News & Awards

Below is a collection of accomplishments by OSU water faculty and students. These items are also posted in H2OSU, the weekly campus water newsletter. To add to this list, please email


Aaron Wolf Receives an International Prize for his Work Mediating Water Disputes (06/24/2013)

Oregon State University Professor of Geosciences Aaron Wolf has just been named this year’s winner of the Monito del Giardino award for his work on international water conflict, specifically in regards to the Arab- Israeli conflict.

The award recognizes those who, over the years, have contributed with commitment and energy to the conservation and preservation of our landscape and, generally, of  our environmental heritage. The prize is awarded every two years to whomever is doing important research that produces benefits regarding ecology—the overall harmony between humankind and nature. The previous recipient was Jane Goodall.

This award recognizes Wolf’s work on behalf of a more democratic access to water sources. The value of his work has come to be recognized on the world stage, mediation work in controversies relative to water’s being at the center of the geopolitical scenes that are very delicate, such as that of the Mideast.

- - - - - - - -

View Videos of Recent OSU Water Lectures (06/03/2013)

Water resources seminars and course lectures at OSU are increasingly being recorded and archived.  You can view many of these on the OSU MediaSpace.  Use the search tool in the upper right hand corner of MediaSpace to search their entire collection.  Some recent recordings include:

- - - - - - - -

IWW Collaboratory Provides a Facility for Water Analyses (05/20/2013)

If you are beginning a project or looking for water analysis equipment - consider using the IWW collaboratory!  It provides acces to quality instrumentation dedicated to fresh water analyses, and offers training and affordable rates.  The collaboratory's location in Peavy includes a well-equipped lab, an office workspace with computers for data download and analysis, and field supplies. Fees are kept to a minimum but vary depending on the equipment needed and whether the investigator will perform the analyses themselves. For more information about collaboratory resources and costs, please visit the collaboratory web page or contact its manager, Kathy Motter (541-737-5120;

- - - - - - - -

Schedule for Summer Natural Resources Leadership Academy Now Available (04/24/2013)

Oregon State University's second annual Natural Resources Leadership Academy will be held June 17-21 and June 24-28 in Corvallis, This academy is a unique opportunity for professionals and graduate students to enhance leadership skills, gain knowledge and connect with others in natural resources fields. Students can enroll for one week or both and can earn up to 7 credits toward a graduate degree or gain continuing education credits. IWW interim director Todd Jarvis is one of the instructors and courses are relevant for water resources professionals.

Courses include:


  • PS 575. Environmental and Natural Resources Politics and Policy
  • FW 599. Applying Risk Analysis to Invasive Species and Sustainable Natural Resources
  • WRP 599. Wicked Problems in Natural Resources: Negotiations, Decision-Making, and the Public
  • MPP 507. Public Leadership
  • SNR 520. Social Aspects of Sustainable Natural Resources
Link to the program website:

- - - - - - - -

IWW Partners with Industry on Solar-Activated Stormwater Treatment Technology (04/16/2013)

Oregon BEST has awarded a commercialization grant to an industry-university team developing a floating, solar-activated stormwater treatment device that could be deployed in retaining ponds or ditches along roadways and parking lots to keep contaminants from reaching streams.

The technology could also be used to pre-treat stormwater, helping reduce overflow situations at municipal treatment facilities during severe weather events.

Beaverton, Ore. startup Puralytics is building on the success of its SolarBag portable drinking water purification system, which uses a nanotechnology-coated mesh activated by sunlight to purify 3-liter quantities of water in approximately three hours. The SolarBag is currently used in developing countries and sold for emergency preparedness and backcountry hiking. The company is incorporating the same technology into thin, round pads that would float a few inches below the surface of standing stormwater and treat much larger volumes.

