Fall 2021

Fall 2021

Volume XII, Issue 4

From the Dean

This fall has been tremendously productive at the College of Agricultural Sciences. Energized by a return to campus for most of our Corvallis-based students, the commitment to our mission to make tomorrow better has never been stronger.

We recently published two meaningful reports to help the agricultural community make science-based decisions.

Our economic analysis on the industry done in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture shows that Oregon ag continues to be both vibrant and vital. Valued at more than $42 billion and providing more than 531,000 jobs, we recognize that ensuring a sustainable future for agriculture is critical for all Oregonians.

And the cattle industry needs assessment we completed in October illustrates some crucial areas of research, teaching and extension that will help both our beef and dairy industries find success in that future.

In addition to these seminal reports, we have been active in research and exploration. Our Marine Mammal Institute led an expedition to find a new species of beaked whale, our Global Hemp Innovation Center secured a $10 million grant to study market potential, and we continue to uncover new ways to combat the encroaching heat, wildfires and drought resulting from climate change.

Amidst all of this work, we also recognize the contributions and accomplishments of our alumni and friends. In October, we celebrated the latest inductees to our legacy and luminary awards at the annual Deans Dinner — held in person at the Alumni Center on campus.

Finally, we continue to take great pride in the accomplishments of our students. Undergraduate researchers were recognized in a poster session this fall and we honored new scholarship recipients at the start of the term. Experiential learning also continues to expand, most recently in the development of limited edition Beaver Classic pink potato chips created for breast cancer awareness month.

As we march forward into the winter, we do so with the understanding that together we are stronger than the sum of our parts. Thank you for being a part of our journey and for your continued support and interest in our work. 

Go Beavs!

Alan Sams
Reub Long Professor and Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences
Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station

2021 Oregon Agricultural Economic Report cover

Value of Oregon agriculture, food and fiber sector exceeds $42 billion, number of farms grow, report shows

More than 2,000 new farms were established in Oregon in recent years, and the total value of state’s agriculture, food and fiber sector exceeds $42 billion, according to a new economic analysis report by Oregon State University researchers.


OSU Cattle Plan: A needs assessment for the beef and dairy industries in Oregon.

OSU Cattle Plan: A needs assessment for the beef and dairy industries in Oregon

Cattle and calves, dairy products and milk, and hay are consistently among the top agricultural commodities in Oregon annually. Sales of these commodities have fluctuated over time as a result of a number of factors including international trade, competition, government regulation and changes in public perception. 


The annual Harvest Dinner at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon has been a tradition for the past ten years. The event brings together our faculty and staff, OSU campus administrators, plus our research partners, community stakeholders and elected officials throughout the region. The Harvest Dinner is our celebration of agriculture, the work we all do to support our farmers and to help them solve problems and address issues—so they can provide us with the food and fiber we need and want.

OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences has helped create more than 40 varieties of potatoes, including the Terrarossa a pink potato. Students, working with the Beaver Classic program, transformed these potatoes to tasty pink potato chips, packaged and distributed them to raise awareness for breast cancer. 500 bags of chips were packed and shared with students and others on campus and around the state. Just another example of innovative Beaves giving back!

Road through the forest

Name Change: Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

Changing our name to the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences is more inclusive of our science today and builds on our legacy of conservation science since our beginning in 1935. Our new name will enhance our ability to recruit and retain diverse faculty and students to lead in research, education, and outreach for years to come.

OSU and EOU Strengthen Ag Program

Since 1985, Oregon State University’s land-grant agricultural college has provided an opportunity to pursue select OSU agricultural degrees in eastern Oregon. To achieve that, OSU created a partnership with Eastern Oregon University (EOU) to provide collaborative educational opportunities.

Recent News

Oregon expedition looks for new species of beaked whale

An unidentified Mesoplodon (beaked whale) composite

“It’s a high-risk, high-reward project — a somewhat needle in the haystack trip,” said expedition lead Lisa Ballance, director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute. “At the same time, we have some good indicators that where we are headed, this animal is there.”

