Based on a 2016 Digital Measures impact report submitted by Lynn Long, Extension horticulturist and co-county leader for Wasco County. Michelle Sager, Master Gardener education program assistant, supported the project. Edited by Ann Marie Murphy.

 

Wasco County Master Gardeners
Wasco County Master Gardeners working in the NORCOR greenhouse preparing plants for sale.

A greenhouse, purchased many years ago by Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities (NORCOR) teaching staff, languished empty and unused. In 2009, OSU Master Gardeners (MGs) in Wasco County  began a partnership with the facility to share the greenhouse space originally intended to be used by student detainees as part of their science curriculum. NORCOR houses youth from Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, and Gilliam counties.

 

The MGs work with NORCOR youth to grow a large variety of plants—including  annuals, herbs, perennials, vegetables, and ornamental grasses—for their fundraising spring plant sale. In exchange, they share their knowledge and passion for plants with the detained youth and a portion of the funds are used to operate the greenhouse.

 

“The people who attend the fair often tell Master Gardener volunteers that they intentionally buy our plants to support the NORCOR youth and show appreciation for our involvement with the NORCOR project.”*

 

NORCOR provides the greenhouse, water and power along with the staffing required to monitor the in-custody youth while in the greenhouse. Master Gardeners provide hands-on learning experiences for the students and NORCOR’s high school education staff provides academic support in the form of theoretical science curriculum.

 

For the MGs, preparation begins in the fall when they scour seed catalogs for an array of plant varieties that are anticipated to grow well in the region and are marketable at the spring plant sale. The seeds are ordered and the greenhouse is prepared for the spring growing season. In January, supervised greenhouse sessions with the youth begin.

 

WCMGA Spring Plant Sale
Selling plants raised in the NORCOR greenhouse at the WCMGA Spring Plant Fair

Over the years, Master Gardeners recorded the number of seeds planted and planting dates and bloom times in order to produce marketable plants that are mostly sold at the one-day WCMGA Spring Plant Fair. From January to May, more than 250 different varieties—totaling approximately 6,500 plants—are grown in the NORCOR greenhouse.

 

NORCOR students are able to participate under close NORCOR staff supervision after they have maintained several days of exemplary behavior as rated by NORCOR staff.  Youth are paired with a Master Gardener to perform a variety of greenhouse tasks.  MG volunteers develop mini greenhouse sessions for the students. Because many of the youth are residents for fewer than six weeks, short lessons with easily grasped concepts are essential. At the end of their sessions, students discuss what they learned that day.

 

Working with MGs in the greenhouse is a positive environment where students learn about seeds, soils, plant identification, transplanting, irrigation techniques, fertilizer schedules, temperature control, and the ability to work together with adults and co-workers. All while gaining life-long work skills and experience.

 

Student tasks include:

  • Filling pots with the soil mixture suitable for the plant;
  • Seeding the pots;
  • Dividing and transplanting the plants as they outgrow their containers;
  • Rotating the plants so they receive sunlight and water evenly;
  • Helping maintain and fertilize the plants; and
  • Sweeping the floors before they leave, part of learning greenhouse sanitation management.

 

Students take insect traps and plant tissues to view in their classroom microscopes. This expands their hands-on knowledge by investigating plant life more thoroughly and ties the greenhouse project to their academic classroom training. Additionally, some of the youth are allowed to leave the facility to attend the Spring Plant Fair, participating by providing information to buyers, making sales and helping to transport the plants to vehicles.

 

A NORCOR high school teacher  indicated three major benefits of the project:

  1. Students develop a sense of pride and accomplishment; the impact is greatest for long-term residents.
  2. They learn to collaborate and work with adults on a project. Teenagers working along with adults on a mutually beneficial project is an unique experience in a secure facility.
  3. The project provides students with an opportunity to learn and enjoy nature and discover a new interest outside of their academic courses; this helps with the transition to a ‘bigger world’ upon their release.

 

The participating NORCOR youth are asked to write thank you letters to the Master Gardeners. A memorable message from a young pregnant woman recognized that nurturing plants was like nurturing a child: they require observation and their needs to be provided for. “Without color” is how a student described her time at NORCOR, that is until she worked at the greenhouse and she began to see colors in her life once again.

