Latest news from the UO

  • L.A. unveils earthquake early warning app

    First published on the DailyMail.com on January 2nd. Los Angeles has released an earthquake warning app that could give LA County residents precious seconds to drop, cover and hold on in the event of a quake. The city announced on Wednesday that ShakeAlertLA is available for download on Android and Apple phones. Based on a warning system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the app will alert users when there's a quake of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the state. +3 Los Angeles has released an earthquake warning app that could give LA County residents precious seconds to drop, cover and hold on in the event of a quake Depending on where the quake hits, the app says the warning could arrive before, during or after the quake. It urges people who see the alert or feel the shaking to take precautions to avoid injury. ‘I actually think that we can say today that ShakeAlert is the most sophisticated earthquake early warning system in the world,’ said Richard Allen, director of UC Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory following a test earlier this year. ‘The challenge is getting that alert out to every single individual across the state of California or across the Pacific Northwest. ‘The reason is that the technology for delivering alerts to all 8 million residents of the Bay Area within a second does not exist today.'  Both Mexico and Japan already use public apps that can provide real-tie warnings to the public via text, the researcher notes. ShakeAlert comes five years in the making, through the collaboration of the USGC, UC Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, and the University of Oregon. +3 Depending on where the quake hits, the app says the warning could arrive before, during or after the quake. It urges people who see the alert or feel the shaking to take precautions to avoid injury It could provide up to tens of seconds notice ahead of ground tremors in the area, giving people time to take cover and hold on. The app is now in its second version as it’s being rolled out to the public, using an updated algorithm to pull data from seismic networks across the state. With the new algorithm, the team is hoping to cut down on false alarms. HOW ARE EARTHQUAKES MEASURED? Earthquakes are detected by tracking the size, or magnitude, and intensity of the shock waves they produce, known as seismic waves. The magnitude of an earthquake differs from its intensity. The magnitude of an earthquake refers to the measurement of energy released where the earthquake originated. Magnitude is calculated based on measurements on seismographs. The intensity of an earthquake refers to how strong the shaking that is produced by the sensation is. +3 A 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California on Thursday at 10.30am According to the United States Geological Survey, 'intensity is determined from the effects on people, human structures and the natural environment'. Earthquakes originate below the surface of the earth in a region called the hypocenter.  During an earthquake, one part of a seismograph remains stationary and one part moves with the earth's surface. The earthquake is then measured by the difference in the positions of the still and moving parts of the seismograph.  The network-based approach on which it relies isn’t as speedy as a single, or ‘on-site’ approach, but it’s far more accurate. ‘Using a network of seismic sensors also has the advantage that the system is constantly exercised and tested as it detects daily small earthquakes,’ the ShakeAlert team explains on the website. ‘For this reason the system maintains a high level or readiness. The network approach is also the only kind capable of ‘characterizing large, complex earthquakes as they evolve.’   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6550265/Los-Angeles-unveils-earthquake-warning-app.html

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  • Gen Z entrepreneurs view higher education as vital to their startups

