Volume XII, Issue 3
This summer has been a remarkably active time for the College of Agricultural Sciences.
We published a new Oregon agriculture economic impact report in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It provides an excellent view of the value Oregon gets from the many sectors of the state’s agricultural industries and food system.
Researchers continued to publish new findings that provide important insights on coastal food systems and conservation, food innovation for health and new markets, agricultural competitiveness and resilience, and working and natural landscapes. From studies that seek to better understand drought to potential new liver treatments from hop compounds, we are pioneering new discoveries that aim to make tomorrow better. We also secured a number of significant grants and awards this summer, including the prestigious RIVER award from NIH for Dr. Robyn Tanguay’s work with zebrafish on predictive toxicology.
We’ve hosted in-person field days and worked with farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs across the state at our 14 experiment station locations to improve the quality and marketability of agricultural products and the vitality of coastal communities and marine ecosystems. We held a well-attended reception for the launch of the 2021 Art about Agriculture Tour and Competition and are making final plans for our second virtual pop-up dinner in a box which brings fellow Beavs together to recognize the innovation and entrepreneurial contribution the College makes to starting new businesses in Oregon. (Registration is still open through August 23).
As we look back on all that has been accomplished these past several months, it is with eager anticipation for what lies ahead. Faculty and staff have been diligently working towards a safe and effective return to in-person teaching this fall as our enrollment is increasing (again). Traditional in-person events such as the Deans Dinner on October 15 are coming back. And yes, Beaver Football will be here, too.
I hope you enjoy this issue of The Source and join me in recognizing the wonderful accomplishments of our faculty, students and staff this summer.
Virtual Pop-up Dinner
You’re invited to embark on a culinary experience during the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences’ virtual pop-up dinner, hosted in partnership with the Oregon State University Foundation.
During the event, gather around your table at home to eat and connect virtually with Dean Alan Sams and his fellow faculty as well as alumni and friends of the College of Agricultural Sciences.
On the Menu: Classic Salad Niçoise, Gazpacho and Dessert Tray
Tuesday, August 31
For more than 20 years the Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has partnered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to produce and update an analysis and report of the economic impact of agriculture in the state.
We are pleased to present the 2021 economic impact report which underscores the vital role agriculture and the food system play in the health of Oregon’s economy and its communities.
More than 531,000 jobs are associated with the agriculture, food and fiber industry with a total farmgate production of $5.5 billion and overall economic impact from the food system of $42B. It is a part of our culture and our values in Oregon. 95% of our farmland is family held and 60% of all private land in Oregon is used for farming. In addition, the global reach of our agricultural system continues to grow, with exports up 25% since 2015.
Agriculture is not only the backbone of our economic and social identity but it is a source of innovation and creativity with more sustainable farming and ranching practices and new foods and products being developed constantly as we source from the 225 agricultural commodities produced in Oregon.
This detailed report is a resource for policy makers and the public to better understand the economic value and importance of agriculture and our food system in Oregon. When we invest in the future of a resilient and sustainable agricultural system, we invest in a vision to make tomorrow better.
Researchers discover new class of cancer fighting compounds
A team of Oregon State University scientists has discovered a new class of anti-cancer compounds that effectively kill liver and breast cancer cells.
New $20 million dairy processing facility announced at Oregon State University
Investments by private industry coupled with university funding will propel OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences to build a $20 million state-of-the-art dairy processing facility that will further advance the university and Oregon’s dairy industry as national leaders in dairy quality, innovation and sustainability.
We are grateful that the state legislature recognizes the vital role our college plays in advancing the future of all Oregonians. When we invest in the vision to make tomorrow better, we can improve the health of our treasured natural ecosystems and provide opportunities for more Oregonians to thrive.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their Oregon State University (OSU) collaborators have developed a highly detailed genetic way to trace the spread of Agrobacterium, one of the world's most important bacterial plant pathogens.
Report urges California to act to protect marine ecosystems against microplastics
"Microplastics have been found in all corners of the world, as well as in us—in every ocean, Antarctic sea ice, deep-sea trenches, the air we breathe, agricultural soils, and even in human placentas," said Susanne Brander, Oregon State University ecotoxicologist and co-chair of the working group.
New Research Project on the Willamette River
A crew of researchers from Oregon State University will be cruising up and down the Willamette on an electrofishing boat this summer conducting fisheries research as part of a collaborative study between OSU and the US Forest Service (USFS) led by Research Fisheries Biologist Dr. Brooke Penaluna.
