OSU celebrates 50 years of oceanography research

The Elakha research vessel

The Elakha research vessel

This weekend, Oregon State will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science (COAS), which in half a century has become world-renowned for its scientific achievements.

From July 17-19 COAS will host a series of events, some of which that are free and open to the public (the symposium on COAS’ influence Saturday at 9 am at the LaSells Center should be really cool). COAS will also be present at da Vinci Days, an annual festival coordinated by OSU to celebrate science and innovation.

“The oceanography program at Oregon State has grown in size and prestige over the years and today is recognized as one of the best programs of its kind in the world,” said Robert Holman, a professor of oceanography who specializes in beach processes. “The da Vinci Days celebration is a chance for the public to look behind the scenes of what takes place, both at OSU and around the world, and talk to some of the leading experts in their fields.”

In its 50 years, the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences has become – along with Woods Hole and Scripps – one of the nation’s premier marine science programs. Here are just a few highlights over the past 50 years:

  • 2009 – Philip Mote became the first director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, an entity housed within COAS.
  • 2004 – helped take the lead in describing the appearance of “dead zones” off the Oregon coast.
  • 2001 – COAS scientists discovered new hydrothermal vent sites in Antarctica.
  • 1999 – helped measure the pollution plume from the Asian subcontinent to determine the effects of haze on the planet’s energy budget and climate.
  • 1993 – played a major role in revealing that the Earth’s oceanic and continental volcanic crust contains a vast and diverse microbial ecosystem.
  • 1985 – investigated the prodution, cycling and fate of organic matter in a region nearby a heavily-poulated coastal area.
  • 1982 – helped determine that El Nino intensities and wave heights have been increasing since the 1970s.
  • 1977 – begin investigations of El Nino and Southern Oscillation climactic changes over the eastern Pacific.
  • 1971 – produces the first map of global climate conditions during the last glacial maximum – the study shows major changes in the planet’s climate over the past million years in order to predict future climate change.
  • 1969 – dozens of OSU marine geologists participate in the collection of sediment and rock samples used to decipher the history of hte ocean basins and continental margins.

Have fun at the celebration!

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