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Ecosystem Services

Class hits the road in study of Northwest Superfund sites

This spring Melanie Malone, Diana Denham and Mary Ann Rozance, PhD students from PSU's IGERT program—a National Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary program focused on studying ecosystem services for urbanizing regions—offered a unique interdisciplinary course on urban rivers.

VIDEO: Putting technology to work to monitor environmental restoration

Drones have a growing and sometimes dubious reputation, but a new research project is putting drones to work to add more muscle behind environmental restoration policy.

Community forestry in Nepal—Highlights from the field

Last March, an ISS-supported international team from Portland State went to Nepal to study community forest management. Community forestry has been very successful in curbing deforestation and protecting forest ecosystem services, and we wanted to learn more about its history, its future trajectory, and the governance structures that will guide its future. 

Health and the outdoors

The science is increasingly clear—the more exposure we have to the outdoors, the happier and healthier our lives are.

Teaming up on weeds

What if the best approach for fighting the growing problem of herbicide-resistant weeds wasn’t born in the lab, but over a cup of coffee? 

David Ervin, PSU professor emeritus of environmental science and economics and senior fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, was in Washington, D.C., this month talking about community-based approaches to battling herbicide-resistant weeds. 

Students uncover tale of landscape transformation on Oregon coast

The Astoria of today is a quirky tourist town perched along Oregon’s northernmost coastline. But it was once a booming center of industry. Mary Ann Rozance, along with a team of fellow students in the interdisciplinary National Science Foundation IGERT Ph.D. program at Portland State, set out to learn why the canning industry in the area went bust. What they found is a story of politically charged landscape alteration.

Infographic: Portland Trees and Health

Last month, Portland State's inderdisciplinary Trees and Health team published research in the academic journal Environmental Pollution illustrating the clear link between a city's trees and the health of its citizens.

Locally grown, from the forest

Much attention is given to local foods and goods in Oregon, and that extends to the products we get from the forest. Oregon certainly has a long tradition of providing lumber, both within the state and around the world, but Oregon forests provide a host of other marketable goods and services worth exploring. 

Reconnecting nature and human health

When hiking in the gorge or swimming in one of Oregon’s many rivers, the connection between human health and nature seems intuitive. Nature gives us a place to get out, to roam, to sweat, to be calm—all things that tend to have a positive impact on our wellbeing, and, perhaps more importantly, can help keep us out of doctors’ offices and hospitals.  

Consider the many layers of ecosystem services

The concept of ecosystem services is complicated enough to understand all by itself. The average person certainly can grasp why trees make the world more livable and even the role of wetlands as a vital habitat. But what services do these aspects of nature provide and how do we value them?

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