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Spring 2018

150 Years of Science: Land and Sun Issue

IMPACT title peering over sandy desert hill

The 1862 Morrill Act stated that the purpose of land-grant colleges was “to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts…in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes.”

Fellow Beavers,

As a scientist, I am always thinking about the state of science globally, nationally, and in Oregon. Science is the single greatest force for good in human history. That’s why we have done the work that we do — seek knowledge that explains how the universe works and that allows us to improve our lives, grow our economy and protect our planet. We have done that for more than 150 years.

We pursue science because we are optimistic about the future and we know that the knowledge that science brings us can solve many of our problems. In February, several science faculty were featured in the OSU-produced feature-length documentary, “Saving Atlantis.” Produced over three years, the film focuses on the devastating decline of our coral reefs in some of the most world’s most beautiful places — Australia, French Polynesia, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Hawaii — and their profound impact on the communities that depend on them.

The film was screened on campus, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland and at film festivals across the West, including the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs this spring. I encourage you to see it if you have the opportunity.

While the College of Science was formally established at OSU in 1932, our programs and departments shaped the foundation of the university and the evolution of its research and education since it received a federal land grant designation in 1868. Since then, we have never looked back and continue to pursue our mission: To conduct internationally recognized, curiosity-driven research and innovative teaching that enables us to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.

In the following stories, you can read about the extraordinary impact Science has made on our land and sun through research over the past 150 years. I hope you enjoy looking back through history at what we have accomplished and reading about our current momentum as we look to the future to imagine what we can achieve together. With outstanding alumni support and exceptional student and faculty research and innovation, the future of Science at Oregon State never looked so strong.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science