Geosciences student Julia Rosen will be blogging about ice core research in Greenland.

To read about Julia Rosen’s research and day-to-day experiences on the ice sheet, read her blog, Transmissions from the Ice Sheet.

Julie Rosen is blogging and studying ice cores
Julie Rosen is blogging and studying ice cores

Remote is one way to describe where geosciences Ph.D. student Julia Rosen is going. Cold would be another appropriate adjective. But neither is quite vivid enough to capture the atmosphere at the North Greenland Eemian Ice Core Drilling Project (NEEM) camp, where Rosen will be spending three weeks this summer, trying to help complete a picture of long term, global climate change.

At 77.45°N, NEEM is more isolated than Rosen has ever been. The drill site is located on top of 2,500 meters (1.5 miles) of ice, hundreds of miles from the nearest piece of ice-free land. In order to go, Rosen had to undergo extensive physical and mental evaluations, and ensure that her wisdom teeth were removed — there’s no dentist around the corner from the snow pit where she’ll be working.

The intensive preparations, however, will be worth it. Rosen is title to NEEM as a part of an international ice coring team aiming to retrieve a core that reaches back to earth’s previous interglacial period, the Eemian. As a member of geosciences professor Ed Brook’s lab, Rosen is planning on using samples from that core to analyze levels of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Knowing that can help Rosen map past levels of the greenhouse gas, records of which are currently less available than those of the more abundant carbon dioxide and methane.

“There is still no complete history of nitrous oxide measurements in ice cores,” says Rosen. “My goal is to generate a high-resolution, accurate history of nitrous oxide through the previous interglacial period. I also hope to make isotopic measurements of the nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the nitrous oxide molecule to help constrain how the sources of the gas have changed over time.”

Getting a good nitrous oxide record will not only help reconstruct a picture of past climate change, but the data can also be used to develop climate models that can be used to predict future climate changes, as well. Models, Rosen says, should be able to accurately reproduce past climate changes if they will be used to predict the future. A history of nitrous oxide can be used either as an input for models that simulate global climate or as a target for biogeochemical models to reproduce.

In Brook’s lab, Rosen is also trying to develop the best method to extract nitrous oxide from the tiny bubbles that are trapped in ancient polar ice. She’ll compare “wet” and “dry” methods for extracting gas, which are currently used for methane and carbon dioxide, to determine which, if either, works for nitrous oxide.

Rosen’s interest in ice core research was piqued when she was an undergraduate at Stanford. By nature, she’s a lover of snow and ice. Coupling that with a passion for the environment was a natural fit. “I’ve always been interested in environmental issues, and, to me, climate is the most pressing of them,” she says. “As soon as I found out that ice cores could be used to reconstruct climate, I thought, ‘perfect.’”

And for Rosen, Oregon State was the logical choice when she thought about graduate school. “There are many other great ice core research institutions, but only a few that work on greenhouse gases. This is the place I wanted to come.”

While in Greenland, Rosen will be chronicling her experiences in the blog, Transmissions from the Ice Sheet. Be sure to check out her updates.

New Climate Report: Look for more drought and melting glaciers, says OSU’s Peter Clark.

Peter Clark
Peter Clark

To a geoscientist, the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” is an outlandish imagining of abrupt climate change, even down to heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal’s geeky heroics in the lead role.

But abrupt climate change is not only plausible; it’s likely to occur in this century — even faster in some ways than previous reports have indicated. That’s the conclusion of a recent report by OSU geosciences professor Peter Clark and colleagues for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

The report — one of 21 of its kind developed by academic and government agency researchers around the country — specifically identifies faster-than-expected loss of sea ice, rising sea levels and a possibly permanent state of drought in the American Southwest as likelihoods in the near future. It is one of the first reports that describes possible impacts on the North American continent in such detail.

“If the earth warms you can push it to a point where change happens more quickly than expected,” he says. “We’re forcing changes with global warming at a rate the Earth’s climate system has experienced only a few times in history,” says Clark. Generally climate change is understood to have occurred, but is believed to have taken place slowly, over hundreds or thousands of years. But the Earth’s climate — at times — has also changed surprisingly quickly, on the order of decades.

The report evaluated four mechanisms for abrupt climate change that have taken place prehistorically, including rapid changes in glaciers, ice sheets and sea level; widespread changes to the hydrologic cycle; abrupt changes in ocean current patterns; and rapid release to the atmosphere of methane trapped in permafrost or on continental margins.