The Oregon BEST funding will enable Puryalytics to work with faculty and students affiliated with Oregon State University’s Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) to evaluate the overall concept of the new system, establish key design parameters and generate third-party test data. The OSU research team, led by Todd Jarvis, Oregon BEST researcher and the interim director of the IWW, will construct artificial ponds or tanks that can be closely controlled and monitored, where prototypes of the water treatment devices will be tested.

“Todd and his team at OSU are great partners, and they have the analytical horsepower to provide the third-party testing and data our company needs,” said Mark Owen, CEO of Puralytics. “One of the challenges for a small company is that you don’t have the analytical equipment or the funding to pay for third-party validation, so Oregon BEST is really filling that gap. Without this grant and Oregon BEST’s connections, this development work would have been significantly delayed.”

Link to the complete press release from Oregon BEST.

- - - - - - - -

Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District’s 4th Annual Water Film Series (04/01/2013)

Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation will hold its fourth annual Water Film Series in the community room at Oregon Coast Community College, 400 SE College Way in South Beach. The films will show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The series kicks off Tuesday, April 2, with “Source to Sea - The Columbia River Swim.” The 90-minute film is “a broad, sobering look at the history and destiny of what the indigenous people call Che Wana, the Columbia River.” The film also tells the story of why Christopher Swain subjected himself to a 13-month swim down its 1,243-mile length. Using the swim as a thread, the present condition of the great river of the west is revealed.

- - - - - - - -

Gail Louise Achterman Scholarships Created (04/01/2013)

The Water Resources Graduate Program, the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds and Institute for Natural Resources, Deschutes River Conservancy, and Ecosystem Economics  LLC,  invite donations for the Gail Louise Achterman Scholarship. The scholarship honors the late Gail Achterman who was the former director of the Institute for Natural Resources and an Oregon expert on natural resources and water policy and law.  The scholarship will be awarded annually to students whose research topics involve legal, policy and/or economic aspects of water management, particularly as it relates to the reallocation of water for environmental purposes.  The first scholarship will be awarded in 2013; applications will be due in April of each year.  For more information, contact Mary Santelmann, director of the OSU Water Resources Graduate Program.

- - - - - - - -

2013 OSU Water Research Symposium - May 13 (03/22/2013)

The Water Research Symposium at Oregon State University will be held May 13, 2013 at CH2M HILL Alumni Center.  This one-day conference highlights a variety of outstanding student research in the fields of water resources science, engineering, policy, and management. Oregon graduate and undergraduate students conducting water-related research are invited to present oral or poster presentations about their proposed, ongoing, or completed research. Anyone interested in water resources is encouraged to attend. This will be the single greatest opportunity of the year for the exchange of knowledge and ideas among students, University faculty, staff, and local professionals in Oregon working in water resources.  Abstracts are due April 7 and Registration closes May 1.  The event is co-sponsored by the IWW and the Water Resources Graduate Program at OSU.

- - - - - - - -

Spring 2013 Water Resources Seminar Series: Land, Water, & Atmosphere: the Next 50 Years (03/06/2013)

The 2013 Water Resources Spring Seminar Series will take place on Wednesdays from 4-5 PM in ALS 4000 and will last from April 3rd to June 5th. The Seminar Series is being sponsored by the Water Resources Graduate Program and the Institute for Water and Watersheds. Refreshments will be provided. The seminars are free and open to the public.  View the seminar flyer.

Enroll for graduate credit:
Seminar WRS 507 (CRN 55648)
Journal Club WRS 505 (CRN 55646)
Wednesdays, 12-12:50

- - - - - - - -

Courtesy Professor Robert Lackey writes an editorial regarding science ethics (01/24/2013)

Courtesy Professor Robert Lackey wrote an editorial about "normative science -- information that is developed, presented or interpreted based on an assumed, usually unstated, preference for a particular policy choice.”

Robert T. Lackey retired in 2008 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Corvallis national research laboratory where he worked for 27 years as a senior scientist and deputy director. (Photo: Jeff Basinger)

- - - - - - - -