Oregon State receives $10 million grant to study hemp market in western U.S.

Hemp plants being grown at the Oregon State University North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon. Photo: Oregon State University.

The five-year project is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program.

College of Agricultural Sciences Continues Robust Research Through Pandemic

Robust research continued at the College of Agricultural Sciences through FY21 despite the challenges of a pandemic and lockdowns. We maintained last year’s significant 22% increase over FY19 and secured an additional $59M in funding, the second highest year of grant funding in the history of the college.

Carnivore interactions are a game of risk and reward, Oregon State research shows


Coyotes can eat by scavenging cougars’ prey but it’s a risky proposition as coyotes often end up killed by cougars too, a new study of predator interactions by Oregon State University shows.

Beavers are well established and moving through the Oregon Coast Range, study finds

A beaver trapped by Oregon State University and USDA National Wildlife Research Center scientists. Credit: USDA National Wildlife Research Center.

“Beavers are a really storied part of this landscape and they are an iconic species for Oregon,” said Clint Epps, a wildlife biologist at Oregon State and co-author of the paper.

OSU Distinguished Professor receives $7M for wide-ranging study of biological impact of chemicals

Robyn Tanguay, a distinguished professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the recipient of the eight-year grant in the field of predictive toxicology from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Local researchers examine blue carbon from Salish Sea to Arabian Gulf

Christopher Janousek of OSU positions a piece of GPS equipment at the salt marsh adjacent to Big Indian Slough south of Padilla Bay. Photo: Kimberly Cauvel/Skagit Valley Herald

For OSU researcher Chris Janousek, learning more about such areas as a wetland habitat around a slough that connects to Padilla Bay could help prioritize land management practices along the West Coast.

Pacific Northwest Growers Can Protect Plants from Heat Waves and Still Have a Good Harvest

“On some grand level, the smoke, the heat, and the drought are connected, and we could probably have a climate change discussion at the macro scale,” says Gordon Jones an assistant professor of general agriculture. 

Gray whale found washed ashore near Yachats along the Oregon Coast

stranded gray whale

"I was able to get down to the whale Tuesday afternoon and examined it and found it to be a 30-foot juvenile gray whale that had been dead for several days," said Jim Rice, the stranding program manager with the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University. 

Ocean hypoxia off Pacific Northwest coast more troubling than ever, experts say

Oregon State University scientists and students conduct research to track hypoxia in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast. Photo: Francis Chan/OSU

Rather than ocean oxygen levels improving, as they usually do this time of year, hypoxia off the Pacific Northwest coast is as bad as it’s been at any point in 2021, according to collaborative research by Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and Oregon’s crabbing industry.

Researchers smoking out B.C. wildfires’ impact on tainted grapes

View of wildfire smoke passing through the South Okanagan region, taken from Burrowing Owl Winery near Oliver

One place at the forefront of the research is Oregon State University, where assistant professor Elizabeth Tomasino said winemakers could benefit from knowing which wildfire-induced chemical changes in their grapes and wine would lead to them being rejected by consumers.

Invasive shrimp-sucking parasite detected in Southeast

mud shrimp with bopyrid

Prof. John Chapman is an invasive species specialist at Oregon State University. He and a team of researchers were in Alaska this summer studying an invasive isopod that has now reached Ketchikan and Sitka, and is destructive to an important invertebrate called the blue mud shrimp. Chapman discusses his work with KCAW’s Robert Woolsey.

New forecasting tool enables proactive conservation of New Zealand blue whales

blue whale

Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a method for forecasting the locations where a distinct population of New Zealand blue whales are most likely to occur up to three weeks in advance.

‘Smoke cows’: Could more US wildfires mean less milk from Oregon’s huge dairy herd?

A team at the Oregon State University has begun a three-year study looking at the effects of poor air quality on cattle

Is the air worse inside or out?

