SOU Innovation and Leadership program taps mid-career learners

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(Ashland, Ore.) —  John Patterson and Beth Mortonson both are trying to save lives, each in a different way. In the process, they hope to graduate from Southern Oregon University, through a program designed for working professionals who have not yet completed their college degrees.

Students in SOU’s Innovation and Leadership program can finish their bachelor’s degrees while working full-time. It offers a path to degree completion for those with at least one to two years of college, a minimum of five years in the workplace at positions above the entry level and a desire to progress in leadership roles.

Capstone projects – culminating, independent research assignments – are among the final requirements for program participants, and both Patterson and Mortonson have chosen ventures related to their health care and life-saving occupations. Patterson is the deputy fire chief for Jackson County Fire District 3, and Mortonson is the clinical manager of the Asante Rogue Regional Sleep Center.

[NOTE: Media interviews about the INL program can be arranged with both Mortonson and Patterson.]

Mortonson hopes to determine in her capstone project whether patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices if they work first with Clinical Sleep Educators.

“Convincing patients to become adherent with CPAP treatment has proven to be an on-going challenge with inherent low national compliance rates,” Mortonson said in describing her project.

Patterson worked with other emergency care providers in southern Oregon a few months ago in promoting the PulsePoint mobile app to register people with CPR training and launching the HeartMap Challenge to build a database of automatic external defibrillator (AED) locations. The last phase of his capstone project is to increase the number of CPR-trained users of the PulsePoint app who are actually willing to provide emergency assistance when they receive alerts about someone nearby in cardiac arrest.

“Learnings associated with this research will help us formulate a data-driven plan to implement life-saving initiatives,” Patterson said.

The INL program focuses on effective leadership skills, and is designed to meet working students’ schedules. Its classes are scheduled in five-week modules with in-person classes one night per week in Medford.

Students take 16 courses – from SOU departments including business, communications, emerging media and psychology – over a period of 21 months.

Applications are now being accepted for people interested in joining the INL program’s next group of students, who will begin their coursework this fall. For more information, contact Moneeka Settles at settlesm@sou.edu.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU and LOGOS offer on-campus option for young college students

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University will partner this fall with Medford’s LOGOS Public Charter School – the largest non-virtual K-12 charter school in Oregon – to offer an SOU campus-based, dual-credit college program for LOGOS students.

The program – LOGOS Scholars Academy – will offer college-credit coursework at no cost to the charter school’s students. Its office will be located in SOU’s Susanne Homes Hall, just south of the university’s Art Building and Schneider Museum of Art.

“At LOGOS, we have created a culture where students take ownership of their own future, and we start the transition to college and internships while they are still in high school,” said LOGOS Executive Director Joe VonDoloski.

LOGOS offers a home-based, individualized curriculum to 900 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. About 60 percent of the school’s 2017 senior class will graduate high school with 15 or more college credits, VonDoloski said.

As many as 30 students in 10th through 12th grade will take part in the Scholars Academy program, which will offer guidance from a LOGOS teacher at the school’s new satellite office on the SOU campus. Interested students must apply to LOGOS to join the program and to SOU for admission into the university’s Early Entry program.

Students accepted into the Scholars Academy program will attend college classes either full- or part-time, at no cost. A reduced tuition rate will be paid by LOGOS, which is sponsored by the Medford School District.

Students from any local school district are eligible to apply for the Scholars Academy program.

“Being in direct proximity to countless resources and opportunities at SOU will make higher education more tangible and purposeful for our students,” said LOGOS art teacher Allen Smith.

SOU offers a variety of options for students who wish to earn college credits while still in high school, including the Advanced Southern Credit program, in which about 1,500 students simultaneously earn high school and college credits for approved advanced placement coursework.

“We want to give qualified, college-ready students every opportunity be challenged and learn at a high level, regardless of their age,” said Rachel Jones, director of pre-college and youth programs at SOU. “We hope for a long and productive relationship with LOGOS.”

Informational meetings for students interested in enrolling in the Scholars Academy program will be offered through the summer by LOGOS staff members. Interested families should contact the charter school (www.logoscharter.com) at (541) 842-3658 or email admin@logoscharter.com.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

 

Activist and former VP candidate Winona LaDuke to speak at SOU commencement

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Winona LaDuke, a prominent Native American environmentalist and activist who twice ran for vice president on a Green Party ticket headed by Ralph Nader, will be the keynote speaker at Southern Oregon University’s June 17 commencement ceremony.

LaDuke, 57, was raised largely in Ashland and her mother – noted Oregon painter Betty LaDuke – was a member of SOU’s art faculty for 32 years.

Winona LaDuke currently lives on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota and is the executive director of Honor the Earth (HtE), a nonprofit that supports indigenous environmental justice. LaDuke co-founded the organization in 1993 with the folk-rock duo the Indigo Girls.

