Volume V - Issue 3
Helping to shape research, education, and outreach for the 21st century
As we celebrate the 125th year of Oregon’s Agricultural Experiment Station, I think about how our college is helping to shape research, education, and outreach for the 21st century.
For example, because we can access and deliver a vast amount of information electronically, our education increasingly emphasizes hands-on learning through experience. We listen when employers say they want graduates with skills in communication and teamwork that complement a strong foundation of disciplinary science. A degree from the College of Agricultural Sciences means knowing how to analyze information, discover new knowledge and how to apply it toward solving real-world problems.
Research has become more collaborative, as society’s challenges have become too complex for a single scientist or a single discipline to tackle. Increasingly, scientists in the College of Agricultural Sciences lead research teams made up of representatives from various agencies, universities, and communities. The college is a leader in convening diverse groups for the purpose of solving problems, as well as a trusted source... (More...)
Oregon's Agricultural Progress Magazine, Summer 2014
Agricultural research is bigger than you think. In this issue of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress, we explore research affiliated with Oregon’s Agricultural Experiment Station, from global tracking of marine mammals to individual discoveries made by undergrad scientists.
We follow a team of scientists who trace chemicals of modern life seeping into our bodies; and another team who helps communities reduce their use of pesticides. We tour a state-of-the-science genomics center and some of Oregon’s famous Pinot noir vineyards.
Get to know the College of Agricultural Sciences. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn.
Robert McGorrin named Fellow, American Chemical Society
Dr. Robert McGorrin, head of the OSU Department of Food Science and Technology, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
McGorrin is honored for his extraordinary contributions to food chemistry and more than 35 years of leadership contributions to ACS. McGorrin heads OSU’s department of food science and technology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of their Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and is a Distinguished Service Award recipient from their Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD). He was chair-elect of the ACS Chicago Section, chair and program chair of AGFD, chair of the Flavor subdivision of AGFD, and has long-term service on the AGFD Executive Committee. He was twice-elected president of the Chicago Chemists’ Club, among many posts. McGorrin is also a certified food scientist by the International Food Science Certification Commission and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists. (Read more...)
Roy Saigo named interim president of Southern Oregon University
The State Board of Higher Education in a special session on June 20, appointed Dr. Roy Saigo as interim president of Southern Oregon University. Saigo earned a Ph.D. in botany and plant pathology at OSU in 1969, and after a distinguished faculty career as an educator and researcher, turned to administrative leadership.
He took over as president of St. Cloud State University in 2000 after serving for six years as chancellor of Auburn University at Montgomery. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He was named Alumni Fellow by OSU Alumni Association in 2005.
OSU's 2014-18 Strategic Plan
We are pleased to share with you the third phase of Oregon State University’s Strategic Plan –Focus on Excellence, 2014-18 – and to provide a few introductory comments.
In February 2004, we launched the first phase of our strategic plan. It was the University’s first comprehensive strategic plan, and we committed to using the plan to guide the University in its aspiration to be among the top land-grant universities in the nation. April 2009 brought the second phase of the plan and a tremendous sense of momentum as we continued to climb the excellence ladder. The transformation of the University that we experienced during the first two phases of the strategic plan is something exceptional in which we hope you share a sense of pride.
OSU has advanced in all areas, from number and diversity of students and faculty, to fundraising, research and discovery dollars, partnerships and physical infrastructure. Our growth is not without direction or purpose – our success is a credit to our shared commitment to focus on student and faculty success and on preeminence in areas of distinction, while substantially diversifying and increasing revenue sources. With rapid growth comes growing pains, and you have our deep gratitude and admiration for your dedication and perseverance during these past several years.
In the third phase of the plan, we have affirmed our commitment to our mission, vision and three strategic goals:
- Provide a transformative educational experience for all learners;
- Demonstrate leadership in research, scholarship and creativity while enhancing preeminence in the three signature areas of distinction: Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems, Improving Human Health and Wellness, and Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress; and
- Strengthen impact and reach throughout Oregon and beyond.
