing

Stresing found herself drawn to soil science after taking SOIL 205 Soil Science taught by James Cassidy. She began to see how soil interconnects and sustains all aspects of agriculture. And how, by working with the government through the Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), she began putting into practice soil conservation methods that helped avoid erosion and soil degradation.  "I'm drawn to soil science because I want to understand the interactions, interactions among bacteria, plants, and fungi, all occurring in soil and affecting agriculture." said Stresing. (Read more...)

Sun Bears

Jocelyn Stokes and her Sunbear Conservation Campaign

Jocelyn is an Ecampus Fisheries and Wildlife undergraduate in Borneo establishing an awareness campaign and documentary film project that will focus on the conservation of the Sun Bear. Read her blog and help the campaign.

Check out the video by Jocelyn Stokes, on sunbears and saving the diversity of Borneo – its great!  (Watch Video - it works best with Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer)

Graduate Students

Scholars insight

Graduate students participate in "Scholar's Insight"

On April 3, Provost Randhawa and the OSU Graduate School hosted the first annual University-wide “Scholars’ Insight” event, a graduate student competition to communicate impact. 40 OSU Graduate students had the opportunity to present a three minute "impact" of their scholarly works, to a non-specialist audience at OSU and the Corvallis community. The purpose of the presentations were to generate awareness, stimulate thought, network, inspire attendees and reach out to the local community. (Read more...)  Videos linked here.

CrabGraduate student Noelle Yochum researching crab bycatch mortality

(By Nathan Gilles, Edible Portland Magazine) From the shadows of her dimly lit Newport, Oregon lab, biologist Noelle Yochum reaches into the dark waters of her experimental tank. Using a long-handled net she pulls out a squirming female crab, its orange and purple pinchers flailing and snapping at its human abductor. The crustacean is called Cancer magister, commonly known as the Dungeness crab, and the gloomy artificial environment is designed to mimic the creature’s sunless home in the ocean’s depths. Here in Oregon the scurrying bottom dweller is big business. (Read more...) Photo by Noelle Yochum.


Gerd Bode

OSU study: Cows fed flaxseed produce more nutritious dairy products

(By Daniel Scott Robison) Dairy cows that are fed flaxseed produce more nutritious milk, according to a new study by Oregon State University.

Their milk contained more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat, the study found. Diets high in saturated fat can increase cholesterol and cause heart disease, while those rich in omega-3 and other polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease, studies have shown.  Pictured:  Gerd Bobe  (Read more...)

Dr. Yanyun Zhao holds grape pomace muffin

OSU turns winemaking waste into food supplements and flowerpots

(By Daniel Scott Robison; photo credit: Lynn Ketchum) Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered how to turn the pulp from crushed wine grapes into a natural food preservative, biodegradable packaging materials and a nutritional enhancement for baked goods.

The United States wine industry creates a tremendous amount of waste from processing more than 4 million tons of grapes each year, mostly in the Pacific Northwest and California, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wineries typically pay for the pulp to be hauled away, but a small percentage is used in low-value products such as fertilizer and cow feed.  "We now know pomace can be a sustainable source of material for a wide range of goods," said researcher Yanyun Zhao (pictured) a professor and value-added food products specialist with the OSU Department of Food Science and Technology. (Read more...) (See also Wine Spectator)


OSU makes oysters safer to eat with improved purification method

(By Daniel Scott Robison) Oregon State University has improved an old method of making oysters safer to eat so that more bacteria are removed without sacrificing taste and texture.

"This bacteria is a huge safety concern," said Yi-Cheng Su (pictured), an OSU professor of seafood microbiology and safety. “Cooking oysters easily kills it, but many consumers want to eat raw shellfish without worrying about foodborne illness. Oysters are also worth more to the seafood industry when alive.” 

Seeking a better alternative, Su and his colleagues tweaked the depuration method. They chilled the water to between 45 and 55 degrees and sterilized it with ultraviolet light. Their method eliminated 99.9 percent of the bacteria after four to five days. The oysters stayed alive during the purification, and their texture and taste were not altered. The new depuration process is also more cost-effective, Su said.

"Temperature-controlled depuration uses less electricity than other methods that rely on freezers, heat, pressurization and even radiation," he said. "Depuration systems are also relatively cheap to build – just a few shellfish holding tanks each equipped with a water pump, a UV sterilizer and a temperature control device."  (Read more...)

Dr. Staci Simonich

Residents near Chinese e-waste site face greater cancer risk

(By Daniel Scott Robison; photo credit: Tiffany Woods) Residents living near an e-waste recycling site in China face elevated risks of lung cancer, according to a recent study co-authored by Oregon State University researchers. (Pictured: Staci Simonich)

Electronic trash, such as cell phones, computers and TVs, is often collected in dumps in developing countries and crudely incinerated to recover precious metals, including silver, gold, palladium and copper. The process is often primitive, releasing fumes with a range of toxic substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, a group of more than 100 chemicals. 

PAHs, many of which are recognized as carcinogenic and linked to lung cancer when inhaled, were the focus of the study. Over the course of a year, researchers collected air samples from two rooftops in two areas in China. One was in a rural village in the southern province of Guangdong less than a mile from an active e-waste burning site and not surrounded by any industry. The other was Guangzhou, a city heavily polluted by industry, vehicles and power plants but not e-waste. (Read more...)

International Experience

Oregon global engagementOSU alum establishes fund for student and faculty engagement in global agriculture

A new fund has been established in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University to provide resources in support of students and faculty gaining global experiences related to food and agriculture.

Hiram Larew, who earned a masters degree in botany and plant pathology and a doctorate in entomology at Oregon State University, said he seeks to increase international opportunities for students and faculty.To help encourage their interest and participation in global agriculture, Larew has committed to provide five years of funding for the College of Agricultural Sciences Global Experiences Fund.  (Read more...)

Gwyn CaseStudent Blog:  Blue Balance by Gwyn Case

Gwyn Case is an undergrad majoring in Fisheries & Wildlife at Oregon State University. This winter she interned with Equilibrio Azul, a nonprofit conservation group in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.

...My real hope was that, even if things weren't better after a week, I could convince myself into staying just one week more, and then just one week after that, and so trick myself into finishing the entire internship.

Everything changed when we went to La Playita. Drew, Elise, Luis and myself climbed into the bed of a pickup truck with a couple of tents and an overnight bag apiece. We rode like that, standing up in the back of the truck, north out of town. I'd never ridden like that before—I'm pretty sure it's illegal in the States—and it was wonderful, amazing, exhilarating. That was the moment when I knew I would stay in Ecuador. It was like someone had flipped a switch. I was so ridiculously happy I knew I could make things work, if only for moments like these.

(Read blog...)

Multimedia Connections

Oregon's Ag Progress

Oregon's Agricultural Progress Magazine

In the issue, we explore how unexpected discoveries come from people thinking about a problem from many angles. This is where decision-makers turn for the information they need to make critical public policy. And it's where teachers come to discover how agricultural research can inspire the next generation of thinkers, doers, and discoverers. (Winter 2013 Edition)


Powered by Orange - Fermentation program

We’re a world leader in the brewing sciences, offering one of the top fermentation degrees in the nation. In fact, we are one of just two four-year programs in the country, with experiences ranging from hands-on training in our pilot brewery for future industry leaders, to cutting edge research that brings new understanding to an ancient art.  And now we are offering professional certification courses in sensory testing, brewing analysis and craft brewery startup.  Check out excellent multimedia storytelling produced by OSU Web Communications here. Pictured:  Jeb Hollabaugh, graduate of the program.


Facebook Pages

College of Agricultural Sciences
Biological and Ecological Engineering
OSU Beavers
OSU Extension
OSU Agricultural Executive Council
OSU Department of Horticulture
Central Oregon Agricultural Research Center

OSU Superfund Research Program

OSU Agriculture Program at EOU

Food Innovation Center

Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center


terra research magazine - Winter 2013

Twice the Rice:  Adding vitamin B1 may boost nutrition and immunity

Through genetic engineering, a new breed of rice could fend off crop-damaging diseases and improve human health at the same time.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps plants resist such scourges as bacterial leaf blight and “rice blast,” big problems in Southeast Asia. At the same time, people whose diets are dependent on white rice often suffer from thiamine deficiency. Enter Oregon State researcher Aymeric Goyer, a plant biologist in Hermiston. The genes that synthesize vitamin B1 in rice are Goyer’s focus. (Read more...)

Reaching Out

Food for Thought Lecture Series

Outreach in Biotechnology

The "Food for Thought" lecture series has concluded for 2013, with “Technology and food marketing in the age of animal welfare.” Joy Mench, a professor in the Department of Animal Science and the director of the Center for Animal Welfare at the University of California, Davis, discussed what animal welfare means from both scientific and ethical perspectives, and how it is represented in the marketplace to enable consumers to make more informed purchasing and care decisions.  Past series lectures are available on iTunes U, YouTube EDU and OSU Media Space.  (Podcasts and study guides)

Faculty and Staff

Safety Programs

Health and Safety Training Manual online

The College of Agricultural Sciences Safety Coordination Committee seeks to ensure that various facets of safety are addressed, training is completed and documented, and current information is disseminated to all operating units of the college and branch experiment stations.

The Health and Safety Training Manual is available 24/7 on the college website and may be viewed online or downloaded for printing.  Visit the Safety Programs and Resources web page.

Alumni, Donors and Friends

E.R. Jackman Spring Tour - WhaleER Jackman Friends and Alumni Spring Tour

Join us for the E. R. Jackman Friends and Alumni Spring Tour, May 10 – 11 in Newport Oregon!  The link below provides all of the tour and registration details for this one-of-a-kind, behind-the scences-tour  of our branch agricultural experiment station in Newport.  This tour is open to all of our friends and alumni, but is limited due to space constraints.  Register now! http://www.osualum.com/springtour

The Campaign for OSUUpdate on The Capital Campaign by Todd Bastian

Through the generous philanthropy of OSU alumni and friends, the University has raised over $920M towards the Campaign for OSU’s $1B goal.  To date, the College of Agricultural Sciences has raised over $96M towards our $100M Campaign Goal –  a testament to the significant commitment from the College’s generous alumni and stakeholders.
This support continues to fund new buildings, research programs across Oregon’s 36 counties and beyond, and has provided critical support for student scholarships and endowed faculty positions.  (Read more...)

The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University is Oregon's principal source of knowledge relating to agricultural and food systems, and a major source of knowledge regarding environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences, and rural economies and communities worldwide. The College provides undergraduate and graduate education leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and extended education programs throughout Oregon and beyond. Its research programs create knowledge to solve problems and to build a knowledge base for the future. It is a source of information and expertise in integrating and applying knowledge with benefits that are felt in domestic and international settings.