Steve Durkee, Oregon State University’s administrator of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the Office of Research Integrity, says, “Lives are saved because of research animals. Caring people make sure the animals are taken care of.”
See his recent article in Speaking of Research, a publication by an advocacy group that provides accurate information about the importance of animal testing in medical and veterinary science.
“I heard about the workshops with a researcher about work-life balance. I didn’t have time to go, of course – I’m too overwhelmed. Did she have a solution?”
Dr. Rachel Connelly visited campus in May bearing tips for parents in academia – particularly for women. Co-author of the book Professor Mommy: Finding Work-Family Balance in Academia (Rowman & Littlefield), she presented research and international examples of the problems– and strategies to address them.
She also offered personal stories from raising four children while succeeding as a professor of economics and of gender studies. “Having achieved tenure, I feel the obligation to give back,” she said. “There are things that individual women can do to adapt, but we also need to change the institutions.”
In workshops for students, post-docs, faculty and staff, and a lecture open to the public, Connelly addressed feelings such as guilt (“for not doing more in mothering / for not doing more in teaching and research”) , offered reassurance (“ it gets better”) and got down to practical tips – for work as well as home life.
Here are her ten on-the-job tips for academic researchers (For full explanations, refer to her publications)
1. Figure out when your best research time is and use it for research.
2. Always have a plan for the day and one for the month
3. Don’t prepare for teaching until the last possible moment.
4. Go to conferences every year even if you don’t have something new to present
5. If you really don’t like your position, go find a new one. This can be inside the university or at another institution
6. Apply for grants even if you don’t think you will get them
7. Don’t be afraid to take on a new branch of research.
8. If you know you are going to have to do some committee work, try to insure that it is work you want to do.
9. Don’t answer every email immediately
10. Think of ways that will make you happier with your teaching.
Connelly’s area of research is at the intersection of demographics and labor markets. She has published articles on the effect of broad demographic trends on the labor market decisions and on the economics of child care.
Over the past year, the Research Office has implemented both Cayuse 424 and Cayuse SP. Cayuse SP replaces the paper Proposal Transmittal Form, and will be used for all proposals. Cayuse 424 is the Federal form set for both Grants.gov and Research.gov, and can also be used to prepare proposal budgets for proposals going to non-Federal sponsors. There are two approaching deadlines concerning proposal submission at OSU.
Effective July 1, 2012, all proposals will be routed through Cayuse SP.
Faculty should no longer be submitting paper-based proposals or the OSU Proposal Transmittal Form. Multiple training sessions have already been offered on the Cayuse products, and staff from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will continue to offer training sessions at least monthly. An additional session for June has been scheduled for June 22, 2012, in MU 213, from 10:00am – 11:30am. Faculty and staff can send an e-mail to email@example.com to reserve a seat in this session.
Also effective July 1, 2012, OSP’s web drop capability for Grants.gov packages will be disabled.
These proposals (with the exception of the submissions for OSU’s Statewide Public Service funds) should be prepared through Cayuse 424 and routed through Cayuse SP.
Effective July 30, 2012, proposal routing in Cayuse 424 will be disabled, and all proposals will be routed using Cayuse SP.
Any faculty that have begun proposal preparation in Cayuse 424 can contact an OSP staff member for assistance with proposal routing.
The Office of Sponsored Programs team of Aedra Reynolds, Dawn Wagner and Vickie Watkins support the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, the College of Forestry, and the units housed at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
The team of Eric Anundson, Cindy Rasberry and Lin Reilly support all other units.
This reminder has also been sent to Deans, Associate Deans, and unit heads.
Please contact Pat Hawk, Director of Sponsored Programs (541-737-6699 or firstname.lastname@example.org ), if you have any questions.
Patricia A. Hawk, Director
Office of Sponsored Programs
Sitting on the University’s Promotion and Tenure Committee is one of the most important roles that I can fulfill as VP for Research. Most tenure/tenure track faculty appointments include a percentage of time dedicated to research activities. The measures of performance in research are varied, and their relationship to scholarly productivity proves to be an important focus of discussion.
It doesn’t take long before some challenging questions emerge from individual curriculum vitae:
How much effort should be focused on hypothesis-driven research, versus more service-oriented productivity?
What constitutes a legitimate proportion of attention to “high-impact” journals?
How should one represent one’s contribution to publication activity (e.g. first authorship)?
Is there a best balance of students and post-docs?
