Reprint of Corvallis Gazette-Times article by James Day, June 22, 2016
Lindsey Shirley_Corvallis Gazette-Times_Anibal Ortiz
Photo of Lindsey Shirley by Anibal Ortiz, Corvallis Gazette-Times

Editor’s Note: New Associate Director of OSU Extension Service Lindsey Shirley received some front page attention in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The article provides some insights into Lindsey’s way of thinking so I thought it was worth sharing in its entirety.

Lindsey Shirley has perhaps one of the most far-reaching positions at Oregon State University.

As associate provost and associate director of the OSU Extension Service, Shirley runs the day-to-day operations of the service and works with outposts in all 36 Oregon counties. She succeeds Deborah Maddy, who retired this year.

One of her first orders of business since assuming the position June 1 is to visit all 36 counties. She will start with visits to the Portland metro area, Eastern Oregon and Central Oregon. She doesn’t have a sense yet of how long it will take, and it sounds like one of those enterprises that could turn into a bit of an adventure.

“The extension service is the front door of the university,” Shirley said. “It’s really important for me to spread the word about the benefits of the extension service. We have diverse offerings and programs and ways to communicate that information.”

Shirley also notes that she has to have a dual focus: understanding the breadth of the service’s programs and accomplishing group goals.

“I need to be combining information gathering with task-oriented advocacy on things that can be implemented,” she said. “I don’t want to take my first 100 days just information gathering.”

When you think OSU Extension Service, 4-H and other agricultural programs wind up top of the mind, but Shirley emphasizes that the service is much more than that and tailors its programs to the needs of people in those 36 counties. Shirley also noted that 4-H has a presence in all Oregon counties.

She offered a handout that identified the activities the [Extension] service is involved in, including energy, poverty, economic development, urban issues and human health.

“What activities are appropriate? What gets you the outputs and outcomes you want?” she said. “It could be a change of behavior that could help fight obesity — for adults and children.

“We need to look at the people in each county. What are the needs for this region?”

That’s why the visits are so critical. Although Shirley knows that some spots on the Extension Service map are much more conveniently reached by air, “you could also see it as a road trip, a way to see all the dots and what’s between the dots.”

Shirley came to OSU from Utah State University, where she initiated a bachelor’s program in outdoor product design.

“There are more than 1,000 companies in Utah that are involved in outdoor products,” she said, “and no career path. We worked on everything from materials to manufacturing, snowboard gear and apparel.”

Shirley grew up in Iowa, with two of her degrees being awarded from Iowa State University in her hometown of Ames. The strong extension programs and agricultural resources in the state definitely influenced her “life path,” she said.

And the life path of her family as well. Her parents have moved from Iowa to Portland, and her brother also left Iowa and is now working for the University of Oregon. Shirley previously had only brief experience traveling through Oregon but she felt “Oregon was a great place to live and work and this position gets me connected with people in Oregon.

“We continue to be pioneers.”

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Mayra Senator Merkley
Senator Jeff Merkley with YA4-H! Malheur County teen teacher, Myra.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was impressed. So impressed, he bestowed an award on the Malheur County Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) program.

 

Recognizing its impact, Senator Jeff Merkley selected and recognized the Malheur County YA4-H! Teens as Teachers program and presented them with a Community Commendation Flag at the town hall in Ontario, Ore., for their work in Malheur County.

 

YA4-H! is a statewide teen health ambassador program that began in Oregon in the fall of 2011 with the ultimate goal of leading positive health-related change in their communities. In the process, the teen ambassadors also learn healthy eating and active lifestyle behaviors.

 

Here’s a sample of the project’s contribution to Malheur county:

 

  • Since 2013, the teens have helped plan, plant, and harvest over 6,482 pounds of produce in partnership with the Four Rivers Community Garden for the Next Chapter Food Pantry. In 2015 the teens held ten education field trips for youth in the community garden.
  • They reached 500 youth in kindergarten through sixth grade with five hours of direct education related to physical activity, nutrition, plant science, and healthy living.
  • They worked with community partners such as Alameda Elementary School to host a Food Hero booth at a Fun Run.

