October 2012

Volume III - Issue 4

The Dean's views...

Dan Arp at Pendleton Roundup



Each summer, at the request of the provost, the College prepares an annual report that summarizes the activities of our students, faculty, and staff during the previous year. That report is yours here. I think you will enjoy reading about the many accomplishments of the members of the College. We limited ourselves to ten pages, which meant we could choose only a few examples among all the remarkable work going on in the College all the time. But within those examples, you will gain a sense of the breadth and diversity of the activities that fall within our mission. Our research programs go from the most basic to the most applied, deal with all classes of life (including viruses, plants, and humans!), and include projects studying oceans, croplands, deserts, mountains, rivers, and soils. I want to share with you a few of my own observations and a few “points of pride” from our report.

You may have heard that student numbers at OSU continue to grow. This fall, OSU enrolled more than 26,000 students! But what can get lost in those large numbers is the impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences. 


(Read more and comment at Dan's blog)

Photo credit:  Betsy Hartley

Recent News

The Oldfield Teaching Facility

James E. Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility dedication, open house

Friday, October 19
SW 35th Street and Campus Way, Corvallis
Public Ceremony at 3:00 p.m.

This new facility will house animal and rangeland sciences laboratories, modular classrooms, faculty offices, and an arena for showcasing animals as well as training students on agricultural equipment.

Teaching Facility and sheepNew facility expands research and teaching of animal sciences at OSU

(by Peg Herring) Oregon State University will dedicate a new teaching and research facility for animal sciences Oct. 19 to serve increased student enrollment in the field and to delve into new research.

With more than 500 undergraduates, enrollment in animal and rangeland sciences at OSU is at an all-time high and is nearly four times what it was in the 1990s, said John Killefer, the head of OSU's animal and rangeland sciences department.  Photo credit:  Lynn Ketchum  (Read more...)

OSU DairyOSU plans to continue revamped dairy program

(Capital Press by Mitch Lies) Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences administrators said they are committed to the college's dairy program, despite the fact the college recently sold the bulk of its herd and suspended milking.

"We've never had any plans to eliminate the program," said John Killefer, head of the Department of Animal Sciences.  (Read more...)

Grant awards success

College of Agricultural Sciences receives over $50 million in grant awards, again! 

FY12 year summaries of grant awards have been posted on the Research Office website at the following link:  http://oregonstate.edu/research/fybyindex.  The total for the College of Agricultural Sciences was $53.9 million, our third highest total and third consecutive year over $50 million. We had five units with over $4 million in awards for the year. Total grant awards for Oregon State University was $206.9 million.

OSU Update

OSU Enrollment up

OSU Enrollment nears 26,000

(Gazette-Times) September 24 marked Oregon State University’s 144th year as Oregon’s land grant university with the official start of fall term.

It also marked what looks like another record-setting year for student enrollment, according to Kate Peterson, OSU’s assistant provost for enrollment management:  “If you combine the enrollment for OSU Cascades, the main Corvallis campus and online students, it could exceed 26,000 students — with some additional students registered with INTO OSU,” the program for international students.

Student enrollment at OSU for the fall of 2011 was 24,977. (Read more...)

OceanusPrivate support, technology licenses led increase in Oregon State research revenues

Oregon State University recorded its second-best year ever in research funding and achieved a new milestone in research support from the private sector in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

In all, Oregon State research totaled almost $281 million last year, just shy of OSU’s top research performance achieved in 2010. Meanwhile, private sector financing reached nearly $35 million, a 42 percent increase in the past two years.  (Read more...)


Our Best


2012 Experiment Station Section Award for Excellence in Multistate Research

Wheat quality in the PNW has been improved because of the work of the WERA-1009  project.  Growers now have ready access to information, in the form of Extension-developed grower guides, about the quality of wheat varieties and use this information to make real-time decisions about the varieties they grow.  Overseas customers are annually provided with information developed by US Wheat Associates and the Wheat Marketing Center about the quality of the current year’s PNW wheat crop and use this information to make purchasing decisions in world markets.  Russ Karow and Bill Boggess are the Administrative Advisors.  (Read more...)


