PSM Defense Announcement

We are pleased to announce that our Environmental Sciences graduate student, Bao Khanh Nguyen, will defend for their Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree as follows:

Time: Nov 9, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the trading, tourism service and residential complexes area in Ray River, Phuoc Thuan Village, Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province, Vietnam

Information on Zoom Meeting available via email, or contact for more information.

Wetland Sciences 2021: Adaptation Drives Innovation // June 1-4, 2021

SWS 2021 Annual Meeting

Abstract Submission
SWS is now accepting abstract proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting on June 1-4, 2021. The abstract submission deadline is Friday, January 1, 2021. All wetland professionals are invited to submit their research as an oral or poster presentation. If you are a presenter in an accepted symposium proposal, be sure to submit your individual abstract coinciding with the symposium.

For more information about the submission process, please visit the abstract submission web page.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a symposium proposal for the 2021 Annual Meeting. View a complete listing of all accepted symposia.

The theme for next year is Wetland Science 2021: Adaptation Drives Innovation. We have selected the very industrious and innovative North American beaver (Castor canadensis) as the conference mascot. Their current role and profound historical influence on watersheds, wetlands and hydrology is a growing field of study and restoration. They also provide a model of wetland management and integration of habitats with relevance to our work.
Register today for the SWS 2020 Virtual Meeting!

Themed Wetland Connections Over 40 Years, the SWS 2020 Virtual Meeting will be held December 1-3, 2020. More information can be found at

Highlighting SOIL 511 for Winter 2021

Course Time/Credits: CRN 36890, Winter Term; 4 Jan – 19 March 2021, 3 term/quarter credits

Course Location: Ecampus online program; Oregon State University (OSU); Corvallis, OR.

Course Description: Serves degree- and non-degree-seeking graduate learners wanting soil science knowledge but having minimal science background. Understanding soil physical, chemical, and biological properties promotes informed soil management and supports individual to global societal values. Curriculum facilitates graduate degrees or certificates; continuing education/licensure renewal requirements (CEUs), professional development units (PDUs) for K-12 and college science teachers, and self-improvement goals of natural resource organization members or private individuals.

Prerequisite Graduate standing: a 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
Applies to degree- and non-degree-seeking learners.
Note: Undergraduate seniors from any discipline may also register with Primary Instructor approval.

Call OSU Ecampus 800-667-1465 /541-737-9204.

Review Graduate Admission requirements and register online. Download a General Syllabus from the Ecampus Winter 2021 SOIL 511 course web site. Or, contact Dr. Liegel for more information.

Why Take SOIL 511?

An interactive Discussion Forum framework supports student-student, instructor-student, and student-curriculum learning interactions. Using critical thinking, learners link
Discussion Forums with new weekly knowledge to identify, analyze, and summarize a chosen “Soils Problem” or “Soils Topic” in a short, <7-page Case Study that replaces a Final Exam. Prior case study topics have included: How does soil moisture affect plants/veggies grown in condo patio pots vs. private home and community gardens? What soil properties might help spread the sudden oak death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, in Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests?

Information about EPA Funding Opportunities

Interventions and Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Risks of Wildland Fire Smoke Exposures Request for Applications (RFA) and Informational Webinar

COVID-19 Update: EPA is providing flexibilities to applicants experiencing challenges related to COVID-19. Please see the Flexibilities Available to Organizations Impacted by COVID-19 clause in Section IV of EPA’s Solicitation Clauses. EPA is announcing a new research funding opportunity: The Interventions and Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Risks of Wildland Fire Smoke Exposures Request for Applications (RFA).URL: Date: October 9, 2020
Closed Date: December 15, 2020Informational


EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research that will address behavioral, technical and practical aspects of interventions and communication strategies to reduce exposures and/or health risks of wildland fire smoke.Exposure to high levels of air pollution, such as during wildland fire smoke events, has the potential to cause serious health problems. Populations differ in their vulnerability to high air pollution events, and each person’s health impact is dependent on their personal exposure and any underlying health conditions. To improve individual and public health, this RFA will seek to understand what actions might be effective for reducing adverse health outcomes of ambient and indoor exposures to wildland fire smoke, and how best to communicate these actions to various groups.

Applications should address at least one of the following Research Areas:
Assess the effectiveness of various types of interventions in reducing exposures and associated health risks of wildland fire smoke exposure at the individual or community level; and Develop and assess the effectiveness of health risk communication strategies in supporting actions to reduce wildland fire smoke exposure. The STAR Program’s goal is to stimulate and support scientific and engineering research that advances EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. It is a competitive, peer-reviewed, extramural research program that provides access to the nation’s best scientists and engineers in academic and other nonprofit research institutions. STAR funds research on the environmental and public health effects of air quality, environmental changes, water quality and quantity, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides. This RFA is also supported by EPA’s Air and Energy research program, which supports research needed to inform decisions regarding air quality to protect public health and the environment.