 

“This project is an exceptional example of a true community partnership and the importance Extension plays in the community,” noted Barbara Brody, Family & Community Health and 4-H Youth Development, OSU Extension Service Malheur County. “Partners include: Ontario School District; Adult Volunteers/Advisors; Four Rivers Community Garden; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church; 4-H Alumni; and the teens who are currently enrolled.”

 

The teens participating in the project have proof of their success: Evaluations show that over 90% of the youth that participated in the program delivered by the teens said they would stop drinking sugary drinks. They also tried new foods and learned how to grow their own foods. Another teen participant commented, “I have become more aware of my health by teaching the kids about nutrition and physical activity. I no longer drink soda!” Now that’s a result with the potential for lifelong impact.

 

Teens as teachers YA4H training 028
Studying to be a YA4-H! teen teacher.

To qualify as a YA4-H! teen teacher, teens make a substantial commitment in time – at least 10 hours of training is recommended as a minimum, but 30-40 hours of training is preferred – and  must be:

 

  • Between the ages of 15 – 17;
  • Motivated to learn about healthy eating and the benefits of an active lifestyle; and
  • Able to communicate the value of healthy eating and increased physical activity, and to help others make healthy choices.

 

YA4-H logoLearn more about the program here.

 

Sources: YA4-H! Youth Advocates for Health website, Mary Arnold on YA4-H!

Elevating Equity within the Division of University Outreach and Engagement is the topic of this month’s First Monday Video. Listen in as State 4-H Outreach Specialist and Associate Professor Mario Magana joins Vice Provost Scott Reed for a three minute conversation. Mario’s recommendations provide insight into how to move from an equality mindset to one focusing on equity.

 

[Please note: The sound in this month’s video makes it challenging to hear all Mario’s important recommendations. Please take advantage of the video transcript for all of the details.  Transcript First Monday Video]

 

Did you miss this quarter’s Quarterly Conversation about new teaching and learning tools featuring the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 degree video, 3-D printing, and more? Here’s the link to the recorded conversation and a few other links for you to enjoy:

 

 

Share your perspective on how the Division can increase its focus on equity by posting a comment.

Excerpts from the Spring/Summer 2016 Confluence, an Oregon Sea Grant publication –
drought map May 2015_National Drought Mitigation Center
May 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor Map, National Drought Mitigation Center

Editor’s note: Climate change is perhaps the toughest problem facing our world today. This week’s blog features excerpts from the most recent issue of Confluence, a publication produced by Oregon Sea Grant (OSG). OSG works on issues related to freshwater and marine waterways and climate change is dramatically impacting both.

Oregon Sea Grant has an interesting history and is an integral part of OSU’s community outreach and engagement model. Housed on the OSU campus, OSG is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funds research conducted at OSU and other universities. Climate change, tsunami preparedness, and wave energy are three areas of research priority.

According to the OSG website, “congress created the NOAA Sea Grant program in 1968 in an effort to bring the kind of national attention and resources to ocean and coastal issues that the USDA’s Extension Service had brought to rural agricultural communities since the early 20th century. In 1971, Oregon was designated one of the nation’s first four Sea Grant states, along with Washington, Texas and Rhode Island. Today Sea Grant programs are found in every coastal state; and Oregon’s is still widely considered one of the very top programs.

Drought map intensity key
Drought intensity

“With resident Extension faculty stationed up and down the coast, a core of marine educators and aquarists at the (now Hatfield) Marine Science Center, and capable scientists, communicators and administrators on the OSU campus, Sea Grant has become an important part of OSU’s research and public engagement portfolio.”

Drought map May 2016_National Drought Mitigation Center
May 2016 U.S. Drought Monitor Map, National Drought Mitigation Center

Four new videos produced by Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) show how certain business practices, farming techniques, and riparian management strategies are better poised to tolerate droughts in Oregon. The videos, produced by OSG videographer Vanessa Ciccone in collaboration with John Stevenson, a climate specialist with OSG Extension at OSU, can be found on the OSG YouTube Channel along with other fascinating videos.