The plan also focuses on our aspiration to be a true community – a community in which we hold ourselves accountable for nurturing healthy relationships, building networks of care, embracing shared governance and acknowledging and celebrating our humanity. We believe in our community. We believe in Oregon State University. It is an honor to work with you as we continue our commitment to move to the front ranks of international and comprehensive land-grant universities. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
(Read full Strategic Plan)
CAS Endowed Position holders
Several outstanding faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences demonstrate OSU’s pursuit of excellence through their research, creativity, service, and teaching. They make a difference for students, for Oregon, and for the world.
It is because of donor generosity that OSU is able to recruit and retain world-renowned researchers, exceptional educators, and upstanding community leaders. This ongoing support makes a lasting impression world wide. (Read more...)
Brian A. Charlton: Klamath Basin Potato Faculty Scholar
(photo by Erik Simmons) In 2013 the Oregon Potato Commission and its members teamed up with growers and businesses in the Klamath Basin to create an endowment supporting a potato researcher in this region. The $250,000 commitment assures that this position always will be at the OSU Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center in Klamath Falls.
The potato commission previously established a similar endowed position supporting a potato expert with a statewide focus. The Klamath Basin Potato Faculty Scholar, in contrast, works exclusively in the Klamath Basin area, which extends across the California border. (Read more...)
Andrew Hulting: George R. Hyslop Professor for Oregon Grass Seed Research and Education
In 2013 Andrew Hulting, a weed management specialist with the OSU Extension Service, became the fourth Hyslop Professor since its creation in 1997. He will serve in the role for five years.
An associate professor in OSU's Department of Crop and Soil Science, Hulting helps seed industry professionals improve weed management practices and trains graduate students to work on weed management projects, including in-depth studies of grass weed species, such as annual bluegrass and roughstalk bluegrass. His research has focused on the biology and ecology of problematic agricultural weed species and invasive weed species management where agricultural/non-agricultural land uses overlap.
2014 Promotion and Tenure recipients
23 faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences received promotion and tenure decisions this year.
A page detailing each faculty recipient is on the college website at
Program highlight: Sun Grant
Sun Grant Western Regional Center, John Talbott, Director
Biobased products hold great promise for renewable energy and biobased, non-food industries. The Sun Grant Initiative is a national program established to create new solutions for America's needs and to revitalize rural communities by working with land-grant universities and their federal and state laboratory partners on research, education and extension programs.
Sun Grant Mission Learn more about the Sun Grant Western Regional Center.
Lumber waste, hazelnut shells and oyster shells hold big promise
(Portland Business Journal) The Portland Development Commission and Oregon BEST are investing $136,000 so Sunmark Environmental can work with an Oregon State University research team to confirm its product, EarthLite Stormwater Filter Media, removes 80 percent to 100 percent of the toxic metals that leach off of metal roofs and from brake linings, brake fluid and other sources and reach the water system.
Sunmark markets EarthLite as a low-cost alternative to activated charcoal systems but needs university-level research to back its claims.
OSU Prof. Markus Kleber and research assistant Myles Gray will evaluate the best mix of char, shells and other media for removing zinc and copper and heavy metals.
New mobile pyrolizer will elimate transportation costs
(Biomass Magazine, by Kolby Hoagland) The biomass industry produces a highly diverse range of energy products and chemicals from an array of biogenic feedstocks. Despite the diversity across feedstocks and products, bioenergy producers share the inherent challenges of aggregating and storing biomass. Regardless of type or origin––whether a chemical is being produced from switchgrass, or heat or electricity is being coaxed from forest residue––biomass feedstocks have less density and a shorter shelf life than their fossil fuel counterparts. (Read more...)
