Winter 2016

Volume VII - Issue 1

Dan's Observations

Dan Arp

Often, while in an elevator or stopped in the hallway, I’m asked to explain what it is that we do in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

We do a lot. But it’s hard to explain in 20 seconds.

Our research enterprise is the largest of any college in Oregon State University. Our fisheries and wildlife programs are consistently rated number One and Two in the nation. Our food science students are winning national and international awards, in competition with commercial food and beverage companies from around the world.

With just these few superlatives you begin to see the wide range of programs in which the College of Agricultural Sciences excels.

I like to point out that our focus extends from soil to shelf, from the fundamentals of natural resources to the economics of food and beverage industries. But, of course, there’s lots of life between, and beyond, soil to shelf.

The College of Agricultural Sciences works across the continuum of environmental health, economics, and human health. We put science to work to solve problems and create opportunities, across Oregon and around the world.

  • Our Marine Mammal Institute is internationally recognized for pioneering studies of whale telemetry and cetacean conservation and genomics.
  • Our Plant Breeding and Genetics Program develops innovative new varieties of many of Oregon’s diverse agricultural crops.
  • Our Oregon Wine Research Institute provides research and outreach to support Oregon’s fast-growing wine industry and its $3 billion impact on the state.

Because of these and many more programs, our agriculture and natural resource programs are ranked in the Top Ten in the world. Scientists want to work here, and students want to learn here.

As I talk with students, it becomes clear to me that they come to the College of Agricultural Sciences because they want to make a difference in the world. They want to find a cure for cancer, protect the world’s resources, grow the highest quality crops, or brew the best beer in the world. And they are succeeding. They are putting science to work.

Agricultural science explores the world, from molecules to oceans, to create new jobs, to improve environmental health, and to understand the mechanisms of life on earth. This is where science goes to work.



Daniel J. Arp
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station

Recent News

David StoneDavid Stone, OSU public health toxicologist, is new head of the Food Innovation Center

(by Gail Wells) David Stone, an Oregon State University public-health toxicologist and communications expert, is the new director of OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland.

Stone, faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences and current director of the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), will start his new job on April 1. He succeeds Michael Morrissey, who is retiring after leading the center for nine years.

Dan Arp, Agricultural Sciences dean, said Stone’s background in toxicology and community outreach is a strong fit for his leadership of the center—a thriving incubator for food entrepreneurs who are turning Oregon’s agricultural bounty into marketable food products.

“Dave has worked at the interface of agricultural systems, business, government and communities for many years,” said Arp. “He’s also an educator and a communicator at heart. I expect him to excel in engaging with the center’s diverse stakeholders to promote and enhance our work.” (Read more...) (Capital Press article)


Richard Roseberg

OSU soil scientist Rich Roseberg will lead southern Oregon ag research station

(by Gail Wells) Soil scientist Richard Roseberg of Oregon State University and the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station (OAES) has been named the new director of the OAES research station in southern Oregon. Roseberg will head the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) in Central Point, one of 12 agricultural experiment stations around Oregon. The center has 34 faculty and staff and an overall budget of almost $2 million.

Roseberg will direct SOREC’s research program, which includes applied research in viticulture and enology, tree fruits, livestock, forage and integrated pest management. Area vineyardists, orchardists and ranchers collaborate by contributing sites, labor and equipment. The center also runs an experimental farm.  Roseberg comes from a research post at the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center (KBREC) in Klamath Falls, where he studies cereal and forage crops and soil/water relations. He also conducts field trials of alternative crops, including Russian dandelion, a potential source of rubber, and teff, a cereal grain that grows well in semi-arid conditions. He was stationed at SOREC from 1990 to 2003 before transferring to Klamath Falls.  (Read more...)

OSU Update

Kerr Administration Building

State of the University Address

President Edward J. Ray presented the 2016 State of the University address at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on Friday, February 12, 2016. 

"Today’s State of the University address will highlight examples of the incredible momentum, excellence, innovation and leadership occurring at Oregon State and some of the challenges facing the university. We are realizing transformative teaching, research and service to advance environmental progress, health and economic prosperity for all Oregonians – as well as our nation and the world.

Today’s address is also a call to action. Quite frankly, none of us should ever be satisfied with what we have achieved to date. As Oregon State University’s president, I have pledged that “good” will never be good enough. We will be excellent in all that we do. OSU was created in 1868 to bring higher education and economic opportunity to the great people of this state. 148 years later … we remain intently focused on excelling in how we serve as Oregon’s statewide university... (Read more...)

