OSU Extension Blogs


Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 1:37pm

Recently, I read a Washington Post article on innovation. The WP  interviewed Calestous Juma (see below), author of the July, 2016 book, “Innovation and Its Enemies:Why People Resist New Technologies.” The book was published by Oxford University Press (prestigious, to be sure). Priced at $29.95 plus an estimated s/h of $5.50, it sounds like a good purchase.  There is quite a bit of information about the book and the author on the Oxford University Press site.  This prompted me to think about what has changed in evaluation (not just technology) over the last 30+ years. First, though, I want to talk about the article.

Article by Juma.

Calestous Juma (Courtesy of Harvard)

Juma says that “people don’t fear innovation simply because the technology is new, but because innovation often means losing a piece of their identity or lifestyle.” He goes on to say that “Innovation can also separate people from nature or their sense of purpose.” He argues that these two things are fundamental to the humon experience. I have talked about sense of purpose previously. I wonder if nature is part of purpose or if a sense of purpose comes from a person’s nature?

One’s temperament or one’s nature?

I think the later since the person’s temperament (nature)  is hard wired at birth at least according to Stella Chess , Alexander Thomas , and Herbert G. Birch .

Chess, Thomas, and Birch* describe the individual with three patterns:

  • Easy: Children have a positive mood and are adaptable; they are moderate in activity and intensity and are interested in new things;
  • Difficult: Children with a negative mood and are intense and low in adaptability;
  • Slow to warm up: Children who do not adapt well to change, withdraw in new settings, and are shy, although they adapt well if given time.

They attribute about 40% of individuals as “easy”, 10% as “difficult” and 15% as “slow to warm up”. We will not be concerned with the remaining 35% of individuals as they have a mix of traits and do not fall into one of these three groups. The 25% (difficult and slow to warm up) are what are applicable to Juma’s premise. They find change hard (low adaptability or slow to adapt). These individuals are not the change agents, not the early adapters. They are the individuals that Juma says that “innovation…means loosing a piece of their identity or lifestyle”.  The new technology is interesting and not for them. Because I can certainly identify–the phrase “kicking and screaming” comes to mind–change is hard.

Change is hard.

This approach certainly applies to evaluation.  I introduced the concept of “systems” and “systems thinking” at the presidential plenary when I was AEA president; I got a lot of flack. Yes, I presented the concept in simple terms (did I intuit what Juma would write about?); yes, I did not expand on the complexity of the concept (systems is very complex). Today, there is a Topical Interest Group (TIG) on this topic. (If you enter “systems” in the AEA search box, it will return over 9,000 individual posts.) Bob Williams has written much on this topic; I would call him an early adapter.

There is a lot more I can say about evaluation and will in the coming weeks.

my .



Chess, S., Thomas, A., & Birch, H. G. (1965). Your child is a person. NY, NY: The Viking Press.

The post Innovation appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSG’s Sam Chan off to Washington, D.C.

Breaking Waves - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 4:22pm

Sam Chan, Oregon Sea Grant’s Extension watersheds and aquatic invasive species specialist, is headed to Washington, D.C. for a one-year assignment as National Extension Program Lead with the NOAA Sea Grant office.

He starts there July 18, but is driving from Oregon to the East Coast with stops to visit several Great Lakes Sea Grant programs and to deliver the keynote address at the National Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products.

In Chan’s absence, Tania Siemens will handle invasive species outreach and education for Oregon Sea Grant.

The post OSG’s Sam Chan off to Washington, D.C. appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

“Shop at the Dock” for fresh seafood, fisheries education

Breaking Waves - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 9:59am

NEWPORT – What started as an experiment to help bring new customers to fishermen who sold seafood off their vessels has quickly become a favorite summer activity for a growing number of locals and visitors in Newport.

Sponsored and run by Oregon Sea Grant in partnership with the Port of Newport, “Shop on the Dock” is entering its third summer of offering free, guided educational tours of Newport’s commercial fishing docks. Shoppers learn a bit about the fisheries, meet the people who catch the fish, and have an opportunity to buy the freshest salmon, tuna, halibut and crab, usually at prices lower than they’d find at their local supermarkets.

This summer will see more walks spread over two months – July 15, 22 and 29, and Aug. 5, 12 and 19 – and having multiple walks (at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.) each date.

“It’s like going down to the docks with a friend who knows the seafood – and knows the fishermen,” said Kaety Jacobson, Sea Grant’s Newport-based Extension fisheries specialist, who runs the program. “We make it easy for people.”

Learn more:

The post “Shop at the Dock” for fresh seafood, fisheries education appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 1:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!


endless pasta


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 1:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.


Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 9:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs