Latest news from the UO

  • Duck grad rises above adversity to help others do the same

    First published in around the O on July 30, 2018. On a sunny summer day in Seoul, DaHyun Kim is going over paperwork and preparing for her only clients of the day — a group of young defectors from North Korea. The recent UO grad will be their guide, bringing them to the United States, and training them for three months to assimilate into a new life. The process is part of her work with nonprofit Liberty in North Korea, an organization that helps refugees resettle in a safe place; provides transportation, clothes, documents, medical checkups and work; and sometimes reconnects them with loved ones. “Millions of North Koreans have fled the country, but even after they were able to escape through the most guarded border on earth, they are still at risk of exploitation and capture because they cannot afford the journey to a safe country,” Kim said. “Many make it to China, but that country repatriates hundreds back. Others are forced to work illegally and are exploited and abused. Half of our refugees are children.” Liberty in North Korea works exclusively through donations. It costs $3,000 to rescue one refugee and set them on a path to a new and safe life. So far, the organization has assisted more than 756 North Korean refugees. In August, Kim will return to the U.S as a project coordinator at Liberty in North Korea, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, teaching young refugees English, training them in public speaking and working with local media to tell the story of young North Korean defectors. Ironically, Kim’s own personal path had plenty of obstacles, and despite the empowering and courageous work she does today, she wasn’t always so sure of her own future. Kim is a survivor of domestic violence and was raised by a single mother and moved a lot during her childhood. She was born in Bucheon but lived for a long time in Suwon, in northwestern South Korea. Her mother happily remarried before the family finally settled in the town of Daejeon. “Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to do,” Kim said. “I never thought I was good enough for anything. I grew up by myself. My mother was always working, like, 20 hours a day as a hair designer, server and cook. I had no support or care at home. I just thought I would become whatever my mom would tell me to be.” As a teenager, Kim had low hopes for herself. When given the opportunity to learn English at school, she didn’t care for the class because she never imagined leaving South Korea. “The idea of going to Oregon didn’t come to me until the last year of high school,” Kim said. Kim’s mother contacted her only sister, who has lived in Salem for more than 30 years. The aunt sponsored Kim for a visa so she could attend Chemeketa Community College and learn English. In March 2011, three months after graduating from Banseok High School, Kim arrived to an unseen Oregon with one suitcase, no English skills or experience of another culture, and $5,000 — her mother’s life savings. After a term of English courses, Kim transferred to Portland Community College. As a student worker at PCC, she worked a lot with the international students office. That experience and her work as a student ambassador sparked an interest in international studies. In fall 2015, Kim transferred to the UO, having earned a scholarship through the International Cultural Service Program. She served as a student ambassador promoting Korean culture and participating in discussions of international issues across campus.In February 2017, Kim earned a grant for a six-month professional media internship at the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The trip would prove a catalyst for her international career and an eye-opening experience on the kind of work she would end up doing. “From the moment I got to Kenya, I wanted to see how people lived,” Kim said. “From the moment I landed, I was very excited.” But as Kim found out, once diplomats, visitors and interns arrive in Nairobi’s Green Zone, they are advised not to leave the area without a security escort, and some areas of the city are forbidden to U.N. visitors. As the first weeks went by, Kim met a lot of diplomats and officers at the U.N.’s environment headquarters. She even met U.N. Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres. However, she felt unsatisfied with the experience. “At the time I wanted to go out and deny all of the bad media I had seen about Kenya,” said Kim. “But every official simply scared me with ideas about going out of the green zone.” Kim shared her frustrations with a German graphic designer in the office named Viola Kup. She didn’t know Kup was also the founder of Usanii Lab, a graphic design collective that teaches practical design skills to youngsters in the slums as a way to overcome poverty. Kup snuck Kim into Mathare Valley, a slum east of Nairobi that is home to more than 500,000 people and is one of the oldest slums in Africa. “They train the kids to learn photography, how to use Photoshop and do graphic design,” Kim said. “Once they are done, they recruit a new cohort and have the former team teach the same skills to newcomers. Along the way, hopefully they raise a little bit of money to keep the whole thing going.” But Kim soon found a harsher reality in Nairobi. Her homestay mom, Anika, was a volunteer at local orphanage, Toto Angel Centre, and around the middle of her stay in Nairobi, Kim once again snuck out of the U.N. safe area. This time it was to visit the orphanage in a town named Buruburu, an area known to have one of the highest numbers of gangs in Kenya. “Most of the children in the orphanage were born in the town, but their parents simply cannot afford to take care of them,” Kim said. “Instead of seeing their kids suffer, the parents send the children to the orphanage to get a meal, learn something and play. The sad part is you cannot take out the orphanage out of the city and at the same time it is surrounded by violence.” The experiences of a single place with different needs made an impression on Kim and shaped her professional agenda to become a social problem solver, not a diplomat. “I think everyone needs someone who believes in them,” she said. Kim left Kenya and returned to Oregon in fall 2017 to complete her bachelor’s degree in international studies and a minor in economics. She graduated last spring. Looking out of the window of her office, DaHyun Kim seems to reflect on much of what has happened in her life. But quickly she turns to the task at hand. She shuffles a few folders in her hands and straightens them up, ready for her clients.  A smile on her face, a streak of light comes through her window. —By Chakris Kussalanant, University Communications