Award star

College of Agricultural Sciences Faculty win University Awards

The Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award recognizes departments or interdisciplinary groups at Oregon State University that have demonstrated exceptional teamwork in creating and sustaining an exemplary teaching and learning environment to advance the university’s strategic goal of student success and excellence. The 2012 award goes to the Agricultural Education and Agricultural Sciences department – Kristopher Elliott, Misty Lambert, Kellie Strawn, Greg Thompson and Jonathan Velez.


Gold StarOutreach and Engagement Award

The Outreach and Engagement Award recognizes significant and meritorious achievement which enhances the effectiveness of extended education. Success through collaboration was recognized in the award presented to Patricia Skinkis of the Department of Horticulture.  Skinkis was recognized for her work in viticulture and for her outstanding outreach to grape growers in Oregon's rapidly expanding viticulture industry.

Program Highlight:  Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES)

Gil Sylvia, COMESAbout the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station in Newport

The Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES) – the first marine experiment station in the nation – came into existence following a lobbying effort by Oregon's fishermen for more applied research in fishing management and marketing.   This idea, first broached in 1985, was adopted in 1989, when the Station – incorporating the previously established Astoria Laboratory – was officially established.  Today, Dr. Gil Sylvia serves as Director.  Photo Credit: Lynn Ketchum (Read more...)

Seafood Lab AstoriaAbout the Seafood Research & Education Center in Astoria

The Seafood Research and Education Center in located in Astoria is part of COMES, with Dr. Christina DeWitt as Director.  Specific research projects include new methods to measure surimi quality, the use of high pressure processing in oysters and other seafood products, value-added product development, seafood safety and marketing of several seafood products including tuna and whiting in the U.S. and foreign markets. Improving textural properties of surimi through the use of protease inhibitors and gel enhancers, and a number of starch ingredients is also being investigated.  (Read more...)

Feeding the FutureFeeding the Future

Through better fishing practices and improved technology, we've greatly increased our supply of food from the ocean.  But this increased efficiency, which can significantly reduce targeted fish populations, has threatened this supply, now and for the future.  Moving fisheries toward sustainability has become the primary focus of many agencies and organizations around the world. (Read more..)

Marine ResourcesMarine Resources

In years past, when beaches were often used as highways, the ocean and its resources seemed unlimited.  But in today's world, with concerns about sustainability, conversations about "Marine Resources" can quickly turn into disagreements about public and private rights, obligations, and needs.

As the population has grown - as we've required more food, more energy, more manufactured goods - more pressure has been put on our natural resources.(More...)


Chicken nuggets, french friesFish protein could be future of fat-reduction in fried food

(FISHUpdate.com) “After doing some initial tests with typical fried US products like chicken nuggets and French fries, we saw that the fried surimi product was consistently low in fat,” said Dr. Jae Park, professor at OSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology and OSU Seafood Research and Education Center (Astoria, OR). “We thought if it’s the fish protein that is minimizing the fat uptake, how can we use that on other fried seafood to get the same results?”  (Read more...)


Seed money


Scholarships:  Seed Money

When you want something to grow, thrive and produce, a little help can make a big difference.  That's why the College of Agricultural Sciences offers nearly $500,000 in scholarships and other financial support every year.  For more information, go to agsci.oregonstate.edu/scholarships

Application deadline is February 1.

Recent News

Student Experience Blog:  Hailing Frozen Thoughts by Mee-ya Monnin

Somehow, I managed to snag the opportunity to come back with the team for a second season in a row. The only thing I could imagine being more amazing than receiving the opportunity to go to the ice last year, is hearing that it was not in fact the last time I would get the chance to fly south for the winter.

We’re headed to New Zealand on October 11th, hopefully flying to the ice on the 15th, and I will be at McMurdo Station until December 18th. I’ve been back at Hatfield for nearly 4 months already now and it has gone by in a blink of the eye. I’ve taken on more responsibilities and been able to delve even deeper into photogrammetry. (Read more...)

Leadership MinorNew Leadership minor offered to all OSU students

Open to every student on campus, the Leadership minor will provide verifiable experience, credits and references that employers are looking for in today’s competitive market. But it’s more than that. Students will gain the skills and the self-knowledge to be an active, engaged citizen capable of pursuing personal and professional objectives.

(Read more...)

Sustainability double degree

New Sustainability Double Degree

The degree was designed to complement all OSU degree programs and is to be earned as a second bachelor’s degree, in addition to a major area of study.  The required internship will expose you to challenging sustainability issues. Graduates will be prepared to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and apply knowledge of economic, business, scientific, and sociological principles of sustainability to a variety of career fields. (Read more...)