Reser Stadium

OSU announces the Terrace at Reser Stadium

College football Saturdays combined with the taste of Oregon; what could be better than celebrating touchdowns by the Oregon State Beavers and sampling the award-winning beer, wine and culinary delights that make the state of Oregon world-renowned?

OSU Athletics is proud to announce the introduction of the Terrace (FAQs, contact and ticket information) at Reser Stadium starting Sept. 17, 2016 when the Beavers open the home football season in a new-look Reser Stadium against the Idaho State Bengals. (Read more...)

Our Best - Oregon's Agricultural Progress magazine

Oregons's Agricultural Progress magazineTelling the story of agricultural sciences

Oregon’s Agricultural Progress magazine is a report to the taxpayers of Oregon from Oregon State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station. Oregon’s Agricultural Experiment Station is the principal agricultural research engine in the state. We conduct research in the agricultural, biological, social, and environmental sciences for the economic, social, and environmental benefit of Oregon. Our researchers work in five OSU Colleges and at eleven Branch Stations across the state, and with collaborators around the world. Our stories, and the photography and design that help tell those stories, show how agriculture contributes to the economy, environment, and social structure of Oregon and the world. Our goal is to capture the interest of people who might otherwise think they have no connection to agricultural research. We reach readers through our awarding-winning print magazine, our multimedia online magazine, and our new app for tablets.



Science at WorkBehind the scenes producing Oregon's Agricultural Progress magazine

Oregon’s Agricultural Progress (OAP) has been published for over 60 years by the department of Extension and Experiment Station Communications. The magazine combines engaging storytelling and compelling visuals to help Oregonians understand the impact of agricultural research on their lives.

To respond to the demand from people who want to access information on tablets and smartphones, we decided it was time to bring our award-winning print magazine into the digital age. In January 2014, we began publishing each OAP issue in three formats: a print edition, a redesigned, mobile-friendly website, and an app for iPad and Android tablets. The digital versions transformed the content into an interactive experience.

Multimedia and web content have become essential parts of OAP story planning. Publishing the magazine now involves teams of writers and multimedia producers to capture stories from all angles.


OAP on a tabletGet OAP on your tablet!

Experience the Winter 2016 issue of Oregon's Agricultural Progress in a rich and vibrant new way. The magazine is now available as an interactive app for your tablet, featuring exclusive videos, photo slideshows, immersive 360-degree landscapes, and more. Although there is no smartphone app, the website for Oregon's Agricultural Progress is in a format that can be viewed on your smartphone, desktop computer, and tablet. You're already on the website, so have a look around. 

App available for free from iTunes and Google play.


Global Experiences

Wes Brown

OSU Go Abroad: Wes Brown

Wes Brown is studying Bioresource Research through the College of Agricultural Sciences and International Studies. Last summer, he participated in the IE3 Global International Internship Child Family Health International (CFHI) in Ecuador. This entry is an excerpt from his blog post for IE3 Global about a particular experience that stood out and made a lasting impression.

...Me and two other students in the program set off on an 8 hour hike through the Amazon Jungle. It was possibly the most difficult backpacking route I have taken. A foot deep layer of mud constituted our trail for a majority of the trek, we got stuck in the mud and our boots pulled off, we walked over steep hills and through rivers, and even got our path blocked by a poisonous snake that can jump a meter.

We hiked all this way because we wanted to stay with a Shuar family and learn about their lifestyle and culture. It is humbling to have learned that the same trail we hiked in 8 hours, a Shuar family will hike in 3-4 hours, carrying a box of chickens, and children. When we arrived we were greeted by a Shuar man named Gustavo and his family.  Gustavo has a wife and 8 children. Once his children grow up, they get married and make a home next to the original so the children and their families all live together. Needless to say, we were surrounded by adorable children. (Read more...)

Danita DahlOSU Go Abroad: Danita Dahl

Danita Dahl is majoring in Animal Sciences through the College of Agricultural Sciences. To experience research in the field, she traveled to one of the remote places on Earth, Antarctica! This OSU faculty-led program combined in-class instruction, online activities, field activities and assignments to learn more about this interesting place. To read Part 1 of her entry, click here!.