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  • 20x21EUG Mural Project brings international art to Eugene Walls

    First Published in the Daily Emerald on July 30th, 2018. In the upcoming week, Eugene will be transformed with a colorful array of new murals, street art installations and gallery walks during 20x21EUG Mural Project’s Eugene Walls, which is part of the Downtown Visual Arts Festival. From July 27 to Aug. 3, artists from around the world will be creating murals and street art as part of 20x21EUG’s initiative to add 20 murals by international artists to Eugene by the year 2021. The goal of the 20x21EUG Mural Project is to showcase art from around the world when athletes converge on Eugene for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2021. The project began in 2016 with a goal of 10 murals to showcase international artists, and is well on its way to surpassing its new goal of 20 murals this year. “Eugene has always been on the map for track and we’re having this great championship coming in the year 2021,” said Jessica Watson, EUG Mural Project coordinator. “We’ve always tried to be a place for arts and culture, so when the world comes to Eugene in 2021, they’re going to see world class artists.” The Downtown Visual Arts Festival will be the first of its kind in decades, said Watson. During the week, the City of Eugene will be hosting a plethora of gallery tours, walking public art tours and artist meet-and-greets. Muralists this week include Alexis Diaz from Puerto Rico, AIKO from Japan, WK Interact who is based in New York but originally from France and Bayne Gardner from Eugene. Artists Kiran Maharjan “H11235” from Nepal and Shamisa Hassani from Afghanistan will be painting murals later this summer.  Local artists Bayne Gardner and Justin Bauer began their day of painting at 5 a.m. Artists have begun painting new murals for this year’s festival and will continue until Aug. 3, 2018. (Henry Ward/Emerald) In addition, artist Matt Small from the UK has already created a mosaic-style street art portrait of Jesse Owens, the American Olympic track and field gold medalist, using recycled material found around Eugene, including pieces from the Hayward Field stadium. Martha Cooper, a world-famous street art photographer from New York, will have a storefront street art photography exhibit and will be documenting the mural-making process. Debbie Williamson Smith, director of communications for 20x21EUG, encourages people to watch the mural making process throughout the week. The 20x21EUG website has a map of each new and existing mural location. There will be refreshments and guides at new locations. In addition, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is hosting an artist reception on Aug. 1 from 6-8:30 p.m. It will be an opportunity to meet the muralists and will offer a beer and wine garden in front of the museum. The event is free and open to the public. “That will be your chance to see them one-on-one as opposed to you on the ground and them on a scissor lift way up tall,” said Williamson Smith. “We want the whole community to come out.” Among other events, PeaceHealth is offering bike tours on Aug. 1 and 2. On Aug. 3, Lane Arts Council will host a First Friday Art Walk tour of several murals and art installations. By the end of summer, 20x21EUG will have 18 out of 20 murals by both local and international artists completed to reach their goal. Local artist Bayne Gardner said it’s like a dream to be painting murals in a large-scale festival in his hometown. He’s keeping his project largely underwraps for now. “Let’s just say it might get a little weird,” he said, “but not too weird.” He plans to incorporate “local imagery,” nature and a few messages into his mural. Gardner is “a huge fan of public art,” he said. “It changes the landscape, hopefully brightens someone’s day or makes them smile and makes them feel good […] It turns the city into a gallery.”