New Fields

New Fields

We learn a lot from our classes, but involved students also learn how to manage their time and do better academically than students who don't get involved.  The College of Agricultural Sciences has more than 30 clubs.  New Fields blog is a window into many, largely student-driven activities among undergraduates enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Check out our clubs!

(Read more...)

Promise Scholarship

University Honors College awards Promise Finishing Scholarships

College of Agricultural Sciences students Elise Cowley, Alejandra Márquez-Loza, and Arlyn Moreno Luna have all been selected as recipients of the UHC’s Honors Promise Finishing Scholarship. Elise, Alejandra, and Arlyn were among 10 students chosen by our faculty committee from a field of 32 nominees.
This $5,000 scholarship, the highest dollar value award made by the UHC, will be disbursed in two installments over the course of the recipients’ final year: $3,000 will be deposited in student accounts at the beginning of fall term, and $2,000 will be deposited after students have defended their senior thesis and participated in a UHC media project documenting their Honors experience.



Calvin and Merle Smith Wheat Research Awards

College of Agricultural Sciences Calvin and Merle Smith Wheat Research Awards were provided to:
Bioresources Research-Food Quality option senior, Omar Miranda-Garcia working in both Food Science and Technology and Crop and Soil Science Departments with Dr. Andrew Ross. Luis Marquez Loza, Bioresources Research-Biotechnology option sophomore received funding for his research with wheat breeding professor, Dr. Robert Zemetra, Crop and Soil Science Department.  To apply for Calvin and Merle Smith Wheat Research funding, please contact Paul Dorres in Strand Agriculture Hall 137 for application.


Agriculture DegreesColleges see higher demand for degrees in agriculture

(USA Today by Jens Manuel Krogstad) Enrollment is booming at many colleges of agriculture, as students flock to study subjects they feel offer a clear path to a job on graduation.

Ag-related college majors appeal to both the heart and mind of a student, university officials say, as a booming agriculture industry and practical skills taught at the colleges can help develop a career that addresses issues such as global hunger and obesity in the U.S.  (Read more...)


Susie Hilber Plancenza, F&W

OSU grad student wins NMFS fellowship

Susan Hilber Piacenza, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife PhD candidate, has been awarded a prestigious National Marine Fisheries Service fellowship to study population dynamics of threatened and endangered sea turtles. 

The fellowship, will provide $115,000 over the next three years to support Piacenza’s work on the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. The turtle, considered threatened or endangered in most US and Mexican waters, appears to be recovering in other parts of the world.  “Not only is this good news for green sea turtles,” Piacenza said, “but it also represents an invaluable opportunity to study what happens to a large vertebrate population as it recovers from serious population decline.”

(Read more at Breaking Waves, Oregon Sea Grant blog...)


Elizabeth Tomasino

New Faculty:  Elizabeth Tomasino

Elizabeth Tomasino is an assistant professor of enology in the Department of Food Science and Technology. Elizabeth recently completed her doctorate in enology from Lincoln University, New Zealand. Elizabeth earned her masters degree in food science from Cornell University, and worked at E&J Gallo, Yalumba, Robert Mondavi and Pernod Ricard wineries before she began her doctoral studies at Lincoln. Her focus at OWRI will involve research on sensory significant components in wine and leadership of a wine industry sensory panel. (Read more...)

Joy Waite-Cusic

New Faculty:  Joy Waite-Cusic

Dr. Joy Waite-Cusic has been hired as assistant professor of Food Safety Systems in Food Science and Technology.   Joy earned her Ph.D. in Food Science (specialization in Microbiology) from The Ohio State University in 2007 under the advising of Prof. Ahmed Yousef.   Her doctoral research project involved the combination of xanthene derivatives with ultra-high pressure processing to inactivate food-borne spoilage and pathogenic bacteria.   She received her M.S. in Microbiology in 2004 under Prof. Mark Daeschel through investigation of the antimicrobial properties of a wine-based disinfectant, and obtained her B.S. in Food Science & Technology in 2002, both from Oregon State University..

(Read more...)




Facebook Stories - Sidlauskas research

OSU researcher uses Facebook in extraordinary way

(Facebookstories.com) In January 2011, Oregon State University ichthyologist Brian Sidlauskas led a research expedition into the little-known Cuyuni River region of Guyana in South America. His team documented more than...