How do we weigh the respective merits of intellectual property development (e.g. patent disclosures) to peer-reviewed publication?
What is the “community ” standard for rates of publication within a given discipline?
As an oceanographer, I bring my own “community” biases to the discussion of research impact. For example, I’ll look at a publication in Nature (with its high impact factor) much differently from one in, say, Journal of Geophysical Research. I also know what it means to have served as a Chief Scientist on a major research cruise, but I may not know what an equivalent activity might be in another field. Those are metrics that may not be part of the culture in, say, plant pathology. You should know the culture of your field. If you don’t, speak with your mentors, ask your peers. It is to your benefit to understand early in your career how you will be judged within your field so that you can reach your aspirations.
This year, alone, the P&T Committee read through nearly 10,000 pages of dossiers, and spent hundreds of cumulative hours in review, discussion and consideration. And that doesn’t count the time and effort put in by the candidates, faculty committees, administrators and staff! The time-honored traditions of P&T merit this investment, an investment that pays off to guide the careers of our university’s educators, researchers, administrators and service providers.
So, as we close out another academic year, let me be one of the first to congratulate those who’ve been promoted and/or attained tenure. Your accomplishments are noteworthy and significant. It’s a pleasure to recognize your success!
Vice President for Research
Comments to this blog are welcome! From the main “Spin” page, select “comment” below, and “Leave a Reply.” From this individual post, simply “Leave a Reply” in the field provided.
The media is peeking in through your lab windows?
Opt for fame that depicts your usual safe practices.
Many famous scientific mishaps do not conjure up images of safety gloves or sound evacuation plans. While absentminded practices may sometimes have led to discoveries that were interesting, Oregon State’s advances are based on laboratory practices that are safe (stirred into a test tube of common sense).
Let’s also remember to be aware of how our scientific procedures are depicted in the media.
Say a popular publication gets wind of your brilliant hypothesis, and wants an exclusive of you in the moment of invention. In situ, the photographer thinks you’ll look more dashing if your eyelashes show, so “off with those goggles for a sec, please.” Or the reporter thinks it would be cute to get you to cuddle that rat . . .
The results: the world – via magazine, newspaper, web, video – receives images of less-than-best practices. Young would-be scientists pooh-pooh their teachers’ precautions. Havoc is unleashed on the world – probably not in the form of a new Beatles song.
If the media is ringing you up, sweep the floors, check your hair, and review your safety procedures. Contact Environmental Health and Safety for guidance and training needs.
On March 23rd, 2012, Rick Spinrad joined Bob Houtman, NSF Section Head- Ocean Sciences Division; Sabah Randhawa, OSU Provost and Executive Vice President; Rob Munier, WHOI Vice President; Marine Facilities and Operations; Mark Abbott, Dean, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; and John Byrne, OSU President Emeritus, CEOAS Past Dean; and others in Newport, Oregon to bid thanks and farewell to the Research Vessel Wecoma, and to welcome R/V Oceanus. The following is from Rick Spinrad’s remarks at the “retirement” event.
Let’s do some time-traveling.
It’s November 3rd , 1976, 6:04 in the evening. Less than 24 hours earlier, Gerald Ford and Bob Dole won Oregon, but lost the Presidential election to a toothy peanut farmer from Georgia. From a pier in Newport, Oregon, the still-shiny, brand new R/V Wecoma cast her lines and set out for a short cruise along the C-line to test gear in preparation for the upcoming long cruise off of Peru. The official ship’s log for that coastal jaunt is hardly a page-turner: they consumed 5278 gallons of fuel, 3600 gallons of fresh water, 25 gallons of lube oil (and although it was not recorded as such, an unknown volume of 95% laboratory-grade ethanol).
Improbably, the most noteworthy development was in the ship’s laundry; the log reads ” The shipping ring on the laundry washer has broken. This item permitted partial use of washer in rolling ship operation. “ In other words, the agitator moved with the movement of the vessel. Gotta love that kind of resourcefulness.
The only research-relevant note in the log: “scientists have a very good procedure set up for launching and recovering the nephelometer under positive control. I feel it is much more satisfactory than our close quarter R/V YAQUINA operation.” So we knew the new ship would be an improvement over our older vessel.
