September 2010, Volume 1, Number 6

Sonny's Observations


End of summer, already?

Summer is over, which means it’s the start of a new, academic year.  This is the favorite time of the year for me – a sort of spring-like re-awakening that occurs on campus, with the return of our students, the lifeblood of our college and the ‘land grant’ reason for our being. During the summer, our current students are off, working at jobs or on the farm, internships, taking classes, involved in study abroad, or participating in research projects.

Last year we saw a significant increase in student enrollment – almost 12% over the year before.  This is a phenomenon being seen throughout our nation – not the result of any baby boomlets, but rather the result of the severe economic downturn, which historically has contributed to increased college enrollments.   (Read more...)


Report to the Provost

Relax! The annual report Dean Sonny Ramaswamy recently submitted to the provost is nowhere the size of what’s in the photo to the left. In fact, it’s only a dozen easy reading pages packed with varied and interesting summaries of discovery and learning in the College of Agricultural Sciences. (Read report...)


All OSU business centers now fully operational (LIFE@OSU)

The Agricultural Sciences and Marine Sciences Business Center (AMBC) is now serving the financial, administrative and human resource needs of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center.  The Business Center combines the functions previously performed separately in all departmental business offices as well as certain functions from central administrative offices. (Read more...)


Fall Kick-Off Gelato Social for New Students!

New students entering the College of Agricultural Sciences, along with faculty and staff, gathered on the west lawn of Strand Agriculture Hall on September 24 to get acquainted, find out about clubs and organizations, have some fun, and enjoy some gelato together.  Excitement was in the air; a new academic year has begun!


AnnaRose and the Sea

AnnaRose Adams, a student in Bioresources Research, is carrying out research in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, as part of her studies in Marine Ecology.  Netherlands Antilles are islands off the north coast of South America near Venezuela.  (Watch video...)

(Read her blog...)I am in Bonaire to beef up my scuba diving skills, complete my thesis, and study a lot of marine ecology. 



Two Oregon State students receive Fulbright scholarships

Hathai Sangsupan and Arthur Bass of Oregon State University have been awarded Fulbright Student Program scholarships.. (Read more...)


Animal Sciences student is ambassador for Tillamook Cheese

At the beginning of her fourth year of college, Kristin Hogan, 22, had one thing on her mind: graduating.

That was until an opportunity to travel to nine states and 100 cities came along. (Read more at The Capital Press)


Student completes summer internship at The Capital Press

Anna Willard, a student in Animal Sciences from Bonanza, Oregon, was seleced for a summer internship at the regional agricultural and natural resources newspaper, The Capital Press, in Salem.  Here, she writes of what her experience meant to her.   (Read Anna's blog...)

Pumpkins prime FFA project (Anna Willard, The Capital Press)

After years of taking steers to the Klamath County Fair in 4-H, Charlie Hammerich decided on a different approach for his FFA project -- he started a pumpkin patch. Hammerich grew up on a cattle ranch outside Bonanza and knew he wanted his FFA project to be one of a kind. His father, Frank, told him there was a corner of a field that he could use for whatever he wanted. (Read more...)


What is the Multicultural Scholars Program?

The Multicultural Scholars Program at OSU is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to offer competitive scholarships to undergraduate students of diverse cultural backgrounds who are interested in Agriculture, Natural Resources, Food Science, or Human Health and Nutrition. OSU’s Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) is for student members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the food and agricultural sciences, or firstgeneration college students, who are looking for research experience, professional development, good mentoring and support, and a relevant college education that will lead to a productive career or graduate/ professional school.. (Read newsletter...)


New Fields is online!

Student produced magazine recaps student activities in the College of Agricultural Sciences during the 2009-2010 school year.

In this issue of New Fields, we explore what students within the College of Agricultural Sciences are doing throughout the year. We begin by taking a look at college wide events designed to engage students. Then we discover the power of more than 30 student clubs and organizations taking part in service learning projects. Within nine months students completed more than 6100 hours of community service. Oregon State University’s College of  Agricultural Sciences is full of students making a difference in their communities. Join me in recognizing the impact that these students have on the community in which they live. (Read more...)

