OSU Research Office Centers and Institutes
- Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing
- Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement (CL@SE)
- Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning
- The Center for the Humanities
- Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
- Environmental Health Sciences Center
- Hatfield Marine Science Center
- Institute for Natural Resources
- Institute for Water and Watersheds
- Laboratory Animal Resources Center
- Linus Pauling Institute
- Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center
- Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium
- Oregon Sea Grant
- Radiation Center
- Superfund Research Center
Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing
Brett Tyler, Director
The Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing facilitates the development, application and training in computationally intensive, genome-enabled research at OSU and across the state. Research in the CGRB and faculty affiliate laboratories seeks to improve health, better utilize natural and agricultural resources, understand our global environment, and develop new bio-based products and energy sources. The center offers leadership and services to faculty, staff and students through core laboratories, computational facilities, seminars and technology workshops, and conferences. It also provides a focal point for researchers to establish contacts, initiate collaborations, and apply new technologies in their own laboratories.
Functions of the CGRB
Over 100 OSU faculty, all holding primary appointments in academic departments of the colleges of Agricultural Sciences; Engineering; Forestry; Pharmacy; Science; Veterinary Medicine; or Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; are affiliate members of the center. The center was established in 1983 as a university resource to develop cell and molecular biology research. Today, the CGRB facilitates development, application and training in computationally intensive, genome-enabled research at OSU and across the state. The CGRB functions and facilities include:
- Staffed Core Laboratory facilities that provide a variety of services in genomics, functional genomics, imaging and genotyping;
- Staffed biocomputing facilities with an extensive hardware infrastructure, which includes a managed cluster and shared resources;
- Computational scientists and staff to facilitate implementation of a computationally intensive research program;
- Seminar Series that features leading scientists in molecular and genomic biosciences, and frequent technology training workshops that feature cutting-edge technologies;
- Annual Fall Conference that brings together faculty, staff and students from across OSU;
- Coordination of the OSU Computational and Genome Biology Initiative.
CGRB Core Laboratories
A key part of the center is the CGRB Core Laboratories that provide services, technical expertise, collaborative functions and share-use equipment for molecular bioscience research at OSU. The core labs are a fully staffed facility that serves as a focal point for acquisition and development of new instrumentation and technologies. A professional staff of five provides service in four areas:
- Genomics—DNA sequencing, high throughput sequencing (Illumina), genotyping and fragment analysis;
- Functional genomics—NimbleGen and Affymetrix GeneChip microarray services for analysis of global gene expression patterns in all types of organisms;
- Biocomputing and bioinformatics—advanced computational resources for data mining, data analysis and database development;
- Imaging and image analysis—a confocal laser scanning microscope facility for high-resolution analysis of a wide variety of specimens. In addition, the center maintains a set of common-use instruments and computers for research and data presentation.
In addition, the CGRB provides shared instrumentation, including real-time PCR, scanners, robotics, and computational facilities for use by walk-in users.
- Seminars, conferences, training—Bi-weekly CGRB seminar, annual conference, Gene D. Knudson Lectures in Molecular Genetics, technology training (e.g., high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics training, etc.). The center coordinates a seminar program in which faculty, staff and students can interact with outstanding scientists from other institutions and organizations. The center also sponsors a yearly conference for scientific exchange, building collaborations, strengthening ties across departmental and college boundaries, and social interaction.
- Consolidation and coordination of bioscience faculty—over 100 faculty members are affiliated with the CGRB. The CGRB provides a consolidating function to organize large equipment grant proposals and other activities that require participation by several faculty. In addition, the CGRB is perceived by the administration to represent the interests of these faculty, who are spread across eight colleges.
- Research—In the past, the CGRB has not had an in-house research program. This is changing as the focus of the center shifts away from simple service to more of a collaborative, enabling technology entity. In particular, the CGRB has developed significant capacity for genomic and computational biology.
The CGRB director reports to the vice president for research. Scientific and administrative oversight and guidance are provided by a scientific advisory board, which has two external members, and an administrative advisory board.
Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement (CL@SE)
Ana Gómez-Diazgranados, Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement
Daniel López-Cevallos, Associate Director of Research
The mission of the Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement is to promote engaged research and outreach devoted to advancing knowledge and understanding of Latinx life chances and the issues shaping their lived experiences in our state, region and beyond.
- To promote excellence in engaged research, teaching, and outreach in Latinx Studies.
- To establish an action-based agenda which will promote the economic, political, physical, and educational well-being and development of the Latinx community in rural and urban Oregon.
- To serve as a model for enhancing the university’s capabilities in similarly targeted research and engagement efforts.
- To foster engaged research that is collaborative, trans-disciplinary, and community oriented; furthering both theoretical and applied knowledge to solve real-world problems.
Established Areas of Expertise
- Youth and Community Empowerment
- Socio-Economic Well-Being
- Health and Wellness
- Cultural and Historical Awareness
Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning
Martin Storksdieck, Director
The Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University works to improve understanding of how all people learn STEM throughout the lifespan and across formal and informal settings. The center works across campus to enhance OSU’s capacity to conduct applied research on learning and education in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and to provide OSU with the insights from past and current research on STEM learning. It serves a diverse and decentralized community of those who engage in STEM, or use learning research at OSU, by functioning as a central hub and institutional support structure. The center represents OSU STEM learning research at state, national and international levels.
The Center for the Humanities
Christopher McKnight Nichols, Director
Joy Jensen, Coordinator
The Center for the Humanities, established in 1984 through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is primarily concerned with the advancement of interdisciplinary humanities research. The Humanities Center provides fellowships to visiting scholars and OSU faculty members engaged in research and writing projects in literature, history, philosophy, foreign languages, and related humanities fields. Its programs are supported by the OSU Office of Research and the Oregon State University Foundation. Fellowship applications are screened by an advisory board made up of former fellows and OSU faculty from the College of Liberal Arts. The Humanities Center also hosts or co-sponsors research conferences, seminars, films, lectures, and other public programs in the humanities. The Humanities Center's fundamental concern is the advancement of humanities research, teaching, and public presence at OSU. It is located in Autzen House, a gracious and historic building on the east edge of campus, 811 SW Jefferson Avenue. Contact: Center for the Humanities, 541-737-2450.
Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Michael A. Banks, Director
The Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies was established in 1982 to foster collaborative research between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Oregon State University in fisheries, aquaculture, oceanography, and related fields. It also encourages education and training of scientists in disciplines related to marine resources.
Administered through the Vice President for Research, the institute is the academic home for a staff of 25 to 45 (total) research assistants, associate and full professors, research associates, and faculty research assistants and students. Headquartered at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the institute hosts collaborative research with various NOAA investigators within OAR, NOS and NMFS, specifically, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, the West Coast Regional Office, as well as researchers from a broad range of colleges and departments within the entire OUS system.
Currently, the broad goal of the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies is to coordinate research focused on living and nonliving marine resources, under four primary themes:
- Marine Ecosystems and Habitat
- Protection and Restoration of Marine Resources
- Seafloor Processes
- Marine Bioacoustics
The institute works with projects that emphasize basic science and environmental impacts, including human dimensions. The geographic area of interest extends over the eastern Pacific Ocean from northern California to the Bering Sea. The institute promotes cooperative projects between government and the university. Its cooperative agreements with NOAA laboratories provide a mechanism for OSU faculty, staff and students to work with federal scientists on research that leads to improved understanding of global ocean processes and fisheries resource issues.
Environmental Health Sciences Center
Joseph Beckman, Director
The Environmental Health Sciences Center was established in 1967 with funding by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). As an organizational unit under the vice president for research, it provides resources for coordination and stimulation of interdisciplinary basic research and training related to the effects of environmental factors on human health.
Environmental quality problems and their resultant effects continue to challenge people's health and their ability to understand and manage the evolving impact of environmental agents. Solutions to environmental problems require the interdisciplinary scientific efforts of professionals in many fields, both to generate new knowledge and to develop a qualified cadre of scientists who can provide an improved basis for risk assessment.
