COF News & Events

Matsutake Season Under Way In Oregon Forests

Mushroom gatherers set out in Oregon forests Tuesday for the first day of Matsutake season.  Forestry assistant professor Dan Luoma's specialty is Forest Mycology. And when it comes to the Matsutake, he’s a fan.  “Its flavor has been described as a cross between cinnamon red hots and dirty socks.  That doesn’t necessarily sound all that appealing, but it’s just a unique flavor and aroma profile that myself and many, many other people find really appealing,” said Luoma.

Guest: How Indian forests sustain economy and environment

Congress should make sure Indian forests have funding necessary to benefit the economy and environment, according to guest columnists John Gordon and John Sessions. John Sessions is a professor in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management in the College of Forestry.

LEED certification vs. Oregon wood industry

Why, you ask, don't all those Oregon forest owners just call up FSC and get themselves LEED legal? The answer -- surprise! -- is complicated, and it has a lot to do with the nature of west-side Oregon forests and with modest differences between the programs themselves. "Substantively, there isn't a huge difference" between the two programs' requirements here, says Kevin Boston, a professor at Oregon State University's college of forestry. But small differences can matter, and one, he points out, involves maximum clear-cut size. While clear-cuts may not be popular, they're appropriate in forests dominated by Douglas fir, a species that needs full sunlight to regenerate.

Trails mapping website provides one-stop resource for regional recreation

The Right Trail, a trails mapping website for Benton County, has just launched. This collaborative project is a free resource for public trails, where everyone from casual visitors to serious outdoor recreationists can search for new places to run, walk the dog, watch birds, or find family-friendly natural areas.  OSU College Forests helped fund the site and was one of many organizations working together for the last three years to create it—a unique partnership of government, non-profit and trails enthusiasts.

USDA awards grant to OSU to study forest mortality

Oregon State University announced it has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate increasing impacts of drought, insect attacks and fires on forests in the West, and to project how the influence of climate change may affect forest die-offs in the future.  FES professor Beverly Law is one of the lead investigators on this project.

Yellowstone wolves boost berry diet for grizzlies, study says

In another example of how the return of a top predator can have far-reaching ecological effects, researchers have found that the reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park has boosted an important food source for the threatened grizzly bear. “The grizzly bear uses some of the same plants that the prey of the wolf uses,” said William Ripple, an Oregon State University professor of forest ecosystems and lead author of the study.

Two ways to explore OSU forest

When it comes to finding great hikes that don’t require a long drive, it would be difficult to do much better than McDonald-Dunn Experimental Forest southwest of Salem.The Oregon State University forest is a breeding ground for research on the management of trees and ecosystems and home to all types of forest across the West Coast.

Three Proposals Funded for College Forests Research and Outreach Program

In a pilot program designed to help connect faculty and students to the management of OSU’s College Forests, three proposals have been funded for 2013-2014 to research the following topics:

  • Assessing the Consequences of Herbicide Use on Animal Pollinators in Early Seral Forests
    PI:  James Rivers / Co-PI:  Matthew Betts / Undergraduate Student Researchers TBD
  • Improved Aggregate Management: Evaluating Factors in Extending Forest Road Lifespans
    PI:  Kevin Boston / Co-PI:  Ben Leshchinsky / Graduate Student:  Erica Kemp
  • Treatment Options for Controlling the Spread of Brachypodium sylvaticum: Risks, Implementation, Effectiveness, and Impacts on Native Vegetation
    PI:  John Bailey / Graduate Student:  Taylor Fjeran

The 10 proposals received spanned the mission areas of the College Forests and supported its management in various ways.  It’s hoped that more funds will be available for another round of proposals in the coming year. 

Fungi, flying machines and finding answers

College of Forestry professors Michael Wing and Sara Robinson will be among the speakers featured at this year's Da Vinci Days festival, July 19-20.  Robinson combines science and art in a technique called spalting, a process by which fungi create unique patterns and colors in wood.  Wing is exploring an emerging avenue of surveying using unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones.  Drones could be used to survey forests, aid search and rescue operations and help fight fires, Wing said.

Oregon State Forestry and Ag programs score high in QS World University Rankings

Oregon State University’s Forestry and Agriculture programs rank 8th in the world, according to the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Out of more than 199 programs evaluated, OSU’s College of Forestry and College of Agricultural Sciences programs’ strong performance in the number of publications, number of times mentioned in surveys, and degrees offered in the subject area placed them in the top tier of institutions worldwide. The programs’ #4 ranking in research citations further supports the H2 ranking of research citations which placed OSU’s College of Forestry in the top 1% of forestry programs worldwide.

OSU also ranked among the top 150 institutions in earth and marine sciences and environmental studies.

For these rankings, QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU) – a division of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, an international higher education data-research firm – evaluated 2,858 universities and ranked 678 institutions in total. Now in its third year, the QS World University Rankings by Subject is an extension of the overall QS World University Rankings. According to the company's website, the by-subject rankings are designed to “provide comparative information at discipline level and to highlight the excellence of institutions in specialist areas.”

The by-subject rankings' methodology draws six indicators together – academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-student ratio, proportion of international students and proportion of international faculty – to form an international ranking of universities.

For more information and a full list of 2013 rankings, visit the QSIU website at www.topuniversities.com.