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Note from the Editor

Note from the Editor header image
Thoughts from editor Andy Duncan.

A lot changes in a century. You'll see that when you look through this issue.

The Year of Decision describes the political maneuvering that created Oregon's first branch experiment station. It was the beginning of a network of branch research facilities.

I doubt if anyone in 1901 could have guessed where things were headed (try describing Oregon in 2101):

Today on the OSU campus in Corvallis, the headquarters of the Agricultural Experiment Station, scientists are analyzing meteorites from Mars, looking for evidence of microbes similar to those on earth.

In places like Burns and Klamath Falls, researchers are studying livestock, wildlife and potatoes using data from satellites. There's a branch of the Agricultural Experiment Station on the Coast that focuses on seafood, and there's a "food innovation center" in Portland.

Our cover story looks at Experiment Station microbiologist Steve Giovannoni's continuing attempt to learn how little-understood organisms in the open ocean influence life in Oregon and around the planet.

Strange Brew describes a web page that puts knowledge generated by the Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station seconds away from any Oregonian sitting at a computer.

Promises to Keep is about experimentation that addresses some of the challenges facing the pear industry, which is important to communities in southern Oregon and the Hood River Valley, plus the state economy.

A lot has changed since the first branch station appeared in northeastern Oregon near the foothills of the Wallowa Mountains. One thing seems to have stayed the same: The need for a deeper understanding of how to sustain this place 3.4 million of us describe with an affectionate four-letter word--home.