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2013 Research Stimulus Program awards announced
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: December 16, 2013

The PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions and Research and Strategic Partnerships this month awarded 10 Research Stimulus grants of up to $5,000 to individual Portland State researchers and research teams working to advance sustainability. 

Grants from the Research Stimulus Program are designed to help advance research at PSU by supporting efforts to develop and prepare proposals for external funding. Priority was given to research projects focused on urban sustainability, ecosystem services, and social determinants of health, the core areas of research focus supported by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS).

The types of activities that will be supported by the stimulus grants include support to hire a writer or a student to assist with grant preparation support for preliminary data collection, or release time for faculty to write a research proposal. 

“These stimulus awards will position PSU researchers for success in garnering external funding that will continue to raise the profile of the University as a place for innovative and relevant research that addresses the issues of sustainability,” said Jennifer Allen, ISS director and associate professor of public administration. 

The following projects and research teams received a stimulus award: 

Nathan McClintock, assistant professor of urban studies and planning, received an award to support a research proposal studying urban agriculture in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver for a project called Cultivating Cascadia. 

Robert Scheller, professor of environmental science, is leading a team from the School of the Environment that includes Melissa Lucash, research faculty; and Max Nielsen-Pincus, assistant professor. Their research will examine tradeoffs in forest and resource management in eastern Oregon and the effects of disturbances and climate change. 

Jennifer Morse, professor of environmental science, is leading a team that includes researchers from the University of Maryland and State University of New York, New Paltz. They are studying the planted bioswales that are cropping up across the country as a green approach to stormwater management. The team will monitor bioswales in Portland and Baltimore for their nitrogen removal potential.

Angela Strecker, assistant professor of environmental science, is leading a team that includes John Reuter, professor of environmental science; Heejun Chang, professor of geography; Yangdong Pan, professor of environmental science; and Eugene Foster, watershed management manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The team will study ecosystem functions of Upper Klamath Lake and consider the implications of climate change and water management practices. 

Sybil Kelley, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy, is leading a team that includes Dilafruz Williams, professor of educational leadership and policy; and Cary Sneider, associate research professor in the Center for Science Education. The team is working on several grants that support the development of science and environmental literacy curriculum that is crucial to a sustainable future. 

Kelly Gonzales, assistant professor in the Center for Public Health Studies, is leading a team that includes Alma Trinidad, assistant professor in the School of Social Work; a researcher from the University of Colorado; and Laurel Bentley, health services development administrator for the Multnomah County Health Department. The team will study the obesity risk for Native American youth living in Portland, part of the broader spectrum of health disparity research at Portland State. 

Sergio Palleroni, professor of architecture and founding director of the Center for Public Interest Design, is working with B.D. Wortham Galvin, assistant professor; and Todd Ferry, research associate, both of the School of Architecture. Working under the auspices of the Center for Public Interest Design, the team is pursuing a grant to support research on the health issues associated with public housing. 

Todd Rosenstiel, assistant professor of biology and director of the Center for Life in Extreme Environments, is leading a team that includes Olyssa Starry, assistant professor of urban ecology; and David Sailor, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Green Building Research Lab. The team will investigate the performance of different types of plants used in green roof installations in the Pacific Northwest. 

Catherine de Rivera, professor of environmental science, is working with Angela Strecker, assistant professor of environmental science, on a proposal for undergraduate research on biological invasions. The target grant would train undergraduate students to collect data about non-native species and their effects on the ecosystem. 

Dawn M. Richardson, assistant professor of community health, is leading a team that includes Lynne Messer, also an assistant professor of community healthy; and Ginny Garcia-Alexander, assistant professor of sociology. The team will study racial and ethnic discrimination as a risk factor for disparities in birth outcomes.  

The awards were announced this month and funds are available immediately.