Learning about science policy is one of the main reasons I applied to the Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars program. I am so happy that I was selected to work with the Oregon Coastal and Oceanic Information Network (OCOIN) because bringing science to policy makers and natural resource managers is what they do!
The OCOIN network is a series of partnerships and just to name a few, they work with Portland State, Oregon State, Oregon Coastal Management Program and a new partnership this summer with the PNW Consortium on Plastics. The network also has a large variety of politicians, natural resource managers and researchers.
Working with OCOIN has taught me two very important things. The first is that policy makers actually use published science to help inform policy and second, there isn’t enough (especially oceanic) research published and/or distributed to policy makers. OCOIN tries to make the research as accessible as possible to decision makers and other researchers.
I have had the opportunity to attend agency meetings with the Institute of Natural Resources (INR), the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) Ocean Management Program (OMP) and the Oregon Marine Reserves (ODFW). One of my main goals this summer was to learn about as many different careers in natural resource management as possible and with at least 8-10 people in agency meeting all specializing in different work, I think I achieved my goal!