Posted by Ann Marie Murphy —

To tinker is to study. To fail is to be human. To make is to empower.


OSU Extension Service is evolving as the world changes. The Division of Outreach and Engagement (O&E) is on the evolutionary frontline, thanks in part to Charles Robinson’s exploration of cross-college collaborations. One such collaboration explores how the “maker” culture can support OSU’s land grant mission. (You can learn more about another of his collaborations by reading the blog posted January 25  titled: Arts Engagement Inspires Innovative Partnerships.)


This year O&E is once again supporting a two-day maker celebration with a focus on education and engagement. Organized by The CO• (more about the organization in a moment), the event will take place Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9. Mark your calendars!


Last year, this free community event brought over 1,000 visitors (including more than 150 K-8 students) to OSU’s Corvallis campus and had more than 45 interactive exhibits, including robotics, 3D printing, costume design and laser etching. This year, as in the past, visitors will come for hands-on demonstrations and insightful discussions. Or, if you’re a maker, a tinkerer, an artist, a builder, an engineer, a craftsperson, a machinist, an innovator, etc., etc., you might like to share your craft with visitors and other makers. If so, here’s a link to exhibitor information. Or volunteer! Volunteers are needed on both days of the event.


“Maker” culture is a popular movement honoring craftsmanship and technology and the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources. The maker events offer the OSU community and the general public the opportunity to collaborate, innovate and create. It also provides a forum for research and teaching the value of hands-on learning in K-20 classrooms.


A new addition to the annual event is the Friday “STEM to STEAM” symposium featuring Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and five other noteworthy panelists. The free event will be held in the Learning Innovation Center, Room 100, from 4 to 6 p.m. It’s an opportunity to bring together the makers of policies and the makers of objects to examine the challenges and rewards of integrating the Arts – the “A” – into STEM education. More about the panelists can be found at The CO•’s website.


On Saturday, kids and adults alike will enjoy the maker fair with more than 40 exhibitors offering hands-on learning experiences, including an interactive session on making skateboards. The maker fair will be held in the MU ballroom and Student Experience Center plaza.


Co logoThe CO• is an OSU campus-Corvallis community collaboration that brings together makers from across campus, Corvallis, and the whole state of Oregon to celebrate and share their methods for hands-on learning. From the creative problem-solving skills so crucial to education in the 21st century to the benefits of quick prototyping tools needed to drive an innovative economy, every discipline and every individual has something to learn and something to teach.


“The CO• is also is a concept,” said Charles Robinson, a director of The CO• who also works on special initiatives for O&E, College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School. “The CO• is the start of a larger conversation around the educational, socioeconomic and cultural benefits of hands-on learning. It’s a gateway for anyone in the Willamette Valley who is interested in learning more about the power of making.”


Do you have a maker talent? Share it with us! (In case you’re shy about sharing, I make mosaic art and stupendous banana bread!)


Because it is humbling and astounding at the same time, I wanted to share The CO•’s Manifesto with you. It will give you a better sense of what’s to come at the April event – and beyond.

The CO• Manifesto

At The CO• we believe that hands-on, creative exploration helps encourage risk taking, cement learning, boost self-confidence, connect individuals and communities, and serve as a guide for understanding our individual and collective place in the world. As a space and a concept, The CO• makes the room necessary for the uncertainty and experimentation of the learning process. This process has many labels such as making, tinkering, exploring, creating, hacking, building, and prototyping. It occurs across various mediums—digital, technological, industrial, domestic, analog, and artistic. However, neither the label nor the tool is the most critical piece of this innovation equation. Rather, it is the time allotted for discovery, the self-directed time spent thinking critically and honing hands-on problem-solving skills, which cultivates innovation. Trying, failing, and trying again is a fundamental component of learning. At The CO• we advocate for an equitable distribution of time devoted to making, tinkering, creating, building, hacking, sharing, questioning, and connecting. We champion the liminal space where such exploration resides and the critical discourse that follows. We must ensure that all engaged in this creative process work through prejudice. Experimentation must be open to all regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, abilities, age, geography, education level, and discipline.