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  • Research sheds new light on tensions along Cascadia fault

    First published in Around the O on July 25th, 2018. UO researchers have found clues from seismic waves that shed new light on the location, frequency and strength of earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The research, detailed in a paper online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, doesn’t deliver help for forecasting the next magnitude 9-plus, full-zone rupture of the fault, but it does provide context for the fault’s historical record. Off shore, but not Cascadia A series of earthquakes, ranging from magnitude 4.3 to 5.6, struck off the southern Oregon coast, about 124 miles southwest of Gold Beach, early Tuesday morning, July 24. These events, and others that frequently occur in that area, are not in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The area involved is known as the Gorda Deformation Zone, a small plate west of Cascadia caught in a vice between the Pacific and Juan de Fuca plates, said UO seismologist Doug Toomey. “It is a region of intense deformation and seismicity,” he said. Earthquakes occurring there are unlikely to cause a tsunami. The 620-mile subduction zone, which hasn’t had a massive lengthwise earthquake since 1700, is where the Juan de Fuca ocean plate dips under the North American continental plate. The fault stretches just offshore of northern Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino in northern California. From a comprehensive analysis of four years of data recorded by 268 seismometers on the ocean floor and several hundred on land, the UO team identified anomalies in the upper mantle below both ends of Cascadia. The anomalies are regions with lower seismic wave velocities than elsewhere beneath the fault line. They suggest that pieces of the Earth’s upper mantle, just below the crust, are rising and buoyant because of melting rock and possibly elevated temperatures, said UO doctoral student Miles Bodmer, who led a study. “What we see are these two anomalies that are beneath the subducting slab in the northern and southern parts of the subduction zone,” Bodmer said. “These regions don’t have the same behavior as the entire fault. There are three segments that have their own distinct geological characteristics. The north and south segments have increased locking and increased tremor densities.” Locking refers to how strongly two plates stick. “If they are stuck together tightly, as is the case here, they are building up stress and you have the potential for the release of that stress, or energy, in large earthquake events,” Bodmer said. Such quakes, while strong, are below that projected if Cascadia ruptures all at once, he said. The locking is weaker in Cascadia’s central section, which includes most of Oregon, where infrequent, smaller quakes tend to occur from creeping along the plates. Tremor refers to long-duration seismic signals often seen at subduction zones. “These happen deep and take more time than a typical earthquake as they rumble to release energy,” Bodmer said. The study helps explain long-recognized patterns in Cascadia’s historical record, said co-author Doug Toomey, a seismologist in the UO Department of Earth Sciences. “Our study is worse news for Portland northward to Seattle and for southern Cascadia, but central Cascadia is not off the hook,” said Toomey, who also is lead investigator for the Oregon component of ShakeAlert, the West Coast early warning network. “More frequent earthquakes to the north and south are seen in historical seismicity patterns.” The junction of the Cascadia-San Andreas faults, he said, has a lot of complexity and is the most seismically active part of contiguous North America. Seismic history also shows more earthquake activity in the Puget Sound area than in central Oregon. Both regions accumulate energy that eventually is released in large earthquakes, he said. The study involved deep imaging, similar to CAT scans, using different forms of seismic waves coming from distant earthquakes moving through the Earth. The ocean-bottom seismic stations, from which data were retrieved every 10 months, were part of the National Science Foundation-funded Cascadia Initiative. Older data from numerous onshore studies in the Western U.S. also were included in the analysis. The anomalies, Bodmer said, suggest that the buoyant ends serve to modulate plate coupling forces. The findings, he added, could apply to subduction zones elsewhere. “Knowing the timing and path of the seismic signals, we can look at velocity variation and equate that to the structures,” he said. “With large offshore data sources, we might be able to better understand how a large rupture in the south might extend into Central Oregon.” Moving forward, Toomey said, there is a need for real-time, onshore-offshore seismic monitoring and geodetic analyses, such as from GPS, to help plot spatial coordinates. That, he added, could feed efforts to project earthquakes in the fault zone. Co-authors on the study – “Buoyant Asthenosphere Beneath Cascadia Influences Megathrust Segmentation” – were Emilie Hooft, a professor in the UO Department of Earth Sciences, and Brandon Schmandt, a professor at the University of New Mexico who earned his doctorate from the UO in 2011. The study's publication quickly drew coverage from Temblor, a website dedicated to earthquake research, in the story: “New findings clarify the seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest.” —By Jim Barlow, University Communications

