CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers in forestry and geosciences from Oregon State University have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Steven Strauss, a distinguished professor of forest biotechnology, was honored "for his contributions to science in genetics and evolution, for interdisciplinary work on safety and policy in biotechnology, and communicating the challenges of biotechnology in forestry."

Dawn Wright, a professor of geosciences, was honored for "distinguished contributions to the field of marine geospatial science and technology, particularly for leadership in the development of marine geographic information science theory and applications."

Strauss is an expert in forest biotechnology, including major contributions to policy and ecological assessment of biotechnology. He has published more than 160 scholarly publications, delivered more than 170 invited lectures and obtained more than $16 million in research funding from the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, forest industries, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies. His work focuses on poplars as bioenergy and wood crops, with recent studies emphasizing epigenetic changes during the tree life cycle, and evaluation of genes that can improve tree growth rate and form.

Wright specializes in ocean informatics and marine and coastal geography. She has received numerous career honors and awards, is a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies, and does research and analysis in such fields as benthic terrain and habitat characterization, tectonics of mid-ocean ridges, high-resolution bathymetry, underwater videography/photography, and geographic information science. Wright has been on the OSU faculty since 1995.

This year, 486 members across the nation were awarded this honor by the AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. They will be recognized at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2009 AAAS annual meeting in Chicago.

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Molly McElroy, AAAS,