“All of these have the potential to change quickly due to global warming,” Clark says. The report concluded that we should not expect catastrophic changes in ocean current patterns or abrupt release of methane into the atmosphere, but that rapid change in the other mechanisms may already be in place. “The possibility that the Southwest may enter a permanent drought state is not yet widely appreciated,” says Clark. “Sea ice in the summer is likely to disappear entirely this century. We don’t know how much sea levels will rise, but we’ve concluded it may be more than previously projected.”

The “overarching” recommendation of the report is the need for committed and sustained monitoring of these climatic forces that could trigger abrupt climate changes, the researchers concluded. “We need to monitor the vital signs of our planet,” Clark said.

OSU’s Sarah Baxter begins a career in exploration geology.

Sarah Baxter
Sarah Baxter

When Sarah Baxter told her father she was going to study geology at Oregon State University, he gave her one of his prized possessions, the rock hammer he had used as a mining engineering major at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the 1960s. She was so touched that she won’t take the hammer with her on field trips for fear of losing it.

“I was always good at science when I was a kid,” says Baxter, who will receive her bachelor’s degree this fall. “My dad has a museum-quality mineral collection. I grew up camping and hiking and looking for rocks.”

OSU’s geology program appealed to Baxter because of its excellent reputation and because of the atmosphere she found when she visited the school. “I spent half a day in the geology department speaking to graduate students. I loved the way I was treated and how close-knit the department was,” says Baxter. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to go here.’”

OSU certainly didn’t disappoint her. Within two weeks after starting she had met professor John Dilles, who would foster her interest in mineral deposit geology throughout her time at OSU. The first time they met, Dilles invited Baxter on a field trip to the French Gulch mining district in Shasta City, Calif.  Dilles, Baxter remembers, bought all the groceries and invited her to stay in his family home. The experience cemented Baxter’s first impression of OSU as an institution that invested in its students.

“John Dilles is world-renowned in mineral deposits. I wouldn’t have gotten that had I gone elsewhere. I didn’t need to go to a mining school because I had the best at OSU,” Baxter says.

The French Gulch mine would be the site of Baxter’s thesis research. It would also be the first place she ventured underground. “I was kind of nervous,” Baxter says. “But I put on my hard hat and head lamp, and I loved it. It feels like being in the Lord of the Rings’ Mines of Moria.”

In her French Gulch study, Baxter tried to determine the geological conditions that favor the presence of gold deposits. More specifically, she wanted to see how many parts per million of gold were “trapped” in sulfide minerals, such as pyrite and arsenopyrite, that were present in the host rock quartz veins. She collected rock samples from various areas at the French Gulch mine, choosing the samples with the highest probability of having sulfide minerals associated with “free” gold. Baxter sliced the samples into thin sections and analyzed their texture and mineralogy. She completed chemical analysis of the minerals at a lab in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

The idea was to see whether the samples she took were similar to others around the world where “trapped” gold could be found. Although Baxter’s conclusions did not support this idea, she collected valuable data about how the minerals in her samples were formed.

Now, she has turned her research and internship experience at OSU into a career. She works as an exploration geologist in Morenci, Ariz., for the international mining company Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold. “My goal is to become a senior exploration geologist,” Baxter says. “I love being out of the office. I sit at my desk maybe an hour a day. Otherwise I’m in the field. I’m in the mine.”

From coral reefs in the tropics to Oregon’s rocky banks, Mark Hixon investigates coastal marine fishes.

OSU zoology professor Mark Hixon’s research on fish population dynamics has taken him to most of the planet’s oceans, both temperate and tropical. He’s dived in the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Coral Sea. He’s graduated from the bone-chilling dives in cold-water kelp forests that he made as a doctoral student in the 1970s to using small research submarines in frigid northern waters. Marc Hixon

Hixon’s research is driven by a mystery relevant to both fisheries management and marine conservation — whether and how isolated populations of adult fish are linked. “One of the most important challenges in marine science today is to understand how the decline of a species in one part of the ocean affects the same species elsewhere — how spawning in one region replenishes populations in other areas,” says Hixon.

In two ongoing studies — one in Hawaii, the other in the Bahamas — Hixon and his graduate students are investigating connections among isolated populations of coral-reef fishes. They are studying the demographics of the yellow tang on Hawaii’s Big Island and the bicolor damselfish in Exuma Sound off the Bahamas. They are sampling DNA from adult and juvenile fish at multiple reefs. Their goal is to understand the drift patterns of fertilized eggs and larvae that travel with tides and currents in a process known as “larval dispersal.” And they are testing whether a high level of larval connectivity between two populations is reflected in the population dynamics of adult fish in those populations.

