Social Science, Policy, and Natural Resources

Examines the complex interactions between our communities, cultures, governments, and the natural resources that support our continued life and development. Explores methods for engaging scientists, managers, and the public in addressing environmental problems.

Our researchers study different forms of governance and stakeholder engagement to identify effective approaches for decision making. This includes understanding communication among scientists, land managers, and the public. Other department members use systematic evidence-based reviews to inform educational programs for forest owners, while some researchers test the effectiveness of different educational programs and materials.

Natural Resources, Tourism, and Recreation (NATURE) Studies Lab

The NATURE Studies Lab conducts a program of research and planning focusing on recreation, tourism, marine and terrestrial parks and protected areas, wildlife, forestry, and other natural resources. The goal of this lab’s work is to examine human elements such as use and impacts, and inform management of natural resources and policy development.

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and Long-Term Ecological Research Site

The mission of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is to support research on forests, streams, and watersheds, and to foster strong collaboration among ecosystem science, education, natural resource management, and the humanities. Located in the western Cascade mountains of Oregon, the 16,000-acre site is administered cooperatively by Oregon State University, the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, and the Willamette National Forest.
The Andrews Forest has been a US Forest Service Experimental Forest since 1948, and a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site since 1980. Facilities, including labs, offices, and housing, are available for research and workshop use. Researchers and graduate students interested in conducting work at the Andrews Forest are welcomed and encouraged—participants benefit from a rich data history and from collaborations across disciplines. See the Andrews Forest webpage, http://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu, for ways to connect. Andrews Forest Facebook. Andrews Forest Newsletter. Andrews Forest webcam.

Forests, Livelihoods, Institutions, and Governance (FoLIAGe) Research Group

The FoLIAGe Research Group studies the relationship between forests and livelihoods, and how various governance mechanisms and institutions, including policies, laws, norms, and markets, shape that relationship. Working around the world, we take a multi-level governance approach in our research, from the local scale with community and collaborative forestry, all the way up to the international scale with mechanisms like REDD+ and FLEGT, and how these different scales interact to impact people and forests.