The EHS Center currently brings together and uses a variety of professional capabilities of research and teaching faculty, staff, and students from numerous OSU departments, schools, and colleges within OSU. Academic areas include chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics, environmental and molecular toxicology, microbiology, molecular and cell biology, food science and technology, fisheries and wildlife, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, zoology, and statistics. The center's visiting scientists program complements research expertise in these areas.
The broad mission of the EHS Center encompasses coordinated ongoing research of its faculty and encourages research by the training and support of qualified graduate students, predoctoral candidates, and postdoctoral research associates. As one of 26 national research centers designated by NIEHS, the EHS Center at OSU enhances the collaborative scientific research of its investigators with specialized core facilities. The center serves as an interdisciplinary resource on human health as related to the environment; it periodically awards funding for pilot projects submitted by OSU faculty to encourage new approaches in environmental health research. Selected proposals receive funding for preliminary studies, many of which have led to agency funding as major projects. It sponsors conferences, symposia, seminars, and meetings for student training, faculty consultations, and public communication. The EHS Center, through the OSU Cooperative Extension Service and other existing mechanisms, has developed a Community Outreach and Education Program to communicate and heighten public awareness about environmental issues and the related recognition of risk to human health.
Examples of specific research areas include toxicology of environmental chemicals, cellular and biochemical toxicology, immunotoxicology, naturally occurring toxins, carcinogenesis of environmental chemicals, genetic toxicology, mass spectrometric ionization processes and methodologies, heteronuclear NMR studies, the chemical basis for solid waste and chemical waste disposal, and statistical studies, e.g., temporal aspects of cancer risks.
Federal environmental health legislation, particularly the Toxic Substances Control Act, has created a greater need for qualified toxicologists. To help meet this need, many EHS Center investigators serve as faculty within the OSU MS/PhD interdisciplinary graduate Toxicology Program, as well as being faculty for the ongoing predoctoral and postdoctoral training program supported by the NIEHS and administered by the center. The focus of the training and research in environmental toxicology emphasizes determination of the mode of action of environmental chemicals; the curricula encourage use of biochemical, pathological, and pharmacological approaches to acquire a mastery in aquatic, biochemical, comparative, environmental, food, as well as general toxicology.
The administrative office of the EHS Center is in the Agricultural and Life Sciences (ALS) building; the research and teaching facilities are in the cooperating departments on campus. The EHS Center office has information available upon request.
Hatfield Marine Science Center
The Hatfield Marine Science Center has over 50 years of accomplishment in research, education, and outreach. Originally established as a marine laboratory for Oregon State University, it has grown to encompass a large group of partners on its 49-acre site on Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. Within OSU, HMSC includes researchers, students, and faculty from six colleges. It serves as home to several university programs, including the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies, and the Marine Mammal Institute. It also includes important components of the Oregon Sea Grant program and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. Our onsite partners include six state and federal agencies involved in research and management of the marine environment, and our cooperation includes faculty appointments for agency staff, as well as opportunities for students to work with agency scientists. We work closely with local coastal communities, including the fishing industry. HMSC’s Visitor Center, with 150,000 visitors and 40,000 K-12 students each year, is a key asset for OSU in public education.
The dynamic nature of HMSC’s programs is reflected in our mission statement:
The Hatfield Marine Science Center is Oregon State University’s campus for research, education, and outreach in marine and coastal sciences. Through its partnerships, HMSC improves scientific understanding of marine systems, coastal processes and resources, and applies this knowledge to social, economic, and environmental issues.
HMSC is integral to OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, which brings OSU’s diverse marine studies programs together for interdisciplinary collaboration in research and teaching. HMSC conducts diverse research and instruction in oceanic, coastal and estuarine habitats, and serves a unique laboratory facility serving resident scientists and students, and as a base for oceanographic research. With a combined budget in excess of $40M, HMSC also plays an important economic role on the Oregon Coast.