About the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center

About Us

The Hermiston Agricultural Research & Extension Center serves nearly 500,000 acres of irrigated agriculture in Oregon and Washington's Columbia Basin. The center concentrates on discovery and implementation of agricultural and horticultural opportunities and provides solutions to production restraints. (Read more...)


Big grant gets experts on same page

The Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center is embarking on a new way to serve growers and natural resource managers, thanks to a $485,000 grant. (Read more...)


Field day focuses on corn diseases, controls

Scientists at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center put sweet corn in the spotlight Aug. 31.

About 35 people attended the half-day program, which was presented to update growers on what HAREC researchers are doing related to sweet corn.

Phil Hamm, HAREC superintendent, said sweet corn is a high-value crop in the Columbia Basin, where about 100,000 acres is growing this year.

Hamm led off the discussions with a talk about common corn smut, which can cause yield losses and even kill the plant if it infects the stalk early enough. (Read more...)


Hermiston-led team wins research award

Ten scientists, including six at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, have won an international award for their studies of the potato tuberworm. The Oregon State University team’s research into control methods for the pest earned the Outstanding Extension Project Award from the Potato Association of America at its recent banquet in Corvallis. (Read more...)


Recent HAREC Awards and Honors

A 10-member team mostly comprising HAREC scientists, earned the Outstanding Extension Project Award from The Potato Association of America, an international organization. The award was presented to team leader Silvia Rondon and her partners at the association’s 94th annual meeting in Corvallis Aug. 15-19.


Also at that meeting, agronomist Dan Hane, who is retiring this year from HAREC, was among four the association inducted as life members. The PAA bestowed the honor not only because of Hane’s lifetime of potato research, but because of his civic involvement as well.


Potato Grower magazine honored Phil Hamm, a plant pathologist and HAREC’s superintendent, as its researcher of the year. Hamm has been at the Hermiston facility for 20 years and has been superintendent for the past five.  In addition to his leadership for the Center, Phil hosts a lawn and garden radio show, and has several years of service on the local school board.

Responding to Emerging Problems

Rapidly growing murre colony draws interest of scientists and predators

A rapidly growing colony of common murres at Yaquina Head near Newport has drawn the attention of predators – both expected and unexpected – as well as of scientists, who say the bird is an “indicator species” that can provide vital information about climate change. (Read more...)


Agricultural state of emergency in Coos and Curry counties (Curry County Reporter)

Linda White, Oregon State University commercial horticulturist for Coos and Curry counties, prepared a loss assessment report for Curry County in which she estimated a loss of 33.3 percent of the cranberry crop and 35 percent of hay. (Read more...)


Beef forage analysis offered to cattle ranchers

Beef cattle ranchers from across the state can send forage samples for nutritional evaluation and in return, receive customized suggestions on how to improve cattle diets. Recommendations on the suitability of the forage are based on the kind of animal: calf, bull, heifer or a pregnant or lactating cow. (Read more...)


Gold turns sewage into electricity

By coating graphite anodes with gold nanoparticles, Oregon State University engineers have been able to extract 20 times more electricity in an electrochemical cell from raw sewage than in previous laboratory experiments. (Read more...)


OSU wheat varieties dominate industry in Oregon

The wheat harvest is under way from the Willamette Valley to the Columbia Basin. This year, farmers are expected to bring in about 965,000 acres of wheat across Oregon — and 60 percent of those acres are planted with wheat varieties developed by Oregon State University. (Read more in the Gazette Times and OSU News)


Sweet onion test kit

An Oregon State University scientist has developed a test kit that can dramatically shrink the cost and turn-around time for onion producers to learn if onions qualify as "sweet."

(Read more at the Capital Press)

mt rainier

Viewing poisons at our National Parks

A groundbreaking study of pristine national parks in the Western United States found an amazing array of airborne pollutants, including some chemicals banned for decades. (Read more...)

Alumni and Friends

Are you coming to Homecoming?

Old School Benny, New School Pride

October 27 to October 31, 2010.  (Read more...)


CAS at the Oregon State Fair this year!

We took our College booth and over 70 volunteers to the fair for the full 11-day run.  We were in the Americraft Cookware Center (formerly known as the Jackman Long Building) and had a great time talking with potential students, connecting with alumni and friends, and making new acquaintances.  (see images...)