 

Plants ready for the Wasco County Master Gardener Spring Plant Fair.
Plants grown in the NORCOR greenhouse are ready for the Wasco County Master Gardener Spring Plant Fair.

The looks on the faces of the greenhouse kids is priceless when the MGs roll out approximately 6,500 plants and load them onto flatbed trucks and into vehicles. The colorful parade of healthy, beautiful flowers and plants is  impressive. The youth are stunned when they see the results of their labors and take pride in their accomplishment. This is an important outcome because the majority of NORCOR kids have had few successes in their young lives. When the students complete their term at the facility, they are encouraged to take home a plant of their choice.

 

The greenhouse project encourages learning that goes beyond horticulture; however, because of confidentiality reasons, it is difficult to assess how the Master Gardener/NORCOR greenhouse project affects the lives of the youth after their release. Master Gardeners present certificates of accomplishment to students that worked in the greenhouse five times or more during the season. Those certificates have been used for job references. At least one young man living in the area worked for a local agriculture business after his release, putting the greenhouse program knowledge and skills to work.

 

Though challenging, the MGs also consider this project educational for themselves. The Master Gardeners increase their knowledge of greenhouse management and develop techniques to ensure the health of the plants. The project is an excellent, practical, hands-on teaching experience and it is an opportunity to put their Master Gardener training into practice.

 

The project received national attention when it took third place in the International Master Gardener’s Association Search for Excellence Program. Everyone involved in the greenhouse project shares a sense of accomplishment!

 

“It is a win-win-win project and could be modified to be used in other institutions and locations.”*

 

* Source: “Wasco County Master Gardener’s NORCOR and Spring Fair Project,” posted June 19, 2017.

 

People doing the work of outreach and engagement are interesting people. Today, let’s introduce Lynn E. Long, Oregon State University professor and OSU Extension Service horticulturist, from Wasco County in the Mid-Columbia Region.  

 

Lynn E. Long
Lynn E. Long, Oregon State University professor and OSU Extension horticulturist with his 2017 Abarth 124 Spider.

How long have you worked in Extension? 28 years

What’s the best part of the work you’re doing? I’ve always loved to work with the Master Gardeners. They are a great group of people!

What work accomplishment are you most proud of? My international work. I have been invited to speak to cherry growers and/or scientists in 18 countries around the world and was asked to deliver two keynote addresses to my peers at ISHS International Cherry Symposia.

What’s your favorite way to waste time? Watching British mystery shows on TV.

Sibling whippets Sienna (left) and Scirroco.
Sibling Italian greyhounds Sienna (left) and Scirroco.

Do you have any pets? How long have you and your pet(s) known each other? My wife and I have two Italian greyhounds. These are very fast little dogs (don’t try to beat them to the couch). They are siblings. Sienna weighs 8 lbs. (she rules the house) and her brother, Scirroco, weighs 15 lbs.

What do you do to get rid of stress? My wife and I love to garden. I find it relaxing and we love to enjoy the results of our efforts as young plants grow and bloom. I also enjoy long drives, especially on historical or winding roads. I have several interesting cars that are fun to drive, including at 1979 classic Mini, a 2008 Mini Cooper, and a 2017 Abarth 124 Spider.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? The political climate in this country and around the world. People need to begin to truly listen to each other, rather than judge them.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Most places where cherries are grown around the world are very beautiful, including The Dalles. However, probably the most beautiful place were the fiords of Norway where cherries are grown within 500 meters of the deep-water fiords, yet glacial mountains rise just above them.

Do you engage in social media? If yes, what’s your favorite social media platform (for work and/or play)? I’m only into Facebook, and that is mostly to stay in touch with my children and grandchildren who live in Germany, Kyrgyzstan and soon, Scotland.

What book genres do you like to read? Historical. I am currently reading The Candy Bombers, about the Berlin airlift. Prior to that, I read The Immortal Irishman, a biography about Thomas Meagher. Both are good reads.

We’re trying something new(ish) on the O&E blog. We are introducing University Outreach and Engagement faculty and staff. So … please say hello to Michelle Sager, Master Gardener education program assistant for Wasco County in the Mid-Columbia Region.