Sun behind wildfire smoke

Kim Anderson conducted tests on air quality during the 2018 wildfire season. “People think air inside their house is perfectly clean, and that if we close all the windows when it is smoky outside there will be zero contaminants inside. That’s just not true,” she said in a press release from OSU in 2020.  

Non-native fish are main consumers of salmon in reservoirs, researchers find

Fisheries managers in Oregon are increasingly identifying and grappling with threats posed by illegally introduced or invasive species overlapping with native fish populations. 

Scientists worry about extinction of certain fish species as Pacific Northwest waters warm

OSU Fish and Wildlife specialists say salmon and trout are so adapted to cold water that they have very little tolerance to warm waters.

Hunting regulations have helped safeguard the sage grouse

Sage Grouse

“It appears that, overall, agencies are doing well with adjusting the timing of hunting seasons, reducing season lengths and maintaining later hunting seasons as supported by previous research,” added study lead author Jonathan Dinkins, an assistant professor of Animal Sciences.

Genetic analysis reveals differences in mate choice between wild and hatchery coho salmon

A new study of the genetic profiles of wild and hatchery coho salmon demonstrates important distinctions in how the two types of fish form mating pairs.

Research explores dry farming possibilities

Oregon State University Dry Farming Project student research assistants Kelly Andrus, Asher Whitney and Meaghan Herlihy host a dry-farmed tomato tasting at the Corvallis Farmers Market.

Dry farming was more prevalent before farmers turned to irrigation, said Amy Garrett, president of the Dry Farming Institute and Oregon State University Extension small farms programs instructor. She’s met longtime dry farmers raising crops that researchers weren’t aware could be grown without irrigation.

OSU study: After two hours, sunscreen that includes zinc oxide loses effectiveness, becomes toxic

zebra fish

The research team, which included Environmental & Molecular Toxicology faculty Robyn Tanguay and Lisa Truong and graduate fellow Claudia Santillan, sought to answer important but largely neglected questions regarding the massive global sunscreen market, predicted by market data firm Statista to be worth more than $24 billion by the end of the decade.

OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute to develop wildlife distribution models to inform wind energy development

Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute has been awarded a $2 million grant to collect data about distribution and density of marine mammals and seabirds that will be used to inform decisions about offshore wind energy development.

Research aims to better understand gray whales to help conservation

Leigh Torres takes notes on the whales she spots off the Oregon coast. She is a marine mammals specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service. (photo courtesy of Leigh Torres)

This research uses nonlethal and minimally invasive monitoring techniques (i.e., analyzing feces, respiratory vapor, blubber biopsy, drone images).

Tide gates come with ecological costs

Tide gates affect migratory fish such as salmon. (Will Harling/Mid Klamath Watershed Council)

Tide gates control water movement in rivers, which allows for more dry land and agriculture. But, these gates also obstruct the natural flow of water. Guillermo Giannico is a professor at Oregon State University and joins us with details on how these gates affect the wildlife around them.


the Culture of Gardening

fresh tomato held in hand

The voices of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture and identity.

Oregon State receives $7.65 million grant to study impact of smoke on grapes and wine


Oregon State researchers will work with scientists at Washington State University and the University of California, Davis, on the four-year project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

AgSci Veterans

Bryan Sherlock with Chuck Norris and Marshall Teague

The College of Agricultural Sciences is fortunate to benefit from the contributions of many current and former members of the U.S. military — students, faculty, staff, alumni, and many others.

In honor of Veterans Day 2021, we have begun to compile some of their stories here.

Thank you for all who serve.

Converting Seafood Byproducts to Food

fish in water

The American food system wastes food and resources, in part because raw materials are discarded during processing. This waste, especially of protein sources, is highly concerning as scientists predict that climate change will exacerbate existing protein deficiencies. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research is providing a $333,777 Seeding...