Blog: Livin' life Kiwi-style by Lauren Eyrich
Third-year student Lauren Eyrich studied abroad in New Zealand during summer and fall terms through OSU’s College of Agricultural Science’s Program at Lincoln University, and was kind enough to write an entry detailing the change in perspective she gained through her experience. Lauren is an University Honors College student pursuing a degree in Animal Sciences with an option in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The direct link to Lauren’s blog can be found here:
Blog: Saving the moon bears by Karla Garcia
After graduation, I, Karla Garcia, decided that I was going to walk the entire coast of Oregon in order to raise awareness of the moon bear bile industry in China, as well as raise money for Animals Asia. I was inspired to do this after learning that a bear bile farm operator decided an old tradition needed to end and chose to turn his farm into a sanctuary. Now 130 bears will finally get to live freely!
When I told my mom about my fundraiser, she decided to get involved as well. Well it turns out that she got her entire school involved! Read the story Animals Asia wrote about us on their website! (Read more...)
Blog: Life's a Circus by Kasey Moore
Most people find a job within their related field of study after they graduate from college. This is how I imagined my life after college would go, but things took an unexpected turn a couple of months prior to graduation. Instead of moving straight into a job within the field of fisheries and wildlife science, I will be running away and joining the traveling circus.
The show is called “Cavalia” and was created by Normand Latourelle, who was also one of the original co-founders and managing director of Cirque du Soleil. Cavalia is very similar to many of the other Cirque du Soleil shows, except for the fact that there are horses as well as acrobats in the performances. The main idea behind the show is to give tribute to the relationship between horses and humans and to document their place in history through an artistic and visually stunning performance. (Read more...)
Global Experiences Fund
Projects and experiences such this are made possible by the College of Agricultural Sciences Global Experiences Fund. The Fund, established through the OSU Foundation, is intended to help introduce and broaden international perspectives--especially those related to agriculture--in the College’s teaching, extension, and research programs. Support is appreciated. (Read more...)
Celebrating Student Excellence
The College's annual awards event, Celebrating Student Excellence, was held in the MU Lounge on May 22. Recipients of the College's highest student awards were:
Burlingham Undergraduate Student of Excellence Award: Ann Bernert
CAS Outstanding Senior Award: Nicholas West
Savery Outstanding Master's Student Award: Matthew Ramirez
Savery Outstanding Doctoral Student Award: Alana Alexander
Agricultural Executive Council Awards
Each year, the Agricultural Executive Council holds a vote by students for best new professor, distinguished professor, and club of the year. Winners were announced and honored on May 22 at the Celebrating Student Excellence event.
Distinguished New Professor: Dr. James Sterns, Applied Economics
Distinguished Professor: Dr. Selena Heppell, Fisheries and Wildlife
Club of the Year: Dairy Club
2014/15 Agricultural Executive Council officers named
The newly elected officer team has already begun to plan events and get things lined up for the 2014/15 academic year. Please welcome the 2014/2015 Agricultural Executive Council.
We are all very excited to serve the College of Agricultural Sciences, and cannot wait to see what this next year has in store! Keep an eye on the New Fields blog to be in the know about Ag Exec activities.
Gamma Sigma Delta Induction
Gamma Sigma Delta is the Honor Society of Agriculture. The objective of Gamma Sigma Delta is to encourage high standards of scholarship and proficiency in all branches of agricultural science and education and a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.
(See the program)
Emily Campbell awarded EPA STAR Ph.D. fellowship
Emily Campbell, Ph.D. student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, has been awarded
an EPA STAR graduate fellowship. The program supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Each year, students in the United States compete for STAR fellowships through a rigorous review process. Students can pursue degrees in traditionally recognized environmental disciplines as well as other fields such as social anthropology, urban and regional planning, and decision sciences. Since the program began in 1995, EPA has awarded approximately 1,500 STAR fellowships to students in every state and most territories. Fellowships have helped educate new academic researchers, government scientists, science teachers, and, environmental engineers.
Chris Baird recipient of Eckelman Graduate Assistantship
Chris Baird, Food Science and Technology, has been selected to receive an Eckelman Graduate Assistantship. With a background in microbiology, he has an interest in dairy, food safety and fermentation and has been a part of the OSU Cheese Pilot Plant team that produces Beaver Classic™ Cheese. He says, "The time I have spent making cheese has been enjoyable, and something I know I could do for a lifetime." His envisioned research will explore the characteristics of milk from different regions of Oregon, and the influences of local forages, microbes, and the environment on the transformation of milk into cheese.