OSU researchers get closer to gene therapy to restore hearing for the congenitally deaf
Researchers at Oregon State University have found a key new piece of the puzzle in the quest to use gene therapy to enable people born deaf to hear.
White shark population is small but healthy off the coast of Central California, study finds
"The discovery, which was made after eight years of photographing and naming individual sharks in the population, is a valuable indication of the general health of the aquatic ecosystem in which the sharks breed," said Taylor Chapple, a co-author of the report and a researcher at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Drought Fuels Conflict In Klamath Basin
“These are not things that are going to get better if climate change continues to give us more uncertainty and less reliable supplies of water,” William Jaeger, an economics professor at Oregon State University who specializes in environmental, resource and agricultural policy issues, told the New York Times.
Central Oregon bat survey shows value and scale-up potential of citizen science
Bat researchers say a project in Central Oregon shows citizen science’s strong potential for helping ecologists learn more about one of the least understood groups of mammals.
Study Combines Sheep Grazing and Solar Energy Production
A recent study published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems details the effects of combining solar panels and lamb grazing on overall land productivity. New research carried out by Oregon State University scientists in 2019 and 2020 is believed to be the first study of its kind. The team compared the differences between lamb growth in traditional open pastures, with that of pastures that also contained solar panels.
Oregon State selected to lead NOAA institute for marine research
Oregon State University has been selected to host a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration institute focused on collaborative study of the rapidly changing ocean and expanded demands on its use.
Years after the devastating ‘Blob,’ ocean conditions appear to be improving, plankton survey shows
While it’s early days for data that is still being analyzed, Jennifer Fisher, a plankton ecologist with Oregon State University, reported seeing an abundance of plankton associated with cold water upwelling, and good fat levels and size in zooplankton, the tiny animals that feed the food web.
Salt marshes keep score on humanity’s plastic problem
The study authors note that because of technological limitations, they did not analyze plastic particles smaller than 250 microns. They also did not identify the exact chemical composition of the particles, which Susanne Brander, an ecotoxicologist at OSU who was not involved in the research, says could lead to the misidentification of non-plastic fibers as microplastic fibers.
Mushroom growing out of fossilized ant reveals new genus and species of fungal parasite
Oregon State University research has identified the oldest known specimen of a fungus parasitizing an ant, and the fossil also represents a new fungal genus and species.
Compounds derived from hops show promise as treatment for common liver disease
Research by Oregon State University suggests a pair of compounds originating from hops can help thwart a dangerous buildup of fat in the liver known as hepatic steatosis.
These primitive, deep-sea fish live to 100, surprising scientists
“It’s been an enigma this whole time,” says Selena Heppell, head of the Department of Fisheries Wildlife and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University, who wasn’t involved in the study. “So [now] it makes a lot more sense.
Meet the delicious purple sea creature destroying Pacific kelp forests
Calvanese is the Oregon State University Port Orford field station manager. He worked as a commercial urchin diver when he was a student, and is now a fishery scientist.
Postdoctoral scholar joins OSU Hemp Global Innovation Center as Extension specialist
The Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center has hired Govinda Shrestha as the statewide hemp Extension specialist starting June 1.
New study shows invasive jumping worms pose threats to growing plants in Willamette Valley
Professor Samuel Chan is an associate professor at OSU and a stateside watershed health and aquatic invasive species specialist. Chan said unlike beneficial earthworms and nightcrawlers that burrow deep tunnels in the soil and release nutrients as they go, these jumping worms stay in the debris on top and eat two to three times the amount of leaf litter as other worms.
Oregon State researchers begin to unravel the mysteries of kombucha fermentation
Oregon State University scientists are beginning to unravel the key microorganisms that contribute to the fermentation of kombucha, research that is already aiding large-scale kombucha producers in the fast-growing industry
Red blotch – a vapid vineyard virus
“My colleagues in the East, Midwest, Canada, and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest report red blotch, but it seems to be more prevalent in Oregon and California, and less so in Washington,” said Patricia Skinkis, viticulture extension specialist at Oregon State University.
Do feeders get birds hooked on human handouts?
So scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) arranged an experiment to test whether black-capped chickadees relied more on a guaranteed food supply in the winter when an injury made it harder for them to flit about in search of sustenance. They set out a string of 21 bird feeders stocked with sunflower seeds along a wooded creek. The feeders were equipped with an electronic counter that marked each time one of 67 chickadees banded with a special tag visited the feeder. Because these birds pick
OSU study will provide insight into optimal nutrition for bees
A new grant will allow Oregon State University researchers to study the nutritional value of more than 100 bee-pollinated crops, native plants and commonly used ornamental plants, a project that could help scientists better understand the global decline of bee populations.