(Read more...)

Indago Rose Tomato

Farmers Markets: Indigo Rose tomato, a dark beauty

Jim Myers, professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, used conventional crossing (not genetic modification) of experimental selections to breed the much darker Indigo Rose, which he released this year. (Read more...)


Skull of lepirinus scala

The Lemur that was a Fish

(Wired) Yet there is one critical question that has been sidestepped in all the coverage this story has received so far. Why did Ameghino make what would seem to be such a boneheaded mistake? I e-mailed Oregon State University ichthyologist Brian Sidlauskas, one of the study’s co-authors, for his thoughts on the matter.

“At least part of the answer is that most of the skull was still encased in matrix when Ameghino looked at it,” Sidlauskas wrote back, and explained that the fossil’s teeth “were the most visible part” of the specimen. This was a critical happenstance because “the teeth of the genus Leporinus (into which the fossil fits) are actually remarkably mammal-like (the genus name means ‘little rabbit’),” he noted, “So, the mammalian ID isn’t quite as crazy as it initially sounds.”

(Read more...)


Zombie FlyOSU finds Oregon's first honeybee infected by 'zombie' fly

Ramesh Sagili, a honeybee specialist with the OSU Extension Service, stumbled upon a belly-up bee on a sidewalk under a street light on campus in Corvallis one morning in late July. He placed it in a vial in his lab, and four days later seven maggots crawled out of the bee's neck. Almost three weeks after that, one matured into an Apocephalus borealis fly, commonly called a zombie fly because of the disoriented behavior it is suspected of causing the bees to exhibit at night. (Read more...)


Extreme Makeover:  Potato edition

The sizzle seems to be gone from America's long-term relationship with the potato. Consumers are eating fewer of them, especially the kind that's not fried in a vat of hot oil. But what if a new and different potato arrived in town? A stylish one, with colorful flesh that was good for you, too? Ron Wrolstad at Oregon State University, figured out that the color came from pigments called anthocyanins. These pigments are really valuable. They're antioxidants and can help protect the body against various diseases. You can get them from fruits like blueberries and cranberries. But Wrolstad "realized right away that potatoes would be a much better way to provide people this pigment," Brown says. "Everybody can afford potatoes, and everybody kind of likes potatoes. You know, kids like potatoes; adults like potatoes." (Read more in the NPR...)

Corn cell

OSU to study what goes on inside the cells of corn and rice

Oregon State University has been named a partner on a $10 million grant that aims to further the understanding of the molecular interactions and genes in crops that include rice and corn.

Three plants were selected because their reference genomes have been sequenced completely and share many similar genes with major commercial crops, said Pankaj Jaiswal, a plant biologist who is overseeing OSU's part in the project. For example, rice and corn are related to wheat and barley. Likewise, Arabidopsis, a member of the mustard family, is similar to canola and sunflowers.  (Read more...)

Organic Crop Breeding

OSU crop breeder Jim Myers co-edits first organic crop breeding textbook

Organic Crop Breeding, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., provides a review of the latest efforts by breeders to develop improved crop varieties for organic production systems and is co-edited by Jim Myers, Department of Horticulture professor and vegetable breeder.

The opening chapters of Organic Crop Breeding look at breeding efforts focused on valuable traits, such as quality, pest, and disease resistance, and assess the impacts improved breeding efforts have on organic production. The second part of the book provides case studies from around the globe on a variety of crops, from carrots to corn (Read more...)

Junk food

Blame the caveman for your love of junk food

(Huffington Post)  by Juyun Lim, Department of Food Science and Technology

Did you ever wonder why so many people are attracted to junk food? Why ice cream, french fries and soda pop so often win out over brown rice and broccoli? It's not actually a conspiracy by fast-food companies to bewitch people into eating things that aren't good for them. Well, not completely. It's largely due to an evolutionary instinct that was useful when people wandered around in the woods searching for food, thousands of years ago.

(Read more...)

terraTerra Magazine

The latest edition of Terra Magazine, Oregon State University's research magazine has just been published.  There are several thought provoking pieces, all relate to the OSU themes of Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy Economy.

(Read more...)