“Winona LaDuke is an inspiring role model for our graduates, our students and everyone who will be attending commencement,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “She has spent her distinguished career fighting for Native Americans, for women and for those who believe that our future is inextricably bound to the health of our environment.

“It will be an honor to welcome her back to Ashland, where the foundation for her life’s work was built – much like those who will be walking in our commencement ceremony.”

LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to her community. She was named one of Time Magazine’s 50 most promising leaders under the age of 40 in 1994; received the Thomas Merton Award in 1996 for her devotion to justice; and in 1998 she shared the Ms. Magazine Women of the Year award with the Indigo Girls.

She received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and her master’s degree in community economic development from Antioch University. She became a high school principal on the White Earth reservation, where she became active in Native American and women’s issues. She helped found the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985, and four years later established the White Earth Land Recovery Project, which has bought back more than 1,200 acres of former reservation land from non-Natives and held it in a conservation trust for the Anishinaabe Tribe.

Her Honor the Earth organization played an active role in the year-long Dakota Access Pipeline protests, which ended in February when National Guard troops cleared protesters from the site.

SOU has attracted noteworthy speakers to its summer commencement ceremony in recent years, and most have had close connections to the university.

Last year’s commencement speaker was Harry “Doc” Kloor, an SOU alumnus who is the first and only person to earn two doctorate degrees simultaneously. Kloor – a writer, scientist and national technology policy advisor – earned doctorates in physics and chemistry from Purdue University.

In 2015, SOU’s commencement address was given by then-University of Oregon football coach Mark Helfrich, who is also an SOU alumnus. He was replaced as the Ducks’ coach after his team had a 4-8 season last fall.

This year’s commencement ceremony – SOU’s 91st – will begin at 9 a.m. at Raider Stadium.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU to showcase innovation at annual SOAR conference

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(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon Arts & Research conference – an annual showcase of Southern Oregon University talents, interests and innovations – will begin Tuesday, May 16, and continue through Friday, May 19. The 10th annual event will feature a variety of presentations and performances by more than 600 students, faculty and staff from throughout campus.

SOAR presentations – which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from 20-minute demonstrations or performances to four-day exhibitions – seek to capture SOU’s unique and inclusive spirit. This year’s topics range from microbiology to European travels, from cryonics to infection prevention, and from a pollinator walk to an Honors College trivia competition. SOU student-athletes will demonstrate skills such as shooting a basketball and getting out of the starting blocks in a sprint. There will even be a Quidditch tournament – a magical competitive sport from the world of Harry Potter.

A total of 123 demonstrations, exhibitions, performances, poster exhibits and symposia are listed on the SOAR schedule website.

All SOAR events are free and open to the public. Those who are attending SOAR events may park for free in SOU’s Mountain Street parking lot.

More information is available on the SOAR website.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.

Top high school students use SOU program to get a big jump on college

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(Ashland, Ore.) — One student at St. Mary’s School in Medford will be two-thirds of the way through her sophomore year at Southern Oregon University when she receives her high school diploma next month. One of her St. Mary’s classmates will be almost halfway through his sophomore year at SOU.

Another high-achiever – from Phoenix High School – will be just over halfway through his second year in college when he wears his high school cap-and-gown.

They are the top three college credit-earners among about 1,500 students from at least 22 high schools in Oregon, California and Nevada currently participating in SOU’s Advanced Southern Credit program. Students in the ASC program can simultaneously earn high school and college credits for approved advanced placement coursework.

The two St. Mary’s students have accumulated 74 and 62 credits, respectively. The Phoenix High student accrued 68 college credits at SOU during his high school career. Nearly 600 high school students will graduate this year with at least eight ASC credits.

(NOTE: This year’s three high school graduates with the most credits through SOU’s program can be made available for media interviews.)

“The (college) credits are transferrable to all public universities in Oregon and to most public and private universities nationwide,” said Stephanie Butler, SOU’s pre-college youth programs coordinator.

Butler points out that about 30 percent of students who take part in the ASC program wind up graduating from SOU – even if they try other college campuses immediately out of high school.

Advanced Southern Credit, which is in its 36th year, is one of three state-accredited, dual-credit programs in Oregon. Portland State University and Oregon Institute of Technology offer similar programs.

Teachers with master’s degrees or higher from participating high schools may submit ASC course proposals to appropriate academic department chairs at SOU. Teachers of approved courses must then undergo periodic professional development training at the university. The high schools receive 14 percent rebates on their students’ tuition payments for ASC classes, to help with the cost of teacher training and to reinvest in the program.