 

Michelle Sager
Michelle Sager, Oregon State Extension Master Gardener education program assistant

How long have you worked in Extension? Two years

What’s the best part of the work you’re doing? Engaging with people in the community.

What work accomplishment are you most proud of? I think it’s the volunteers that accomplish the most around here!

What’s your favorite way to waste time? Drawing, singing and juggling come in at a tie.

Michelle Sager's canine companion, Miss Pepita Pickle.
Michelle Sager’s canine companion Miss Pepita Pickle: The Lady Sargent Pepperbean Waddleplop Silk Cheek of Pipsqeakery. Pickles for short. Pickles was born in Guatemala.

Do you have any pets? How long have you and your pet(s) known each other? Yes! I met my dog Pickle when I lived in Guatemala three years ago when she was a tiny, scruffy, baby street dog. There was no way I was leaving without her. Her full name, though, is Miss Pepita Pickle: The Lady Sargent Pepperbean Waddleplop Silk Cheek of Pipsqeakery.

What do you do to get rid of stress? I love to hike and be in the woods. I am also an avid yoga and meditation practitioner, and I think that’s really the most important piece. Singing and dancing also help!

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? The assumption that there is one, best way to see and understand the world.

What three words best describe you? Silly is the only one that come to mind! I try to be joyful, perhaps.

What’s the most useful thing you own? I’ve got some hand-made garden tools I’m pretty in love with.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? I think Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia. But it’s pretty beautiful right here where we live in the Columbia Gorge!

Do you engage in social media? If yes, what’s your favorite social media platform (for work and/or play)? Do farmers’ markets count? 😉

Know any good jokes? Why do potatoes make such good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled!

What book genres to you like to read? I love reading books that help bring light to under-represented perspectives, especially things like Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Based on excerpts written by Cole Crawford and edited by Ann Marie Murphy

 

Cole Crawford
Cole Crawford, University Outreach and Engagement’s first GTA

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Cole Crawford broke new ground and accomplished plenty during his academic year tenure with University Outreach and Engagement under the supervision of Charles Robinson, special initiatives, University Outreach and Engagement and the College of Liberal Arts. He is the first GTA to work with University Outreach and Engagement.

 

“Charles Robinson tailored GTA responsibilities to take advantage of my existing digital skills while also providing me exposure to event management and public relations work,” Crawford revealed. “Because of the position’s flexibility and variable work requirements, I was even able to co-teach a digital humanities course in my home department (English, in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film) during winter term, which complemented my University Outreach and Engagement publicly engaged work.”

 

Crawford worked on two major projects: the Corvallis Maker Fair and Listen Up! Oregon Object Stories.

 

Oregon State University 2017 Maker Fair
Oregon State University 2017 Maker Fair

The Corvallis Maker Fair, produced by “The CO•”  and now in its fourth year, is an event dedicated to bringing together makers from across campus, Corvallis, and Oregon to celebrate and share their methods for hands-on learning, while exploring and researching the way people learn in these environments. Activities ranged from virtual reality to robotics to origami. University Outreach and Engagement is one of several co-sponsors of the event.

 

Crawford served as the website and social media coordinator on “The CO•” leadership team, including collaborating with a team of FLUX design students to refresh “The CO•” logo and promotional materials. Recruiting exhibitors, working with the “SEA Through the Eyes on an Artist” partner event put on by the College of Education, gathering exhibitor and attendee feedback, and helping set up and run the actual event were also his responsibility. The event attracted over 60 exhibitors and an estimated 1,900 attendees over two days. See more photos from the event here.

 

Victor Villegas demonstrates drone technology at the 2017 Maker Fair at Oregon State University
Victor Villegas demonstrates drone technology at the 2017 Maker Fair at Oregon State University

“Being able to jump into planning such a major event was exciting,” Crawford said. “Especially because I strongly believe in makerspaces, publicly engaged research, and an ethos of tinkering and exploration. I loved seeing attendees ranging from children to grandparents interact with exhibitors, learn about the science that facilitates maker activities, and build and play with micro-projects.”