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  • Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici meets with UO faculty to discuss safety in high schools

    First published in the Daily Emerald on July 24th, 2018. U.S. House of Representatives member and University of Oregon alumna Suzanne Bonamici, D-OR 1st District, met with eight professors and researchers in the College of Education last Friday afternoon for a roundtable discussion. The discussion focused on research being done by UO faculty to improve safety in high schools. The research, which is in part funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education, encompasses a variety of different proposals for improving the safety and wellbeing of high school students. As a vice ranking member of the House’s Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rep. Bonamici says that school safety is something she feels passionately about. She is interested in learning about the research being conducted at UO, and disagrees with some of the school safety proposals meant to prevent school shootings that have been discussed nationally in recent months. “I’m hoping to hear from some of the experts here about what we can do in terms of policy that does not involve arming teachers, because I’m very much opposed to that,” Bonamici said. Rob Horner, professor emeritus of special education at UO, began the discussion by thanking Bonamici for her attendance. After faculty members introduced themselves, Bonamici then discussed her personal and professional background regarding education, including legislation she has worked on and her experiences with current school safety issues. Rep. Bonamici serves on the House’s Committee on Education and the Workforce and came to hear policy suggestions from UO faculty and researchers on July 20, 2018 (Brad Moore/Emerald). “What I’m hearing today concerns me — not only about gun violence in schools — but students being worried and stressed, discrimination, and students not feeling safe,” Bonamici said. “I’ve had students tell me they walk into a classroom and the first thing they do is figure out where they can hide and how they can escape.” UO faculty then took turns discussing research they had conducted or proposed. Senior research associate and associate professor K. Brigid Flannery talked about a proposal for adapting the Check-in/Check-out behavioral intervention protocol for high school students. Check-in/Check-out involves teachers meeting with individual students at various times during the school day to discuss behavioral improvements they’re working on. Flannery noted that many new high school students struggle with changes in context and expectations, and that this intervention method could help prevent the behavioral problems that often occur when they’re transitioning from middle school. Julia Heffernan, whose research primarily focuses on gender and sexuality issues in education, discussed how research has shown that inclusive curriculums and affinity groups, such as gay-straight alliance clubs, can mitigate the levels of bias and violence that marginalized high school students face. In an interview following the meeting, Heffernan described one successful example of an inclusive curriculum in elementary schools that sought to end the use of the word “retarded,” a derogatory term for individuals with physical, developmental or mental disabilities. “There were campaigns about banning the word ‘retarded,’ which was the most frequently used slur in elementary schools for any kind of deficiency,” Heffernan said. “And as teachers taught that inclusive curriculum about — who is this community? Who are these folks? You see a reduction in the violence that happens.” John Seeley, a member of UO’s Prevention Science Institute, discussed youth suicide intervention methods. Seeley’s research team is helping with the rollout and implementation of Oregon’s Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan. Their efforts focus not only on the prevention of youth suicide, but also on “post-vention” strategies that help communities cope with emotional trauma following a suicide. Bonamici remarked on the importance of these post-vention strategies, relating that she had spoken with students who were reluctant to speak with school counselors about emotional trauma. “They said there’s so much stigma that they don’t go to counselors at school,” Bonamici said. “They just don’t go talk to anybody because they’re afraid of being seen.” Horner then talked about the proven effectiveness of building positive social environments in schools, wherein all students know what behavior is expected of them. He said that research over the past 20 years has shown that improving schools’ social environments greatly reduces behavioral problems and increases attendance and academic performance. “When you actually teach those expectations, it shifts from something where the adults are controlling the agenda to where the students are simply expecting good behavior from each other,” Horner said. He also noted that due to budget limitations that schools often face, the UO research staff is taking into account the sustainability and costs of school safety interventions. “In education one of the things you’ve got to be worried about with funding, is how do we fund things not only that work, but that become easier the second year, easier the third year, and are likely to continue on?” said Horner. At the conclusion of the meeting, Bonamici thanked the UO faculty for their research efforts and promised to share their findings with her legislative staff for use in future conversations about school safety measures. “We have to come up with ways to make sure that all students have safety,” she said. “As we go forward, this will be helpful.”