Cinnabar tansy-eating mothRelocated tansy-eating moth evolves to survive in mountains, says study

A moth that scientists released into the wild in Oregon mountains to control a poisonous invasive weed has unexpectedly evolved to survive the cooler climate, according to a new study.

"It was commonly assumed that if mobile organisms found themselves in unsuitable environments, they would move rather than stay put and evolve," said one of the study's co-authors, Peter McEvoy, an ecologist at Oregon State University who has studied the moth for 35 years.  (Read more...)

Photo credit:  Peter McEvoy

Multimedia Connections

OR Small Farms NewsNewsletters

Oregon Small Farm News   
Down on the Farm (pdf)
Oregon Wine Research Institute
Animal & Rangeland Sciences News


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




Blog:  Extension Mobile Device User Group

OSU Extension is publishing an informative blog for faculty and staff who use or are thinking of using mobile computing devices in their work, or life in general.  Most of our users use iPads and/or iPhones, so our coverage of mobile technology tends to lean towards Apple iOS devices. However, we also have Android device users and even regular cell phone users, so we try to cover those too. Mobile devices are just tools, and which ever tool you choose, we want to help you use it to the fullest.  (Read blog...)


Reaching Out

Buckman with Eggplant

Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture donates veggies in Valley

Oregon State Universities' Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (OCCUH), a research and teaching facility focused on sustainable landscaping, riparian restoration and organic vegetable gardening, is home to a number of interdisciplinary initiatives. Helping those in need of food is another worthy effort, stretching beyond campus to the Corvallis community.

In 2011, the HORT 260 Organic Farming and Gardening  class in the Department of Horticulture decided to participate in Plant a Row for the Hungry, a campaign championed by the Garden Writers Association, where food generated by the extra row is donated to hunger-relief agencies. The class donated over 2,000 lbs of fresh vegetables to the Linn Benton Food Share, South Corvallis Food Bank and other food donation agencies in the Willamette Valley.

Vegetables donated include tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, potatoes, lettuce, chard, green beans and peas. (Read more...)

Diamond Pioneer honor

2012 Diamond Pioneers honored by College of Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agricultural Sciences honors people whose lifetime contributions to agriculture, natural resources, and the people of Oregon and/or Oregon State University have been significant.  The honor includes a hosted luncheon where award recipients receive a certificate and a lapel pin.  Their names are entered into the Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Recistry.   (Read more...)  (2012 recipients)


Faculty and Staff

Writing impacts

Creating Powerful Impact Statements

Good science gets projects funded; powerful impacts get programs reauthorized.  Learn to write impact statements that are useful and memorable.

Linda Brewer, Senior Faculty Research Assistant in Horticulture, has created an extraordinary resource to help faculty create powerful impact statements.  On this page you will find narrated PowerPoints, reporting examples, videos, graphics, webinars and links that will give clarity to your impact writing. (Creating Powerful Impact Statements)


New Employee Information

Welcome to all new faculty and staff who have recently joined the College of Agricultural Sciences!  We have prepared a one-pager web resource to help orient you to OSU, the state of Oregon, the College and many associated areas of interest.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see added.

(Read more...)


Alumni, Donors and Friends

The Campaign for OSUBeaver Classic™ - OSU Cheese now available!!!

Beaver Classic™ is an alpine-style specialty cheese, developed and produced by OSU students using milk from the university's dairy herd.  It has a subtle, nutty flavor with creamy, buttery and caramelized notes.  It will be sold prior to all home football games.  Look for the Beaver Classic™ tent in front of the CH2M Hill Alumni Center.  Fresh cheese curds and limited edition cheese varieties also for sale.

Alejandra Marquez Loza

You can make a difference to an Oregon State student today

Born in Mexico, Alejandra Márquez-Loza grew up in Puerto Rico but lived in Corvallis while her father, Luis Márquez-Cedillo '01, earned his doctorate. The university wasn't completely unfamiliar when she returned as a freshman, but she didn’t know many people, either. It was hard at first, living by herself.

But in her first year, Alejandra got involved with MANRRS. It changed her life.

Dreaming of medical school, she knew she wanted to get involved with OSU research. Yet MANRRS opened even more doors for her. She took advantage of mentoring and networking opportunities. She learned about, applied for, and received a scholarship from the USDA-NIFA Multicultural Scholars Program: an enormous help for a student paying out-of-state tuition.  (Read more...)

Make a Gift

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.