Students pay sharply reduced tuition for ASC courses – currently $41 per credit, or $164 for a four-credit course. By comparison, enrolled full-time students at SOU paid $1,084.64 in tuition and fees during the 2016-17 academic year for four-credit courses. A waiver option – primarily for students who qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price lunch program – can drop the price of ASC courses to $5 per college credit.

St. Mary’s School offers the most ASC courses – 39 – of the participating schools, while North Medford High School offers 34 courses, Ashland High School offers 24 and Phoenix High offers 22. The most-distant participating school is Rancho High School in Las Vegas, which offers three ASC courses.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

State commission approves SOU tuition rate

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission acknowledged Southern Oregon University’s collaboration, momentum and attention to the overall best interests of students by voting today to accept 2017-18 tuition rates adopted last month by the SOU Board of Trustees.

“I truly appreciate the ability of HECC members to grasp the nuances of our recent budget- and tuition-setting process, and to understand the swell of energy and passion on our campus,” said SOU President Linda Schott, who was in Salem to present the university’s tuition plan to commissioners.

HECC members approved the 12 percent tuition increase that SOU’s Board of Trustees unanimously adopted on April 21. The HECC vote finalizes a months-long process by students, staff, faculty members and others to work collaboratively through a budget cycle that was deeply affected by the state’s $1.4 to $1.6 billion funding shortfall.

The HECC must approve tuition increases above 5 percent for any of the state’s seven public universities. Gov. Kate Brown laid out strict criteria that the universities had to meet this year as justification for increases over 5 percent, and the commission approved rates today for SOU, OIT and WOU. Tuition rates for PSU and UO did not receive sufficient votes for approval, and OSU and EOU did not require HECC approval for tuition increases below 5 percent.

SOU’s tuition has risen by an average of 2.5 percent annually over the past four years, and the university currently operates on less revenue than any other public university in Oregon, on a per-student basis. SOU’s tuition increase will result in an additional $18.17 per credit hour for SOU students who are Oregon residents, and similar increases for non-residents.

Students from various universities dominated the public comment session at Thursday’s HECC meeting. Some opposed their universities’ tuition increases and others spoke in favor of the rates, recognizing that deep cuts in programs would cause more damage than higher tuition.

President Schott acknowledged that SOU’s increase will cause difficulties for some students, and said the university has tried to address some of those concerns by offsetting the tuition increase with $500,000 in additional institutional aid for students least able to afford the increased cost. The university will also expand efforts to steer eligible students toward cost-saving options such as programs that allow students to graduate in three years instead of four.

“There is little to celebrate in today’s vote,” Schott said. “We have heard our students – those who have spoken against the tuition increase and those who have reluctantly acknowledged that it is the lesser of two evils. This tuition rate enables us to continue planning an efficient, innovative and successful future for SOU, its students and our community.”

SOU has made $14 million in cuts over the past three years as part of its retrenchment process. Any additional cuts would significantly erode the university’s academic and student support programs.

Tuition at SOU will remain among the lowest of Oregon’s seven public universities. The overall cost of attendance – a combination of tuition, student fees and housing – will go up by about 5.8 percent.

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About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

Trans-species psychologist to lecture at SOU on animals’ personal lives

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s “Shapes of Curiosity” lecture series will take a walk on the wild side when trans-species psychologist G.A. Bradshaw discusses “The World Through the Eyes of Our Carnivore Kin” on Thursday evening, May 11, at the Hannon Library.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in the library’s Meese Room (room 305).

Bradshaw will offer glimpses behind the scenes in the lives of creatures often considered fearsome: grizzly bears, cougars, orcas, rattlesnakes and others. Her discovery of post-traumatic stress disorder in free-living elephants launched the field of trans-species psychology.

Bradshaw is the founder and executive director of the Kerulos Center in Jacksonville – a nonprofit organization made up of faculty members and professional advisors from various disciplines who work from around the world to improve animals’ lives through understanding and service. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member in psychology at SOU.

She holds doctoral degrees in forest ecology from Oregon State University and in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She earned a master’s degree in geophysics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics (Chinese) from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Bradshaw has published, taught and lectured internationally in both of her doctoral fields. Her work focuses on the psychological well-being of animals and multi-species cultures, and she has researched the effects of violence and trauma recovery on elephants, grizzly bears, chimpanzees, parrots and other species in captivity.

She is the author of “Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in academic journals such as Nature and American Scientist, and in popular magazines such as Time, Forbes and National Geographic.

The presentation is part of this year’s SOU campus theme, Shapes of Curiosity. The lecture series creates opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in intellectually stimulating conversations. For information about the Shapes of Curiosity, contact SOU foreign language professor Dan Morris (morris@sou.edu), who is co-director of the campus theme program.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.

Hospital CEO to join SOU Board of Trustees

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Sheila Clough, the chief executive officer of Asante Ashland Community Hospital, has been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to fill the 15th seat on the Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees and was confirmed today by the Oregon Senate.

