Magenta dahlias in the Tillamook Master Gardeners demonstration garden. Photo by Chloe Hull.
Magenta dahlias in the Tillamook Master Gardeners demonstration garden. Photo by Chloe Hull.

Hey everyone! 

This is my last blog post for my internship. I am appreciative of this internship for the experiences that I have had. It has been super exciting to see the projects I have been working on wrap up. For example, some of the projects included presenting to the Tillamook County Extension staff, finishing a water resources guide, and tabling at the county fair. 

Although most of my internship was done remotely, I drove to Tillamook a couple times to work and meet some folks in person. It was refreshing to spend time there and actually get to work in person. I helped with a couple of summer camps and went on a few industry tours, learning more about the community. I at a table at the Tillamook County Fair, talking about soil horizons and showing off the soil samples that I collected from around Tillamook. Not too many people showed up, but those that did were interested in talking to me to learn more about what I was doing. At the fair, I also got to hang out in the Extension Master Gardener demonstration garden, which looks gorgeous despite them not being able to spend a ton of time working there due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The North Coast food producer listserv that I helped create and manage has been up and running for over a month. This listserv shares resources with small food producers of the North Coast and will generally be a network that folks will hopefully utilize more in the future. Overall, this project helped me to grow my confidence in email communications with a broad audience. The few responses that I received from the listserv have been overwhelmingly positive as folks respond to ask me questions or make comments. We have also had partner organizations contact us to send out resources, which is exciting because it means that we are beginning to be recognized in some parts of the community. I am looking forward to watching the listserv grow and change now that it has gotten started and since my internship will be ending. 

Bott’s Marsh is a restoration project managed by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Photo by Chloe Hull
Bott’s Marsh is a restoration project managed by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Photo by Chloe Hull

My big project for this summer was writing a water resources guide for landowners. I spent a lot of time researching and reaching out to organizations on the North Coast to try and get the most up-to-date, accurate information available. You can read it here. In addition to learning how to professionally reach out for information and feedback, I also strengthened my time-management skills throughout the summer. I am excited to share this resource out that I have been working on all summer. 

Overall, I am grateful to have had this opportunity to be a Tillamook Extension intern. Getting to know the staff in the office and the community has been a great learning experience. I look forward to taking the skills that I learned and applying them to my career and education moving forward. 

Hi again! As my summer internship at the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County comes to an end, I’ve had time to learn and grow. Getting to experience a job working for Extension has shown me how broad the areas that Extension covers are. Working to serve the community also taught me different skills and helped me meet my summer learning objectives. 

My two biggest objectives were to improve my communication skills and increase my career awareness. With the different assignments I had – writing social media blurbs, sending emails, speaking with families at community events, and leading activities for the Juntos Afuera camp – I have been able to improve my communication skills in multiple ways. By observing different members of the office and meeting health workers in the community I was also able to get career awareness and learn the importance of the roles in extension.  

Kilchis Point Reserve in Tillamook County. Photo by Crystal Hernandez.
Kilchis Point Reserve in Tillamook County. Photo by Crystal Hernandez.

A different skill that I wasn’t expecting to learn was the ability to adapt. Having so many factors that could change made it important to be flexible in order to get tasks done. During my internship, this came into play with our second planned family night for Juntos Afuera. It was created with the help of the Tillamook County Community Health Center to create a space where Spanish-speaking families could come together to enjoy food and music with the option to get a COVID-19 vaccine. With cases rising due to the delta variant, the event had to be changed to a drive-through where families still got to enjoy food, music and have the opportunity to get vaccinated from the comfort of their cars. We decided to adapt instead of canceling because providing families with information and vaccines is important. 

Extension serves its community and this internship taught me the value of connecting with people. The events that were created were possible because of the collective help of multiple people, not just the work of one.  

 

Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances.
Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances.

Hi there, Crystal Hernandez here with an update from the Tillamook County Extension office. As I progress further into my summer internship, I’ve had an eventful first seven weeks. With Juntos Afuera, family nights, and my career exploration opportunities I have been able to see just how much Extension impacts our community.  

Extension seeks to inform, educate and connect individuals, and that is exactly what I have been able to do as a part of Juntos. We started the Juntos program this summer with Juntos Afuera, a camp that introduces Latinx high school students to recreational activities and informs them about the Latinx culture. So far, we have been kayaking and bird-watching, and we were part of the annual Tillamook County June Dairy Parade the first week of my internship. Apart from that we also had our first in-person family night at Hydrangea Ranch where Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances taught the families the historical importance that these dances hold in their culture. During this family night I was also able to speak with different families where they shared their interest in the Juntos program.  