How telling that was, in terms of the next 35 years of research that would be conducted aboard this wonderful vessel. The ship’s crew included Captain Linse, Chief Mate Tony Loskota, Cook Tom Kluttz (incidentally, my wife, Alanna, still uses Tom’s recipe for macaroons – *provided below – best in the world ) and AB John Keiper. The scientific crew was led by Ron Zaneveld and Hasong Pak, with a rowdy bunch of techs and students: Bob Kaupaun, Bob Bartz, Jim Kitchen …. and one long haired, banjo playing graduate student whose name was misspelled on the manifest as Rick Spinrod.
I had the pleasure of being on the Wecoma for 53 days, off the coasts of Oregon, Washington and Peru.
After 1976, and for the next 3½ decades, the R/V Wecoma served as host to an oceanographic hall of fame. OSU’s researchers filled the bunks: Chief Scientists with the names of Smith, Huyer, Carey, Pearcy, Kulm, Caldwell, Schrader, Miller, Zaneveld, Dymond, Gordon, Pak, Keller, Heath, Small, Lilley, Paulson, Prahl, Collier, and no doubt many others, just up to the 1986 period when the ship was laid up for repairs. And that’s just the Beavers. Consider this list of other Chief Scientists from that same period: Barber, Cox, Knauer, Lorenzen, Bruland, Wyrtki, Knox, Murray, Weiss, Martin, Hickey, Brown, Beardsley, Winant, Irish, Karl, Robison, Packard. Believe me, this is impressive to people in the marine sciences.
Wecoma was witness to discoveries that changed the way we think about our world, including how upwelling drives coastal productivity and fisheries; the magic of El Nino; the sheer power of deep-sea vulcanology; and understanding the complex nature of how the interactions of the ocean and atmosphere affect our weather and climate.
Not to mention those Nobel-laureate-worthy discoveries of the real-time full water column monochromatic specific beam attenuation coefficients – conducted by the most preeminent optical oceanographic team in the universe: Spinrad and Zaneveld, (OK, Zaneveld and Spinrad!) If you want to know details, let’s meet at the Beanery.
Seriously, the world is unquestionably a better place because of the service this ship, her crew, scientists and land-based staff have provided - for longer than many of us have been alive.
The name Wecoma, I propose, might be an acronym for “With Every Cruise, One Meaningful Accomplishment.”
It’s not easy to say goodbye. The “retirement” event was a pretty emotional moment for many of us.
Wecoma is a star. She was a workhorse, a transport, a world-class lab, and, for many of us at some point in our lives – even if was after a night at Anna’s bar in Callao – she was our home.
But this is also a wonderful time, as we welcome the R/V Oceanus into our OSU family. We can only imagine the discoveries and revelations that this new vessel will help us attain. Understanding the mysteries of ocean acidification, the complex microbial networks that define the foodweb of the seas, the ever-more intricate definitions of the four-dimensional structures of ocean dynamics. The OCEANUS will be our tour guide to the next generation of oceanography.
Recently I was enjoying a drink with an old friend of mine who said he couldn’t have been more delighted to see the Oceanus come to OSU. He went on to add that our legacy of transdisciplinary research and scientific accomplishment couldn’t be better suited to Oceanus’s capabilities. That friend is Bob Gagosian, the former Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We should feel good about that. I can’t wait to see what we do with our new ship!
The R/V WECOMA has sailed her last cruise for Oregon State University. The last sample’s been drawn, the last station taken, the last watch retired. The horizon will be her home, her legacy will be her name. Research Vessel Wecoma, we wish you fair winds and following seas.
bonus : recipe from the Wecoma
1-1/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour (matzoh flour works as well)
dash of salt
6 heaping cups shredded coconut
Beat until stiff :
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
“Fluff in” sugar mixture with egg whites. Be sure to stir the ingredients carefully to keep the air in the egg whites.
Put oil on your hands and loosely roll the dough into balls. The oil makes the dough slip off your fingers. Don’t press too hard or handle too much.
Place on heavily sprayed cookie sheet , or use parchment paper.
Bake 350 degrees for about 15 minutes - watch them carefully!
bonus question: What are the original meanings and origins of the words “wecoma” and “oceanus”?
Dr. Spinrad asked me to share information about disaster planning and response for researchers. Professionally, I’ve created and published disaster planning guidelines and articles related to animal facilities.
The focus of this post is steps to take to be prepared for “events” that create potential risk to people, so they can escape safely! With advanced planning, important research tools, equipment, or endeavors are minimally impacted. Advanced planning ensures important data aren’t lost and that we are able to get back to our important research as soon as possible.