 

The short videos form a series called Documenting the Drought: Mitigating the Effects in Oregon. OSG created them in response to the state’s 2015 drought, said Stevenson. “We found that the people and places that did better during the drought were the ones where investment had been made in water conservation and restoration efforts over the past decade.”

 

The conditions that led up to the 2015 drought is described in one video. Another features Frank Burris, the county leader of the OSU Extension Service in Curry County and OSG’s watershed health specialist for the southern Oregon coast, describing riparian restoration projects along Pea and Gallagher Creeks. The projects were prompted by concern over the effects of rising stream temperatures and reduced stream flow on salmon, a mainstay of the region’s recreational fishing economy.

 

If you’ve skied in Ashland, one of the videos may be of particular interest to you. Mt. Ashland Ski Area adapted to sparse winter snowfall by relocating snow and was able to open for 38 days in 2014-15 versus none in the prior ski season. During the summer months, you’re likely to be able to enjoy ziplining, a bungee trampoline, disc golf and concerts, all of which will supplement declining ski-season income.

 

In another video, Bill Buhrig, a crops specialist with OSU Extension in Malheur County talks about planting faster maturing plants as a success strategy for farmers where a full season of water is no longer available. Strategies to conserve water through buried pipelines and gravity systems are described and extend the irrigation season by two to three weeks.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Master Gardener
Get your gardening questions answered by OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers like Judi Sanders. Photo by Lynn Ketchum.

How often do you find exceptional, customized advice for free?

If you, family members, or friends have a gardening question, there are two ways to get free, reliable advice. No, it’s not an Internet search! Email a question to Ask and Expert, or pick up the phone and call a Master Gardener. Both resources are courtesy of OSU Extension Service.

Kym Pokorny, news writer for OSU Extension and part of the Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) news team, recently wrote an article about Master Gardeners. Below are a few highlights of the article; the full article can be found here.

Twenty-eight county Extension offices host Master Gardeners. Novice or experienced gardeners with questions are encouraged to bring samples or send photos of the plant or insect into the local Extension office. Then let the Master Gardener go to work to comprehensively research your question.

It takes almost 70 hours of intensive training to become a Master Gardener, then every year thereafter additional training for recertification is required. After certification, Master Gardeners are asked to donate 70 hours of their time for community service. (In my experience, quite a few volunteer many times that amount of time!) Manning the phones and having office hours in an Extension office are ways to fulfill their volunteer commitment. Master gardeners also work directly with the public at farmer’s markets, plant sales, garden shows, county fairs, demonstration gardens, schools, and correctional facilities. Most counties offer a seasonal slate of classes, too.

MG_OrangeBlack_Logo-102x106Gail Langellotto, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, College of Agricultural Sciences, is the statewide master gardener coordinator, a program that encompasses more than 3,000 active volunteers. Training is essential. “A lot of times people call wanting verification of something they’ve looked up on the Internet,” Langellotto said. “We use that as a jumping off point for a conversation. We make sure a person knows the questions to ask to get the answers they need.” And that’s why scientific advice, customized to situations in Oregon are so important.

You may also want to check out OSU Extension’s Gardening Community Page for information on a variety of gardening topics. The site includes gardening tips, videos, podcasts, monthly calendars of outdoor chores, how-to publications, and information about the Master Gardener program.

OSU also has several publications, of specific interest to home gardeners, available online on the OSU Extension Publication Catalog.

 

 

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Katie Linder
Dr. Katie Linder, Research Director, Ecampus

Every day I learn something new. Today I learned that Oregon State Ecampus launched a podcast on research literacy in higher education. The “Research in Action” podcast is hosted by Katie Linder, Ecampus research director.

 

(Ecampus is part of Extended Campus, which rolls up to Educational Outreach, and then to the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. The Division has a full and flourishing family tree!)