Dr. Lisbeth Goddik is his major professor.
Selene Fregosi was awarded the very prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) fellowship (http://ndseg.asee.org).
Selene is a graduate research assistant working with Dr. Holger Klinck in the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS) Bioacoustics Lab at Hatfield Marine Science Center. Her graduate research is focusing on behavior responses of marine mammals to anthropogenic noise, utilizing new technologies and addressing long-term effects.
Fair winds and following seas
By Rick Spinrad When I worked for the US Navy, colleagues used the phrase “Fair Winds and Following Seas” as they would bid farewell. So, that’s how I’ve titled this last blog.
It sounds trite to say that it’s been a pleasure and an honor to serve as OSU’s Vice President for Research for the last four years, but it is quite apt. A pleasure, since OSU’s research community is one of the most innovative, interesting and resourceful that I’ve ever known. No two days were ever the same, and all days were stimulating … that made it fun. An honor, since it’s somewhat daunting to serve the needs of a quarter-billion dollar endeavor. How can one not feel the honor of serving people who are curing disease, saving the planet, feeding the hungry and generally making our lives better?
Study of marine life near Newport finds no red flags for toxicity
(By Mark Floyd) Oregon State University scientists have examined a variety of coastal marine species near Newport, Ore., for concentrations of heavy metals and organic pollutants and found only trace amounts with no bioaccumulation of significant concern.
Their report is being presented May 19 to the City of Newport, which commissioned the study. It is available online at: http://www.thecityofnewport.net/ (Read more...)
ODA has little authority over GM crops
(By Matuesz Perkowski,Capital Press) From left to right: Dan Arp of Oregon State University, Greg Loberg of the Oregon Seed Association, Chris Schreiner of Oregon Tilth, Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds and Katy Coba of the Oregon Department of Agriculture discuss genetic engineering during a recent task force meeting. The task force was appointed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to frame controversies over biotech crops.
Hatcheries may distort magnetic "map sense" of steel head
(By Michelle Klampe) Exposure to iron pipes and steel rebar, such as the materials found in most hatcheries, affects the navigation ability of young steelhead trout by altering the important magnetic “map sense” they need for migration, according to new research from Oregon State University. The exposure to iron and steel distorts the magnetic field around the fish, affecting their ability to navigate, said Nathan Putman, who led the study while working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. (Read more...)
From waste to taste: Leaf extract extends blueberry shelf life
(KVAL News June 4, 2014)
Yanyun Zhao discovered a way to coat blueberries that gives them a longer shelf-life and makes them more nutritional. The Oregon State Food and Science professor discovered a way to extract antioxidants from blueberry leaves, which are usually wasted. Many hours were spent trying to figure out the perfect time to pick the leaves in order to extract the highest levels of antioxidants. Most blueberries found in stores are unwashed because rinsing them would remove their natural waxy coating. Zhao’s method would wash the berries and then coat them so they would be prepared ready-to-eat and keep the additional antioxidants added from the edible coating. In addition to consumers seeing a nutritional benefit from the coating, (Watch Video...)
Artisan cheese startups face six-digit costs, finds OSU study
(By Daniel Robison) Aspiring artisan cheese makers should be prepared to shell out at least $250,000 to set up operations, according to an Oregon State University study.
OSU researchers developed a tool for predicting artisan cheese startup and operating costs based on a number of factors, including types of milk (like goat, cow and sheep), cheese types (such as cheddar, blue and mozzarella), labor expenses, creamery location, marketing; and even the fuel needed to transport products to farmers markets. (Read more...)
Oregon honeybee losses continue at economically unsustainable rate, OSU survey finds
(By Daniel Robison) More than one in five commercial honeybee hives in Oregon did not survive last winter, continuing a financially challenging trend for professional beekeepers. Between Oct. 1 and March 31, Oregon beekeepers reported a 21.1 percent loss in colonies of the crucial crop pollinators, according to a survey by Oregon State University. The latest figures are a slight improvement over the state's average annual loss of 22 percent over the past six years. (Read more...)