    First published on theconversation.com Today’s college students – dubbed Generation Z – are beginning to make their mark on the workplace with a distinctly unconventional and often irreverent approach to problem-solving. In my day-to-day interactions with our students, I find that this group doesn’t only ask “Why?” they ask “How can I fix that?” And their curiosity, independence, energy and assertiveness are transforming the entrepreneurial space. These post-millennials are less like the bumbling geeks from the cast of the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley” and more in the spirit of a focused problem-solver like a young MacGyver, who would rather invent and innovate as a means to learning and discovery. What’s energizing to a university president like me is watching this transformation take place as more and more undergraduates are partnering with public institutions and fueling the next wave of ingenuity. Entrepreneurship 101 A 2011 survey by Gallup found 77 percent of students in grades 5 through 12 said they want to be their own boss and 45 percent planned to start their own business. Today, many of those students are now in college. For example, when I first met Hunter Swisher as an undergraduate plant pathology student at Penn State, he was busy turning scientific turfgrass research that he learned about in class into a commercial product and startup company. The turf of the White Course at Penn State is tended to by Phospholutions. Penn State, Author provided Swisher saw commercial potential in his professor’s research and worked closely with him to transfer that knowledge into a possible viable product. Swisher connected with the university’s startup incubator and vast alumni network, put in the work, and became a CEO of his own small business before he walked across the stage at commencement in 2016. Today, his company Phospholutions has five employees and counting and their treatment is being used on more than 50 golf courses in 10 states. Swisher is not alone in pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams while still in college. He is just one of many entrepreneurs starting their own companies by leveraging resources at their colleges and universities. Penn State, Indiana University, University of North Carolina, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, Ohio State and other leading public institutions all have thriving entrepreneurial centers that are available to all students, as well as community members and businesses. Penn State alone has opened 21 entrepreneurial spaces across Pennsylvania, and in just two years, we’ve engaged with more than 4,500 students. Moving scientific discoveries into a breakthrough business opportunity is powering economic growth and creating jobs. Consider that nationally – in 2017 alone – the Association of University Technology Managers reported: $68.2 billion in research expenditures 1,080 startups formed 24,998 invention disclosures 15,335 new U.S. patent applications filed 7,849 licenses and options executed 755 new products created Undergraduate students at public universities are fueling this trend Traditionally, higher education has focused their investment on faculty entrepreneurs, hoping to find a breakthrough like the next Gatorade (University of Florida) or Lyrica (Northwestern University). Since universities don’t own the rights to undergraduate intellectual property, there has been less incentive to support these efforts. Until now. While we universities are taking a risk on students without a guaranteed immediate return on investment, we think the potential outcomes – for example in alumni support and building our local economies – are worth it. With their minds set on this entrepreneurial future, a common narrative has emerged that students are skipping college to start their own businesses. In reality, 8 in 10 students believe college is important to achieving their career goals. Sixty-three percent of those same students – all between the ages of 16 and 19 – said they want to learn about entrepreneurship in college, including how to start a business. Land-grant and public institutions are contributing the practical education that can contribute to economic growth and development. Indeed, generally speaking talent-driven innovation was identified as the most important factor by the Deloitte-U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Through skills training and engaged entrepreneurial experiences, students are realizing the profound impact they can have by solving a problem as well as overcoming obstacles, failures and flops – all under the umbrella of university guidance and resource support. Innovation is inspiring and a wise investment Research and education have always opened doors that benefit the nation we serve. Today, public colleges and universities are well-positioned to transform our economy and infuse it with innovation and energy. As chair of the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU) newly formed Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE), I’m working with universities and our government partners to identify key areas crucial to maximizing the impact of public research universities. By the end of this year, tens of millions of Generation Zers will enter the workforce. The challenge for higher education will be how to help the world of business to better harness the many talents, energy and inquisitiveness that Generation Zers bring to the table. The many partnerships that universities have formed with entrepreneurial students serve as an important first step toward this goal. Editor’s note: this piece has been updated to reflect accurately Phospholutions’ current commercial agreements.

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  • UO ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for master’s degrees in physics