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  • Affirmative action changes mean for UO

    First published in the Daily Emerald on July 23rd, 2018. On July 3, the U.S. Department of Education announced it would rescind legal guidelines for universities that use race as a factor in their student admissions process, and instead will begin promoting race-neutral admission policies. The guidelines, which were first published by the Obama administration in 2011, provided recommendations for how universities could use race as an admissions factor in a way that was consistent with federal law. The introduction to the guidelines also contains justification for race-based admissions, citing the benefits that diverse learning environments have on society. The decision to rescind the affirmative action guidelines comes amidst a lawsuit filed against Harvard by Students for Fair Admissions, a non-profit group that claims Harvard discriminates against Asian-American students by giving them lower “personality” scores even if their test scores outrank those of other applicants. The Department of Justice is also currently reviewing Harvard’s admissions policies on suspicions that it is illegally discriminating against Asian-American students. How exactly will the changes affect admissions at the UO? According to UO’s holistic review process for student admissions, the racial or ethnic identity of student applicants is taken into consideration. When asked if the university would be changing their admissions process following the Trump administration’s actions, UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger issued this written response: “No single factor determines admissions decisions and our process is carried out in accordance with best practices for university admissions, and with current federal rulings. The new guidance will not change our process at this time.” According to a recent Around the O article, since the year 2000 the percentage of UO students who are ethnic minorities has increased from 12.8 percent to 26.8 percent, with the class of 2017 being the most ethnically diverse in university history. Roger Thompson, vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management, notes in the article that UO is more diverse than the state of Oregon itself. Equal opportunity or racial bias? Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the decision to rescind the guidelines, arguing that they strongly encouraged racial bias in admissions processes and downplayed the potential legal difficulties of implementing affirmative action. Affirmative action is a result of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement effort to create equal opportunities for minority groups that are historically underrepresented. The constitutionality of affirmative action has proven to be controversial in college admissions.   The Supreme Court has ruled that schools are not allowed to implement quotas for acceptance of minority students, but narrowly taking race into consideration, among other factors, is constitutional. Critics of affirmative action claim that the program gives preferential treatment to minority students and lowers standards for those students, making it easier for them to get into colleges. Oregon lawmakers criticize Trump’s decision The Emerald reached out to Oregon’s congressional representatives to get their response to the Trump administration’s actions. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, issued a statement criticizing President Donald Trump’s policies, and cited the repeal of affirmative action guidelines as an attack on “proven and needed policies.” “Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that he is now taking his battle to colleges by plotting with Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos to attack proven and needed policies that promote diversity and improve the educational experience and campus life in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden wrote. “Just as I have fought back against Trump’s moves to defend white supremacists and to implement cruel immigration policies, I will fight back against this deeply flawed and backward-looking scheme.” Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-OR, responded in an interview last Friday at UO’s HEDCO building where she held a roundtable discussion on high school safety. Like Sen. Wyden, she offered a rebuke of the Trump administration. “I see it as just another step by the Trump administration to attack opportunities for other people,” Bonamici said. “We all benefit when we have perspectives from different people, particularly in higher education.” Bonamici’s full statement on the issue can be read here. What’s next for UO admissions? Although the new guidance from the Trump administration doesn’t change any existing laws, it does indicate an opposition to affirmative action and reveals the challenges that universities might face from the Department of Justice if they continue to use race as a factor in admissions. Various news outlets, including CNN, Politico and the New York Times, have speculated that the pending litigation against Harvard may go to the Supreme Court, which could then issue a ruling that reverses past Court rulings on affirmative action, thereby making race-based college admissions illegal. Klinger acknowledged this legal situation in his response, writing that, ”The withdraw [sic] of Obama-OCR guidance that encouraged the use of programs designed to increase diversity does not materially change either the law or how UO should go about its admissions decisions, so we can’t really say when or how something might change.”

