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MPP students and faculty engage in interdisciplinary research teams that include scientists from a full range of relevant disciplines on pressing policy issues to address the most pressing concerns of the 21st century such as water conflict in a globalized economy, educational reform in the face of shrinking public resources, and the implementation of increasingly contentious technologies such as genetically modified crops, nanotechnology, sustainable rural communities, and renewable energy. 

There are many research opportunities for MPP students at OSU through our Sun Grant, Sea GrantLand Grant and Space Grant programs and through various research institutes including the Institute for Natural Resources, the Institute for Water and Watersheds, the Rural Studies Program, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, and many other opportunities.

Public Policy faculty and students have the opportunity to present their research in the Public Policy Research Colloquium each quarter and to participate in the Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory.  

Many MPP students have participated in joint interdisciplinary research projects funded by grants. Recent examples include:


  • Current MPP graduate student and long-time American Fisheries Society member Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey recently helped craft a legislative briefing paper on the impacts of suction dredge mining on Oregon's fishes and aquatic habitats. He met with several key legislators to discuss the findings and the society's recommendations to help further minimize risk to fishes and habitats. The paper was read into testimony in a hearing last week and was partly responsible for helping the bill move out of committee (link to Oregonian article). Jeremiah will continue meeting with legislators and testifying at hearings as various suction dredge mining bills move through the Oregon legislature this session.
  • A joint Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory and OSU Rural Studies Program research project led to the reauthorization and expansion of the nation's first Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program by the Oregon State Legislature in 2013. The purpose of the program is to defer property taxes and allow qualified seniors and the disabled to stay in their homes. MPP student Conor Wall and Professors Bruce Weber and Brent S. Steel presented the results of the Oregon Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Study to the Oregon House of Representatives Revenue Committee and Oregon Senate Revenue Committee on March 22, 2013. 
  • MPP students Charles Lanfear and Sarah Cline contributed to an upcoming publication: Akins, Scott, Charles Lanfear, Sarah Cline and Clay Mosher. Forthcoming. "Patterns and Correlates of Adult American Indian Substance Use," Journal of Drug Issues.
  • MPP students Matt Getchell and Darryl McGie are conducting research on adopting a "smart grid" in Oregon funded by a grant from the Oregon Department of Energy
  • MPP student Alethia Miller contributed to the HB 4058 Textbook Affordability Report to the Oregon Legislature
  • Rachel Erstad presented her paper "Friending and Following:  Social Networking's Impact on Social Movements" at the 2012 Global Studies Conference in Victoria, B.C.
  • Carlos Algara presented his paper "Irrational Fear or Cause for Concern? The Effects of Hispanic Immigration on Violent Crime Rates in Tucson, Arizona" at the 2012 Pacific Sociological Meetings in San Diego, CA.
  • Second year MPP student Chrysanthemum Mattison attended the 37th annual Association for Education Finance and Policy conference in Boston, MA March 15-17, 2012 where she presented original research on voluntary contributions to California K-12 public schools. Among the 500 attendees were experts in the policy and education finance field along with policymakers, academics from around the world, graduate students, and K-12 and Higher Education professionals.
  • Suman Pant gave her paper "Trekkers and the Prints they Leave in the Himalayas: Tourism Impacting the sanitation of Local Communities" at the 2012 International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • MPP students Misty Freeman and Emily Wornell recently presented their report "Child Abuse and Neglect in Klamath County, Oregon: A Birds-eye View of Service Provision and Community Partner Relationships" to Klamath-Lake CARES.
  • Hillary Fishler presented her research "Watershed Investment Programs in the American West: A Survey of Water Utilities" at the 2011 Healthy Headwaters Working Group Meeting in Seattle, Washington.
  • MPP alum Emily Kearney recently published a report for USAID titled "Evaluation SOWs: Good Practice Examples"  ( Emily is Editor at Management Systems International, in Washington, DC.
  • Breannon Babbel recently published "Young Researchers for Health 2010," a paper she presented at the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research.
  • Suzanne Porter and Mark Edwards, "Newly Poor in the Great Recession: Characteristics of Oregon Households Receiving Food Assistance," Master of Public Policy Whitepaper, September, 2010 [Oregon Public Broadcasting Story].
  • Edwards, Mark Evan, Melissa Torgerson, and Jennifer Sattem, "Paradoxes of Providing Rural Social Services:  The Case of Homeless Youth,"  Rural Sociology 74(2009): 330-355.
  • Tim Inman presented "Maps and Locals (MALs): A Cross-Site Comparative Study of Land-Cover and Land-Use Change with Spatial Analysis and Local Ecological Knowledge: McKenzie Basin, Oregon," to the NSF Principal Investigator’s Meeting. Fairbanks, Alaska,October, 2010.  
  • Corey Crowley-Hall presented a paper at the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Meetings in Spokane, Washington, October, 2010.
  • Sarah Kopp, Kristin Chatfield, Kirsten Winters, and Andres Vaughan worked with students and faculty in Water Resources Policy, Geosciences and Political Science on "Blue Revolution Initiative: Regional Water Management Benchmarking in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Region, USAID/Egypt (2008-2010). They delivered their research at the 2009 American Water Resources Conference in Seattle, November 9, 2009 (picture at top).
  • Yao Yin worked with students and faculty from Sea Grant, Anthropology, Marine Resources Management, Environmental Science and Political Science on “Human Dimensions of Wave Energy,” Oregon Wave Energy Trust (2008-2009).
  • Dawn Marie Gaid, Vince Adams and Yao Yin worked with faculty from Agricultural and Resource Economicsand Political Science on “Changing Federal County Payments Policy and Rural Oregon Counties: Impacts and Options,” The Ford Family Foundation, (2007-2009).