Microplastics are getting into our bodies. We need to understand what that means
Susanne Brander, an Oregon State University professor who also worked on the recent report, acknowledges these shortcomings. “More studies are needed on environmentally relevant plastic types before we can say with full confidence that the plastics you’re exposed to every day could harm you in these ways,” Brander said. “But I think it’s safe to say that it’s a concern, and if we’re seeing responses in mouse models, it’s likely that humans are also being affected.”
Removal of barred owls slows decline of iconic spotted owls in Pacific Northwest, study finds
“This study is a promising example of successful removal and suppression of an invasive and increasingly abundant competitor, with a positive demographic response from a threatened native species,” said David Wiens, the lead author of the paper who is a wildlife biologist with the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis and a courtesy faculty member with Oregon State’s Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences.
Sea stars shed light on kelp forests’ decline
Gravem, a postdoctoral scholar and marine ecologist from Oregon State University, is one of six researchers from Santa Cruz and Oregon working to understand the recent decline of Pacific kelp forests. She walks through the lab, exposing tiny underwater worlds.
Cats see their humans as parents — maybe even more so than dogs, according to study
Study: Buffer zones, better regulation needed to prevent agricultural pollution in rivers, streams
“What I see is that there are still a lot of pretty good places; but there are still a lot of places where, regardless of laws and regulations and mitigation actions, there’s still some work that remains,” said lead author Robert Hughes, who holds a courtesy appointment as an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences. “We can do better. We already know how.”
Toxic algae in Willamette River tests harmful for dogs
"What our strategies have focused on is really moving the water around," said Desiree Tullos, a professor of river engineering at Oregon State University. Tullos said using pumps to bring cold water from the bottom of the lagoon up to the surface could be a short-term solution.
USDA renewed funding for the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety
USDA renewed funding for the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety: Fostering Collaboration through Continued Food Safety Education and Stakeholder Support of FSMA Implementation. This project is a continuation of our food safety outreach work, in collaboration with colleagues from nine Land Grant universities and three non-governmental organizations from California and Washington.
Dr. Jovana Kovacevic, is the director of this important project and runs the program from the Food Innovation Center in Portland.
Coastal Playground license plate
In early 2019, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles and OSU Marine Mammal Institute launched a new license plate featuring a gray whale mother-and-calf pair and the phrase, “Coastal Playground.” Each sale and renewal of this special plate directly benefits research, education, and outreach at the Marine Mammal Institute based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Proceeds from the whale plate are making several projects possible, including a gray whale research and student engagement project in Port Orford, attendance at scientific conferences for graduate students, and an upcoming research cruise to find a cryptic beaked whale in the North Pacific Gyre.
You can be one of more than 18,000 Oregonians who are already supporting Oregon marine mammal research by purchasing and renewing a Coastal Playground license plate. The plate is available at all Oregon DMV branches. Everyone at MMI extends their deep thanks to all Oregonian gray whale license plate holders. Learn more at whaleplate.com.
Species losses on isolated Panamanian island show importance of habitat connectivity
Free from human disturbance for a century, an inland island in Central America has nevertheless lost more than 25% of its native bird species since its creation as part of the Panama Canal’s construction, and scientists say the losses continue.
Construction to begin on ocean wave energy test site
Researchers at Oregon State University spent nearly a decade working to get regulatory approval for the site, called PacWave South, which will be located about seven miles off the coast of Newport, Oregon.
Oregon State part of national consortium of universities that has outpaced its graduation goals
As part of a national consortium focused on increasing the number of low-income college graduates, Oregon State University graduated 45% more students in 2020 than in 2013, with low-income graduates increasing 17% during those years and the number of students of color graduating increasing 117%.
OSU names new vice provost for extension and engagement, director of OSU Extension Service
Dr. Ivory W. Lyles has been appointed as Oregon State University’s vice provost for extension and engagement and director of the OSU Extension Service, effective on Sept. 30.
OSU takes measures to reduce water usage in response to statewide drought conditions
Oregon State University is taking steps to reduce its water usage in response to serious drought conditions across the state and an executive order issued by Gov. Kate Brown that directs state agencies to curtail nonessential water use and implement water conservation measures.
