OSU-Cascades Science Pub Looks At The Role Of Wolves In The Environment


BEND, Ore. – Oregon State University – Cascades concludes its Science Pub series for the year with a presentation by one of the foremost wolf experts in the country.  OSU’s Bill Ripple will present “The Ecology of Fear: The Role of large Predators in Environmental Harmony” on Tuesday, June 21.

Ripple, a professor of in OSU’s College of Forestry, pioneered research in the role of large predators in a natural environment with groundbreaking studies in Yellowstone Olympic, Yosemite, Wind Cave, and Zion National Parks. His research found that following the disappearance of large predators in the West, increased elk and deer browsing appears to have heavily impacted plant communities and led to a loss of biodiversity. Only in Yellowstone, where wolves were reintroduced, does it appear that the impacts to plant communities are reversing.  In his Science Pub, Ripple will explore the effects of reintroduction of wolves in other areas of the West and how that reintroduction can initiate ecosystem restoration.

Ripple teaches courses at the main campus and is the director of the Trophic Cascades Program.  In 2009 he was awarded the Spirit of Defenders Award for Science by the Defenders of Wildlife for his work on the study of trophic cascades involving large predators, large herbivores and plants.

Reservations are required for the popular Science Pub lectures.  Science Pubs take place from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m.  Networking and food and beverage service begin at 5:30 p.m, and the presentation begins at 6:00 p.m.  Science Pubs are sponsored by OSU-Cascades and are free and open to community members, and limited to 100 guests.  Participants may RSVP at info@osucascades.edu or 541-322-3100 by 5:00pm the day prior to the Science Pub.


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