Oregon State University’s Herbarium supports learning, discovery, and engagement by obtaining and curating our state’s most comprehensive collection of plants, fungi, lichens, and algae from around the world, with a geographic emphasis on Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Our resources are used at OSU, across Oregon, nationally, and globally to create knowledge and solve problems. Curation and research in the collection fosters leadership and science-based expertise in our students, preparing them for service in natural resource and data management positions worldwide. We enrich communities across Oregon through our plant identification services, outreach and training sessions, and through our partnership with OregonFlora.

Three BPP faculty have partial appointments in the OSU Herbarium: Dr. Aaron Liston (Director), Dr. Jessie Uehling (Curator of the Mycology Collection), and Dr. James Mickley (Curator). Two 9-month graduate research assistantships are also associated with the herbarium. These GRAs have important roles in the specimen curation and digitization activities of the herbarium.

Greenhouses and Growth Chambers

Greenhouses are available and equipped for research and teaching uses. The Greenhouse Operations website details policies and procedures. Facilities available to qualified faculty and students include table space in temperature controlled hallways and rooms, potting soil, and soil autoclaves. Buildings are divided between two ranges, East Range and West Range. There are 15-1/2 rooms in the West Range and nine rooms in the East Range assigned to Botany and Plant Pathology faculty and staff. If a faculty member you are working with doesn’t have space, you can often find someone willing to loan his/her space or make arrangements with the greenhouse manager in East Range for more space, as all rooms or tables are rarely in use all at the same time. Space assigned to faculty in other departments can sometimes be used with their approval. Most work on crop plants and plant diseases is done at West Range. East Range is usually used for classes. In addition to greenhouses, there is limited lathhouse and screenhouse space outdoors which some faculty members currently use.

As a general greenhouse policy, all graduate students are expected to contact the greenhouse office when beginning to work in greenhouses. An initial visit is necessary for familiarization of basic facility policies on environmental control, space use assignment, right-to-know act of 1985, key issue, building maintenance, etc.

The greenhouse facilities are run by manager, Jim Ervin (7-2381), and several technicians. There are also student workers and resident interns to take care of upkeep, watering and miscellaneous duties. All greenhouse workers are required to take a short “class” on Workers Protection Standards (WPS). Routine services which are performed by greenhouse personnel include watering, soil mixing, and insecticide applications. Each user is, however, ultimately responsible for keeping an eye on his/her own plant material for pest build-up and proper care. Special requests for pesticide application or help with some operations can be arranged with the manager. Fungicide and fertilizer application is the responsibility of each user. The staff are more than willing to help with problems and day-to-day care when asked.

In addition to State-run greenhouses, the USDA Horticulture Crops Research Labs have limited greenhouse and screenhouse facilities for use by USDA employees and their students.

On greenhouse grounds in the West Range, there are at least ten growth chambers used by faculty in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department. Additional growth chambers are assigned to members of Crop & Soil Science and other departments. As with assigned greenhouse space, use of growth chamber space can often be arranged with the faculty member in charge. Limited space is also often available in three controlled environment rooms on the 4th floor of Cordley Hall.

OSU Plant Clinic

The OSU Plant Clinic, directed by Melodie Putnam, is in Cordley Hall. The Plant Clinic is a diagnostic facility in support of the OSU Extension Service. See the Plant Clinic website for hours, location, and services. Samples of diseased plants are received primarily from County Extension agents, representatives of agriculture-oriented companies, nurseries, and other commercial crop growers and home gardeners. The Clinic will also diagnose problems with plants used for research. Stop by the Clinic for information on what constitutes an appropriate sample and other details. There will be a charge for most services provided by the Clinic.