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  • Climate change lawsuit involving two UO students sees first arguments in court

    First published in the Daily Emerald on July 18th, 2018. On Wednesday, attorneys made oral arguments in Juliana v. United States — the case in which 21 plaintiffs, including two UO students, are suing the U.S. government over carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. The case, which begins trial on Oct. 29 and is presided over by Honorable District Judge Ann Aiken, could have serious consequences for the United States if the judge finds the government responsible for the plaintiffs’ accusation that the government’s use and production of fossil fuels endangered them. Juliana v. United States also raises questions as to how the Fifth Amendment, which ensures life, liberty, property and due process, should be interpreted in regards to climate change. The case is as much a question of constitutional law as it is about environmental sustainability. Oral arguments were set to begin at 2 p.m. The Register Guard reported on Tuesday that the government filed a stay with the Supreme Court of the United States, meaning that they intended to stop the case from proceeding; however, during oral arguments, the attorneys for the plaintiffs said that they would file a response for the stay application by noon next Monday. At 1 p.m., a crowd of roughly 40 demonstrators arrived at the Wayne L. Morse Courthouse bearing turquoise signs that read “LET THE YOUTH BE HEARD #YouthvGov.” Demonstrators sang a version of the song “This land is your land, this land is my land” that substituted the original lyrics for ones that promoted environmental activism and cheered when the plaintiffs and their attorneys entered the courthouse. Oral arguments began at 2 p.m. with opening remarks coming from the defendants. The United States’ attorneys argued that the case raises an issue with the separation of powers — or the distinct constitutional duties of the federal government’s legislative, judicial and executive branches. Juliana v. United States has a long list of defendants, which includes President Donald Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. The government’s attorneys argued that the court ruling in the plaintiffs’ favor would be an example of the court system determining policy, instead of allowing Congress to pass legislation. The United States’ attorneys also argued that the plaintiffs were not able to clearly tether their symptoms of anxiety, asthma and natural disasters such as flooding to U.S. policy and government action. Julia Olson, the plaintiffs’ attorney, spoke after the defense and made the case that the plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights to life, liberty, property and due process were infringed upon by the government’s actions. In a rebuttal to the government’s assertion that there was an issue with the separation powers, Olson pointed to past issues in which the courts have weighed in on policy, such as cases relating to voting, housing and prison. “The constitution is silent on the national energy system, but is loud on liberty,” she said. Despite the differences the parties had, both agreed at the end of the proceeding that President Trump can be dismissed from the case without prejudice — meaning that he is not involved in the case now, but can be brought back in at a later date if necessary. Olson said that because of the wide scope of the lawsuit, the court would be able to award the plaintiffs the remedy, or relief, they want, even if the president was not involved in the lawsuit. “The defendants say we can get the remedy we want without the president because we’ve sued other federal agencies and officials,” Olson said. “We’re saying ‘Fine, let’s narrow that issue; he can be out of the case. If we need him, we can move to bring him back in.’” Following the end of oral arguments, the plaintiffs and their attorneys held a press conference at 4 p.m. and addressed the demonstrators who filed into the courtroom to watch the arguments. One plaintiff, 21-year-old Jacob Lebel, spoke of the effects of climate change on his farm near Roseburg, Oregon. “This is only the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of the destabilization that climate change has instilled for me and my generation; it’s one of the worst things I can think of,” he said. Aji Piper, a 17-year-old plaintiff from Seattle, WA, said that the case can be a catalyst for change in other parts of the world. “The remedy that we’re seeking has to do with getting the courts to order the government to take responsibility through instituting a national climate recovery plan,” he said. “If we were to win this case and get the remedy and as a country start moving towards a renewable and sustainable economy, we would see the rest of the world follow along.”