    First published in Around the O on December 31st. The University of Oregon granted more master’s degrees in physics than any other university in the country in 2017, earning a top ranking in a report recently released by the American Institute of Physics. The majority of the 24 master’s degrees were awarded to students in the Master’s Industrial Internship Program, a long-successful venture boasting more than 600 alumni spanning two decades. The program, which emerged from a collaboration among the physics and chemistry departments and the Materials Science Institute, was integrated last year into the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. As part of the Knight Campus Internship Program, the master’s program combines a nine-month paid internship with concentrated coursework in four areas: optical materials and devices; photovoltaic and semiconductor device processing; polymer science; and, starting in 2019, molecular sensors. “Our program’s main focus is to prepare students to excel in an industrial setting and to help launch their careers,” said Nima Dinyari, director of the optics program. When the first Knight Campus building is complete in 2020, it will host training laboratories and classroom spaces specifically designed for applied graduate education. It will allow students in the program to work closely with scientists and entrepreneurs to help turn discoveries into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation and the world. Over the years, the program’s success has come in large part because of its ability to evolve, based on feedback from top companies and labs across the country.   A prime example of how the curriculum is shaped around industry needs is a Design of Experiments course, which requires use of state-of-the-art software in addition to mastery of principles in statistics and experiment design. Fuding Lin, who oversees the program’s semiconductor curriculum, created the course to better address the needs of students. “Our courses allow students to acquire a highly marketable skill set that’s being heavily utilized in the industry,” Lin said. “In fact, many of our students immediately apply what they’ve learned to projects during their internship.” In addition to summer courses, students complete two electives and a nine-month paid internship in a company or national lab. The average internship salary this year is about $56,000. Many students receive internship offers within a few weeks of completing the summer course work, and a large number of students are later retained as full-time employees upon completion of their internship. “The program prepares students for working in a real industrial setting,” said Stacey York, director of the master’s program. “Students must learn to solve scientific problems with a general set of constraints — reagents, cost, manufacturing time — without step-by-step instructions. They develop the necessary critical thinking skills and foundational knowledge to do this within their fields.” In turn, said Bryan Boggs, lecturer of physics, the program adds value to the physics department. “The MIIP motivates our students to excel in their physics studies and provides a pathway for them to not only obtain an advanced degree but also a rewarding career after graduation,” Boggs said. Students in the program have a 98 percent graduation rate and a 90 percent employment rate within three months of graduation. Program staff strive to achieve those metrics by putting the time into recruiting and advising students, while also building corporate relationships and developing innovative curriculum. Such commitment from the staff, led by Dinyari, is a major driver of the program’s success, York said.   In the past three years, physics students have interned at 31 unique corporate sites. Students from the 2018 optics and semiconductor programs are interning at large and small organizations across the country, including Aretè Associates, Cree, ESI, HP, Keysight Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Los Alamos National Lab, Nanohmics, nLight, Ouster, OptoFidelity, Qorvo, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Timbercon and Zemax. Spencer Mather, a current student in the photovoltaics and semiconductor device processing track, recently began his internship at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The UO's curriculum offers a unique blend of understanding fundamental physics, practical knowledge for industry and development of professional skills,” Mather said. “I couldn't imagine a better liaison between academia and industry, and I couldn't picture myself anywhere else." Kimberly Belmes, a current student in the optical materials and devices track, starts her internship at Lockheed Martin Corporation in January. “This program has not only shaped me into a better student, but has transformed me into a more well-rounded person overall,” Belmes said. “I gained self-confidence and developed key professional skills that helped me land an internship with one of my top choices.” —By Rachael Nelson, University Communications

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  • At UO, much to cheer for in 2019

