Rethinking One Oregon

Encouraging OSU/PSU Collaborations

Faculty from OSU and Portland State University (PSU) met for the first time on November 13, 2015, to identify opportunities for community-engaged research and action to address the most pressing issues facing Oregon.

“The two universities have a history of cooperation,” said Scott Reed, vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement, in his opening comments. “Earlier [in 2015], the presidents of OSU and PSU co-committed to the two universities working together. This meeting taps into the collective intelligence of our institutions and begins taking cooperation to a new systematic level. Higher impact outcomes will result when we work together.”

Stephen Percy, dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at PSU noted that both universities have an interest in community-building. “Cooperating is an opportunity to bring students into the mix to engage in outreach,” said Stephen. “Working together will be powerful.”

Reed and Percy created an OSU-PSU Collaboration Fund, which offers start-up funds for joint pilot projects between OSU and PSU faculty. Healthy people, prosperous communities and flourishing agriculture and natural resources are the three areas of focus.

The fund is meant to accelerate opportunities for research collaborations serving Oregon communities. Recognizing that these experiences often require extra resources beyond faculty time, the fund offers seed monies to faculty teams for fiscal year 2015-2016 to support expenses associated with community-engaged inter-institutional projects.

OSU and PSU are the only two higher education institutions in Oregon that carry the Carnegie Community Engagement designation.

2016 Joint Pilot Projects

Farmland Succession and Ownership in Oregon

Project Leads:

Megan Horst, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, PSU
Christine Anderson Brekken, College of Agriculture and Sciences, OSU

This grant is important in leveraging Portland State University’s participation with Oregon State University on a project to examine farmland tenure and access issues in Oregon. Specifically, this project will lead to a better understanding of patterns in recent farmland transfers in four pilot counties (Benton, Clackamas, Polk, and Washington). A second objective is to understand the implications of different farmland ownership models on local food systems. A final objective is to engage stakeholders in a dialogue about the feasibility of strategies to enable access to farmland by aspiring farmers.

Developing a Citizens Science Training Program for Extension Volunteers and Others

Project leads:

Brooke Edmunds, OSU Extension
Marion Dresner, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Management, PSU

Citizen science, the practice of involving volunteers in scientific research, has drastically increased in popularity. Despite the documented benefits to both volunteers and researchers, citizen science has yet to be formalized in Extension education and volunteer efforts. This collaborative project will coordinate OSU and PSU graduate and undergraduate students to develop an online citizen science training program targeted to OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Through this program, future volunteer citizen scientists will learn the scientific method and process and be trained to assist scientists at PSU, OSU and beyond with future ecological research in community and private gardens.

Developing a Competitive Proposal for Multi-year Socio-Ecological Research in Urban Agriculture

Project leads:

Gail Langellotto, Associate Professor of Horticulture, OSU
Nathan McClintock, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University

Relative to their surroundings, urban landscapes are more fragmented, paved, polluted and warmer, which influences biodiversity, crop development and yield in urban farms and gardens. We currently lack a basic understanding of the biodiversity and abiotic conditions of urban agriculture sites. Underlying all of these factors are the motivation, knowledge and socio-economic status of urban farmers and gardeners, and how these relate to management practices, ecosystem services and yield of urban agriculture sites. We will work to identify funding opportunities and develop a competitive proposal to collaborate on a multi-year socio-ecological research program serving urban home and community gardeners.

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