How One Entomologist’s Multidisciplinary Work Aims to Improve Bee Health

Priyadarshini Chakrabarti Basu, in a bee suit holding a frame

Priyadarshini Chakrabarti Basu, Ph.D., holds a courtesy faculty position in the Department of Horticulture. Her lab focuses on understanding the impacts of multiple stressors on bee health and how best to formulate strategies to mitigate or counteract such stressors. She uses an array of transdisciplinary tools and approaches across various fields such as bee physiology, bee nutrition, bee toxicology, bee neuroethology, multiomics, pollinator biology, and apiculture practices.

New State-of-the Art Research Supercritical CO2 Extractor Installed in Wiegand Hall

Zak Wiegand, FST pilot plant manager, during the inaugural Midas production run

Vanguard Scientific of Aurora, Oregon has donated a MIDAS XII to Oregon State University. This equipment significantly augments the capacity to extract essential oils from agricultural commodities such as hemp and hops and provides exciting new opportunities to faculty from across campus for research and industry partnerships. Installation costs for the entire process line was provided by a donation by Natural Plant Products of Salem OR with additional financial support from the College of Agricultural Sciences, Global Hemp Innovation Center, Linus Pauling Institute, the College of Pharmacy, and Department of Food Science & Technology. FST thanks everyone for their donations and support.

Turning a CBD farming byproduct into feed for cows, chickens and sheep

The OSU scientists working with the school’s Global Hemp Innovation Center are exploring whether spent-hemp biomass can be used to feed sheep, dairy cows and poultry.

OSU Update

OSU receives over $380 million in research funding

Research happening at sea

Oregon State University received over $380 million in research funding for the fifth straight year in a row. Despite the pandemic, research expenditures also grew for the seventh year in a row by 5%.

Oregon State honored with national diversity and inclusion award for fourth straight year

A “Humanity and Hope” gathering April 20, 2021 on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus. Photos: David Baker.

Oregon State University has received a national award for the fourth straight year that honors colleges and universities for having a campus culture committed to diversity and inclusion.

Oregon State fall enrollment sets record, driven by in-person and online offerings

students in the MU quad

Oregon State University has a record number of students enrolled this fall. That means it continues to be the state’s largest university, with 34,108 students enrolled this fall — a more than 2% increase from last year.

Five new members appointed to Oregon State University Board of Trustees

Kerr Administration Building

Gov. Kate Brown selected OSU’s newest trustees from a pool of volunteer leaders put forward by the OSU Board of Trustees, OSU Faculty Senate and the Associated Students of Oregon State University.

Anthony Koppers appointed as senior advisor to the Vice President for Research

Anthony Koppers

Anthony Koppers, an international expert in large-scale geodynamic processes and marine geology, has been named senior advisor to Oregon State University Vice President for Research Irem Tumer.

OSU presidential search committee members named

Members of a search committee have been named to help Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees select the university’s next president.

Awards and Accolades

2021 Dean's Award Winners

2021 Dean’s Dinner Award Recipients

Thanks to everyone who attended the Dean’s Dinner on Friday, October 15, 2021. So wonderful to gather together again and celebrate our AgSci community and honor our award winners.

Dr. David W. Bohnert Receives the Extension Award from the American Society of Animal Science

David W. Bohnert

Dr. David W. Bohnert is the recipient of the Western Section American Society of Animal Science Extension Award, presented to him during the 2021 Western Section Meeting held in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Bernadine Strik, Ph.D., Honored With Duke Galletta Award From NABC

Bernadine Strik

Bernadine Strik, Ph.D., a veteran professor of horticulture and a berry crop specialist and researcher at Oregon State University, was honored with the Duke Galletta Award for Excellence in Horticultural Research by the North American Blueberry Council (NABC). 

Dr. Christina DeWitt Named 2021 IFT Fellow

Image of Christina DeWitt, Professor and Director of OSU Seafood Research and Education Center, Food Science and Technology

Dr. Christina A. Mireles DeWitt, Director of the Seafood Research and Education Center and Interim Director for the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, was recently named as one of 11 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Fellows for 2021.