Some additional research projects are listed below as well as final MPP Research Essays.

 Student and Faculty Research Reports

MPP Student Essays




  • Algara, Carlos. "Irrational Fear or Cause for Concern? The Effects of Hispanic Immigration on Crime Rates in Tucson, Arizona"
  • Babbel, Breannon. "Evaluating Equity in the Provision of Primary Health Care in Tanzania"
  • Boyd, Heather. "Examining an Empowerment Framework: A Look at Female Artisans Within a Ghanaian NGO"
  • Croom, Howard. Race/ethnic Differences in Substance Abuse: Examining the Differential Impact of Access to Health Insurance on Drug-related Outcomes"
  • Dickinson, Kelly. "Procurring and Maketing Local Foods in Retail Stores in Oregon and Ontario"
  • Fishler, Hillary. "Evaluating the EWEB Model: Institutional Structure as a Determinant of Public Utility Implementation of a Voluntary Landowner Program"
  • Freeman, Misty. "Unintended Consequences of Cultural Competence: How Tailoring Services to Tribal Children in Klamath County Can Improve the System for Everyone"
  • Gregory, Sarah. "No One Cares What Color the Fire Truck Is: A Case Study of Interagency Cooperation in Fire Management in Central Oregon"
  • Marsubian, Michael. "The Wind Cries 'Maybe': Public Attitudes Toward Renewable Energy and Environmental Tradeoffs in Oregon"  
  • Mattison, Chrysanthemum. "Voluntary Contributions to California Public Schools: Growth, Distribution and Equity" 
  • Moon, Ruby. "Using the IDA Framework to Examine the Relationship Between Regulating Enforcers and the Commercial Trawl Fishery of Lincoln County, Oregon"
  • Nash, Michael. "Assessing Truth in the Information Age: Evidence from Poltifact"
  • Osborne, Megan. "Gender Inequality in Food Insecurity: An Examination of Single Adults Without Children in the United States"
  • Pant, Suman. "Impact of Ecotourism on the Sanitation of Local Communities in Nepal"
  • Porsche, Kate. "Urban Renewal in Albany, Oregon:  A Decennial Inspection of the Central Albany Revitalization Area"
  • Reeves, Zachary. "Factors Influencing Support for Salmon Recovery Policies in Oregon"
  • Rubenstrunk, Becky. "Assessing Contention: Nuclear Waste Management Activism in the U.S. and Canada"
  • Sorce, Evan. "Looking at the Relationship Between Household Electricity Consumption and Annual Household Income Using an Agent-Based Integrated Framework"
  • Vandeventer, Alexia. "Factors Influencing Residential Risk Perception in Fire-Prone Landscapes"
  • Wang, Hua. "Assessing Green Securities Policy in China:  An Examination of Environmental Disclosure of the Listed Companies in Highly Polluting Industries"
  • Wornell, Emily. "Networks and Relationships: Differences in State-Level Child Abuse and Neglect Policy Implementation in Multnomah and Klamath Counties, Oregon"
  • Young, Ryan "Income Inequality and Public Expenditure on Non-Compulsory Education in Western Europe from 1999-2010"