Field Laboratories

The primary research Field Laboratory for many members of the department is located about 1/2 mile east of Corvallis on the north side of Highway 34. In most instances, arrangements for using land and/or performing experiments will be made through the student’s major professor. Arrangements for using the field lab space should be made by contacting the Field Lab Manager, Kelly O’Neil. Questions concerning facilities and equipment at the Field Lab should be directed to the manager.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Rent is charged to the user for all reserved land. An annual fee is charged for land use and additional fees are added for application of chemicals, e.g., herbicides and fungicides.
  • Various kinds of equipment are kept at the Field Lab. No equipment should be used nor should any experiments be performed without first contacting the manager.
  • Clean up after doing any work. Don’t leave anything behind when you leave.
  • Do not borrow any tool or item of equipment without checking it out with the manager. Write down requested information on a provided sheet before taking anything out of the shop or equipment area.
  • Do not use land or equipment used by another research project without asking permission.5. If something breaks while you are using it, be sure to tell the manager.
  • Each research project has designated one or two individuals through whom all requests for land preparation, irrigation, etc., are channeled to the farm manager. Please review correct project procedures with the major professor.

Other research farms are managed through other departments and through the Agricultural Experiment Station. The Crop and Soil Science Department has three farms. The main research farm is Hyslop Farm, located north of Corvallis about halfway between Corvallis and Albany on Highway 20. The two others are the Schmidt Farm (near Hyslop) and East Farm (near the Botany and Plant Pathology Field Lab). The Agricultural Experiment Station has other field research areas throughout the state.

The Horticulture Department has two research farms. The vegetable research farm is near the Botany and Plant Pathology Field Lab. The Lewis-Brown Horticulture farm, which is involved primarily with fruits and turfgrass, is located southeast of Corvallis, about one mile south of Highway 34 on Peoria Road near the USDA Germplasm Repository.

As with the BPP Field Lab, arrangements for use of equipment, land, and facilities at these farms should be made through the major professor and the superintendent/manager at each farm. The availability of land and facilities at these farms for use by students in the department is dependent on many factors (e.g., available land, facilities and type of project). Project procedures and farm operations will probably vary between farms.

Electron Microscopy

The Electron Microscopy Instrument Manager, Teresa Sawyer (7-5245), can assist with equipment and advise on photography through light and electron microscopes.

The Electron Microscopy Facility (EM Lab) is located in Linus Pauling Science Center Room 145. The facility houses both a transmission electron microscope and a scanning electron microscope. Charges are made for instrument beam time, technical assistance, film and specimen preparation services.

The EM Lab provides instrumentation, skills, and when necessary, specialized training necessary to visually analyze microstructure of solid biological and physical substances. Bulk, particulate and macromolecular materials in the 5 cm3 to 2 Angstrom size range can be imaged with this equipment. The EM Lab operates as a service business and offers the analytical procedures described below.

Instrument operation and specimen preparation services are provided. In most instances clients are required to have facility personnel operate instruments, although users are invited to be present during microscopy sessions. Clients are strongly encouraged to consult with the staff regarding experimental design, data requirements, sampling, specimen preparation and scheduling before committing experiments to microscopy. There is no charge for estimates or for consultants requiring less than two hours of staff time. Specimen preparation and technical assistance services are limited to those directly pertaining to electron microscopic procedures. All results and sample materials not consumed for microscopy are returned to the client.

More detailed information for particular projects may be obtained from the EM Manager, Teresa Sawyer , in Linus Pauling Science Center 145 (7-5645).

Media Services

The University’s Student Media Studio (SMS) is a full-service multimedia unit, including equipment loan, poster and thesis printing, multimedia support, and video editing and dubbing. SMS is located on the 2nd floor of the Valley Library. Normal turnaround time is about one week. A rush capability exists for an extra charge. Payment may be made with cash, purchase order or with a departmental index number. For a list of services contact SMS at 7-3332.

Light Microscopy Services

Kathy Cook does routine microscope service, cleaning and alignments, instruction, technique development, consultations, and histological preparations on a fee basis. Contact Kathy.

The Electron Microscope Facility maintains a small inventory of compound microscopes available for use in field research or for short-term, defined-period loans for graduate student research projects. Contact Teresa Sawyer (7-5645) concerning light microscope loan conditions and arrangements.

Please Note: Do not remove any microscopes from the teaching laboratories for any reason!! These instruments are dedicated to the instructional laboratories. When classes are not using the microscopes, they must remain in the teaching labs for cleaning, service, and inventory activities. It is the responsibility of the supervising professor, not the department’s teaching inventory, to provide graduate students with light microscopes.