Crystal Hernandez shows Juntos Afuera campers how to make a nutritional trail mix.
Crystal Hernandez shows Juntos Afuera campers how to make a nutritional trail mix.

During Juntos Afuera I’ve had a leading role where I taught the campers about xempasuchil flowers, Aztec deities and got to explore my interest in health by introducing them to a first aid and showing them how to make a nutritional trail mix. Leading these activities was a challenge but as I kept doing them, I slowly got more comfortable speaking to the group of campers and noticed how they are all slowly opening up to each other as well. 

I was once a member of Juntos but now that I am at the other side of it, I get to see how much effort and logistics an event like family night requires. Having to look for food, location, entertainment, preparing decorations and advertising is not as easy as it sounds. Making all of the pieces come together has required organizational skills and communication between everyone in the team. 

Part of my internship also gave me the opportunity to explore different careers in the health field. I was able to interview different people in the health field that have been helpful as I get closer to my start date at OSU.  

As I am quickly getting through my summer internship, I am looking forward to the next family night that is currently being planned and getting to help the campers with their Latinx identity projects that they will present to the Tillamook County Commissioners.  

Hey all! 

Chloe Hull here, updating you from Tillamook County. I am halfway through the internship, and I have learned and done a lot. Most of my time so far has been structured around getting to know community partners and building those relationships for the future. This last week I was able to sit in on a workgroup with Master Gardeners on how to increase inclusivity into the program and the work that they are doing. It was interesting being able to hear folks getting involved on the planning level and discussing the things that they have personally learned over the past several months and their ideas on moving forward into the future.  

Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.
Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.

As you may remember from my last post, I have been working on researching different listserv services and gathering contact information for food producers all across the north coast. With all of this research, last week we were finally able to send out our first couple of emails! I have already gotten several positive responses from folks on the listserv, and I am excited to continue being involved with sending out resources for these producers. One of the emails that we sent out last week had resources and information about fire preparedness and heat stress on plants, livestock, and workers. It is important to get these resources out to folks and work to develop a community of collaboration to become more resilient as more extreme heat events occur.  

Lastly, I am excited as the Tillamook County Fair (Aug. 10-14) gets closer because I will be hosting a 4-H exhibit. I have never gotten to host a county fair booth, so it has been a learning experience for me as I gather information and develop content and activities. I have some experience with youth engagement and development, but this will be new in that it will be a larger audience than I am accustomed to. I look forward to it though and I hope you will come say hi if you are in the area! 

Steeply sloped grassland in Manzanita.
Steeply sloped grassland in Manzanita. Photo by Luke Brockman.

Hello, world!

It’s mid-July, and my time thus far as an intern with the Fire Program at OSU Extension Service has been very fun and informative. Oregon’s Coast Range is a heavily forested and culturally diverse part of the state, and as such, the communities that inhabit this region serve to benefit greatly from the expertise and outreach that Extension fire specialist Aaron Groth and the rest of the fire team provide.  

On July 5, Aaron and I took a trip to beautiful Manzanita to meet with a few members of the local homeowners association, who had a lot of questions about preparing their community for the threat of fire. Their neighborhood rests upon a steeply sloped grassland with a stunning overlook of Nehalem Bay State Park, extending all the way south to Rockaway Beach and beyond. It was interesting to hear the concerns of these community members and the caution they were taking in preparation for their next HOA meeting.  

Considering the increasing intensity of wildfire season and especially last year’s Echo Mountain Complex Fire, which burned parts of Lincoln City, it’s becoming more and more important to prepare for the worst. I’m beginning to see how Extension serves the communities in Oregon. People need science-based, realistic advice to inform their communities of pertinent issues affecting the state. Extension recognizes this need and applies the expertise that OSU creates. 

Last week, I sat in on a meeting as Aaron presented fire information for members of the Spanish-speaking community in the Lincoln City area. As previously mentioned, the Echo Mountain Complex fire shocked Lincoln County last year. Recognizing that this community lacks the language-accessible information about both pre- and post-fire preparedness, Extension was able to make a meaningful impact thanks to Aaron’s Spanish fluency and the work that the Fire Program is here to do. It was also great Spanish listening practice for me! 

Hey all! 

My name is Chloe Hull, and I am going into my fourth year as an undergraduate student at Oregon State University. I hail from Portland, Oregon, but I’m currently living in Corvallis doing a remote internship with OSU Extension in Tillamook County. I am majoring in natural resources with a specialization in ecological restoration and a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

I ‘ve been accepted into OSU’s accelerated master’s program in natural resources and I’m excited to continue my education after I earn my bachelor’s degree. Beyond that, I enjoy spending time outside, baking, and cross-stitching to name a few of my hobbies. 