Research facilities on the HMSC campus serve students and staff of OSU, partnering state and federal agencies, and visiting scientists from other institutions. Main buildings provide 200,000 square feet of office, library, classroom, wet and dry laboratory space and a Visitor Center. Ship support facilities and dock areas of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences serve the R/V Oceanus, R/V Elakha, R/V Pacific Storm and other research vessels. There are also housing and kitchen facilities for up to 82 students and visiting scientists on the HMSC campus.
The university encourages all marine science research, instruction, or extension activities to take advantage of the center’s unique facilities.
Institute for Natural Resources
Lisa Gaines, Interim Director
Main Office: 541-737-9918
Created by the Oregon Legislature with the Oregon Sustainability Act of 2001, the Institute for Natural Resources (INR) is a cooperative enterprise bringing the scientific knowledge and expertise of the Oregon University System and other Oregon higher education institutions to bear on natural resource management.
Designated as the lead university to administer INR, Oregon State University (OSU) established INR as a research institute within OSU to help decision-makers identify and use relevant science in making policy choices. At INR’s foundation is the land grant mission — building bridges between theory and practice and effectively communicating knowledge to decision-makers. As such, INR seeks to:
- provide Oregonians with ready access to current, science-based information and methods for better understanding and making informed decisions about our natural resource management challenges;
- increase the utility of integrated, science-based information in the development and understanding of natural resource and environmental policy by bridging science and decision-making efforts;
- focus on interdisciplinary natural resource and environmental problems and develop new collaborative relationships to solve them;
- identify and investigate controversial natural resource issues that challenge resource management and/or governance; and,
- identify opportunities for applied policy-related research that benefits Oregon’s natural resources and environment.
INR’s success depends on a clear sense of our values and principles: ensuring integrity and objectivity, building partnerships, maintaining relevance, providing service, and creating excellence.
INR’s focus areas, programs, and projects address Oregon natural resource issues in the local, regional, national, and international context.
Institute for Water and Watersheds
Oregonians are beginning to witness the difficulties caused by water quantity and quality constraints and face critical choices about fresh water. Earlier melting of the Cascades snowpack is changing "free water storage," which has implications for snowmelt out of phase with existing water resource systems and ecosystems. Sustainable water supplies for development, ecosystem maintenance, and hydroelectric power generation may be adversely affected by increased population, climate change, and renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty. Since water is "virtually" embedded in all Oregon products, whether natural or manufactured, the state’s economic vitality is tied directly to water. Water quantity and quality issues in the Willamette and Klamath Basins are two of the state’s top environmental priorities.
The aforementioned challenges are on an unprecedented scale and require solutions obtained by integrating several or more disciplines. The Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW), Oregon’s federally-designated water resources research institute, has over 125 affiliated faculty and pursues solutions to Oregon’s water problems by assembling research teams from a broad spectrum of disciplines. The institute utilizes educational and outreach models to communicate the latest water science and policy options to stakeholders so that they can make informed intelligent decisions. The IWW’s Water Collaboratory, an open analytical chemistry laboratory, provides faculty, staff, and students with a variety of analytical capabilities.
Laboratory Animal Resources Center
Helen E. Diggs, MEd, DVM, DACLAM
Director and Campus Attending Veterinarian
101 Laboratory Animal Resources Center
Corvallis, Oregon 97331
The Laboratory Animal Resources Center (LARC) supports and manages the care and veterinary oversight of vertebrate animals used in instruction, research, production, and testing on the Oregon State University campus and property throughout the state.
As the leading public research university in Oregon, the campus community is held to the highest standards of responsible animal care. The LARC is managed and operated in compliance with the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act Regulations. The university is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC International). All LARC policies and procedures adhere to the recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 2011) and the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (FASS 2010).
The LARC staff is composed of veterinarians, animal technicians, and veterinary technicians all with specialty training and certifications specific to laboratory animal medicine. LARC employees are committed to providing an exemplary animal oversight program. This includes assuring humane care and use of animals through quality veterinary oversight, husbandry, social housing and environmental enrichment. The LARC staff facilitates campus research and instructional collaborations, through consultation, training, and provision of professional technical and clinical services, and by maintaining compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. The LARC upholds the university’s academic mission and commitment to public service.