OSU student turns climate research into bilingual children's books, receives $100,000 scholarship

Christopher Cousins, a PhD candidate from Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences, has received a $100,000 scholarship to further his work of researching habitat refugia and turning his findings into a bilingual children’s book for Latino youth.

Study yields insights into the ecology of fishing jaguars, including rare social interactions

The findings, recently published in the journal Ecology, run counter to beliefs that jaguars are solitary mammals whose social interactions are limited to courting or disputes over territory, said Charlotte Eriksson, a doctoral student at Oregon State and lead author of the paper.

Vanguarding an Inclusive Ecological Workforce

Group at Nash Hall

From tracking bighorn in the Mojave Desert, to setting camera traps in the central Oregon Cascades, to monitoring estuarine recovery in the Puget Sound, undergraduates in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences’ (FWCS) new VIEW Fellowship conducted paid research internships across the Pacific Northwest.

Jess Schulte received a 2021 Malouf Scholarship

Jess Schulte

This fall graduate student, Jess Schulte in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences Department received a 2021 Malouf Scholarship.

Jess is a first-year Master’s student working in the Big Fish Lab. Her research will aim to understand fisheries as a part of a larger, cultural picture in the Pacific Northwest and contribute to public outreach.

Breaking the Mold

Dalyn McCauley

Dalyn McCauley | Faculty Research Assistant | North Willamette Research & Extension Center | Member of Engineers Without Borders USA; Member of ASABE; 2019 Grant A. Harris Fellowship recipient | Central Point, OR | First Generation College Student

At the MANRRS Regional conference, 3 AgSci students placed in 3 different competitions

Johannah Hamilton

We had students participate and place in 3 out of 4 competitions at the conference. Charlotte Epps placed second in the Impromptu Public Speaking Contest and will be competing in the national conference in Jacksonville, FL in March. Dennett Flores competed and also placed second in the Interview contest. Johannah Hamilton competed in the 3 Minute Thesis Competition and came in 1st place. She will also go on to compete at the National conference in March

2021-2022 First Year Scholarship Recipients

2021-2022 First Year Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to this year's recipients!

2021 FFA American Degree Recipients

2021 FFA American Degree Recipients
This fallseveral CAS students received their FFA American Degree. It is the highest degree available in the organization with less than 1% of members attaining it. The degree recognizing the students’ outstanding efforts in career development, leadership potential and community involvement. Congrats!

Reaching Out

Slugs and snails, destructors of crops and gardens, could be controlled by bread dough

Rory Mc Donnell condusting research on slug attractants. Photo by Susan Cabral.

New research from Oregon State University Extension Service found slugs and snails are strongly attracted to bread dough, a discovery that could lead to better ways of controlling these serious pests of agriculture, nurseries and home gardens.

10 trees for fiery fall color

Trees in fall color. Photo by Neil Bell.

“All in all, fall is the perfect time to select and plant a tree,” said Neil Bell, horticulturist with OSU’s Extension Service. “Wait for the leaves to start changing color and go for it.”

Want to grow better plants? Learn these basics about soil

Rolling a ribbon of soil helps determine how much clay it contains. Lynn Ketchum/OSU Extension Service

“The texture of a soil is its proportion of sand, silt and clay,” said James Cassidy, a soils instructor at OSU. “Texture determines all kinds of things like drainage, aeration, the amount of water the soil can hold, erosion potential and even the amount of nutrients that can be stored.”

Get your garlic on: A primer on planting, growing and harvesting

It's time to plant garlic. Photo by Lynn Ketchum.

Fall is a time to enjoy the harvest of summer, but don’t hang up your trowel and pull off your gloves just yet – September through November is the best time to plant garlic.