New Oregon snowflake shrub
(By Denise Ruttan, special to The Oregonian) If you don't have much space to plant shrubs, you'll want to keep an eye out for Oregon Snowflake, a new flowering currant developed by Oregon State University that is smaller than other currants.
This low-growing shrub is the first cultivar to come out of OSU's new ornamental plant breeding program, according to Ryan Contreras, a plant breeder and assistant professor in OSU's Department of Horticulture.
OSU released the cultivar in March, but don't expect to see it in nurseries until spring 2015, he said. (Read more...)
OSU hires new agent for south Willamette Valley
(By Mitch Lies, Capital Press) Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has named a new south Willamette Valley extension agent.
Clare Sullivan, who holds a master’s degree in soil science from the University of Saskatchewan, brings a diverse portfolio to her position, said Russ Karow, head of the Department of Crop and Soil Science at OSU. “Among the things that attracted us to her is she has a broad range of experience,” Karow said. “She’s done some IPM (integrated pest management) work, where she was working with horticultural crops. She has done work looking at greenhouse gases and soil fertility in cereal-legume crop rotations, (Read more...)
Faculty and Staff
Blaine Baker is the man in charge of keeping OSU’s botany and plant building humming
(By Canda Fuqua, Gazette-Times) If an adventurous squirrel or a wayward tree limb leads to a power outage in Cordley Hall at Oregon State University, it’s more than a mere inconvenience — it’s an emergency.
Blaine Baker gets a call. If necessary, he activates a phone tree to mobilize as many people as he needs to quickly run power cords from critical lab equipment through temporary power distribution boxes to installations in the building’s stairwells that connect to trailer-sized portable generators outside. (Read more...)
Hal Schudel: The passing of a pioneer
(by Bennett Hall, Gazette-Times) When you pick out your Christmas tree this December, think about Hal Schudel.
Perhaps more than any other individual, Schudel is responsible for the rise of the modern U.S. Christmas tree industry, a billion-dollar enterprise that produces 25 million to 30 million trees annually, employs about 100,000 people and has its own trade association.
Schudel died June 2 at his home in Corvallis at the age of 96. He left a wife, three sons, three stepchildren, and 28 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also left a thriving business, Holiday Tree Farms, that remains the world’s largest Christmas tree producer.
He attended the University of Nebraska, earning a bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 1940 and a master’s in plant breeding in 1941. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, qualifying as a B-24 bomber pilot and serving as a flight instructor.After the war he moved with his wife and young son to Corvallis, where he earned a doctorate at Oregon State College and started teaching horticulture. (Read more...)
Lavern John Weber of South Beach, who was Director of the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for a quarter-century, died May 5, 2014, in Corvallis, at age 80.
The first resident director of the center, his leadership ensured that the institution rose to prominence to become an internationally recognized center of excellence in marine research and education. (Read more...)
Norman Goetze passed away July 12, 2014 in Corvallis.
Norman worked his entire career as a professor at Oregon State University, teaching courses in agronomy, and worked for the Extension Service in many capacities. He also ran the family farm on weekends and summers. His work included extensive international ventures in South and Central America and the Middle East, and he was a very familiar face to farmers around the state of Oregon.
In retirement he volunteered for the Oregon wheat industry in various roles, (Read more...)
(by Sean Basinger, Daily Barometer) Whether he focused on future goals or addressing continuing concerns, former Oregon State University President Paul Risser helped reshape the campus community and its sense of pride.
Risser passed away Thursday at his home in Oklahoma at age 74. Between 1996 and 2002, he served as the 13th president of OSU. Growing projects, which started as concepts or tasks under Risser’s leadership, included campaigns to increase funding for the College of Engineering, the Reser Stadium expansion last decade, the creation of OSU-Cascades and other various capital construction projects.
Two major projects made possible under Risser’s initial guidance include the OSU Valley Library expansion and CH2M Hill Alumni Center.