 

Crawford worked with Robinson and Liddy Detar, Ph.D., an instructor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), College of Liberal Arts, on Listen Up! Oregon Object Stories. Listen Up! is an accessible, creative, and intellectually engaged digital space which invites Oregonians to digitally represent personal objects through images, descriptions, or 3D scans; imbue those objects with meaning through story-telling in the form of text, video, or audio; and share their object stories across Oregon, starting with Oregon State University and its Extension network.

 

Listen Up! users can contribute object stories, respond to public events created by other users, and build collections of content which address specific topics or prompts. The project is inherently interdisciplinary and draws on digital humanities building practices, engaged teaching, and community partnerships to create public scholarship. Listen Up! is flexible, and can scale to accommodate individual contributions, classroom collections, and statewide events.

 

Originally deployed as a teaching exercise by Detar in her WGSS courses, Listen Up!, she transformed the classroom activity into a hybrid online project to collect a broader range of object stories. Users can contribute stories directly through the website, or work with the Listen Up! team at events.

 

Crawford created the project’s data model, which assures user privacy and agency; developed several iterations of the Listen Up! website; helped write a Learning Innovation Grant proposal and a successful submission to the 2017 Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference; planned and ran three in-person object story events at “The CO•,” the Valley Library’s Crafternoon event series, and Moreland Hall; and collected, transcribed, and edited forty multimodal object stories from these events.

 

Object story contributors have spoken on the metaphorical meaning of a sandlewood watch, the importance of hybridity through an implanted defibrillator, and the power of comfort objects to help overcome developmental disabilities. Crawford will present Listen Up! at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute Colloquium in June 2017.

 

“I highly recommend that graduate students take advantage of alternative GTA positions,” Crawford said. “Assistantships focused on research and teaching are the most common ways for students to support themselves during full-time graduate study, but for students like myself who are interested in alt-academic careers or roles outside higher education entirely, positions that incorporate service and administration work can be even more valuable. Finding the right GTA position can help students tailor their graduate education to their interests while honing numerous marketable skills and making a noticeable impact at OSU.”

 

Crawford is currently searching for a full-time position in digital humanities research support and program coordination, and his experience with the Division of Outreach and Engagement and College of Liberal Arts has prepared him well for the application and interview process.

 

Read Crawford’s MA thesis titled “Respect the Gap: From Big to Boutique Data through Laboring-Class Poets Online” here: ColeCrawford_RespectTheGap_DefenseCopy

 

Charles Robinson sports OSU eclipse viewing glasses at the 2017 Maker Fair
Charles Robinson sports OSU eclipse viewing glasses at the 2017 Maker Fair

“Cole’s thesis fits solidly in the tradition of digital humanities scholarship, but takes bold steps forward in exploring how narrative, history, and meaning are built within the relational networks of data sets (British labor poetry in this case), and how these networks can be better understood via approaches that blend rigorous data-mining with historical and literary nuance,” stated Robinson. “His use of the idea of ‘boutique’ data sets is a helpful way to stake the claim for the value of smaller and incomplete historical/literary data sets vs. the ‘big data’ notion so prevalent in discussion of data analysis/visualization/etc.”

Written by Ana Lu Fonseca, assistant director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Division of University Outreach and Engagement

 

Ana Lu Fonseca, assistant director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Division of University Outreach and Engagement, Oregon State University. Photo: Stephen Ward, Extension and Experiment Station Communications.

What is a Diversity Champion? The word “champions” comes from the Latin concept of “campionem” for “gladiator, fighter.” Raaawr! But there’s no need to grab your sword. A champion is also a person who fights for a cause or defends an ideal.

In our outreach and engagement work, Diversity Champions are people who use their superpowers in the name of a diversity value or ideal. That ideal could be a better world, a more inclusive or relevant program, or a greener and more loving future for generations to come. We recognize Champions who strive every day to learn, grow, and create a better future—not just those who have already succeeded at something or are an expert.

We are creating a team of Outreach and Engagement Diversity Champions!

Today’s world is a world of many ideas, thoughts, perspectives, backgrounds, experiences, philosophies, and beliefs. It is a world of individuals with multiple identities. Let’s embrace the opportunity to enrich our selves, our lives, and our work with this diversity.

As Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for University Outreach and Engagement, my vision is to create a loving, united, authentic, inclusive and powerful team with a common vision and commitment to a sustainable transformation.

To realize this vision, we must gather and invest resources to ensure we are thinking intentionally about inclusion at all levels and that people from all walks of life—who have the potential and ability to transform the world through their talents, ideas, and voices—are not just heard but embraced. As a land grant institution, we have the power to impact and learn from every person who we come in contact with.

The Outreach and Engagement Diversity Champions team will be pioneers in this transformation. They will work with me to support our Division to enhance the tools and strategies we will need to work and learn in a diverse and complex world. Our Champions will also be involved in the communities they serve and be part of a larger transformation toward a more understanding, compassionate, and open society. This will be accomplished through planning, developing, coordinating, supporting, and participating.

We will create the work together!

If you want to “strive” and be a pioneer for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Division of University Outreach and Engagement, please join our Diversity Champions team. Follow this link to a brief survey and let me know more about yourself. All are welcome. This team is not a “committee” with a limit to how many people can participate.

Contact me if you have questions, and stay tuned for more!

Based on the abstract for the University Outreach and Engagement 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence nomination

 

Coos Bay Watershed assessment areas
Coos Bay Watershed assessment areas

Federal and State agencies in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have invested millions of dollars assessing watershed health and identifying habitat restoration opportunities. Unfortunately, many restoration efforts lack a clear process for prioritization of projects, leading to inefficient application of scarce financial and personnel resources.

In 2005, Guillermo Giannico (PI) and Jon Souder (co-PI) obtained National Sea Grant funding for a collaborative project between OSU Forestry Extension, Oregon Sea Grant and the Coos Watershed Association (CoosWA) to develop a series of watershed restoration plans for six lowland coastal basins north of Coos Bay. Some of the main collaborators in the development of the decision making process included Drs. Phil Roni, Tim Beechie and George Pess (NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, USA), Dr. Gordie Reeves (U.S. Forest Service), Pam Blake (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality), Bruce Miller (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Criag Cornue (South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve), and others.

Giannico is an Extension Fish Ecology and Watershed Specialist, has an Oregon Sea Grant appointment and is an associate professor of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Souder is an Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Specialist and assistant professor of Forestry Engineering Resources and Management in the College of Forestry.

There are at least six reasons to prioritize restoration projects. In addition to the fact that funders are asking for it, prioritization:

  1. Leads to strategic planning and evaluation.
  2. Recognizes capacity constraints.
  3. Turns assessments into action plans.
  4. Makes tradeoffs explicit.
  5. Gives the ability to say “no!”
Coffee klatches involve community stakeholders in conversations leading to better outcomes.
Coffee klatches involve community stakeholders in conversations leading to better outcomes.

In order to maximize public involvement, a series of coffee klatches, i.e., informal conversations, were held within each basin to elicit landowner visions and concerns. Associated with the conversations, work with Oregon scientists led to the development of a flexible and transparent restoration prioritization process that considers both ecological and socio-economic criteria. The process is called the Coos Bay Prioritization Approach (CBPA).

The CBPA was completed in 2008 and has been applied to restoration plans for 14 watersheds on the South Coast.  An outcome of these assessments was the establishment of the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds (PCW), a joint effort with the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The PCW convened a multi-stakeholder group and used the CBPA to revise the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan.  In addition, a multi-agency group led by the Wild Salmon Center has identified the CBPA as the preferred method for Coastal Watershed Council. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering requiring the CBPA for any project requesting state funding to restore Coho habitat on the coast. Several watershed councils in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have adopted CBPA.

During 2016, Giannico and Souder hosted three workshops, which included 55 participants from 45 organizations in 10 states (and Korea).  Many of these participants have requested additional training.  International workshops also were conducted in the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, and Mexico.

Words of advice from Drs. Giannico and Souder: “Get out of the office and partner with community organizations!”

The prioritization of watershed projects was recognized as one of 10 outreach and engagement projects to receive the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence.