Ultimately, the answers will guide conservation and management, not only of fish, but of the reefs themselves. These complex ecosystems brim with more species than anyplace on the planet, even tropical rainforests. And many are dying. Pollution, global warming and overfishing have degraded about 20 percent of Earth’s coral reefs so far. Another 50 percent are at risk. In Hawaii, the yellow tang, coveted by the aquarium trade for its brilliant color, was depleted until the state created marine reserves along the Kohala-Kona coast of the Big Island to protect them.

Marc Hixon Dive

Preliminary data from Hixon and his colleagues suggest the reserves are working. “Comparisons inside and outside protected areas demonstrate that the reserves produce larger populations of spawning adults, and the aquarium fisheries are thriving as a result,” he says. The yellow tang genetics, still being analyzed in Hixon’s lab, will reveal which of Hawaii’s reefs need replenishment from spawn drifting in from highly productive “source” reefs and where those respective reefs are located.

Hixon’s tropical reef research, part of OSU’s top-ranked efforts in conservation biology, has relevance here in Oregon. “Off Oregon, it’s impossible to gather the enormous amount of data we can extract from warm, clear tropical waters,” Hixon says. “However, once our methods are developed and tested in the tropics, we can bring them home to Oregon.”


One of the world’s leading authorities on coral reefs, Hixon has been cited in scientific journals more often than any other coral-reef ecologist in the Western Hemisphere over the past decade, according to the Thomson Institute for Science Research. He was ranked third worldwide behind two scientists who live adjacent to coral reefs year-round.

In the end, Hixon wants our progeny to inherit a world still relatively intact. He wants tomorrow’s children to have a chance to dive into the pulsating rainbow of biodiversity that is the tropical reef. “You feel as if you’ve fallen into a universe of stars,” he says. “It really, truly is amazing.”

More on Mark Hixon’s research can be found in the Spring 2008 issue of Terra


Mark Hixon’s Web site

Department of Zoology

College of Science

National Science Foundation

National Undersea Research Program

Robbie Lamb’s international work with sustainable fisheries has earned him a Fulbright grant.

Robbie Lamb
Robbie Lamb

Robbie Lamb’s love of marine biology started with his mother’s pre-dawn knocks on his door when he was a child. She woke him so the two could drive from their Portland home to see the Oregon coast’s well-known tide pools. He hated getting up early, but once there, Robbie managed to shake off his drowsiness. The pools inspired him. “I think that’s what really planted the seed for marine biology,” says the senior in the University Honors College.

Robbie’s mom didn’t stop there. She urged her reluctant son to spend his junior year of high school as an exchange student in Ecuador. He loved it. Ecuador had so much a teenager like him wanted — diverse ecosystems, more endemic species than almost any country in the world and a rich, varied culture. “It was one of the most formative experiences I had,” he says.

At OSU, Lamb has strengthened the marriage of those two passions – science and culture. He’s a biology major pursuing an International Degree and marine biology option. He’s spent countless hours in the lab and the field, and he’s written his own grant proposals to get funding for research in the United States, Ecuador and the Bahamas.

But perhaps Lamb’s crowning achievement came in the mail on April 2 — a letter approving a Fulbright grant to continue his studies in Ecuador. In September, Lamb will use the grant to help build a marine reserve in the country’s Esmeraldas region — with fishermen’s input. “I’m very ready to go work with them,” Lamb says. “A big part of developing sustainable fisheries there will be establishing my own relationships with fishermen.”

It won’t be the first time Lamb has melded scientific and cultural work. As a congressional Gilman Scholar, he studied in Ecuador his sophomore year and interned with the Ecuadorian marine conservation group Equilibrio Azul, surveying sea turtle nesting sites and the shark catches fishermen hauled in daily. Counting sharks was a particularly sensitive job in Ecuador at the time. Shark fishing was illegal, and the fishermen were initially suspicious of him.

Gaining their trust was difficult, and where Lamb used to see only a conservationist’s argument, he began to understand the fishermen’s side of the story. “I saw them for the people that they really are. They’re just trying to feed their families,” Lamb says. The experience crystallized his career path. “That experience was very pivotal in directing my interest toward sustainable fisheries,” he says.