    First published in the Register Guard on December 30th.  In the ’70s, Eugene residents ran produce sales, church socials and other fundraisers to support their state university. That would be the 1870s. The $27,500 raised from the community bought 18 acres for what became the University of Oregon campus. Nearly 150 years later, the bond between the university and community is just as strong, just as innovative and just as relevant. 2018 has been a banner year for the university and for the region. The most recent buzz has been over the Ducks’ preparation for the Redbox Bowl against Michigan State on Monday. Yes, football bowl games do raise a university’s profile, as the UO has learned. Last week, Duck fans got the welcome news that quarterback Justin Herbert would return in 2019 for his senior season. It says something about his character that Herbert, a local product who played at Sheldon High, would not depart for the NFL despite being considered a high draft pick. Some would argue that Duck athletics gets too much attention when the overall university offers 325 degree and certificate programs, and has produced seven Oregon governors, eight U.S. senators and 20 members of Congress, along with winners of 18 Pulitzer Prizes, nine Academy Awards and nine Emmys. And there was that little movie made 40 years ago on campus, “Animal House.” Oregon and its archrival Washington are the only two Northwest universities accepted into the prestigious Association of American Universities, which comprises the 60 leading public and private research universities in the U.S., plus two in Canada. So, it is worth noting that AAU schools also have many of the top programs in college sports. Sports does have a way of bringing people together — and putting Eugene on the map, first as “Track Town USA” and now as a national power in other men’s and women’s sports. Meanwhile, UO track fans remain among the most knowledgeable in the nation. Nothing compares to hearing the applause and cheers move through the stands as runners circle the track, or start their next field event, at venerable Hayward Field. That field, which has given us so many memorable performances, and also inspired the business concepts that became Nike, is giving way to a reconstruction that will host the 2021 World Track and Field Championships. While it’s bittersweet to lose the traditional Hayward Field, the new facility will be an exciting opportunity for Eugene to host major events beyond the Olympic Trials and world championships. Over time, new memories will be created for thousands more spectators and new traditions will emerge. The UO and Hayward Field are inextricably linked with Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who has invested in both the university’s athletics and academics. Oregon broke ground this year on the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a billion-dollar project to expand the university’s research and teaching. Construction also is under way on the Black Cultural Center, as well as other academic buildings. Teachers throughout the world continue to benefit from the College of Education’s pioneering leadership in how to most-effectively teach students who have disabilities. The college recently received a five-year $32.6 million federal grant, which might be the largest in the university’s history. The UO also is evolving in ways that do not make national headlines but are important to the community, such as its somewhat-successful efforts to curb overdrinking, including at tailgate parties. And during the current winter break, the campus police department has offered to check off-campus students’ residences while they are away, which will contribute to neighborhood security. As for that 19th century financial investment by Eugene residents? It’s been repaid over and over. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, the UO reported employing 10,685 Lane County residents, paying them more than $353 million, and doing more than $427 million in business with local vendors. As the state’s flagship university, the UO also is a local university. As of last year, its Lane County contingent numbered almost 34,000 alumni and more than 3,350 students, including 1,122 transfer students from Lane Community College. As with any relationship, there are ups and downs, miscommunications and misunderstandings as well as collaborations and successes. Through all these times, it is inconceivable to imagine a Eugene without a University of Oregon. Eugene is proud to be a university town — a vibrant, creative blend of campus and community. https://www.registerguard.com/opinion/20181230/at-uo-much-to-cheer-for-in-2019

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  • UO physicist cheers passage of National Quantum Initiative

    First published in Around the O on December 27th. The University of Oregon stands to have a role in the development of quantum information science after President Donald Trump signed the National Quantum Initiative Act last week. The $1.2 billion initiative, which moved forward with input from the UO, promises to revolutionize everything from computing to navigation to encryption. “We applaud the passage of this critical initiative and thank everyone who supported our UO quantum group as we advanced this bill and as we move forward to great things,” said Michael Raymer, a Philip H. Knight Professor in the Department of Physics. In particular, Raymer praised UO Provost Jayanth Banavar; David Conover, vice president for research and innovation; and Andrew Marcus, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for their support in the process. Raymer and physicist Christopher Monroe of the University of Maryland co-authored the original proposals for a National Quantum Initiative. The measure, HR 6227, was signed into law by the president after the Senate gave its unanimous consent. The House of Representatives had earlier approved it by a vote of 348-11. Over five years, the funding will support federal efforts to boost investment in quantum information science and support a quantum-smart workforce. The act also creates a National Quantum Coordination Office, calls for the development of a strategic plan and establishes an advisory committee to the White House on quantum computing issues. The UO is well-positioned for a key role in the initiative. In October, Raymer and two colleagues, chemistry professor Andy Marcus and physics professor Brian Smith, received a $997,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue studies in quantum science. The UO quantum group plans to team with scientists at other universities on a proposal to create a research center, Raymer said. Additionally, he added, the UO and institutions like it can play important roles in training the next-generation workforce in quantum information science and technology.