How to Apply: Interventions and Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Risks of Wildland Fire Smoke Exposures RFA.Learn more about the A-E Program.Learn more about EPA Research Grants.Informational Webinar for applicantsDate: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Register Below for Free Lecture

Climate Change Resilience: A Case for Human-Machine Collaboration in Solving Humanity’s Most Urgent Threat 

Meghna Babbar-Sebens
Associate Professor of Water Resources Engineering

Oct. 27, 2020
Noon to 1 p.m. (PT)
Free and open to the public

Register here

Failure to mitigate impacts of climate change and adapt to related stresses, extreme events (such as floods, droughts, and storms), and natural hazards have been identified as the most likely global risks by World Economic Forum in a recent 2020 report. A collective will is critical to tackling these risks. But how do we mobilize a collective problem-solving process in communities for identifying opportunities to build resilience to climate change and adapt to learned lessons? In this presentation, we will examine whether a collaboration between humans and machines could create new ways for communities to create solutions for this intractable problem. We will also explore what such a collaboration might look like in watershed communities prone to flooding. 

Meghna Babbar-Sebens is an associate professor of water resources engineering in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. She is also co-director of the OSU-Benton County Green Stormwater Infrastructure facility. Babbar-Sebens’ research interests lie in the area of water resources and environmental systems analysis. She and her students conduct interdisciplinary research in the fields of hydroinformatics and artificial intelligence to develop innovative and effective monitoring, simulation optimization, and decision support technologies for sustainable planning and management of water-based systems, including watershed systems, stormwater infrastructure, and systems at the nexus of food, energy, and water sectors.

Graduate School Awards Now Open for Review

Effective today, all OSU competitive Graduate School awards are now open for your review. While there are different submission deadlines for various awards, announcing all of the awards at once allows units plenty of time to prepare their nomination materials and processes. You may submit your nominations at any point between the award’s official open date up to the submission deadline.

This summer, the Graduate School made a number of changes that we believe are in the best interest of students and academic units. These changes are listed below.

  • The Graduate School is pleased to announce the new Promising Scholar Fellowship. This award is intended to support the recruitment of graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate scholarly promise at OSU. This award—formerly offered as partial tuition support for former McNair Scholars – has been expanded to include additional scholar programs and a 9-month fully funded fellowship with an accompanying tuition waiver.
  • The Thesis or Dissertation Completion Award, has been separated into two different awards: the Thesis Completion Award (for master’s students) and the Dissertation Completion Award (for doctoral students). The Graduate School anticipates awarding 8-10 students per award, per award period.
  • The Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Graduate Student or Postdoc Award, has been separated into two different awards: one specifically for graduate students and one specifically for postdocs.  Recipients will have direct and significant involvement with undergraduate student researchers, a demonstrable commitment to the research mentorship of undergraduate students, and a record of effectiveness and impact with respect to undergraduate student research and success.  
  • The Graduate School has increased the request amount for the Professional Development Award. For this award, graduate students may now submit proposals for reimbursement up to $500 for trainings, resources, and activities that contribute to professional skills development.
  • Formerly offered as the Diversity Advancement Fellowship, the Graduate School has renamed this award as the Prestigious Diversity Fellowship. It remains a lucrative financial award that supports new graduate students with their transition to graduate education and celebrates their future contributions at OSU.

For your reference you can find a complete list of Graduate School competitive awards here: or at

Additionally, the nomination deadline for the following Graduate School awards is October 5, 2020:

Delson Bridge to the Future Fund

·       The Delson Bridge to the Future Fund assists domestic and international graduate students in the final phase of their graduate education to pay research expenses, publication costs, and other incidentals that stand in the way of completing their graduate studies at OSU. Graduate programs that become aware of emergency situations involving students at the end of their programs may submit requests for limited assistance to offset financial difficulties and promote degree completion. For the 2020-2021 award cycle, we plan to offer up to three awards at $1,000 each. Awards will be made on a one-time only basis, typically during a student’s final term in the graduate program, and are intended to help offset the cost of degree completion.

·       Nomination period September 1, 2020 – October 5, 2020

Jesse M. Bell Memorial Graduate Student Loan

·       The Jesse M. Bell Memorial Graduate Student Loan Program, created by the estate of Jesse Bell, provides loans for meritorious graduate students. These non-need-based loans are available on a one-time basis to domestic and international enrolled graduate students to assist with educational expenses associated with their advanced degree. Loans up to $5,000 are anticipated and will be dependent upon the merits of the case, the loan demand, and the current balance available in the loan fund.

·       Nomination period September 1, 2020 – October 5, 2020

Thank you in advance for all you do to support our graduate students. We look forward to reviewing your nominations and making awards to your students. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information listed above please email me or