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Archives: October, 2009

Choosing a new NCAA chief: President Ray heading the search  October 29th, 2009

Once again, Oregon is playing a significant role in the leadership of the NCAA.

As collegiate athletics’ governing body announced today, OSU President Ed Ray is the new chair of the NCAA Executive Committee; in that role, he’ll also chair the search for a replacement for the late Myles Brand, who died in September after a long battle with cancer.

NCAA watchers and Oregonians know well that Brand’s previous role was as president of the University of Oregon. His successor at the UO, Dave Frohnmayer, served on the NCAA Executive Committee during Brand’s leadership stint. The Beaver State has been well represented, indeed.

Through Ray, the NCAA search is certainly in capable hands. He is not only a respected economist, who served as provost and economics department head for years at The Ohio State University before coming to OSU in 2003, Ray is now the Oregon University System’s longest-serving current president. During tough economic times with no small amount of instability in the air, having an experienced hand providing leadership should serve the NCAA well.


OSU in New York Times, LA Times, NSF Web site and more  October 21st, 2009

It’s hard to miss the quantity and quality of research stories coming out of OSU these days. The resulting media coverage is interesting not only for the stories highlighted, but for the high-impact visibility of the outlets in which they are published.

We’ve hit the venerable New York Times twice this week for OSU research on how climate change is affecting growth of Pacific Northwest trees in high-elevation areas and for OSU’s international leadership in the hottest new alternative energy area — ocean wave power. The latter was actually written by a Paris-based reporter (Lisa Pham) for the Times’ overseas publication, The International Herald-Tribune, and places OSU’s work alongside wave park projects under development in Portugal, Scotland, Australia and elsewhere, underscoring OSU’s impact as an international research university.

Los Angeles Times science writer Kim Murphy offered an interesting take on the PNW tree research, that it presents an upside of climate change.

The National Science Foundation Web site, where OSU enjoys regular prominence, features us today as its lead “Discoveries” feature, with a fascinating feature by OSU graduate student Mary Beth Oshnack on her research regarding building tsunami-resistant cities. The story is accompanied by four very cool videos of her “HouseSmash” project.

We haven’t forgotten the media closer to home, either. The Oregonian has turned to us for stories this week on OSU research of toxic algae blooms, which are thought to be growing around the state, and for my personal favorite, an account of a ferret that got H1N1 from its owner — perhaps first documented case of human-to-animal transmission anywhere.

Interesting reading, all. And it’s only Wednesday morning…


Great white under the knife and media glare in Newport  October 3rd, 2009

A 12-foot great white shark that had the bad luck to get tangled recently in the ropes of a crab pot made a posthumous contribution to science last Thursday and Friday and became a media sensation in the process.

Researchers at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, the university’s Newport campus, performed a necropsy on the big guy over two days, televising much of the process via closed circuit to members of the media and public in an auditorium also at the Center. One might think carving up a dead fish wouldn’t be so appealing to news types, but when that creature is a relative of Jaws, the interest factor increases exponentially.

The Los Angeles Times wins points for most gruesome blog post related to the dissection display. Its coverage included a photo of the beast suspended in the bed of a pickup truck, its menacing teeth in full, frightening view. With the fish hung upside down, its length is even more impressive.

Eugene’s Register-Guard got in on the coverage, and an abbreviated version of its story popped up in other outlets, including Portland’s KGW.com, via AP.

Hatfield Marine Education Specialist William Hanshumaker, also an Oregon Sea Grant Extension faculty member, coordinated the necropsy, which included scientists from OSU as well as other institutions.  Dr. Brion Benninger of Oregon Health & Science Univesity’s Neurological Sciences Institute took part, for instance. Samples from the necropsy are being shared with Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Monterey Bay Aquarium and others.