Linus Pauling Institute
The Linus Pauling Institute was co-founded in 1973 by Linus Pauling, the only individual to win two unshared Nobel Prizes (Chemistry, 1954; Peace, 1962). The institute moved to the campus of Oregon State University (Dr. Pauling’s undergraduate alma mater) in 1996 and now operates as one of the university’s research centers and institutes. The program is principally supported by gifts from individuals, private corporations, and foundations; grants from federal and private agencies; and Oregon State University.
Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute investigate the role that vitamins and essential minerals (micronutrients) and chemicals from plants (phytochemicals) play in human aging, immune function, and chronic diseases, especially heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. A major emphasis is to understand the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in disease etiology, and the preventive effects of dietary constituents with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties.
The goal of these studies is to understand the mechanisms by which diet, micronutrients, and dietary supplements affect disease initiation and progression and can be used in the prevention or treatment of human diseases, thereby enhancing lifespan and healthspan.
LPI’s research is organized into three major areas: Cardiometabolic Disease Prevention, the Healthy Aging Program, and the Cancer Prevention and Intervention Program. Specific research projects address:
- Dietary antioxidants, vascular inflammation, and heart disease
- Vitamin E in human health
- Metabolism of dietary and endogenous fats
- Vitamin C, lipid peroxidation, and oxidative stress
- Role of lipoic acid in vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis
- Aging, stress response, and mitochondrial decay
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), peroxynitrite, and superoxide dismutase
- Vitamin D and immune function
- Aging and memory
- Rapamycin, protein homeostasis, and aging
- Cancer chemoprotection for the fetus and infant
- Zinc and antioxidants in cancer chemoprevention
- Dietary interventions for cancer prevention
- Role of drug-metabolizing enzymes in health and disease
- Vitamin E metabolism and mechanisms for chemoprotection and chemotherapy
The goals of these studies are to understand the mechanisms by which nutrition affects disease initiation and progression and how nutritional factors can be used in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Such an understanding will allow an increase in the human healthspan—the period in which people enjoy a healthy and productive life, full of vitality, with minimal suffering, and free of cancer and other debilitating diseases.
LPI maintains three core laboratories that provide analytical services to intramural and extramural researchers:
Cancer Prevention and Intervention Program Core Laboratory
The Cancer Prevention and Intervention Program (CPI) Core Laboratory provides genetic toxicology testing services. Its mission is to help investigators identify dietary compounds with chemoprotective properties and to elucidate their inhibitory mechanism(s). Several techniques, including the Salmonella mutagenicity assay (Ames test), single-cell gel electrophoresis assay (Comet assay), and micronucleus assay, enable investigators to assess the mutagenic, DNA-damaging, and clastogenic effects of chemicals. Using known mutagens or clastogens as positive controls, we study the potential beneficial activities of dietary compounds or other chemicals against those DNA-damaging agents. We also recently implemented a Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) assay to identify dietary HDAC inhibitors, which are of interest in cancer chemoprotection.
Oxidative/Nitrative Stress Core Laboratory
Oxidative and nitrative stress can be produced by inflammation, disease, or environmental exposure, including tobacco smoke. The resulting reactive oxygen and nitrogen species can react with lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in the body to form molecules measurable by sensitive chemical analytical methods. These molecules can serve as “biomarkers” to reveal an individual›s state of health or the effectiveness of dietary or pharmaceutical interventions. For example, F2-isoprostanes and their metabolites are considered good biomarkers of free radical-induced lipid peroxidation. The Oxidative/Nitrative Stress Core Laboratory (ONSL) has several high-performance liquid chromatographs (HPLCs) coupled to UV, fluorescence, electrochemical, and single- and triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer detectors. ONSL also has several solid-phase extraction robots for sample preparation. These facilities provide LPI investigators with state-of-the-art chemical analysis of biomarkers, antioxidants, and drug metabolites.