Dr. Qingyue Ling with the Food Innovation Center Experiment Station in Portland demonstrated the power and ability of a CO2 laser.  While this laser has some innovative agricultural applications that are already saving food processors money, fairgoers were delighted with the ‘burning’ of an OSU logo and their name into an Oregon Filbert. Beavers and Ducks alike were in awe of this fun display of technology and walking around with a personalized hazelnut to show off to their friends.


Orchard View Farms is Powered by Orange

Orchard View Farms is the nations largest sweet cherry farm and it is owned and operated by many generations of Oregon State University alumni. Bob Bailey and his daughter Brenda Thomas talk about their impact on the community and how OSU has helped them become Powered by Orange. (Watch video...)

Awards and Honors

University Day Awards 2010

Four faculty members of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology were recognized during University Day on September 23.  Proud congratulations to:

  • Dianne Simpson, OSU Examplary Employee Award (Professional Faculty)
  • Jeff Chang, OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
  • Lynda Ciuffetti, OSU Alumni Distinguished Professor Award
  • Todd Mockler, The Promising Scholar Award
(Read more...)

Carlea Freeman receives Karel J.H. Murphy Professional Faculty Leadership and Service Award

Carlea Freeman, executive assistant to the associate provost for OSU Outreach and Engagement, is this year’s winner of the Karel J.H. Murphy Professional Faculty Leadership and Service Award. Sponsored by OSU’s PFLA, this special award is given annually to recognize professional faculty members who have provided outstanding leadership and service throughout their career. (Read more...)


OSU wildlife biologist honored with Distinguished Scientist Award

Pat Kennedy will be one of the first two recipients of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and American Farm Bureau Federation Agriscience Awards.  The award includes a $25K personal award and up to $25K in research support. Kennedy is one of the few wildlife biologists in the country to be stationed at an Agricultural Experiment Station. She is a professor in the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife who works out of the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Union, where she is a resource for the cattle industry and others on questions relating to the sustainability of livestock grazing, as well as threatened and endangered species.  (Read more...)


Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Joey W Spatafora

During the 2010 meeting of the Mycological Society of America, Dr. Joey W. Spatafora was awarded the Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded annually to an outstanding teacher of mycology at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.

He obtained a B.Sc. in Zoology from Louisiana Tech University and a Ph.D. in Botany from Louisiana State University, and did postdoctoral work at Duke University. Joey became interested in fungal biology after meeting Meredith Blackwell and spending countless hours in her laboratory smoking cigarettes and looking at dung fungi. He has since quit smoking, but his interests in fungi have only grown. Joey began his position in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University in 1995 and now also serves as the OSU’s Faculty Athletic Representative to the PAC10 and NCAA (GO BEAVS!). He teaches courses in Mycology, Evolution, and Advanced Mycology. While letting the fungi “teach themselves”, he is demanding of both the students and himself.


CAS is on Facebook and we have over 1600 fans! 

We invite you to become a fan too!



iTunes University

OSU on iTunes U differs from other online video venues, such as OSU's YouTube channel, in that media is meant for download, not just online viewing. You can pull files down and take them with you as easy as grabbing your favorite song from the iTunes store. (Read more...)


Are you Powered by Orange?

CAS Calendar

College of Agricultural Sciences Calendar


Old School Benny, New School Pride

Homecoming October 27-31, 2010.  (Read more...)


Cultivating Creativity: Art from the OSU Art About Agriculture Permanent Collection by Mid- Willamette Valley artists & invited artists

Exhibition Dates: Friday, September 24 through Friday, December 24, 2010. (Read more...)

peanut butter

Food for Thought - Project Peanut Butter

The “Food for Thought” community lecture series begins its sixth season on October 20 at Oregon State University, 7 p.m., La Sells Stewart Center.  The free series will feature national experts to discuss issues in biotechnology and sustainable agriculture. The first presentation will be by Dr. Mark Manary, Washington University School of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics.  A decade ago, Manary developed a highly effective therapy for severe malnutrition that evolved into the non-profit organization Project Peanut Butter, serving hundreds of thousands of children annually.  Now, as part of the Global Harvest Alliance, Manary is working towards making cassava a more nutritionally rich and balanced staple crop plant.


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.

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.