OSU Distinguished Professor awarded $7M grant to advance “predictive toxicology” using zebrafish
A highly competitive and unique national grant has been awarded to Dr. Robyn Tanguay, a recognized international researcher in Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
OregonFlora receive stewardship awards from MNCH
Based at Oregon State University, OregonFlora is a comprehensive resource for learning about the nearly 5,000 species of trees, grasses, ferns and wildflowers present in our ecologically diverse state. The organization presents detailed botanical information through its three-volume “Flora of Oregon” book series, a wildflower identification app and website.
Yanyun Zhao received the 2021 CAFS Professional Achievement Award
Yanyun Zhao received the 2021 Chinese American Food Society (CAFS) Professional Achievement Award on July 19, 2021 during the IFT Annual Conference. CAFS is an American-based organization founded in 1974 to develop relationships among Chinese-born food scientists in academia, government, and industry. The CAFS is partnered with the IFT and its International division. CAFS Professional Achievement Award recognizes a professional member for the outstanding contributions to the field of food science and engineering, as it relates to teaching, research, extension, administration, or leadership in the food industry, academia or government.
Oregon State student-driven lab creates environmental sensing tools for landslides, vineyards
The Openly Published Environmental Sensing (OPEnS) lab works with researchers and professors at Oregon State and other universities, as well as private companies, to build devices used locally and worldwide by the ecological science and engineering community.
Horticulture graduate candidate receives hard-won media fellowship
Aaron Anderson, a graduate research assistant in the department of horticulture, has been selected a 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media fellow, a highly competitive fellowship that draws hundreds of applicants for only 30 slots.
Leadership Academy Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Patty Skinkis
Dr. Skinkis leads the statewide viticulture extension program, teaches undergraduate production courses, hosts an applied research program for graduate students, is a member of the Oregon Wine Research Institute, and has been a mentor in the Leadership Academy for several years.
Student Spotlight: Sara Maruyama
“Looking back, I had never imagined that I’d return to school for a graduate degree. However, taking the plunge and seizing the opportunity presented by former advisors was the best decision I have ever made.”
FST graduate students received two awards from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
- Clara Lang, FST MS student, won first place in the IFT Food Packaging Division poster competition. Note it’s the third time in four years that one of Yanyun’s students win the competition.
- Angelica Iobbi, FST PhD. Student, won 3rd place at the IFT Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division Graduate Student Oral Presentation Competition. Angelica is in Elizabeth Tomasino’s lab.
It has been an exciting summer for the OSU Extension service, as they have been able to host their second cohort of student interns. There are 14 interns across 10 different County Extension Offices, Extension Communications, and Agricultural Research Centers. Five of the students are College of Agricultural Students at Oregon State University and many of them hope to continue working in OSU Extension after they graduate. This summer, student interns are taking the lead of Extension programs and projects in an area of their interest. Some of the summer projects include: leading Junior Master Gardeners programs, outreach at Farmer’s Markets, helping and leading at Juntos Afueras day-camp, creating and sending e-newsletters, research projects, and creating materials that will be used by the Extension Offices in the fall.
Southern Oregon wine grapes may need less water, OSU Extension study shows
Alexander Levin, assistant professor and viticulturist at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, found that wine grape water usage estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s AgriMet network for irrigation was 44% higher than necessary. AgriNet is a free weather station widely used by growers to determine how much water they need to irrigate their crops.
Growing vigorous kiwi takes care and a strong trellis
Kiwifruit need some attention to yield the large amount of fruit they’re capable of producing. Proper siting, fertilizing, watering and, most importantly, protecting from cold weather, are necessary to keep your plant in good shape, said Bernadine Strik, berry specialist for the OSU Extension Service.
Video offers tips on buying salmon from Columbia River tribes
OSU Extension staff from Clackamas County say this is a great time of year to buy fresh salmon and steelhead from tribal vendors as the fish migrate upriver in the Columbia River Gorge.
Use native and food-producing plants to transform lawns into diverse ecological beauties
"It's very important, from a standpoint of the ecological integrity of your garden, to move away from monoculture and toward a more diverse array of plants in your garden," said Gail Langellotto, statewide director of the Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener program. "It's more visually interesting as well as more ecologically resilient."
‘It’s all over the place here’: Wild hemlock plants are common in Oregon -- and deadly
“I’ve dug up more hemlock than I can count,” says Scott Duggan, an assistant professor for Oregon State University’s livestock-management extension program. “I know central Oregon -- it’s all over the place here.”