...Many of us stayed up to see the promised first ice of the journey, and it was worth the wait.  The first glimpses of frozen land and ice was not only a great feeling of being found within the expanse of ocean, but also the realization that we were on the cusp of our achievement of a goal to get to the remotest place on Earth.  The next morning we awoke to the grandiose Lemaire Channel and all stood on the bow and watched as the captain navigated the narrow waters.  Between the ice patches I saw the profoundly deep blue water reflecting the snow-capped cliffs and I could feel the truly untouched beauty and danger of the Antarctic.  Standing on the bow, there was a charged feeling running through my body – we were so close now that we would be at our first landing site within the next couple of hours. (Read more...)

Jocelyn StokesGifts support life-changing experiences overseas

“I will never be the same!” 

That’s how OSU student Jocelyn Stokes sums up her year-long internship in Malaysia studying sun bears: the world’s smallest and the least researched bear. It was an extraordinary hands-on learning experience made possible in part by the Global Experience Fund in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Thanks to growing support from the Oregon State community, more and more students throughout the university likewise are jumping at the chance to participate in research, service, and educational programs around the world.

The Global Experience Fund was established in 2012 by Hiram Larew ’77, ’82, who recently retired as director of the Center for International Programs in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this role, and as a policy adviser at U.S. Agency for International Development, he spent years traveling in developing countries, guiding programs in Afghanistan, Armenia, Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Nicaragua, South Africa, and more.  Recently Hiram made a new gift commitment to create an endowment for the Global Experience Fund, assuring that support will be available perpetually for students and faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences. His gift was matched with $20,000 from the ER Jackman Enhancement Fund and $5,000 from the college’s Dean’s Fund for Excellence.  

It’s been a great pleasure for Hiram Larew to hear back from students like Jocelyn. “They’ll often say, ‘I went over assuming I knew what I’d be doing, that I knew the problem and what the answer would be. But when I got there, all bets were off. Nothing was as I expected,’” he notes. “Then they say, ‘But as a result, I’m a better person. I’m smarter. I found that, yes, I can offer insights, and I also gained insights.’ That’s what I really hope this fund will allow.” (Read more...)

Agriculture in the Classroom

Agriculture in the ClassroomOregon Agriculture in the Classroom kicks off the 2016 Literacy Project

( Because everyone EATS... agriculture is important to 100% of us.  Fifth graders in Salem physically tried on different career possibilities at the annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Literacy Project 2016 Kick-off at Myers Elementary School this week. The 2016 featured book Before We Eat: From Farm to Table, and the related lesson feature a myriad of careers available in the Oregon farming, forestry, fishing, and fiber industries.

The message is especially important now as the average age of US farmers approaches 60, and many more people will be needed to fill agricultural and natural resource positions in the coming years.  Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom has been working for decades to excite young students about agriculture. The AITC's annual Literacy Project is in its 9th year. (Read more...)


This is a summer job?This is a summer job?  Undergrads engage in research across the state

(OAP Magazine) How do you roast cottonseeds to make the best tasting spread? How many baby oysters can grow in a 1-liter jar? Can you really make rubber out of dandelion sap?

Every summer, a dozen Oregon State University undergraduates explore questions like these. Through the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Experiential Learning Internships, they’re matched with like-minded scientists at one of OSU’s eleven Agricultural Experiment Station branch centers, located in every corner of the state.It’s a pretty sweet summer job— several cuts above clerking in a store or caddying at the local golf club. But it’s more than a job, these students say. As they work with AES researchers on reallife science projects, they gain valuable research skills and career experience.

Kimberley Preston spent last summer learning how to grow algae. A 2015 OSU honors grad in fisheries and wildlife, Kim was tapped by Chris Langdon to help feed baby oysters in his Molluscan Broodstock program at the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station in Newport.  (Read more...)

Elijah WilsonTop 3 reasons for internships

(by Elizabeth Puttman) Teachers, parents, even peers push students to think of their future careers as soon as possible. However, preparation for their upcoming careers is often overlooked. So, how can students prepare for the “real world?” How can universities and colleges better prepare students for their careers after they graduate? According to Katharine Hansen of Quint Careers, many college graduates struggle with getting hired, because they lack experience. Hansen stressed the importance of doing internships in college, especially in today’s job market.

Students from Oregon State University echoed that thought as they talked about their reasons for internships, and three main points stuck out.