 

 

Written by Ann Marie Murphy
Sources: Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute website and abstract submitted for the University Outreach and Engagement 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence

 

Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute participants building relationships and trust.
Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute participants building relationships and trust.

Oregon lacks educational resources and programming for migrant youth. To address this need, Oregon State University collaborated with the Office of Migrant Education to create the Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute (OMLI).  OMLI focuses on creating a new vision and reality for migrant students.

 

OMLI is one of several programs at OSU—including Open Campus, part of the Division of University Outreach and Engagement—that help kids think about college as a possibility and part of their future. It was one of 10 programs singled out for a 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence.

 

The program encompasses elements essential to exceptional outreach and engagement work:

 

  • Addresses a need;
  • Substantiates measurable impact;
  • Builds on the knowledge of communities and partners;
  • Offers transformative learning experiences; and
  • Builds strong partnerships within the university and throughout Oregon (in OMLI’s case, Educational Service Districts, school districts and many other partners throughout the state).

 

View their presentation at the awards luncheon here.

 

OMLI’s objective is to develop leadership skills in Oregon’s high school migrant students. It exposes participants to college life and encourages them to attend. They also are encouraged to be proud of their heritage, and envision and build pathways to a positive future.

 

OSU has hosted OMLI every summer since 2009.  Many university resources and community partners work together to build an institute where participants engage in scholarship, leadership and transformational learning.  The program provides opportunities for migrant students to interact with other students, mentors, faculty and staff, opening new horizons to their futures. Through the OMLI experience, students return to their schools prepared to participate in leadership activities. One OMLI expectation is for students to give back to their communities.

 

Oregon Migrant Leadership Institutes participants tackle the Oregon State University ropes course.
Oregon Migrant Leadership Institutes participants tackle the Oregon State University ropes course.

Each summer, more than 100 high school migrant students from throughout Oregon make the trip to the OSU campus in Corvallis.  Participants immerse themselves in a comprehensive leadership experience where relationships and trust are built, they begin to understand their potential and the importance of making good choices, and much more.

 

Participants tell their stories through technology, art and creative writing.  They challenge themselves and build trust in others on the ropes course.  They learn about taking risks and learn from their mistakes.

 

OMLI creates a supportive environment that creates positive change and growth.  The impact of OMLI is immeasurable.  From building self-esteem to aspirations of being the first in the family to attend college, the institute motivates participants. To date, nearly 1,000 migrant students have experienced OMLI.

 

Pre-assessments show that only 50 percent of participants understood how to develop action plans for their goals and 62 percent were familiar with steps to problem solving.  Post-assessments show an increase to 90 percent of participants expressing competency in goal setting and problem solving.  In addition, assessments indicate that over 90 percent of participants plan to enroll in college after high school.

 

Through OMLI, students become inspired about their education—they aim higher in their studies and emerge as leaders in their schools and communities. Many transition to higher education, including attending and graduating from OSU.

 

OMLI gives hope to migrant youth in Oregon as the experience sets them on a different path to fulfill their potential.

 

Check out this video to see more about the activities of the institute.

Fr. Sam Logan with child in a customized ride-on car.
Dr. Sam Logan with child in a customized ride-on car.

No commercially produced motorized wheelchairs are available for children under three years old with mobility challenges. That fact and his belief that mobility is a fundamental human right spurred Dr. Sam Logan to start Go Baby Go (GBG) Oregon.

 

GBG Oregon is a community-based outreach program that works with families and clinicians to provide modified toy ride-on cars to young children with disabilities. The ride-on cars encourage exploration and play. In Oregon alone, there are more than 3,000 children receiving early intervention services who might benefit from a modified rode-on car. To date, more than 200 Oregon families have received modified ride-on cars.

 

GBG Oregon was founded in 2014 by Dr. Logan, assistant professor, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Bethany Sloane, assistant professor, Oregon Health and Science University, joined the project as an equal partner in 2015. She oversees the GBG Oregon program that serves Portland-area families, including an advisory board that includes 10 clinicians, families, and community-member stakeholders.