 

If asked, I would guess that the podcast focuses on research related to online learning. But no, its purpose is broader than that. “Research in Action” addresses topics and issues facing researchers across the nation with goals to increase research literacy and build community among researchers.

 

For those in the Division conducting research, there is much to learn and contribute. For those of us curious about the scientific process and research conducted at universities, accessible information is also available.

 

Podcasts are recorded and are available on the Ecampus Research Unit website and on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

 

“No researcher has all of the skills or expertise, and it’s incredibly valuable to have researchers come in with a diverse range of experiences and talk about these niche areas,” Linder said.

 

“Research in Action” has already published four episodes and has received more than 500 downloads. Over a dozen guests have been pre-recorded and more than 10 episodes are in production.

 

Upcoming “Research in Action” episodes include:

  • Jim Kroll, Office of the Inspector General, National Science Foundation, discussing research misconduct.
  • Nina Huntemann, researcher at edX, learning new research skills at mid-career.
  • Joshua Weller, psychology researcher from OSU, discussing psychometrics.

 

Source: April 28, 2016 press release written by Heather Turner

Written by Heather Turner, April 4, 2016, for Summer Session, Extended Campus —

 

Editor’s note: This post is about OSU’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA), which is part of Summer Session. Summer Session is part of Extended Campus, which is part of the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. The NRLA brings together professionals and graduate students from across the world to learn from experts. Its hands-on education at its best for natural resources professionals.

 

Climate change is often a heated topic, no pun intended. Many have different ideas and beliefs, and sometimes the issue can cause a passionate debate.

John Matthews, however, isn’t interested in discussing whether or not climate change is real. His goal is to create a collaborative environment where people of diverse backgrounds work together to find sustainable solutions to climate change and climate adaptation.

“I believe this topic is important because it is the central problem of our time,” he says. “It’s a hard problem, it’s an important problem, it’s an ongoing problem, but it’s also a tractable problem.”

To get the conversation going this summer, John will teach a track, or course, Resilient and Robust Resource Management, at Oregon State University’s fifth annual Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA).

“This course is going to focus on sustainability as a moving target, especially the aspect of climate change and how we relate to ecosystems and to economics,” he says.

John’s track will be held during the second week of the NRLA, June 20-24, along with a track titled Environmental Water Transactions. Week 1 of the academy, held June 12-17, features three tracks: Natural Resources and Community Values, Collaborative Governance, and Water Conflict Management.

John was the ideal person to lead this track on resource management. He serves as secretariat coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) – a global network of more than 800 professionals who are focused on mainstreaming the process of climate adaptation in their work.

“Having someone of John’s caliber and experience here at OSU is a real boon to the academy and to the campus community at large,” says NRLA Academic Director and Instructor Aaron Wolf. “He works globally at the highest levels and will bring vast expertise into the classroom. Moreover, given the structure of the academy, those interested in the tracks offered the first week can supplement their training with John’s track and vice versa.”

The track will use global case studies to approach climate adaptation from several perspectives, including how the eco-hydrological landscape responds to climate shifts, how built and managed aspects of the landscape interact with climate change, how a variety of institutions engage with non-stationary management, and how governance frameworks and management agreements encompass dynamic institutional and hydrological relationships.

“This is the time, this is the topic that young people really need to begin to consider what the implications are for their work going forward,” John says. “I cannot stress enough that our generation, the next generation, my great-grandchildren are really going to be worried about how is it that we respond to ongoing climate impacts.”

John, an aquatic ecologist, will be taking a holistic approach to his NRLA track, where he will co-teach with experts from a wide range of backgrounds, including an economist, an engineer and a geographer.

“No single discipline has all of the answers,” he says. “The state of the science is moving so rapidly now that if we’re not engaged in a full conversation between researchers, practitioners and the policy world, then we won’t come to an effective solution in time.”

Having completed postdoctoral studies at Oregon State almost a decade ago and living in Corvallis for 10 years, John is a neighbor, member of the community and now colleague at Oregon State.