Food Composition Laboratory
The Food Composition Laboratory provides chemical analyses of food composition and nutritional factors. We provide analyses of food, feed, or dietary supplement samples for vitamins, phytochemicals, and other compositional factors.
In addition to our research, we publish a free, semiannual research newsletter; maintain a website; provide peer-reviewed information about nutritional factors on our online Micronutrient Information Center, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic; organize and sponsor scientific meetings, including the biennial Diet and Optimum Health Conference; and respond to inquiries from the public and the media as our means of building on Dr. Pauling’s legacy. The Healthy Youth Program (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/healthyyouth) is designed to provide education and activities on diet and exercise to school children and their teachers and families to promote optimum health.
Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center
Belinda Batten, Director
Brian Polagye, Co-Director
Brenda Langley, Operations Manager
Dan Hellin, Assistant Director for Test Operations
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) is a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored partnership between Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Washington (UW), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The three universities collaborate together with national laboratories on research, education, outreach, and engagement.
NNMREC's mission is to facilitate commercialization of marine energy technology, inform regulatory and policy decisions, and close key gaps in scientific understanding with a focus on student growth and development. We work closely with a variety of stakeholders, including device developers, community members, ocean users, federal and state regulators, and government officials, to conduct research about wave energy, provide test sites for prototype devices, and assist developers with planning and permitting activities.
NNMREC’s objectives are to:
- Develop facilities to serve as an integrated, standardized test center for U.S. and international developers of wave and tidal energy;
- Evaluate potential environmental, ecosystem, and human dimension impacts, focusing on the compatibility of marine energy technologies in areas with sensitive environments and existing users;
- Facilitate and conduct research to inform adaptive management of marine energy technologies;
- Study and consult on device and array optimization for effective deployment of wave and tidal energy technologies;
- Improve forecasting of the wave energy resource; and
- Increase reliability and survivability of marine energy systems.
Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium
Jack Higginbotham, Director
B092 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2103
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established Oregon Space Grant in 1991 as a part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The objectives of the program are to establish a national network of universities with interest and capabilities in aeronautics, space, and related fields; encourage cooperative programs among universities, aerospace industry, and federal, state, and local governments; encourage interdisciplinary training, research, and public service programs related to aeronautics, space science, and technology; recruit and train professionals, especially women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities, for careers in aerospace-related science and engineering; and develop a strong science mathematics, and technology education base from elementary through university levels.
Oregon NASA Space Grant maintains a diverse array of programs to support space science and engineering education. Connecting educators with professional development opportunities, Oregon Space Grant aims to help develop a strong science, mathematics, and technology education base at all levels while fostering communication and continuity between the K–12 community and higher education. Through various research award programs available to students and faculty, Oregon Space Grant supports STEM education and development within the higher education community. Undergraduate scholarships are available for students at affiliate campuses statewide. Participation in a wide array of internship programs administered by the Oregon Space Grant offers undergraduate and graduate level students opportunities to develop research skills while conducting hands-on projects at NASA centers nationwide. Additionally, graduate fellowships attract excellent students to aerospace-related research programs at affiliate institutions across Oregon.
Oregon Sea Grant
Shelby Walker, Director
Oregon Sea Grant’s mission is to be a catalyst that promotes discovery, understanding and resilience for Oregon coastal communities and ecosystems.
Funding for Sea Grant comes from federal and state appropriations, as well as contributions from local governments and industry. The major support is a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Program activities are conducted in four thematic areas; ecological, social and economic aspects of coastal development, adaptation to acute or chronic coastal hazards, human and natural dimensions of coastal and marine fisheries, and cultural beliefs, learning and valuation of coastal and marine issues.
Oregon Sea Grant’s competitive research grants program addresses coastal and marine issues of high importance and of potential benefit to society. The program prioritizes socioeconomic and biophysical research that is predictive (rather than explanatory) and meaningful collaboration with industry, agencies, communities, and other stakeholders. In addition, Sea Grant partners with state natural resource agencies, not-for-profit organizations, field labs and others to support undergraduate and graduate students as Sea Grant Scholars and to provide scholars with hands-on experience with important marine and coastal problems.