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  • State law makes it easier to recruit new postdocs

    First published in Around the O, in July 2017. A new Oregon law will make it easier for researchers at the UO to recruit postdoctoral scholars and secure federal research funding, chief research officer David Conover said in a campus message July 18. “I am pleased to announce that the Oregon State Legislature has passed Senate Bill 214, a law that will make it easier for us to recruit postdoctoral scholars and bring in more federal funding,” said Conover, UO’s vice president for research and innovation. “Our UO team led the way for the rest of the state in the multiyear effort of passing this legislation.” The law applies to postdoctoral scholars — or “postdocs” — trainees pursuing advanced studies beyond the doctoral level in preparation for independent careers. Many postdocs participate in research projects under the direction of faculty mentors. The new law will exempt postdocs from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and provide them with an alternative retirement plan after it takes effect Jan. 1. It will allow them to receive up to a 4 percent university match on retirement contributions they make. The new law applies to scholars at other Oregon universities as well, but the UO was the initial driving force behind efforts to pass the legislation. Conover credited members of his staff, the UO Office of Government and Community Relations, United Academics and the UO Postdoc Association for working to pass the measure, which supports UO President Michael Schill’s goal of increasing academic excellence and research productivity. More details about how SB 214 will be implemented will be posted to the Research and Innovation websitein the coming months. In the meantime, questions can be directed to Cass Moseley at cmoseley@uoregon.edu. Read the full version of the announcement.

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  • UO honored by Portland's Good in the Hood cultural festival

    First published in Around the O. Creating unity in the community by celebrating music, food and resources: This has been Good in the Hood’s mission for 26 years. This year the Portland festival’s organizers honored the University of Oregon with the Title Sponsor Award, recognizing the five-year partnership to expand access to the community values of northeast Portland. Accepting the award for the university was Joelle Goodwin, former Mrs. Oregon and currently the UO’s senior associate director of admissions. “Good in the Hood brings together two things that are near and dear to my heart: the neighborhood that I grew up in and my university,” Goodwin said. “Being recognized for our support and sponsorship of the festival is really meaningful to me.” At the three-day event, student ambassadors welcomed community members to the UO booth, the Duck came out to play and staffers connected with families in the Portland community. To learn more about summer events the UO is sponsoring, visit the Around the O story with links to volunteer opportunities.

