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    Hello! Welcome to Breakthroughs, a site devoted to sharing with you the latest, greatest advancements from the College of Science at Oregon State University. From breakthroughs in research to transformational philanthropy to interesting tidbits from the daily life of the College, we'll post frequently to keep you up-to-date. Please visit often and absolutely let us know what you might like to learn more about. Enjoy, and of course, GO BEAVS!
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Archive for the ‘Terra’ Category

Lionfish Outcompete the Natives on Coral Reefs

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on May 1, 2011

To get more information about the F.A.  Gilfillan Memorial Award Lecturer Mark Hixon and his research on Lionfish, please read Nick Houtman’s story Lionfish Outcompete the Natives on Coral Reefs in terra magazine.


Posted in General News, Terra, Zoology | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

A Slippery Slope

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on April 22, 2011

A Slippery Slope: Warm rains and glacial melting trigger dangerous debris flows

MELTING MOUNTAIN glaciers and warming rains drive debris flows, torrents of mud and rock that have damaged roads, closed recreational facilities and led to millions of dollars in clean-up costs in the Northwest. Climate change is likely to increase risks in the future. WITH FUNDING from the National Science Foundation, OSU geologists Anne Nolin and Stephen Lancaster work with U.S. Forest Service hydrologist Gordon Grant to understand the debris-flow causes and to map vulnerable areas in the Cascades.

Lee Sherman, terra Magazine

Posted in Geosciences, Terra | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Surprise in Sargasso

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 1, 2011

Surprise in Sargasso

Lee Sherman, terra Magazine

Microbes are masters of adaptation.

In some of Earth’s most extreme environments — Antarc- tica’s frigid ice fields, Yellowstone’s sulfuric hot springs, Crater Lake’s lightless depths, the oceans’ deep-sea basalts — Stephen Giovannoni has discovered thriving communities of bacteria. As the holder of the Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professorship in Microbiology, he has discovered some of the most abundant life forms on the planet.

Posted in Microbiology, Terra | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Lessons from the Magic Planet

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on March 17, 2009

Readers — we’re pleased to introduce Nick Houtman, a writer who will be contributing posts to the Breakthroughs blog. We’re very excited to have him join us!

* * * * * * * *

lessons_large2On my first visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, I saw whales, volcanoes and dinosaurs. I visited planets and stars and saw a giant pendulum swinging from the ceiling, knocking over a circle of sticks, one stick at a time. Evidence of the Earth’s rotation, so someone said. I thought it was a trick because nothing was rotating from my perspective. But then I was probably five years old.

Science museums and aquariums still intrigue me, but now I know a little about what’s going on behind the scenes. That’s because Lynn Dierking, John Falk and Shawn Rowe have a passion for that kind of work and have shared their story in the latest issue of Terra, OSU’s research magazine. These professors in OSU’s “free-choice learning program” want to foster understanding as well as create memories. Check out Lessons from the Magic Planet at


Nick Houtman grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and never forgot how high the snowbanks get at Crater Lake. He has been a journalist, cook, house builder and city council member. He lives in Corvallis and edits Terra magazine at OSU. Contact him at, 541-737-0783.

Posted in Science & Mathematics Education, Terra | Leave a Comment »

Terra – Winter 2009

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 17, 2009

The Winter 2009 issue of Terra is now available. Stories from the College of Science include Ajeet Johnson’s study of the Brothers Fault Zone in Central Oregon, and how Chemistry is going green in the new Green Materials Chemistry Center.

Posted in Chemistry, Geosciences, Terra | Leave a Comment »

Terra: A World of Research and Creativity at OSU

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 13, 2008

beachgrass_largeAt the right of this page, you’ll see a few hotlinks to sites that might also be of interest, including Terra, OSU’s research magazine. It’s excellent. 

One of the features of the Winter 2008 issue cites new funding from Oregon SeaGrant to support OSU scientists in the Departments of Zoology and Geoscience, who have documented a slow but steady takeover of dunes by American beach grass: Invaders in the Dunes

Posted in Geosciences, Terra, Zoology | Leave a Comment »