The program is driven by an ethic of public service and uses various approaches to engage our constituents. Interactions with a wide range of coastal stakeholders are continuous. An advisory council of coastal community leaders provides external review and counsel to the program. The Sea Grant outreach and engagement program offers professional, technical, and public education to the general public, to professionals seeking training, and to school-age children through hands-on programs and print, digital and electronic media. Oregon Sea Grant manages the Visitor Center of the Hatfield Marine Science Center as a public science learning facility; our Free Choice learning program uses the Visitor Center as a laboratory for studying how people learn in such settings.
Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in operation, the program involves faculty and students in several Oregon institutions of higher education. Recent participants in the program include the University of Oregon, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland State University, Linfield College, and Western Oregon University. In addition, Oregon Sea Grant maintains close relationships with several research facilities on the Oregon coast, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston.
Steve Reese, Director
The Radiation Center is a campus-wide instructional and research facility specially designed to accommodate programs involving the use of radiation and radioactive materials. Located in the center are major items of specialized equipment and unique teaching and research facilities, including a TRIGA Mark II nuclear research reactor (licensed to operate at 1,100 kilowatts when running at a steady power level and at 2,500 megawatts in the pulsing mode); a cobalt-60 gamma irradiator; a number of gamma radiation spectrometers and associated germanium detectors; and a variety of instruments for radiation measurements and monitoring. Facilities for radiation work include teaching and research laboratories with up-to-date instrumentation and related equipment for performing neutron activation analysis and radiotracer studies; laboratories for plant experiments involving radioactivity; an instrument calibration facility for radiation protection instrumentation; and facilities for packaging radioactive materials for shipment to national and international destinations.
The Radiation Center staff is available to provide a wide variety of services including instruction and/or consultation associated with the feasibility, design, and execution of experiments using radiation and radioactive materials, and with safety evaluations relating to experiments or devices involving the use of radioisotopes or other radiation sources. In addition, the center provides direct support and assistance to teaching and research programs involving nuclear engineering, nuclear and radiation chemistry, radiation health physics, neutron activation analysis, neutron radiography, radiation effects on biological systems, radiation dosimetry, production of short-lived radioisotopes, radiation shielding, nuclear instrumentation, emergency response, transportation of radioactive materials, instrument calibration, and radioactive waste disposal.
The center's laboratories and instruments are available to all campus instructional and research programs requiring such support. The center also accommodates instructional and nuclear research and development programs requested by other universities, by federal and state agencies, and by industrial organizations. In addition, a special neutron activation analysis service for forensic studies is available to law enforcement agencies.
Superfund Research Center
The Superfund Research Center oversees the NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program grant at Oregon State University. This grant supports a multidisciplinary research effort to address the re-emerging health threat of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment. PAHs are considered a re-emerging threat to environmental health due to the increased burning of fossil fuels (e.g., coal and petroleum products) for energy production. The SRP grant supports five research projects and six support cores at Oregon State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, in a range of efforts involving human exposure to PAHs. In addition, research partners are located at San Diego State University, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Pennsylvania State University. These research projects focus on determining the effect of PAHs on a variety of adverse human health outcomes employing animal models such as zebrafish to detect developmental toxicities. An additional collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories allows for following the fate of PAHs in humans as well as animals. Research efforts are also aimed at developing passive sampling devices to identify, measure and track PAHs in the atmosphere and foods to assess exposure of Native American populations to PAHs through wood smoke used in food preservation. Following the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, we were one of the first research groups to determine the levels of PAHs in the Gulf of Mexico at multiple sites over time. We partner with the U.S. EPA through the Partners in Technical Assistance Program to assist communities in dealing with concerns of environmental pollutants at Brownfields, Superfund sites or Conservation and Recovery Act sites. Support cores provide expertise in analytical chemistry, and in biostatistics and bioinformatics. The SRP grant also has programs aimed at translating research results to stakeholders and outreach to the public and in training the next generation of environmental health scientists.