 

Team for GO BABY GO OREGON
Team for GO BABY GO OREGON: MODIFIED RIDE-ON CARS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES at the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence. From left: Ed Feser, provost and executive vice president; Lindsey Shirley, associate vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement and associate director of OSU Extension; Dr. Sam Logan, Dr. Bethany Sloane, Bethany McNeil, two OSU students from the CARS club,  Javier Nieto, dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences; and Scott Reed, vice provost of University Outreach and Engagement and director OSU Extension Service.

The 15-member Children’s Adaptive Resources for Social Mobility (CARS) undergraduate club at Oregon State—for which Dr. Logan is founder and faculty advisor—supports the work of GBG Oregon. The club’s mission is to customize ride-on cars for a child’s particular disability. Dr. Logan also developed and taught an Honors College colloquial titled “Toy-based technology for children with disabilities.” This is an experimental learning course where students learn the science behind Go Baby Go, modify ride-on cars, and interact with families to customize ride-on car modifications for their children.

 

Logan published three peer-reviewed articles in Pediatric Physical Therapy, collaborated with Dr. Bill Smart (Mechanical Engineering, OSU), and published a technical report in Frontiers in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence outlining advances in modified ride-on car technology. He also collaborated with Dr. Kathleen Bogart (Psychological Science, OSU) on a research study that found caregivers’ attitudes toward disability and mobility may be related to the opportunities they provide to their children to use the modified ride-on cars (positive attitudes, more opportunities).

 

In addition to other scholarly activity, Logan represented OSU while conducting more than 20 Oregon and national workshops teaching the science behind GBG and the skills required to modify the ride-on cars. Dr. Sloane also leads monthly community workshops to modify ride-on cars.

 

Based on an abstract for the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence. Go Baby Go Oregon received a 2017 Vice Provost Award of Excellence. Click here to see the Go Baby Go Oregon presentation at the awards celebration.

Editor’s Note: Outreach takes on many forms. The goal most often is to understand the needs of a particular community. In this case, the goal was to improve Latino nursery worker educational materials. The results of the research can improve communication tools well beyond the nursery industry, OSU Extension, and Oregon State University. The “What Workers Think” project is one of 15 university outreach and engagement projects recognized at the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence celebration on April 17.

 

"How to Control Slugs in Your Garden" bilingual publication published by Extension and Experiment Station Communications
“How to Control Slugs in Your Garden” bilingual publication published by Extension and Experiment Station Communications

Spanish-speaking workers make up most of the labor force in Oregon’s horticulture industries; however, few Oregon State University Extension publications and multimedia materials are designed to meet their vocational and linguistic needs.

 

A team at Oregon State set out to understand how instructional materials can be designed to improve the learning process for Latino nursery workers. The team consisted of Ariel Ginsburg and Dionisia Morales, publishing managers with Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC); Luisa Santamaria, Extension plant pathologist for nursery crops and bilingual educator, North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) and associate professor, Botany and Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Gilbert Uribe, education program assistant (NWREC), now pesticide registration and certification specialist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

 

EESC translates into Spanish some publications from the Extension catalog. Feedback from Extension faculty working in Latino communities suggested that the choice of topics was not always well-suited to horticultural workers. Publications were often too technical, written at too high a reading level, or required a computer to download and print.

 

Dionisia Morales (middle) and Ariel Ginsburg (right) accept a Honorable mention for the WHAT WORKERS THINK: COMMUNICATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR LATINO NURSERY WORKERS project. Ed Feser (left), OSU provost and executive vice president, presents the award.
Dionisia Morales (middle) and Ariel Ginsburg (right) accept a Honorable mention for the WHAT WORKERS THINK: COMMUNICATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR LATINO NURSERY WORKERS project. Ed Feser (left), OSU provost and executive vice president, presents the award.

This feedback sparked a number of questions: Do workers want information to help them do better at their jobs. Do they want to learn key English vocabulary to communicate more easily with their employers? Are workers more interested in web-based training they can do on their own time, or in face-to-face sessions? Are they more likely to access information on their smartphones?

 

Using a $1,500 professional development grant from the Association for Communication Excellence, the team conducted three focus groups. They asked workers directly about their needs and interests. Integrating into existing, employer-supported worker training events allowed maximum participation. The three focus groups conducted thus far involved 21 community members. A final focus group will take place in spring 2017.