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  • National Quantum Initiative Act heads to President for signature

    The National Quantum Initiative Act, legislation based on a proposal co-authored by UO Physics Professor Michael Raymer, has passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the President.  The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology. Michael Raymer and University of Maryland physicist Christopher Monroe authored the proposal that is the basis for federal legislation first introduced July 2018. The legislation will accelerate quantum research and development at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and authorizes robust funding for these agencies.  In the media release from the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), Ed White, Chair of the NPI Steering Committee and Vice President Test, Assembly, and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said, “The Congress has acted in a bipartisan way to move our nation’s quantum technology policy forward. This critical legislation creates the comprehensive quantum technology policy our country needs to transition this exciting research from the laboratory to the marketplace. We applaud lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate for their commitment to seeing this legislation through and look forward to working with Administration officials on its implementation.” This isn’t the first time Professor Michael Raymer’s work has been recognized by a member of Congress. In October 2017 U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon) recognized Raymer’s work on the National Quantum Initiative during a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. In February Raymer hosted a visit by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, another Oregon Democrat and UO alumnus, to share groundbreaking photonics and quantum physics research being done by UO faculty members. 

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  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown aims $12 million for earthquake early warning system

    First published on December 19th, 2018 By Eugene Register-Guard; online@oregonian.com SALEM – Every second of warning matters when a major earthquake is about to rumble. Seconds provide enough time for school children to shelter under desks, traffic to clear from bridges and fire departments to raise their garage doors, said University of Oregon Prof. Doug Toomey. That's why he and other researchers around the West have been working on setting up an earthquake early warning system. The looming danger of a massive magnitude 9 Cascadia subduction zone earthquake off the Oregon Coast adds urgency to their work. "For the public it's going to give them advance warning of strong shaking so they can take protective action," Toomey said. "In the case of a Cascadia earthquake, they'll get tens of seconds to many tens of seconds of early warning here in Eugene, and so they can duck, cover and hold. Studies show that when people are caught unaware in earthquakes, they panic and that leads to more casualties than necessary." The goal is to have the statewide early earthquake warning system up and operational by 2023, according Gov. Kate Brown's office. Early warning would come over a network of microwave towers passing data collected by an array of seismometers and GPS sensors, which would detect the first ripples of earthquakes. The state also could use the system to warn of wildfires, Toomey said. The same microwave towers also could pass images from high-definition cameras scanning forests for puffs of smoke. Brown included $12 million for an earthquake early warning system in her proposed budget this fall. Bonds would fund the system, so Oregon lawmakers likely won't vote on it until summer. "When the next Cascadia subduction zone earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will face the greatest challenge of our lifetimes," Brown said in a statement. "Oregon's buildings, transportation network, utilities, and population are underprepared for such an event, and we must accelerate our preparations. That is why funding for an earthquake early warning system in my budget is so critical." The early warning system would be responding to earthquakes rather than predicting them. Scientists can't accurately predict earthquakes — yet. But researchers have learned that the initial waves of an earthquake move rapidly with little shaking. Depending on the magnitude of the earthquake and the distance of a sensor from where the temblor begins, the initial ripples might give seconds to minutes of advance warning before the damaging waves arrive. Spring Break Quake of 1993 was literally a wake-up call At 5:34 a.m. on March 25, 1993, one of the stronger earthquakes to hit the area in years jolted residents from Salem to Portland awake. How that scientific data will go from research computers to the public and emergency agencies is still being worked out. Toomey said the early warning system might trigger cell phone alerts and community sirens. Mexico and Japan created early warning systems after massive quakes struck, including a magnitude 8 earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 and a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, in 1995. "These other countries have had them for decades," Toomey said. "It's a proven science. It's proven effective." Two plates of the Earth's crust meet under the Pacific Ocean about 40 miles off the Oregon Coast. One of the plates is sliding under the other — the