Throughout my internship, I will be working closely with Julia Wentzel, the Master Gardener and small farms coordinator for both Clatsop and Tillamook counties, to develop a local food producer listserv/newsletter to assist in increasing communications with and between north coast food producers. Another project that I’m excited to be working on is an easily accessible and highly polished water resource guide for landowners who want to learn more about how to best manage and/or restore the water resources on their land (creeks, ponds, wells, etc.).  

I’m looking forward to the opportunities when I get to drive to Tillamook and get to do in-person activities such as farm/dairy visits, STEM camp, county fair, and just generally being able to spend time in the Extension office and get a feel for the atmosphere. I think that having the opportunity to go up to Tillamook will give me a better understanding of the county that doesn’t come with being a tourist, and a better feel for the work that the Tillamook Extension agents are doing.  I’m grateful to my supervisor and the rest of the Tillamook Extension agents for making this internship enjoyable so far and working through the difficulties that come with a remote internship. 

Hello! 

My name is Crystal Hernandez, and I am a student intern for the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County. I am from Tillamook, where I spend my free time jogging around town, playing soccer, or getting ready for college. I recently graduated from Tillamook High School and will be enrolled in both Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College this fall. I am undecided as to what I want to pursue but I have always been interested in the medical field.  

I love spending time with my family but getting our schedules to line up has become a challenge because of our jobs. My parents have taught me the value of working for what you have and are a great example of it by working long hours, five to six days a week. Seeing how they work to provide a better opportunity for my brother and I has made me appreciate the position that I am in and motivated me to work harder.  

I am excited for this internship position especially because OSU Extension Service has already had an impact in my life. I was part of the Juntos program in sixth grade, and my brother was in high school, when my parents were able to become informed about the process of going to a university. I remember visiting the OSU campus in Corvallis where I got to learn about student life and thought about how far away I was from the day I’d go to college. I then joined Juntos once again my senior year of high school and was able to fully grasp the purpose of the club. Our main focus was our identity project that we then presented to the Tillamook County commissioners. I thought about what being Latina meant to me for the first time and continued to learn about my culture. 

Now as an intern I get to work under the supervision of Megan Deane McKenna, Dusti Linnell, and work closely with Juntos coordinator Natalie Macias. I will help prepare for the Juntos Afuera camp and plan family nights for Spanish speakers in the county. I will lead activities in the camp as well as create social media posts. During my internship I will also explore different career opportunities and join Dusti in health-related meetings. I am excited to learn how extension has impacted our communities and have the opportunity to plan activities in the Juntos Afuera camp. 

Kasey Purcell recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County.

When I began this internship, I didn’t know what to expect. After just finishing my freshmen year of college, and dealing with the struggles COVID threw into the mix, I was eager to work on something that would grasp my full attention. These unprecedented times left me with a lot of anxiety for what the future might hold and I didn’t want that to keep me from working my hardest.

When I finally came to the realization that my internship would not be a normal one, I was a little upset but ready for the challenge. I began with an open mind and no expectations, and I think in the end that was the smartest thing to do.

With this mindset, I was prepared to work on whatever was thrown my way, even if it was outside my wheelhouse. I created two resource guides for Tillamook and Lincoln counties. I created and published/will soon publish six blogs about my time in this internship and nutrition-related topics. I sat in on a wide variety of meetings throughout my 10 weeks. I lent a hand by creating resources for Tillamook County Wellness’s newest campaign. I wrote social media postings, created guides to events and most of all, I learned the true value of Extension Service.

Every aspect of Extension’s work focuses on the education and growth of the agricultural industries in our state. In Tillamook County particularly, I was able to watch how Extension worked to bring inclusivity and new ideas to the health and wellness teams in our community. Going into this internship, I knew nothing about Extension Service. But coming out, I am so thankful for this opportunity. OSU Extension truly has a great mission, and they have yet to stray from it, even after 109 years!

As I make my way back to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for my sophomore year, I hope to take with me these values of education, inclusivity, and being open to new ideas. This time working with Extension, and my supervisor, really showed me what it is like to work in community nutrition. There is so much more to it than creating wellness plans to help a community grow and that was evident to me. I worked on such a diverse range of projects and with people with so many different backgrounds.

I want to thank OSU Extension, my supervisor Dusti Linnell, and all of the community partners I’ve worked with this summer for this opportunity. It truly was a one-of-a-kind experience, and not just because I was able to work in my PJs all day.

Aloha!

Kasey Purcell is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County.