The OSUsed Store often has surplussed light microscopes available for purchase by department accounts, or to individuals at monthly surplus property sales.

The Electron Microscope Facility has some macrophotographic equipment and compound light microscopes for transmitted light brightfield, darkfield, phase contrast, and non-analytical polarized light imaging in the magnification range 1x to 1000x. The microscopes may be fitted with a selection of ocular reticles for measuring or counting applications, with cameras and appropriate filters for 35 mm or 3 x 4 inch black and white or color films, and for direct video (tv) image recording. Video images may be acquired and saved in digital format for subsequent image modification and/or feature analysis. There is a selection of filters, lenses, accessories, and calibration aids available for use with facility instruments or, when compatible, with yours.

Facility microscope use is by appointment (7-5645) during business hours. You provide specimens, film, film processing, labor, and specialized light sources or accessories. Facility staff assist with system configuration, and for a charge of $30/hour, can provide training and/or assistance with technical problems, image modification, or feature analysis. You may be charged repair or part replacement costs attributed to misuse of equipment.

The Electron Microscope Facility cooperates with the Electron Microprobe Facility located in 105 Burt Hall (Oceanography), which has reflected (epi-illumination) brightfield light microscopy and analytical transmitted or reflected polarized light microscopy.

Fluorescence microscopes equipped for photomicrography are available in several Botany & Plant Pathology laboratories, in the Plant Clinic, and in the Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology. Confocal microscopy is available in the Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology. Scanned tunneling microscopy is available in the Chemistry Department. Infrared, ultraviolet, and acoustical microscopes are not available.

Mass Spectrometers

The Environmental Health Sciences Center, located in the ALS Building, houses both a low- and high-resolution mass spectrometer. Contact them for charges for  mass spectrometer analyses. Mass spectrometry is used for confirmation of chemical structures of unknown compounds and identification of trace organic chemicals because of its sensitivity and specificity. It is often used effectively with other analytical separation techniques such as gas and liquid chromatography.

Flow Cytometry. The Environmental Health Sciences Center maintains a Flow Cytometer.. Pilot studies are available following consultation.

Additional Support Facilities

Graduate students should be aware of the following research facilities and/or services that are available on campus.

Radiation Center – A campus-wide research and training facility for the use of radioisotopes and radiation. Special facilities include laboratories for neutron activation analysis. The Radiation Center is located at NW 35th and Jefferson.

Radiation Safety Office – Provides information on radiation safety and radioisotope handling and disposal.

Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing – Operates a central service facility which includes equipment and technical support for peptide sequencing and DNA and RNA synthesis. The Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing is located in Room 3021 in the Ag Life Sciences Building.

Environmental Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory (ERSAL) – Involved in development and application of remote sensing to agriculture, resource management, environmental monitoring, and other uses.

USDA/Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory – Personnel associated with this well-equipped facility have expertise in areas of photosynthesis, water relations, flowering, foliar and soil-borne diseases, mycorrhizae, and soil chemistry. USDA/HCRL is located at NW 35th and Orchard Streets.

USDA/ARS/National Forage Seed Production Research Center – This research facility is located at 3450 SW Campus Way (541-738-4000) and houses an interdisciplinary team of research scientists concerned with improving production practices of forage grasses and legumes grown for seed. Personnel at the Center have expertise in foliar and leaf diseases; disease epidemiology, including modeling and forecasting; forage insect pheromones and plant attractants; weed competition and weed control; seed conditioning, including recovery, cleaning, and purity; plant hormone bioregulation of seed development; plant growth processes and functions as related to increasing seed size and seed number; agronomic and management practices affecting seed yields; and inherited characteristics controlling or influencing seed yield or seed yield components.

US Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Ecological Systems Ecology Division Laboratory, Corvallis – Research focuses on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal systems and how they are connected.  Scientists develop tools to monitor and predict the condition of these systems and their contributions to human well-being nationwide, with a special focus on the Pacific Northwest.  PESD leads innovative research and predictive modeling efforts that link environmental condition to the health and well-being of people and society. This lab is located at 200 SW 35th Street.

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