Clough has served as CEO of the Ashland hospital for the past 3 ½ years and has held management positions in health care for 25 years. In seeking appointment to the SOU board, she cited the academic and economic benefits that the university provides.

“As a resident of Ashland and the CEO of a critical community service provider and prominent employer in the area, I have a vested interest in the long-term sustainability of SOU,” Clough said. “I am honored by my appointment to this volunteer board and look forward to supporting the strategies and vision that will ensure the university’s continued success.”

Clough joined Asante in September 2013 as CEO of Asante Ashland Community Hospital and led the hospital’s integration into the Asante system and its financial turnaround. The recovery plan she implemented resulted in an $8 million turnaround for the hospital from 2013 through 2016. Patient satisfaction at the hospital improved from the 50th percentile in 2013 to better than the 80th percentile in 2016, and the hospital’s employee engagement ranking went from the 7th percentile to the 91st percentile over the same period.

“The board welcomes Sheila Clough, whose accomplishments at Asante and leadership role in the community, we believe, are indicative of what she will bring to the table,” said Bill Thorndike, chair of the SOU Board of Trustees. “Sheila understands the complementary roles of a governing board and the executive team that operate an institution such as SOU. Her expertise in health care will broaden the board’s perspective and her business knowledge will be invaluable.”

Prior to joining Asante, Clough served in a progression of leadership roles from 1998 through 2013 with Ministry Howard Young Health Care in Woodruff, Wisconsin, eventually rising to the role of president and chief operating officer. Howard Young operated an acute care hospital, a critical access hospital and an assisted living facility.

Clough earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the University of Minnesota and an MBA for health care executives from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and in 2014 passed the organization’s board examination to be named a fellow of the college.

She is an active member of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Lithia Springs Rotary Club, and she has developed a new partnership with Ashland High School to focus students’ attention on the possibility of careers in health care.

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About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU Student Health and Wellness Center granted three-year accreditation

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Student Health and Wellness Center has been re-accredited by the largest certifying agency in the U.S. for student health centers and other ambulatory health organizations.

The three-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care differentiates SOU’s medical and mental health center from other outpatient facilities by certifying that it meets the criteria for high-quality patient care that is laid out in an independent evaluation process. The SOU Student Health and Wellness Center last received accreditation in 2014.

“We believe our patients and clients deserve the best,” said Anna D’Amato, executive director of the SOU center. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC – an independent, not-for-profit organization – has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we, as an organization, care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

The accrediting agency sets nationally recognized standards for quality medical and mental health care, and accredits more than 6,000 ambulatory health care facilities and organizations – from student health centers to ambulatory surgery centers to medical and dental group practices.

Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation, and not all that undergo the rigorous process achieve certification. The process includes an extensive self-assessment and an on-site survey by AAAHC experts – physicians, nurses and others actively involved in ambulatory health care.

The SOU Student Health and Wellness Center’s mission is to promote optimal health and well-being for students through quality educational, primary medical, mental health and health promotion services. The center’s services are confidential, convenient and economical, and facilitates students’ unique healing and learning processes. Its staff of doctors, nurse practitioners, counselors, nurses, health educator, medical assistant, lab/dispensary tech and administrative and support staff see thousands of students annually.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

Fire ecologist to speak at SOU about community resilience to fire

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(Ashland, Ore.) — University of Washington fire ecologist Susan Prichard will discuss the need to include managed fire as a tool to ease the threat of catastrophic wildfires in a presentation on Thursday, May 4, in the Southern Oregon University Science Auditorium.

Her talk, “Becoming Fire Adapted: Community & Ecosystem Resilience to Fire,” will be hosted by SOU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program. Other sponsors of the event include the Ashland Forest Resiliency partners, the Fire Learning Network, Lomakatsi Restoration, the City of Ashland, the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service. The event is free and open to the public.

Those who attend Thursday’s presentation, which will begin with a half-hour reception at 7 p.m., will see equipment used in controlled burns and learn how fire-adapted communities are making their neighborhoods more fire resistant.

Prichard, who earned her doctorate in ecosystem science at the University of Washington, works with the Forest Service’s Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory in Seattle and lives in Washington’s Methow Valley, which has experienced large fires, pervasive smoke and property losses in recent summers.

She says that Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest regularly burned portions of their lands as recently as 150 years ago to improve safety, food production and forage for deer and elk. Prichard maintains that today’s communities need to embrace manageable fires – and put up with the smoke they produce – as they seek to avoid huge, uncontrollable wildfires.

In addition to her duties with the Forest Service wildfire laboratory, Prichard has served since 2003 as a research scientist with UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. She served as a research assistant for the five years prior to that with the university’s College of Forest Resources.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.