Popular Shop at the Dock returns
Thanks to the popular Shop at the Dock tour, a program of Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University Extension, locals and visitors can learn the ropes, or fishing lines, on a guided tour.
Keeping pH in the right range is essential
Keeping pH in the right range for certain plants is essential, according to Weston Miller, OSU Extension Service horticulturist. Plants with specific pH requirements include vegetables, blueberries and rhododendrons.
High Speed Hand Washing resources
Collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and College of Public Health Extension have developed a highly useful and applicable High Speed Hand Washing method for the Ag industry.
Art About Agriculture
This summer has brought an exciting resurgence of energy and excitement for the College of Agricultural Sciences Art about Agriculture program.
In June, the 2021 annual competition and touring exhibition launched at a well-attended reception at OSU’s Giustina Gallery.
Special guests included staff from the Consulate of Mexico in Portland, faculty and staff from OSU, and many artists.
This year’s jury selected 55 artworks by 45 artists. Six artworks were selected for purchase awards and acquisition into the Art About Agriculture Permanent Collection. The exhibition is currently on display at the beautiful Chehalem Cultural Center (Newberg, OR) through September 30th.
Also on display at Chehalem Cultural Center is the solo exhibition, Yolanda Valdés Rementería: Explorando nuestra Humanidad (Exploring our Humanity). Sponsored by OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, Ms. Valdés Rementería is a longtime supporter of the Art About Agriculture program with two pieces in the Permanent Collection, Familias Campesinas (1989) and TENSION AND HARMONY (2020). Her solo exhibition was originally scheduled for Art About Agriculture’s Strand Gallery in 2020, but the gallery’s temporary closure resulted in finding an alternative venue for her solo exhibition. We are thrilled and thankful to share Ms. Valdés Rementería’s artwork at Chehalam alongside the annual exhibition.
Discovery unites the common language of art and science in this unique program that continues to inspire countless people across the region and beyond.
EXHIBIT: August 3 – September 30
Central Gallery at Chehalem Cultural Center
415 E Sheridan St.
Newberg, OR 97132
Tuesday – Friday 9am – 6pm / Saturdays 12pm – 6pm
Sponsored by OSU College of Agricultural Sciences’ Art About Agriculture Program
Yolanda Valdés Rementería: Explorando nuestra humanidad (Exploring our Humanity) is funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council
The 2020-2021 academic year presented new challenges for our students. Per usual, ER Jackman Friends and Alumni provided scholarships, support of Clubs, support of beginning researchers (we increased the number supported); and we were able to assist with some domestic internships despite the number of requests being down. We learned during winter term from the College’s Academic Programs office that there had been a sharp increase in requests for emergency assistance from our students. The ER Jackman Board decided to redirect $ 10,000 to assist in this need and to provide this also as a challenge for the Student Emergency Fund listed as a priority by the College for the April Dam Proud Day! of giving.
From Summer 2020 to Spring 2021 the College provided $12,000 in emergency grants to 23 students. The most recent 9 grants all came from the ER Jackman contribution, totaling $4,500. This leaves $5,500 available to support students as we enter the 2021-22 academic year. Further, due to the generosity of 73 donors, an additional $ 7,986 was raised for the Emergency Fund.
The impact of the $ 500 emergency awards has been profound for the students. Here are a few quotes from heartfelt thank you letters that the ER Jackman Board has received from recent recipients:
“I was facing a tough situation that put my degree progress in jeopardy but thanks to your contribution I will be able to use that to continue on my path to graduation. I am eagerly looking forward to finishing my Animal and Rangeland Science Bachelor's degree this spring term and I am excited to receive any help possible.”
“I am an older student with two children and this grant has assisted immensely in my being able to finish winter term and register for spring term. This assistance with the cost of tuition at OSU will allow me to continue attending and finish my degree.”
“Although it doesn’t seem like a lot initially, this $500 grant will really help me in my educational goals. This will allow me to dedicate more of my time and resources to my education.”
“I am elated and incredibly relieved to have received your email yesterday informing me of the $500 contribution toward my outstanding tuition charges. Given the trying and challenging times we all are facing, every little bit helps. In this case, this contribution will help alleviate a load of financial stress and lighten this unexpected burden.”
Thank you to all who have donated to the Emergency Fund either directly or via the funds managed by ER Jackman Friends and Alumni. You really make a difference in the lives of our students!
Stella Melugin Coakley
Member, ER Jackman Friends and Alumni Board