1.  Internships provide hands-on experience.

Jazmin Schneider, an animal science student at Oregon State University planning to apply to veterinary school soon, talked about her current internship with Paws Animal Hospital and its impact on her career life. “[The internship] gets me more of a hands-on reality of what my career would be instead of hearing about it in a classroom and reading about it in a textbook,” said Schneider, “It gets me more comfortable with what I would be doing in my career.” Schneider’s internship allows her to shadow Debra Johnson, a veterinarian at the clinic, and see all of the veterinarian’s responsibilities. Observing the vet, seeing real world veterinary procedures, and getting to assist in handling and restraining animals has given her a different perspective on her future job.

(Read more...)

Tess O'LearyTrack history prepped O'Leary for rigors of rowing

(By Brooks Hatch) O’Leary was a standout athlete for the PHS Broncos. She lettered four times each in volleyball, basketball and track & field. She was all-league in each sport, won eight district and four state track individual titles, and was all-state four times.

Yet her college athletic opportunities were limited. Several Division II and Division III schools showed interest, but since she was interested in agricultural business, once she chose to attend OSU – like her mother and older sister did – she figured her organized competitive athletic career was over. (Read more...)

New Fields - Agricultural Executive Council

2016 Etiquette DinnerWinter Term Recap

(by Bennett Wahl) The Agricultural Executive Council started off Winter Term by hosting the annual Etiquette Dinner. This event was open to any student involved in an Ag Exec club. Brian Field, President, and Royce Ann Simmons, Vice President, of Harvest Capital Company were our speakers for the evening. They gave a presentation on proper etiquette for professional dinners and demonstrated how to mingle during our “mocktail” reception. The Council looks forward to providing more professional development events to students in the future, as this event proved to be so beneficial!  (Read more...)


Mike BehrenfeldA New Wave of Marine Research

(By Peg Herring) Like The Martian’s Mark Watney, Mike Behrenfeld is a botanist challenging a remote ecosystem. An expert in marine plants, Behrenfeld is leading a $30 million study, and like Watney, he’s funded by NASA. But instead of a dry, deserted planet, this Oregon State botanist is studying a swath of ocean from Greenland to the Gulf Stream. He’s focused on some of the smallest ocean inhabitants—microscopic phytoplankton— and their big impact on the earth’s atmosphere. And here, in the North Atlantic, is one of the biggest plankton blooms on the planet.

This is the first of four sea expeditions planned for the 5-year study, each to catch a different critical moment in the annual cycle of the North Atlantic plankton. November is the point of least bloom activity, and this is when Behrenfeld’s team headed out to sea to deploy a breadcrumb trail of drifting, bobbing sensors that will collect ocean data for the next several years. (Read more...)

Right whaleSouthern right whales slowly rebounding, but still decades away from full recovery

(By Mark Floyd) A new study has determined that right whales in the Southern Hemisphere were once more abundant than previously thought, making their full recovery from near-extinction another 50 to 100 years away. An international team of scientists using a combination of catch records from 19th-century logbooks and modern computer modeling techniques concluded that as many as 40,000 right whales once inhabited the waters near New Zealand before whaling drove them to the brink of extinction. As few as 20 mature females were estimated to have survived into the beginning of the 20th century.

“This is the first time we have been able to estimate the pre-whaling abundance for this population of right whales before they were nearly decimated,” said Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, and co-author on the study. “Only a handful of whales survived, and those were threatened again in the 1960s by illegal Soviet whaling. (Read more...)

Nancy KerkvlietNew chemical could yield therapy to prevent Type 1 diabetes

(By Gail Wells) Oregon State University researchers have discovered a chemical that blocks Type 1 diabetes in laboratory mice and may work the same way in humans. The chemical, nicknamed BBQ, works at the genetic level to prevent a rogue immune response from destroying insulin-producing cells in diabetic mice, researchers said.

If it works the same way in humans, it could yield a breakthrough therapy for Type 1 diabetes and possibly have applications in other autoimmune diseases as well, including colitis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. “This compound has a very targeted effect, and it’s safe at therapeutic doses in mice,” said Nancy Kerkvliet, a professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and lead researcher on a new study just published in the Journal of Immunology. “If it works in human clinical studies, we envision a therapy that could be started early to block the onset of Type 1 diabetes, and maybe even cure it in the long run,” she said. Type 1 diabetes — sometimes called juvenile diabetes — causes the immune system to destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The disease often doesn’t show symptoms until the pancreas damage is irreparable, Kerkvliet said.. (Read more...)

