Corvallis Science & Nature: Spring Arrives at Last, Ocean Acidification Talk, Art Show and Documentary

Spring is Here 

On March 20, Spring officially arrived in Corvallis. Despite the weather not always cooperating, the first flowers like crocuses and daffodils are out to greet the season, and more will soon follow. Along with marking the start of the season, the spring equinox is the midpoint between the two extremes of deep winter and high summer. Cultures around the world celebrate it as a time of balance and some even recognize it as the start of a new year. The yearlong curve of daylight time is at its steepest rise right now, and here in Corvallis, we are gaining over three minutes of daylight each day. We’ve gained just over three hours of light since the winter solstice back in December, and have three more hours to gain before the summer solstice in June.  

March 23: Ocean Acidification Talk 

Thesis defense talks are an important milestone in any science graduate student’s journey. Whether for a Masters or PhD, it’s the culmination of years of work, packaged into a relatively short presentation, usually attended by a small audience of friends and advisors. But this Thursday, March 23, the public is invited to (virtually) attend the defense of Heather Fulton-Bennett, Oregon State PhD student in Integrative Biology. The talk is titled “The Effect of Ocean Acidification on Coralline Algae and Their Associated Communities” and starts at 1:00 pm. Click here for details and to attend the talk.  

Water-themed Art Show with Antarctic Science Link 

Now through April 28, OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center is hosting an art show with seven Oregon painters and photographers, with a local science connection. The show is called “It’s the Water,” and celebrates the power, beauty and mystery of water. One of the featured artists is, appropriately, April Waters. Waters traveled to Antarctica in 2018 as part of OSU’s National Science Foundation funded Polar STEAM program, which brings artists and writers to both the Arctic and Antarctic to document changing polar environments in their work. To help ground her large-canvas paintings of ice and Antarctic scenes in science, Waters called on Oregon State associate professor Kim Bernard, who has been to Antarctica 16 times for her work on krill and climate change. Other presenting artists include photographers Rich Bergeman, Duncan Berry and Jeremy Burke, and painters Rebecca Kiser, Gary Buhler and Katia Kyte. The exhibition  can be viewed any time the LaSells Stewart Center is open, Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM plus some weekends when events are scheduled. Click here for details. 

Nature Documentary Hits Darkside 

If you like your scenery on an even bigger canvas, the Darkside Theater has you covered this week, with the nature documentary “Geographies of Solitude”. The film is set on Sable Island, a windswept island off the coast of Nova Scotia, and follows an environmental activist who has lived there for over 40 years, studying the ecology of the island and collecting and documenting the litter that washes up even in this remote location. The film has won 19 national Canadian and international awards since debuting at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival. Check the Darkside’s website for exact times. 

By Ian Rose 

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