Sponsor and partners for the event include:

The College of Liberal Arts

The Division of Outreach and Engagement

The Valley Library

The OSU Foundation

The College of Forestry

The Corvallis Benton County Public Library


Oregon State University Advantage

Oregon State ADVANCE

OSU_PSU Collaboration 2Posted by Ann Marie Murphy

Scott Reed, vice provost for OSU University Outreach and Engagement, and Stephen Percy, dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, created an OSU-PSU Collaboration Fund, to offer 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 of the initiative.

You can learn more about the meeting and initiative in the November 23 post on the O&E Blog.

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.

Review of the submitted proposals was led by Patrick Proden, regional administrator for OSU Extension in Multnomah and Washington counties, and Sheila Martin, director of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies at PSU. Grant funds must be expended by June 30, 2016.

Check out what your colleagues are working on:

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.

NASA Funny TweetIf you want marketing inspiration, one the best sources I’ve found is Hubspot. I receive a weekly e-newsletter and their blog is loaded with good content. A post in the most recent newsletter shares examples of using humor in social media. Not all of us can be comics, but all of us can lighten our approach now and again. Right?

Take a few minutes to check out the 17 brands and how they engage audiences to stay in touch. In particular, because I’m a dog lover, I like Bissel’s (#pethappens). The “Bissel Has You Covered” video qualifies as research, doesn’t it?

Sushi Slippers for the person who has everything!

You can even find Valentine gifts for the favorite nerd in your life with this new Hubspot post.

Jenny East
Jenny East, a new boater outreach coordinator with Oregon Sea Grant Extension, holds one of many new signs set to appear along the Oregon coast and Columbia River. The signs inform recreational boaters about the location of pumpout and dumping facilities for sewage. Photo by Vanessa Ciccone

How do you talk with people about a subject matter that is emphatically avoided in polite conversations?


That is the question Oregon Sea Grant Extension’s new boating outreach coordinator, Jenny East, has been asking. She’s charged with informing recreational boaters about the location of facilities for properly disposing of their sewage along the Oregon coast and Columbia River and in the Portland-metro area in an effort to keep waterways clean.


The breadth of Extension work is, well, breathtaking. This new position takes Extension work in a new direction.


“My job is all about finding innovative ways to engage with Oregon’s recreational boaters. The key will be trying different avenues such as face-to-face interactions at events where boaters are, walking the docks, and spending time meeting with marina managers and private industries that provide supplies for boaters,” said East, who is based out of Oregon State University’s Extension office in Washington County.


“Through my conversations with boaters I will learn more about how they prefer to receive information. Engagement is a two-way street. It isn’t about me lecturing them, but more a conversation about their connections to the aquatic environment and being proactive about the health of that environment. I am also thinking about how I can get other boaters to be communicators and educators as well.”


As part of her job, she will work with the Oregon State Marine Board to post signs showing where recreational boaters can empty their portable toilets and holding tanks. East added that talking about the proper disposal of human waste will take some humor. She’s got a good start. Oregon Sea Grant has produced two light-hearted public service announcements about floating restrooms and dockside stations for emptying porta-potties.


Oregon Sea Grant serves the state, region and nation through an integrated program of research, outreach, and education that helps people understand, rationally use and conserve marine and coastal resources. The best available science is applied to timely and important ocean and coastal issues, and they engage with coastal stakeholders to help them reach informed decisions. Sea Grant supports scientific excellence and innovation, fosters new generations of marine scientists and encourages ocean science literacy among people of all ages.


Based at Oregon State University and working with scientists, scholars and communities statewide, Oregon is part of the national network of NOAA Sea Grant College Programs.


Oregon State is the state’s Land Grant university and is the only university in the U.S. to have Sea Grant, Space Grant and Sun Grant designations.






Out of more than 300 universities, OSU ranked in the top 10 for online baccalaureate programs for the second year in a row. We were ranked number three for land grant universities.

OSU’s Ecampus, part of the Division of Outreach and Engagement and Educational Outreach, is growing. Did you know that the number of Ecampus learners has grown to 19,000?

Learn more about why Lisa Templeton, director of Ecampus, believes OSU is continuing to rank highly by watching the video.