How to start composting

Compost bin. Photo: Ken Allen

“There’s an old saying that the most important ingredient in the garden is the gardener’s shadow,” said Linda Brewer, senior faculty research assistant at OSU's Department of Horticulture. “And the most important ingredient in the compost bin is the composter’s shadow.”

Seize some seeds from the garden for planting next year

Saving seeds is a rewarding garden experience. Photo by Lynn Ketchum.

“Saving seed can be really fun and is a great way to learn about plants,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “If you choose the right types of vegetables, you can keep them going year after year without buying them again.”


Advancing the future of agriculture and natural resources

Journey of the Pacific Storm: From commercial fishing to marine research

Pacific Storm

“If I were to describe the Pacific Storm in one word, it would definitely be ‘resilient’,” said Lisa Ballance, director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute (MMI). “She was built as a commercial fishing vessel, and later gifted to MMI. Now her future is with marine mammal research and broader research pertaining to marine ecosystems.”

New fund to support up to 50% of undergraduate experiential learning opportunities in Food Science and Technology

OSU, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, students making cheese in current OSU Creamery

Grant and Alice Schoenhard have established a scholarship fund to support practical education experiences in Food Science & Technology. The scholarship fund will support internships, undergraduate research, and study and work abroad experiences. The goal is to support from 30-50 FST undergraduate students during 2022.

OSU part of a cross-institutional team recently awarded $2.61M from the National Science Foundation for microbiome research

river through forest land

The College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University are part of a team of cross-institutional scientists who were recently awarded a $2.61M grant from the National Science Foundation to fund microbiome research

OSU’s School IPM program helps schools reduce pesticide use

Inspecting insects

Led by Tim Stock, Oregon is one of only a handful of states that has a legal responsibility to maintain integrated pest management solutions for school properties.

Art: Inspired by Science

Yolanda Valdés Rementería: Danza de abundancia (Dance of Abundance)

Reception: November 18, 2021. 4:00 - 7:00 pm, artist talk at 4:30pm*

Exhibition Dates: October 7 – December 21, 2021**
Open Hours: Tuesdays, 11:30am – 1:00pm, or by appointment: (541) 737-5534


Strand Gallery
440 Strand Agriculture Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331

Featured Artwork:

© Yolanda Valdés Rementería, Mercado de abundancia (Market Bounty), 2017. (detail) Acrylic on paper, 22.5” x 26.5”

*Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours is required for this event.
**Facemasks are currently required in all indoor spaces on OSU’s campus.

Friends & Alumni

Distinguished Alumni Legacy Award

Bill and Karla Chambers from Stahlbush Island Farms

Distinguished Alumni Leader Award

Larry Sidor from Crux Fermentation Project

Distinguished Alumni Luminary Award

Sierra Hartney, Plant Pathologist with Sakata America.

Distinguished Alumni Legacy Award

Julianne Wood-Rethwill

Hall of Fame Award

Tillamook County Creamery Association

In Memoriam

Donald Wayne Holtan

Donald Wayne Holtan

July 15, 1941-August 22, 2021

Don, passed away in his sleep on Sunday, August 22, 2021. Just 4 weeks prior he learned that he had an aggressive, untreatable cancer. It was just enough time for all his family to come and be with him.

Michael A. Stoltz

Michael A. Stoltz

November 6, 1940 - October 7, 2021

Mike remained active until the last months of his very full life. In recent years, Mike and Gladys traveled to Mongolia to see the annual national celebration, took a safari across Kenya, cruised the Christmas markets of Europe, and ventured to the Galapagos and Machu Pichu.

Ron Cameron

Ron Cameron and wife

June 30, 1929 - October 7, 2021

Ron attended U.C. Davis, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Plant Science and Viticulture. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his PhD in Botany and Plant Pathology. Post graduation, Ron accepted a professorship position at Oregon State College (University), in Corvallis, specializing in plant pathology, where he taught for 25+ years.

George N Rajnus Jr.

George N Rajnus Jr.

January 16, 1962 - September 2021

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.