Faculty Stories

When it comes to water, Katie Meehan knows the geography

Katie Meehan, an assistant professor, is the resident expert at the University of Oregon on water policy and urban development — from a water politics point of view. Her geography class "International Water Policy" (GEOG 467/567), which debuted in fall 2012 is the only UO class at that deals solely with issues about water policy and politics from an international perspective.

Scratching the Surface of Science and

Geri Richmond’s interest in water is purely superficial—but that doesn’t make her work any less important. She seeks to understand the simplest properties of what holds a water surface together, which can be applied to everything from oil spills to baby diapers.

“This is about studying the fundamentals behind the most important surface properties on earth—the surface of water,” says Richmond, the UO’s Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry who recently was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board.

Untangling the Neural Circuitry of the Human Visual System

Scientists have been studying human vision for hundreds of years, but still lack a complete understanding of the neural processes that allow us to see the world. Cris Niell, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology and member of the University of Oregon’s Institute of Neuroscience, is studying the neural circuitry of the visual system to explain the mechanisms behind visual perception.

A UO Team Leads the Way in One of Biology’s Hottest Specialties

In a recent TEDx talk she gave before a Portland audience, microbiologist Jessica Green described the ecosystem of a typical indoor space and the trillions of diverse microorganisms that interact with each other, with humans, and with their environment.

“Buildings are complex ecosystems that are an important source of microbes—some of which are good for us, some of which are bad,” Green said.

Sifting Through the Subatomic Wreckage

Smashing protons together in search of the secrets to the universe at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, yields enormous amounts of data—on the scale of all the information contained on the social networking site Facebook. Deciding which of those collisions are important and which can be ignored is an immense undertaking where the University of Oregon high-energy physics team has taken a leading role, explains James Brau, Philip H. Knight Professor of Natural Science and director of the UO Center for High Energy Physics.

UO joins 14 global partners to forge a model for EU landscape policy

The University of Oregon is the only American university to consult with 14 European partners on a methodology to maintain and preserve European landscapes. Landscape architecture professor Deni Ruggeri will present the UO's findings at the EUROSCAPES project final conference in Val Maubuée, France, in October.


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