Cascadia subduction zone — building up pressure that scientists say will eventually release in the form of a massive earthquake, potentially one of the most powerful earthquakes every recorded. There's a 25 to 40 percent chance of a magnitude 9 earthquake in the next 50 years, Toomey said. So the race is on to be prepared. Oregon's early warning earthquake system would be part of ShakeAlert, a system covering the West Coast. The system would be built upon an existing network of sensors operated by the UO, the University of Washington, University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. Specifically, the $12 million would cover the cost of completing Oregon's network of more than 100 sensors, Toomey said. The entire ShakeAlert system across the West Coast will cost $28 million annually to maintain, which he said the U.S. Geological Survey is set to pay. "We have to be over 75 percent complete before we can start providing alerts to the public," Toomey said. "We're about 50 percent complete right now in the state and that's why the governor's budget is important. It would allow us to complete that network." Shaking in the Cascadia earthquake might last as long as five minutes, said Leland O'Discoll, ShakeAlert project manager and a seismic field technician at the UO. So being able to brace for the earthquake will be invaluable. How to react to the early warning of a pending earthquake will depend on what someone is doing at the time, but the general advice from experts is to duck, cover and hold: drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and then hold on until the shaking stops. An earthquake early warning system reduces losses in the moment, O'Discoll said, and accelerates recovery after the event because damage is reduced. Setting up such a system would signal a shift in how Oregonians respond to a major natural disaster. The response would begin before the earthquake strikes, said Linda Cook, emergency manager for Lane County. An alert would allow factories to shut down and trains to slow down, potentially using automated systems. "Granted, it's only seconds to minutes of advance warning," Cook said, "but seconds to minutes can make a big difference." Florence on the Oregon Coast sits in harm's way of a Cascadia earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Like Cook, Megan Messmer, a project manager for Florence, said advance warning would be valuable. She said it would lower the effects of secondary disasters triggered by an earthquake. Toomey said that a common misconception about a Cascadia earthquake is that coastal cities would be immediately rocked by shaking. But the temblor would likely begin on the far southern end, off California, or the northern end, off Canada. With ShakeAlert, a city such as Florence near the center of the subduction zone might have as much as a couple of minutes of warning when the major earthquake strikes. "Any work that the state does to help move us forward (with a warning system) will be helpful in those types of disasters," she said, "Because we as an individual city don't have those resources or even ability to do that large scale or technical of a project." – Dylan Darling | Eugene Register-Guard

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  • UO supports improved passenger rail service between Southern Willamette Valley and Portland

    On December 17, President Michael Schill submitted a letter to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) expressing the university’s strong support of improved passenger rail service between the metropolitan areas of Eugene-Springfield and Portland. The letter was in response to ODOT’s recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement examining the economic and environmental impacts of improving the frequency, convenience, speed and reliability of passenger rail service between the Portland and the Eugene-Springfield urban areas.  ODOT held a series of public open houses throughout the corridor and also invited the public to provide comments online through December 18. The letter from President Schill states, “passenger rail service has been important to the UO since our founding, but the designation of the Cascadia corridor in 1992 for high-speed rail and improved passenger service is an opportunity that must be realized. With more than 5,000 UO students from the Portland area and numerous graduate program offerings at UO Portland, students, faculty, and visitors frequently travel to and from the Portland region to do business on campus or with UO-affiliated companies and research institutions including OHSU and the new Knight Campus as well as Oregon State University and Portland State University. The popularity of Amtrak service with the UO community is illustrated by the frequently used Amtrak bus service that originates on the UO campus as well as the ridership on Cascades.” Champions for improved passenger rail service between the Eugene-Springfield and Portland metropolitan areas include Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), State Representative Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene), Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis and former Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. Following the public comment period, ODOT and Federal Railroad Administration will select a Final Preferred Alternative and document that decision in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD lays the groundwork for possible passenger rail expansion and investments. The FEIS is anticipated in 2019.