Ramesh SagiliBetter-fed honey bees fight off harmful effects of parasite

(By Gail Wells) Well-nourished honey bees are better at fighting off a serious microscopic parasite that weakens their immune systems and threatens the health of their colonies, according to a new study from Oregon State University. The finding, published recently in the Journal of Insect Physiology, suggests that giving honey bees access to a greater quantity and variety of pollen—their only source of protein—could make them more resilient against parasites and other pests, and help to stem worrisome declines in bee populations.

“We found that bees fed with a high-pollen diet had better survival, even though the same diet also enhanced the reproduction of the pathogen,” said Ramesh Sagili, a professor and honey bee Extension specialist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Pests, diseases and pesticide exposure are all contributing to a worldwide decline in populations of honey bees and other important pollinators, Sagili said. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, U.S. beekeepers lost about 33 percent of their colonies each winter between 2006 and 2011.Pollination by honey bees and other insects was worth slightly over $15 billion in the U.S. in 2012, according to a 2014 economic analysis. Sagili estimates that honey bees pollinate some $500 million worth of Oregon crops yearly. (Read more...)


Art About Agriculture

Winter Wheat Fields2016: Agriculture of the American Landscape

Intricate agrarian heritages, including agriculture practiced by Native Americans for centuries and influences from colonist and immigrant settlers, evolved into the practices and sciences of our country’s modern agriculture. It involves cultivating food and fiber, and managing related natural resources. To celebrate and be inspired by American agriculture, its heritage, and evolution, the College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, is organizing its 34th annual Art About Agriculture art exhibition this year, embracing artistic perspectives on the theme, Agriculture of the American Landscape. (Read more...)

Michael Ireland (1953-2000)
“Winter Wheat Fields” 1983
Aquatint Etching Print
5.5 by 5.25 inches

The late Michael Ireland was granted a 1984 Art About Agriculture purchase award from the College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University. The College and the Lamb Foundation sponsored the award.


Farms, Food, Families

Down on the Farm: North Willamette Research and Extension Center

Clackamas Region Extension Community Report

Small Talk, Department of Microbiology 

BEE Newsletter, Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering

Crop and Soil News and Views

Alumni & Friends

Bruce Mary Lou MatePioneering OSU whale researcher invests in graduate students

Bruce Mate, the director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, and his wife Mary Lou have named the institute as a major beneficiary of their estate, a gift that builds on Mate’s 40-year career in scientific research and education. A world-renowned expert in marine mammal research, Mate is best known for pioneering the use of satellite-monitored radio tags to track threatened and endangered whales, allowing discoveries about whale migration routes, habitats and behaviors. The couple’s bequest, a commitment valued at $800,000, will add to the Mary Lou and Bruce R. Mate Marine Mammal Institute Fellowship, an endowment to support graduate students at the institute. “OSU attracts extremely well-qualified graduate school candidates,” Mate said. “The frustration is that we can’t afford to accept nearly as many as we’d like to because of the expense taken on by the faculty member. Graduate students are funded through fellowships like this for their monthly stipend, while their research is usually funded from grants. (Read more...)

Ben McLuenBen McLuen named Senior Director of Development

Ben McLuen has been named as Senior Director of Development for Earth Systems Science at the OSU Foundation, following a comprehensive national search.  He will be responsible for the overall fundraising results for the College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Forestry and the Collete of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and will be the lead fundraiser for the College of Agricultural Sciences. 

He comes to OSU from Washington State University where he has worked since April 2007, most recently as Director of Development for the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.  He and his team raised a total of $251M over a nine year period and completed funding and construction of the new WSU Wine Science Center. 

His first day will be May 2.

In Memoriam

James BaggettJames Ronald Baggett

Dr. James “Jim” Ronald Baggett, Ph.D., completed an epic life on Jan. 21, 2016. 

Born on April 24, 1928, to James and Laura Baggett in Boise, Idaho, Jim began his grand adventure. The Great Depression arrived about the same time life began for Jim so his parents were working hard to scratch out a living.

Jim was hired by Oregon State as a vegetable breeder where he became well-known for introducing varieties of vegetables that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. His work has benefited the home gardener as well as master gardeners and commercial farmers. For 30 years Jim also enjoyed judging vegetables at the Oregon State Fair. He received several awards including the Green Thumb Award from the Oregon Master Gardeners Association, the National Food Producers Award for Raw Products Research (1978), the Northwest Food Processors Association 1990 Distinguished Service Award, and he was inducted into the University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1996 the Baggett-Frazier Vegetable Breeder Professorship was created to continue the tradition of excellence demonstrated by Jim at Oregon State University.  (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.