“What I’m most looking forward to from the Natural Resources Leadership Academy is seeing not just our class working in isolation, developing its own insights by itself, but interacting with all of the other classes,” he says. “Having a broader conversation, a family of conversations that are coming together, feeding and building on each other.

“I hope participants come out of this class with a very positive attitude toward climate change. It’s something they can successfully integrate into their work and develop useful and sustainable solutions for.”

Video by Jill Wells —

We embrace and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice” is a stated Value held by the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. Jane Waite, Senior Associate for Social Justice Learning and Engagement in the Office of Academic Affairs talked with Vice Provost Scott Reed about the excellent diversity, inclusion and social justice work the Division is doing in this month’s First Monday Video.

Scott and Jane mention the Division’s Diversity Catalyst Team (DCT), a task force appointed by Scott consisting of representatives from across the Division, in their discussion. The team works to articulate a vision and design and implement strategies to create a climate for change relative to diversity issues in higher education. Membership is open to any Division employee. Find more about the DCT here.

Share your comments about what you think the Division is doing well and where we need to do more diversity, equity and inclusion work.

Contributed by guest blogger Dani Douglass

Participants come face-to-face with alligators, sharks and snakes

The study tour, designed for students who have an interest in natural or marine science, strives to spark a young person’s interest in these fields and help them learn the importance of teamwork. Students were accompanied by state 4-H program director Virginia Bourdeau and county 4-H staff Emily Anderson (Lane County), Robin Galloway (Linn County) and Todd Williver (Lincoln County).

The seven-day Florida trip included outdoor activities and learning experiences for the students, which included sampling the habitats the students had studied over the past seven months. They interacted with the big scrub habitat at the Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Fla. and in Everglades National Park, students saw pine flatwoods, hydric hammock, hardwood swamp, Cypress swamp, Sawgrass marsh and slough habitats.

Four days were spent at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute’s Seacamp in Big Pine Key, Fla. studying coral reef ecology and various marine ecosystems, which they accessed by boat. The students participated in three lessons each day, including a thrilling snorkel in a nurse shark pond.

Students gained knowledge and lasting memories from the trip and some now have an idea of what they would like to study in college. “Judging by the evaluation comments received from parents after the program concluded, several youth found their spark for education by participating in the program,” Virginia says. She adds that one participant plans to apply to the internship program at Archbold and another hopes to work at Seacamp someday.

sharkpond
Snorkeling in the shark nurse pond in Florida

“This trip to Florida was so amazing. I made so many new friends that I hope to have forever,” says participant Shannon Feinauer of Klamath County. “My favorite part at sea camp was meeting Shelby, our teacher and friend, and snorkeling the reef. We had the best chaperones!”

Faith Black of Linn County says she’s always loved the ocean and marine life. “Attending this study tour in Florida has opened my eyes to the impact we have on our ocean’s wildlife,” she says. “I was a little undecided on what I would like to study in college, and the Florida Study Tour has made me realize that I have a great interest in our marine life.”

“Getting to join the 4-H trip to Florida this year helps solidify my dreams of working in the science field,” says Korrina Wirfs of Linn County. “I applied some knowledge I already have attained and learned about other ecosystems, but as a senior I really value how the trip allowed me to see science occupation in action. This was invaluable for me as I try to decide what and where to study in college.”

The Oregon 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the Oregon State Extension Service and is housed in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. There are more than 6 million 4-H members nationwide and thousands of Oregon young people participate in the program each year. The four Hs stand for head, heart, hands and health. More information about 4-H can be found here.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy –
Aaron Avner
Aaron Avner, farmer. September 24, 2015

Perusing my Facebook feed, I came across this gem of a story. I tried to verify the truth of it and was unable to do so, but the morale of the story was one that resonated . In part, it resonated because it resembles the work that the people in the Division of University Outreach and Engagement, and OSU, do every day: they work with communities to help people and industry prosper. Because when we do this work, we all have a better lives.

So if you’ll indulge me by reading on, this is the story of Aaron Avner, a farmer.

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.

So is with our lives…Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.


Call it power of collectivity…
Call it a principle of success…
Call it a law of life.


The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!