|Bringing the capacities of the Oregon University System to Oregonians through policy research, analysis and evaluation about complex, interdisciplinary natural resource issues.|
Environmental and natural resource decision makers consult scientific information to develop sound solutions to the complex and sometimes contentious policy issues Oregonians face. However, accessing, interpreting, and applying the best available science in order to make informed decisions may be difficult for even the most experienced decision makers.
A main goal of INR’s Policy Research Program is to fill this gap between academic research and policy by offering clear, independent analyses of environmental and natural resource issues to clients such as the Governor’s office, local, tribal, state and federal agencies and legislators, and board and commission members. INR staff act as the crucial bridge between academic researchers, whose work is important to developing solutions to Oregon’s policy issues, and policymakers, who depend on timely access to and synthesis of information.
INR is able to provide its clients state-of-the-knowledge research findings through a variety of techniques and formats. Some issues require the synthesis and analysis of existing information while others require engaging OUS faculty in new research and analysis. Some issues require conducting a policy evaluation while others require reaching out to engage and learn from communities. Often issues require developing collaborative processes among public, private and non-profit organizations. In all cases, responding to the needs of Oregonians and including public participation is paramount.
Having taken on projects as diverse as Oregon is over the past ten years, INR has developed knowledge, expertise, and a collaborative network that will enhance relevance to policymaking over the next decade. Looking to the future, INR seeks not only to respond to issues but also to anticipate natural resource concerns to help policymakers avoid operating in crisis mode.
INR staff strive not only to continue to demonstrate explicitly that our research and communications are policy neutral but also to expand existing policy alternatives even more by looking at issues from new angles, integrating the most up-to-date science and policy research.