The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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David Bella Oral History Interview. July 9, 2014

David Bella Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

July 9, 2014

Location:  Bella residence, Corvallis, Oregon.

David Bella (b. 1938) was a member of the OSU Civil Engineering faculty for thirty years, from 1968 to his retirement in 1998. In the 1970s, Bella's early interest in computer modeling of rivers, lakes and estuaries shifted to a focused analysis and application of systems theory, with a particular interest in human systems. Since then, Bella has examined a wide variety of social problems through the lens of systems theory, writing on the tobacco industry, nuclear waste disposal and global climate change, among other topics. Bella has also served as a consultant to two chemical weapons destruction operations, has proposed the creation of a Wild Salmon National Park, and spent six years observing the Reagan administration's Strategic Defense Initiative program meetings. His interview focuses on the arc of his career, his wide-ranging research interests, and his involvement with the local environmental movement.