The University has information available for general safety needs during an emergency. Regardless of the specifics for your area, disasters have some common elements that can be addressed with advanced planning. This includes taking inventory of sensitive equipment and irreplaceable samples, and having procedures in place to ensure safety for personnel. Knowing in advance how irreplaceable samples or research equipment will be protected will reduce stress during an event. Each individual research laboratory or office is responsible for organizing this information, as it relates to its own area. This will allow staff to be able to practice and fully respond to whatever needs are created from an event or evacuation.
You can get assistance in organizing preparedness efforts from the campus emergency coordinator, Mathew Rodgers (email@example.com ; 541-230-4621) . He will provide guidance and examples, to help clarify what will be best for your area. If your unit hasn’t already identified your needs to Matt, they may be overlooked and unnecessarily endangered during an event.
The most likely “event” to occur will be an alarm sounding, which necessitates evacuation. Most of us are familiar with this sound; yet, this might not be clear to everyone, especially individuals from other countries. This underlines the need for all staff to be part of discussion on procedures for your specific area. The challenges of evacuating safely are compounded when you are responsible for guests and/or need to protect data, equipment, and other valuable research tools.
Please don’t assume that everything is covered and “someone” knows what to do. “Someone” may well be you!
Is your unit fully prepared? Please contact Matt if you haven’t already done so!
As my Dad always said, “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail.”
- Stephen Durkee Office of Research Integrity Join the conversation. Your comments about this posting are welcome.
A few years ago I was invited to deliver a talk at a science pub in Washington, DC (of course, since it was Washington, they called it a “science café,” as I suspect that’s more politically correct. ) It was held in the gorgeous, airy atrium of the National Science Foundation headquarters – what a treat!
I talked about climate change and its implications for a range of societal issues. The venue was conducive to a healthy discussion and debate afterward. I was an instant aficionado of the concept of casual public gatherings in which experts converse with lay people on subjects of topical import.
Coming back to Corvallis, I was delighted to learn that science pubs are now an active part of OSU’s relationship with the community, at the Old World Deli* – a familiar local venue with its own unique charm.
So, I am especially excited about the opportunity to be host for the March 12 Corvallis Science Pub.
As always at this monthly event, we will begin with the fun of a trivia competition, complete with prizes – yet the topic of the evening, biofuels, is not trivial.
Of course, raising crops such as corn and soybeans specifically in order to produce fuel poses difficult questions for policymakers in areas ranging from managing greenhouse gases to security issues associated with energy independence.
We’ll hear from two scientists whose work points us toward a more efficient and sustainable way to produce biofuels.
Vince Remcho is a professor in the analytical chemistry at Oregon State University and an affiliate scientist for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He has authored numerous scientific publications on microfluidics, biosensors and nanoscale separations. His primary responsibilities are at OSU. As part of that capacity, he will be the principal investigator for Trillium FiberFuel’s work with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) on advanced isomerization systems.
Chris Beatty has an MS in Materials Science with an emphasis in Microfabrication. He worked at Hewlett-Packard for 22 years, including 15+ years in product/process development and 5 years in business development. He has 18 issued and numerous pending patents in MEMS, inkjet, and fuel cells. He founded and managed Ecopress (book publishing), which was later acquired by a larger press. Chris is president of Trillium FiberFuels and a member of its board of directors.
I am eager to hear what Vince and Chris will say – and I know that the topic will elicit pointed questions from the audience and a lively discussion. I hope you can join us.
- Rick Spinrad VP for Research
Corvallis Science Pubs are generally the second Monday of the Month, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at The Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St., Corvallis.
No RSVP or tickets are required. Come early for food, drink, and a seat. Quench your thirst and feed your head. Learn about cutting-edge topics in science and technology from leading experts, in an interactive, informal atmosphere where there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Everyone has fun at Science Pub, from those completely unfamiliar with science to self-identified “science geeks.”
Corvallis Science Pubs are for ages 21+, or minor with adult, but please read the disclaimer if you’re thinking of bringing kids.
General Inquiries Terra Magazine
Downtown Corvallis Association
For information or to sign up for the mailing list
note: I made one of my first public appearances on that very Old World Deli stage in 1976 – not as a scientific administrator, but playing my banjo and passing the hat - the start of a prematurely (but appropriately) aborted career as a professional musician! – RS
Receiving almost $281 million in Fiscal Year 2012, with private sector financing of nearly $35 million, OSU is one of only two land, sea, space and sun grant institutions in the U.S., with top tier research designation from the Carnegie Foundation.
This blog includes insights from the VP and others, for the OSU research community.