 

The findings have already started to shift how EESC delivers translated content. Latino workers want more photo-rich, mobile-friendly information and they want publications in which English and Spanish appear side-by-side.

 

In 2017, members of the team will write an article for the Journal of Extension. Findings will be presented at conferences to help other Extension and communication specialists learn how they can engage Latino community members to learn what education needs they have and their preferred learning formats.

 

Based on an abstract submitted for the 2017 University Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Awards of Excellence.

 

Written by Gregg Kleiner and Tiffany Woods for Oregon Sea Grant (April 17, 2017)

 

Editor’s Note: This story is a great example of outreach and engagement work: co-creation of solutions, cross-disciplinary collaboration, applied research, building community capacity, partnerships, and more.

 

Crab fishing. Photo by Oregon Sea Grant.
Crab fishing. Photo by Oregon Sea Grant.

West Coast crabbers and faculty with Oregon State University and Sea Grant programs in Oregon and Washington have been exploring ways to reduce injuries at sea.

The effort is part of the Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program, which was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“The ideas are generated by the fishermen, and the goal is that the solutions are voluntarily embraced and are not imposed,” said Laurel Kincl, the leader of the project and an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Gathering research

To gather the suggestions as well as build rapport with the fishermen, nine community members with ties to the fishing industry were contracted, including several fishermen’s wives. Kincl and others then trained them to conduct outreach, engagement and research.

As part of the project, in the fall of 2015, the nine community members surveyed 365 crabbers in Washington, Oregon and California about the types and number of injuries they may have experienced during the 2014-15 crabbing season. The crabbers reported 65 injuries, 36 of which required them to take time off work or change how they worked. Of those 36, sprains and strains were the most frequent, with 13 incidents. Out of the 36 injuries, hands, arms and shoulders were the most commonly injured body parts, with 17 reports. Nine of the 36 injuries occurred while handling gear on deck, and seven happened while hauling in gear.

When asked what they thought contributed most to injuries, fishermen gave answers that included not paying attention, weather and sea conditions, inexperience, unsafe vessels or gear, a lack of training, and poor physical shape. When asked what they thought was the most important thing for staying safe, responses included having a good captain and crew, being aware, taking care of oneself, avoiding fatigue and having a well-maintained boat and gear.

Co-created solutions

Fishermen suggested the need for a fishing-specific first aid and CPR course. As a result, a wilderness medicine expert was invited to the Oregon towns of Newport and Astoria in the fall of 2016 to train fishermen on how to treat medical conditions and at-sea injuries such as cuts, broken bones, dislocated shoulders and hypothermia.

Another fisherman suggested looking at the design of banger bars, which are metal bars that are welded to the tables where crabs are sorted. Crab pots are hoisted over and slammed against the bars to force the crabs onto the table.

“Some say the bars make it easier on fishermen’s wrists and backs if positioned correctly,” said Kaety Jacobson, a marine fisheries Extension specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and a partner on the project. “But there’s not a standard design, so crabbers make their own – if they use them at all. We’re pretty sure someone has come up with the ideal banger bar, so we’re trying to find that design and share it with the community.”

The research team is considering using fishermen-focused Facebook pages, like the Oregon Sea Grant Fisheries Extension Facebook page, to ask for information about the use, design and benefits of the bars. With this information, she said, Sea Grant could create a publication on what a banger bar is and why fishermen use them. It could also include photos or schematics of designs that work better.

Also because of fishermen’s feedback, Jacobson and the nine community members will interview experienced deckhands and boat captains about what makes a good crew, how to size up a boat to see if it’s safe, and what safety-related language fishermen should look for when signing a contract to become a crew member. Jacobson and her team plan to share this information with novice or aspiring crewmembers.

“We’ll put these findings in an infographic or factsheet that we’ll post on social media or mail out so that fishermen looking for work can have that resource,” she said.

Importance to Oregon

During the 2015–16 season, fishermen in Oregon landed just over 14 million pounds of Dungeness crab, which they sold for a record $51 million, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dubbed the official state crustacean, Dungeness crabs make up the most valuable single-species commercial fishery in Oregon.