Lamb’s travels didn’t end in Ecuador. During his junior year, he took advantage of two of OSU’s undergraduate funding opportunities: the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity grant and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute program.

The grants took him to the Bahamas, where he worked as a research assistant for zoology professor Mark Hixon and even performed his own study on the effects of Bahamian marine reserves on fish communities. “What’s great about Robbie is that he is so enthusiastic, so willing to work and so dedicated to learning about ocean conservation and management,” says Hixon.

Now, with funding from Oregon Sea Grant, Lamb is working with zoology professor Bruce Menge, studying the same tide pools he visited as a child. He’s looking forward to returning to Ecuador and eventually wants to earn a Ph.D. “I’m definitely interested in teaching. It’s probably the best way to give back to the next generation,” Lamb says.

Terra Web

OSU Recognized for Coral Reef Research

College of Science

International Programs

Dawn Wright earns national recognition for her inspirational work in the classroom

Dawn Wright is known as "Deepsea Dawn"
Dawn Wright is known as "Deepsea Dawn"

Dawn Wright, an Oregon State University professor of geosciences, has been named Oregon Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

An OSU faculty member since 1995, Wright is a marine and coastal geography expert so passionate about her subject area that she’s known as “Deepsea Dawn.” Her popular web site with links to many interactive features can be found at She has a joint appointment in OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

Wright is an international expert in marine applications of geographic information science. She has taught more than 4,300 students during her 12-year tenure at OSU, in lecture and laboratory courses designed to “bring science to life.”

“Professor Wright exemplifies the very best in undergraduate teaching,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “That’s because the pioneering science she brings to each of her courses is made personal and accessible by the genuine caring she conveys to each of her students.”

Undergraduate students are often mesmerized by tales of her first-hand experiences from 25 scientific voyages across the planet, including descents to the deep-sea floor in manned submersibles and explorations of endangered tropical coral reefs. Discussions about topics closer to home include efforts to map Oregon’s near-shore geology and continental shelf, with applications many students and others can relate to — tsunami preparedness, fisheries management, coastal erosion and wave-generated electricity.

“When you go down in a submersible, it feels very much like being an astronaut,” Wright has said. “You’re going through this alien world, but it’s inner-space instead of outer space. It has that wild, exploratory feeling.”

Wright also often speaks to younger students, especially girls and underserved students aspiring to science careers. She has received numerous other honors for education and mentoring, such as the Education Award from the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs in 2006. Wright is featured on a website about “Women Exploring the Ocean,” and was profiled in Sally Ride Science’s “What Do You Want to Be? Explore Earth Sciences.”

Editor’s note: The following profile on Professor Wright is excerpted from the Spring 2007 issue of Terra, the OSU research magazine.

Pressing her face against the jetliner window, Dawn Wright scanned the azure expanse of the shimmering ocean for a glimpse of her destination: a tiny volcanic archipelago that is barely a blip in the vast South Pacific. Located 5,000 miles from Wright’s office at Oregon State University, American Samoa is closer to New Zealand than to Hawaii.

It was 2001, and the OSU geosciences professor was on her way to the outer reaches of Oceania to study the most remote of the U.S.’s 13 national marine sanctuaries, Fagatele Bay. Using state-of-the-art sonar equipment mounted on a small survey boat, she and a team of oceanographers from the University of South Florida “pinged” clusters of sound beams into the bay’s crystalline waters. These acoustic readings produced the sanctuary’s first precise seafloor map.

The mapping, though, was just one facet of the mission. As an international innovator in marine GIS — geographic information systems — Wright was laying the groundwork for a sweeping storehouse of data about Samoa’s sanctuary. Science and policy-making are stymied, Wright points out, when data are skimpy and scattered, as they are on this distant shore. And the dearth of data is not unique to Fagatele Bay.

Wright’s bigger vision is of a new era in global ocean data management built on the “seamless merging” of data into a Web-based clearinghouse. Drawing from oceanography, geography and geology, from the disparate agencies and jurisdictions that compile oceanic data, the clearinghouse would give scientists, resource managers, fishermen and conservationists fingertip access to simulated ocean systems from anywhere on earth. It is not an easy vision to implement, but Wright is undaunted.

Her intrepid spirit took hold early — throughout a sun-drenched Maui childhood, her mother, Jeanne, repeatedly told her: “You can be anything you want to be.”

At age 8, transfixed by the televised moon walk, young Dawn briefly mulled a space career. But another TV experience tipped the scales toward ocean science: “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.” “I was riveted,” she says.