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  • The story behind the jerseys at the 2018 World Cup

    The story behind the jerseys at the 2018 World Cup By Susan L. Sokolowski, University of Oregon via The Associated Press | Posted July 11, 2018 at 12:01 PM There are lots of rules about World Cup jerseys right down to the number of colors. And then there's the issue of counterfeit jerseys. MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images What's involved in designing World Cup jerseys? By Susan L. Sokolowski, University of Oregon Nearly 3.5 billion people are expected to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. They’ll all see players wearing a fresh batch of national jerseys, designed by the major sport product manufacturers. Millions of authentic tops are made for fans to buy. Even more are counterfeited. Francisco Seco/The Associated Press Before I became a professor of sports product design at the University of Oregon, I spent about 20 years working for a major sports manufacturer on innovative products, for events like the World Cup and the Champions League Final. Sport manufacturers such as Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Puma, Uhlsport, Umbro and Under Armour start research and product development two to three years before a World Cup begins.  Jerseys must represent teams’ countries, perform for elite athletes and be desirable for fans. They must also deter counterfeiting, which undermines the only real way jersey manufacturers can recoup their design and production investments. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Following the rules The jerseys must first obey guidelines set by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. Some are pretty basic – like making sure players’ jerseys aren’t easily confused with referees’ shirts, and that they have sleeves; soccer jerseys can’t be tank tops.  Other rules are more detailed, like banning jerseys that have more than four colors, unless they’re striped or checkered in two equal colors – in which case the jersey can use five colors. The Associated Press There are also specific rules about the size and placement of logos – including the manufacturer’s own, and stars indicating how many World Cups a team has won – and player names and numbers. FIFA even specifies that both sleeves must be free of logos, to make room for its own event badges.  The Associated Press Satisfying the customer Following FIFA’s rules is a must, but the ultimate approval of each nation’s jersey designs comes from its national soccer governing federation. The manufacturer has the ideas, but the federation officials need to be convinced to go along with their new design aesthetics and performance innovations. Often the sports product manufacturer will ask the soccer federations for a list of aesthetic and performance criteria upfront. Some countries have really detailed lists, perhaps governed by tradition or superstition. Others are more open to new ideas – like Nigeria, which approved striking designs by Nike for World Cup 2018. The Associated Press The manufacturer's design touch Typically a jersey manufacturer will come up with a few ideas for each home and away jersey. Often they’ll include designs that look a lot like the team’s last World Cup jersey, others that are very different and still others somewhere in between the old design and a brand new one. The company usually hopes it’ll be allowed to create something at least relatively new, rather than just remaking a design from the past. The company making the jersey can add some design elements, too – but of course they must be approved by FIFA and the national federation. Some of these – like the neckline – are aesthetic features that may have a historical nod to each nation’s heritage. The Associated Press Other elements can combine appearance and function, like the cut and fit of the jersey, ventilation or how its materials handle sweat. There are also aspects of the design intended to deter counterfeiting; for the 2018 World Cup, many of the major sport manufacturers developed engineered knit jersey materials that help with thermoregulation and fit, while providing a unique appearance that is difficult to knock-off without the exact machinery and programming skills. The manufacturers will lab-test the materials, and then let elite players confidentially test the physical designs, on pitch, during training sessions.  Protecting the design To curtail counterfeiting, some manufacturers will embed electronic tags in their authentic jerseys, making it easy to check whether a merchant is selling real or fake products. Many large manufacturers will have teams of inspectors shopping international markets, online and at shipping ports, looking for counterfeits and working with local police to shut down sales and exportation. Total prevention is impossible, though – and it’s made harder when supplies of the real thing sell out. The Nigeria jersey sold out, making Nike a fair profit, but now it’s making Chinese and Thai counterfeiters millions of dollars too, because there are no more authentic versions available.  The Associated Press When FIFA guidelines, federation and manufacturer desires align, new World Cup jersey designs can be an exciting  part of the tournament experience for fans around the world. The Associated Press This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/whats-involved-in-designing-world-cup-jerseys-98279.

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