I began my internship at the end of May and I’ve really enjoyed both working with the health professionals in my county and experiencing what it is like to build community outreach programs.

I’ve been able to work with the Tillamook County Wellness Coalition on a few projects, one of which was to create content to go along with an initiative to encourage the people in our community to go outside and explore our local parks and trails. I’ve also had the opportunity to work alongside my supervisor, Dusti Linnell, on an opioid prevention team as well as a COVID outreach team. Through these teams I’ve been working to find resources already available in our county to help those in need.

At the start of my internship we were all pretty sad that I would be working from home for the next 10 weeks. I was excited and looking forward to the face-to-face interactions and experience what it is like working in an office.

While I’ve been unable to experience that, I had an opportunity in late May to go to the Tillamook Extension office and meet everyone when the office was a distribution point for free personal protective equipment for the farmers and fishermen in our community. I was only there for a few hours, but during that time I was able to meet all of the people I had been Zooming with for the past few weeks. It was nice to have those interactions, even if we were wearing face masks.

In late May, the OSu Extension office in Tillamook was a distribution point for personal protective equipment for the agricultural and fishing industries.
In late May, the OSu Extension office in Tillamook was a distribution point for personal protective equipment for the agricultural and fishing industries. Photo by Kasey Purcell.

Through my work so far, my eyes have been opened to the mission of the Extension Service. Growing up, I didn’t participate much in Extension programs. I did a few art and photography classes through 4-H, but that is all. So, I didn’t really know the mission of OSU’s Extension Service. During the first few weeks I learned that the goal of Extension is to provide education to everyone, with the intention of opening the minds of rural areas in Oregon to the growth that is happening in their agricultural fields.

At the beginning of my internship my supervisor asked me to write a short paper about what the history of Extension and I was amazed. Not only did it bring innovation to rural communities ages ago, but it continues to hold true to its mission today. Through all of the work I have done alongside Dusti, I constantly see how those working in Extension strive to bring new knowledge through education. For example, through my work creating a resource guide for the opioid prevention team Dusti and I talked about how this guide is a resource for everyone, so any business is welcome to it and they have the ability to make it their own.

I have really come to appreciate what Extension Service is and I feel so lucky to be able to work with such awesome people who are constantly striving to bring new and helpful knowledge to our communities.

Kasey Purcell

Aloha! I’m Kasey Purcell and I’m a part of the inaugural cohort of the Oregon State University Extension Service interns. I’m a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, studying dietetics, and I’ll be working in Tillamook County alongside my supervisor Dusti Linnell.

Tillamook has been my home for most of my life and I’ve always been very active in my community. Throughout high school I found myself participating in a lot of community activities. I was a worker and counselor at Twin Rocks Friends Camp, and a student and teacher at my local dance studio. I also had a mom who knew everyone… and I mean everyone. As much as I hated it while I was living at home, I’ve begun to appreciate her and her connections more now.

It’s weird to be participating in this internship, because many of the people I’m interacting with have known me since I was a little kid. Still, I’m excited to be able to now work with them on a professional level.

Kasey Purcell has been an advid dancer since she was 5.

During my senior year of high school, I became interested in nutrition. I’ve always lived a somewhat healthy lifestyle and I found that learning about the nutrients we need in our body was super interesting. As I said, I was a student and teacher at my local dance studio, North West Dance Academy. I’ve been an avid dancer since I was 5, spending anywhere up to 20 hours a week in the dance studio. This was a large part of my childhood and still is today as I’m also pursuing a minor in dance.

I began my journey to become a dietitian by taking an introduction to nutrition course at our local community college. This course was actually taught by Dusti, my now supervisor. After this class I knew that this was what I wanted to study, so it was now just a matter of figuring out what I wanted to do with my degree. I came to find that community health was super interesting to me. I know that I wasn’t made to work in a clinical setting, so I had to figure out another path. This internship is my first step to learning more about community health.

A large reason why I chose to go to school in Hawaii is because I felt it would be a really unique learning opportunity because of the different agriculture found there. I also love hiking, swimming and being outside so Hawaii just seemed right. Through my time there so far, I have found that it is really similar to Tillamook, just hotter! I can hike through the mountains, go to the beach, and eat all the acai and poke bowls I want.

Kacey Purcell is a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, studying dietetics,

My plans for the future are to finish my bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s in dietetics with an emphasis on community health. From there I hope to get my registered dietetics license so I’m free to practice. Then my ultimate goal is to get a second master’s in public health or public policy. I’m super excited to be able to pursue my interests in my home community this summer, and I’m grateful to OSU for providing this opportunity to us. I’ve already learned so much and I know there is more to come.