In 1991, as the first woman of color to dive in the three-person autonomous craft ALVIN, Wright realized that the two careers are strikingly similar. “When you go down in a submersible, it feels very much like being an astronaut,” she says. “You’re going through this alien world, but it’s inner space instead of outer space. It has that wild, exploratory feeling.”

Today, with reefs dying and fisheries collapsing across the globe, a profound sense of urgency propels Wright’s energies. Accurate predictions — and sound policy — about the “great blue engine” that powers the planet depend, she says, on getting the data right.

Dawn Wright’s Web page

Department of Geosciences

College of Science

OSU Foundation

National Marine Sanctuaries Web site

National Science Foundation’s POWRE (Professional Opportunities for Women in Research & Education)

OSU news releases offer more information about engineering education:

Samoa Research Proves Coral Reef Recovery is Possible (5-02-06)

New System to Provide Better View of Marine Biology (9-07-05)

OSU’s Dawn Wright Receives Fulbright to Ireland (8-24-04)

Coastal Atlas Allows Personalized “Smart Maps” (2-13-04)

Learning the secrets of seed germination is helping Jing Sun grow her future career as a physician.

Jing Sun is pursuing a career as a physician
Jing Sun is pursuing a career as a physician

Jing Sun, an OSU junior in microbiology, has wanted to become a doctor ever since a childhood bout with hepatitis A put her in the hospital. “That made a big impression on me, mostly on how much I didn’t want to be in the hospital, but also on how grateful I was to the doctors who helped me get better,” she says.

Jing decided to use that experience as motivation to study medicine and become a pediatrician. In her first year at OSU, she wanted to learn to diagnose and solve problems, and she jumped at a chance to learn those skills in a research laboratory.

“It was the first lab I found that was looking for a freshman to do real research. Dr. Nonogaki was specifically looking for someone to take on their own projects, which was pretty unique and very exciting,” she says.

As she learned laboratory techniques, Jing found other undergrads were doing research in her area, the Integrative Seed Biology Program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Established by associate professor Hiro Nonogaki in the Department of Horticulture, the program offers undergraduates a chance to gain research skills while they discover how seed genes function.

Jing begins by identifying seeds that show a mutation in a gene known as a transcription factor. These genes operate somewhat like light switches, turning other genes on and off. After finding seeds with transcription factor mutations, Jing allows the seeds to sprout, observes the growing plants and documents the results. She then compares the plants to those grown from seeds with normal germination patterns. Her goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms at work and the consequences of the mutation.

Jing, who is in the University Honors College, has accomplished a lot. In 2005, she received a research grant through the Ernest and Pauline Jaworski Scholarship for Underserved Undergraduates in Plant Science. She also received an award for her presentation in OSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer research program.

In 2006, Jing was selected to study at the University of Freiburg in Germany through RISE (Research Internships for Science and Engineering), a German Academic Exchange Service program created to bring Canadian and American undergraduates to Germany to study with Ph.D. students.

Each year about 2,000 OSU undergraduates are involved in research projects around campus. “I think it is good for undergraduate students to do this research,” Nonogaki says, “and to present their findings at conferences. It is important for them to be exposed to real scientific research and to experts in the field.”

Jing Sun’s University Honors College page

Integrative Seed Biology Program Web site

Department of Microbiology Web site

The Cobarrubias children are on their way to health care careers, living their mother’s unfulfilled dream.

All four of the Cabarrubias siblings attend OSU
All four of the Cabarrubias siblings attend OSU

Living their mother Amelia’s dream, four Cobarrubias children are studying at OSU.

Amelia longed to become a medical practitioner. But the tiny Mexican village where she grew up offered scant opportunities for girls. So she carried her dream to Oregon where her husband Florencio found work in the orchards of Hood River.

More than a decade later, widowed and juggling three low-wage jobs to raise her eight children alone, she still nurtured her childhood wish to bring health care and healing to those in need. But the dream was no longer for herself. Almost like a genetic gift, Amelia had passed it along to her offspring, math and science whizzes all.

Four of them — Genobeva, Florencio Jr., Elizabeth, and Kristina — are enrolled in pre-health programs at OSU. Majoring in microbiology and German, Genobeva (Genny) plans to go on for an M.D. in pediatrics. Kristina is in pre-dentistry, thinking about a children’s practice. Florencio is in pre-pharmacy, hoping to own his own pharmaceuticals business someday. And Elizabeth, with a major in biochemistry/biophysics, wants to be a surgeon, probably a cardiologist.

