“As scientists we tend to look at things through our own tiny little drinking straw, studying our one narrow field,” says Bryan Tilt, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Oregon State University in the US. “When it comes to dams we felt a broader perspective was needed. Because when you put up a dam it affects whole ecosystems and whole communities."
OSU Water in the News
Below is a collection of news stories featuring OSU water faculty and students. To add to this list, please email email@example.com
The study by the state Department of Forestry and Oregon State University found that state logging standards on private lands were inadequate to meet the state cold water quality standard. Based on 33 sites on state and private lands in the Coast Range dating to 2002, the study found an average increase of 1.26 degrees after logging on private lands. There was no increase on state timberlands, where more trees are left standing along streams. The temperature increases were caused by less shade thrown on the water by trees.
Oregon State University graduate student Vanessa Petro is working on a beaver relocation study in the Alsea River Basin, which includes the Five Rivers country. Though she's had mixed results, at least one pair seems to be settling in to its new home and has begun remodeling in earnest. "Within two weeks they initiated dam construction," Petro said. "Up to this point they've constructed five dams."
Earlier studies on the Hood River had already identified declining productivity in Hood River hatchery steelhead. The latest research shows it comes from domestication of young fish in hatcheries that can be passed on when hatchery fish breed with wild fish, not from a temporary environmental effect, said Mark Christie, an Oregon State University genetic researcher and the study's lead author.
Suitable habitat for native fishes in many Great Plains streams has been significantly reduced by the pumping of groundwater from the High Plains aquifer – and scientists analyzing the water loss say ecological futures for these fishes are “bleak.”
The health of fish and wildlife and the quality of the water they call home depend in large measure on the trees and shrubs that grow in riparian areas along streams and riverbanks.
Although the task is not easy, riparian areas that are damaged can be replanted. Six manageable steps are detailed in a comprehensive Oregon State University guide written by OSU Extension foresters Glenn Ahrens, Max Bennett and Brad Withrow-Robinson.
The new 27-page booklet, "A Guide to Riparian Tree and Shrub Planting in the Willamette Valley: Steps to Success," is available free from OSU Extension online at: http://bit.ly/OSUESem9040
A new tool to help policy makers better assess the costs and benefits of building dams – the first tool of its kind – could change the way nations decide to develop hydro-electric power. The Integrative Dam Assessment Modeling tool, or IDAM, uses an interdisciplinary approach to simultaneously evaluate the distribution of biophysical, socio-economic and geopolitical impacts of dams, according to one of the model’s creators, Bryan Tilt, an associate professor of anthropology at Oregon State University.
MELTING MOUNTAIN glaciers and warming rains drive debris flows, torrents of mud and rock that have damaged roads, closed recreational facilities and led to millions of dollars in clean-up costs in the Northwest. Climate change is likely to increase risks in the future. WITH FUNDING from the National Science Foundation, OSU geologists Anne Nolin and Stephen Lancaster work with U.S. Forest Service hydrologist Gordon Grant to understand the debris-flow causes and to map vulnerable areas in the Cascades.