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  • Construction cranes dot the sky from Dad's Gate to Hayward

    By Anthony St. Clair, Eugene-based freelance writerFirst appeared in UO Giving Brown leaves crunch underfoot, and low clouds hide the sky—but there may be hints of blue to come. Students talk and smile, or review a book or device as they make their way to the next class, meeting, or lab. Throughout the UO campus, construction equipment beeps and rumbles.This might be the home of the Ducks, but right now campus is the home of the cranes—construction cranes, that is. They dot the sky from Dad's Gate to Hayward. Work continues on the new $39 million Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, the upcoming hub for the College of Arts and Sciences, scheduled to open in fall 2019. The $1 billion Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact rises toward its 2020 opening date, when the new complex will begin accelerating the process of turning scientific discoveries into societal benefits. Also opening in 2020, a brand-new Hayward Field will build on Track Town’s history while attracting athletes and fans to the “Finest Track and Field Facility in the World.” This fall, the university celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Black Cultural Center at East 15th Avenue and Villard Street. All this activity and excitement is only possible thanks to donors’ support.  Momentous as they are, however, these donor-funded projects are not what have brought me to campus. I’m seeing the UO’s future rise all around me. But I’m also aware that past donor support helped build campus facilities that are now complete—and making a tangible difference.  My path today takes me to three projects—one turning 10 years old, and two renovations that were completed this fall. The College of Education celebrates the 10th anniversary of the HEDCO Education Building this year. Students and faculty members in the Robert D. Clark Honors College are enjoying a fully renovated Chapman Hall. And in Pacific Hall, new science labs have opened and other renovations continue.   HEDCO EDUCATION BUILDING  Straight modern lines and tall windows contrast with the brick of the HEDCO Education Building, but that’s just one small way it stands out—both on campus and in its field. Teaching, research, and clinical space combine for educators, psychologists, therapists, and scientists to prepare students for their future, aid families, create best practices used around the world, and connect research and the broader community. It’s the equivalent of a teaching hospital for social services. The project began thanks to a $10 million pledge in 2004 by California's HEDCO Foundation. Enabled in part by the foundation’s president, Dody Dornsife Jernstedt, BA ’69, MA ’70 (communication disorders and sciences), that pledge helped secure the 2005 Oregon legislature's authorization of $19.4 million in general obligation bonds. All told, $29.2 million in donor gifts covered 60 percent of the cost to make HEDCO a reality. Construction began in 2007, and the 65,000-square-foot HEDCO Education Building opened in 2009.Today, students sit in booths and type on laptops surrounded by notes and books. Movable tables in the Lisa Brown Classroom have been arranged for discussion. Golden afternoon sunlight shines on the green courtyard and brightens the inner corridors through floor-to-ceiling windows. Classrooms have been designed for discussion and active learning. A hearth area and coffee shop help foster a sense of community and encourage informal learning experiences. From the ground up, it’s been designed to advance the mission of the College of Education.  In the HEDCO Clinic, located in the south wing of the building, UO students gain practical experience serving individuals and families under the supervision of faculty members. “The total effect of the HEDCO Clinic is immeasurable,” says Wendy Machalicek, associate professor of special education and interim director of the clinic. “Approximately 9,000 visits are held in the HEDCO Clinic each year, and hundreds of undergraduates and graduate students in a variety of College of Education programs participate in supervised delivery of clinical services.  “The clinic now houses five subspecialty clinical services that are both integral to our academic program offerings in the College of Education and in providing research-based assessment and intervention to the greater Eugene community. This new building has accelerated everything we do.” CHAPMAN HALL  From HEDCO I cross north to the Memorial Quad and Chapman Hall, home of the newly remodeled Clark Honors College (CHC). State bonds funded $8 million of the project’s $10.5 million price tag—with the caveat that the UO would have to match $2.5 million of the funds in order to receive the allocation. Donations from alumni and various private sources poured in. The newly renovated Chapman Hall opened this fall. By all accounts, the project has accomplished its goals—making the interior more unified, creating a strong identity for the college, adding more room to grow, and creating a building that fosters a scholarly community. From the outside, the brick building—right down to its original windows—remains true to the original 1939 Works Progress Administration project. Inside, however, rich woodwork combines with new flooring and a more fluid, functional layout that was designed with interaction, collaboration, and today’s technology needs foremost in mind. Downstairs, I take a seat at the spacious, cozy hearth and wait for the dean, Gabriel Paquette, who joined the CHC faculty this year. I reflect that the hearth must be the heart of Chapman Hall. How wrong I am. In fact, the honors college is the heart of the university. Dean Paquette approaches Chapman based on the goal behind early fundraising efforts: define CHC’s identity so everyone could understand it better. “The new Chapman centralizes CHC students who are also spread all over campus for their respective disciplines,” says Paquette. “Community forms here. These top students go to the rest of campus and lift up everyone.” “I first came in the day of Chapman’s reopening,” he says. “I immediately realized this space was designed with student learning in mind, with members of a core faculty who see themselves as dedicated mentors.” Smaller class sizes of 15 to 19 enable discussion. Walls lined with chalkboards and graphed wipe-boards aid interaction and study in classrooms and common areas. The Shephard Family Library inspires students with an entire wall of shelves displaying past theses. A student kitchen has cooking, food storage, and prep space along one wall, computers along the opposite wall, and tables in the middle.“We are at an edge of campus, yet we are part of the center,” explains Paquette. “It’s a historical corner, where we become a reflection and distillation of the UO’s finest qualities. The renovated Chapman Hall makes the honors college the UO’s college in all senses.”  PACIFIC HALL For a moment, I’m back in high school. Low, narrow pink corridors (but thankfully no lockers). Gray concrete floors in lecture room 123. After serving generations of students, Pacific Hall—the university’s original science building—was ready for transformation. This fall, renovations to the lower three floors of the south wing are complete. That high school haze falls away when I step into a wide, tall, brightly lit, white-walled hallway. With labs on both sides, open doors and wide windows invite respectful observation. Inside, faculty and grad students pursue research projects. Undergraduates also participate in the “hands-on experiential learning that the UO takes pride in,” says Hal Sadofsky, associate dean of natural sciences. Pacific’s mix of old and new is a sign of progress during an approximately $20 million renovation, sparked by a $7 million donation from Cheryl Ramberg Ford, class of 1966, and Allyn Ford in 2016. Earlier this year, sixteen new labs opened. While the exterior of the UO’s original science building remains, further renovations finish in 2019, and other planned updates need donor support.After Willamette and Streisinger Halls were built, labs shifted to more modern facilities. However, UO science majors have increased, and research excellence is a priority. Returning labs to Pacific means better projects, better people, and a more interconnected scientific ecosystem.“Our sciences aren’t the country’s largest,” says Sadofsky, “but they are possibly the most interdisciplinary. That’s one of UO’s strengths. We’re already seeing surprising hallway conversations between students due to the interdisciplinary nature of the building.”In between classes, UO junior Shakira Harris sits on a wooden bench set into the wall.“I like the new labs,” she says, “but the bathrooms could use an update.”Harris is hopeful that classrooms and lecture halls will be updated, but she’s glad donor-driven renovation is helping students be more prepared.“We get introduced to new technology that we’ll need for medical school, along with more hands-on experience,” says Harris. “It’s one step at a time though. They’re trying.”I wander back across campus, taking in buildings old, new, and renewed. At every step, donor support has enabled new learning, new discoveries, new facilities, new faculty members, and new opportunities throughout the University of Oregon. It’s a reminder that generosity, like renewal, is always in season.

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