“At least one-quarter of the students in the College of Science are preparing for health professions,” says the Northwest’s most experienced pre-health adviser, Chere Pereira, who guides OSU’s pre-medical and pre-dental students from orientation through professional-school application.
“OSU’s pre-health programs are well-respected throughout the country,” says Pereira. “Our students are not only well-trained, they tend to be resourceful and grounded in the real world.”

With so many underserved ethnic communities across the United States, cultural competence is, Pereira notes, a big plus for prospective medical students. So, in partnership with OHSU, Oregon State is supporting greater diversity in health professions through special programs. And, through IE3 Global Internships, undergrads can get international experience working side-by-side with doctors in Bolivia, Mexico, Ecuador, India and South Africa.

For the bilingual and trilingual Cobarrubias siblings (in high school, Genny and Elizabeth studied in Germany and Italy, respectively), cultural competence is a given. Add to that their single-minded focus on achieving their goals, and it appears their mother’s lifelong dream will finally be realized — in quadruplicate.

OSU pre-professional programs in health

Microbiology Web site

Biochemistry and Biophysics Web site

Mary Jo Nye has been honored with a prestigious lifetime achievement award, but that doesn’t mean she’s done.

Mary Jo Nye
Mary Jo Nye

Mary Jo Nye has received the History of Science Society’s highest award, the 2006 Sarton Medal, for a lifetime of scholarly achievement.

“It’s somewhat daunting to receive a ‘lifetime achievement’ award, since I’m not ready to call it a day,” says Nye, Horning Professor of the Humanities and professor of history at OSU. “However, I know of Sarton medalists who have done even more research and writing after they received the award than before.”

In presenting the medal, Alan Rocke of Case Western Reserve University said “Mary Jo’s work has brilliantly illuminated important areas of the history of modern European and American physics and chemistry, with significant additional contributions to institutional and disciplinary history, philosophy of science, and the social and political relations of science. Her elegant writing is always a joy to read, her research as deep as it is broad and her historical arguments are judicious and convincing.”

Nye has written a number of books, including Molecular Reality: A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin (Elsevier, 1972), Science in the Provinces (University of California Press, 1986), and From Chemical Philosophy to Theoretical Chemistry: Dynamics of Matter and Dynamics of Disciplines, 1800-1950 (University of California Press, 1993). Her latest, Blackett: Physics, War, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press), came out in 2004.

The History of Science Society is the world’s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members across the world support the Society’s mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.

This isn’t the first time Nye, who came to OSU in 1994 after 25 years at the University of Oklahoma, has been honored with a lifetime achievement award. In 2000, she received the Dexter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.

Mary Jo Nye Web page

History of Science Society Web

Previous Sarton Medal winners

Sarton Medal news release

Chrissy Lamun has completed her all-American gymnastics career. Now she’s preparing for a career as an orthodontist.

Chrissy Lamun, an all-American gymnast, is now pursuing a career in dentistry
Chrissy Lamun, an all-American gymnast, is now pursuing a career in dentistry

Chrissy Lamun loves to make people smile. She does it with her vivacious enthusiasm. She does it with athletic performance that earned her all-American honors as an OSU gymnast this past season.

And the recent graduate from Reno, Nev., hopes to do it in the future as an orthodontist.

“When I was little, I was obsessed with braces,” she says. “I couldn’t wait to get them. I made retainers out of paper clips and headgear out of wire. When my mom saw the paper clips, she said get them out of your mouth, they’re dirty.”

Yet, Chrissy didn’t think of going into the dental field until a high school friend suggested it because of her obsession. “And I was thinking, ‘it’s perfect,’” she says.“I want to help people have a beautiful smile.”

When she started looking for schools with good predental programs, she says OSU was an easy choice. “It’s been a wonderful experience,“ Chrissy says, “and I love Corvallis. The community is so supportive.”

And she found time to give back to the community, participating in the Relay for Life the last two years and talking to children in elementary schools.

Chrissy received her degree in general science, with a pre-dental emphasis, and she minored in business administration.

This year she plans to help coach the OSU gymnastics team while gaining experience observing dentists at work to help prepare her for dental school. Students normally do their observation during the school year, but because of the time demands of gymnastics, Chrissy decided to wait until she finished.

College of Science academic programs

College of Business Web site
OSU gymnastics team Web site