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Mistakes

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Fri, 05/13/2016 - 3:11pm

Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them.

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Even after 30+ years of evaluation, I make mistakes . It may be a mistake that occurs in the planning and modeling; it may be a mistake that occurs in the implementation, monitoring, and delivery; or a mistake in data management (qualitative or quantitative); or more than likely, a mistake in the use of the findings.

Probably the biggest mistake I have ever made was making an assumption at the planning stage.

Assumptions are a form of bias that is pervasive in humon; we cannot escape the bias with which we grow up, the bias that come from the various systems we experience daily, the bias we read, see, and hear from the media. Some of those biases are so subtle that we do not know that we are being exposed to them, they just become a part of us as we go about our work, our lives. This is important to recognize. We assume that what worked will always work. We do not take into consideration the changes that have occurred–changes to systems, changes to locale, changes in you. We tend to think that what we see is all of what there is, like the ice berg when we know that the majority of the ice berg is below the water. I’ve been studying bias since the early 1980s. (I did my dissertation on personal and situational bias.) I work hard to NOT make assumptions. I fail miserably. I make assumptions without even knowing it. I wonder how much is a function of my privilege and how much is learned and did I learn it because of my privilege? I do not know. Are my assumptions always a reflection of that learning (and privilege)? Probably.

What was that mistake I made that has stuck with me? One that was based on assumptions I did not clarify? In the planning stage? I assumed that the docs who had agreed to “play” were in charge. They were not. This assumption put me (and the grant from NIDA) way behind. I learned (then at least) to clarify my assumptions. I still work on clarifying my assumptions.

my  .

molly.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

CPHHS Research Seminar

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 05/13/2016 - 2:37pm
Friday, May 13, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

"Epidemiology in Public Health Practice: How to Ask Interesting Questions and Get Answers through Research" Amy D. Sullivan, PhD, MPH, Communicable Disease Services Manager, Multnomah County Health Department. Amy Sullivan's career started as an HIV/AIDS outreach worker in Peace Corps Sierra Leone in the late 1980's. Since then she has worked in multiple countries, and at the federal, state, and local levels in the United States.

She has experience in research and front-line public health. Her current job within Oregon's largest Health Department provides leadership across areas that include disease investigation and response; a fully-developed TB prevention program; specialty clinical services; and immunizations school law.

She has built a flexible and responsive service group: with long term goals and response capabilities. The service group routinely applies quality assurance and improvement practices because they want to find the best ways to serve the community.

At the Departmental level, she supports public health policy work, most recently focusing on Oregon's Public Health Modernization activities

Amy Sullivan's LinkedIn Profile

Don't fail at your first job!

Environment Events - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 2:35pm
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

This is your opportunity to participate in a mentoring event about first job fails. This virtual event allows you to get and give advice through private chat-based conversations.


Register

Weed Watcher Trainings

Forestry Events - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 2:35pm
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Worried about invasive plants and other weeds? Our FREE Weed Watcher workshops will train you to identify the species of most concern now and report them. Meet these plants up close and personal in our Speed Dating round, and take home a free weed id guide. All workshops run from 6-8pm and include a light snack. Please RSVP at www.swcd.net/workshops-education/weed-watchers/ or via Facebook.

Know your Woodland Plants: Plant Identification Walk

Forestry Events - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 2:35pm
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Knowing common native plants as well as some key invasive species is a critical skill for woodland owners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Besides the pleasure you get as an “insider” watching familiar plants develop over the season, being able to recognize plants and knowing something about them can inform you about the site, its value to wildlife and other insights. Recognizing invasive weeds can help you avoid spreading them around, or let you detect new arrivals.

Come join us for a casual evening walk when we will identify common trees, shrubs and other plants we find and talk about their place in the forest. We will also introduce you to several important invasive species to watch out for. Kids welcome. Plant ID books “Trees to Know” and “Shrubs to Know” will be on sale.

If you need directions, call the Benton County Extension office

Registration not required, but RSVP appreciated. Let us know if you want to buy a book too. Come prepared for the weather of the day, remembering the possibility of encountering poison oak.

5 UNDER 5

Environment Events - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 2:36pm
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Leadership Academy Pillar: Professional or Purposeful

 

A panel of five alumni, five years out of school

Find out what you can expect after graduation at “Five Under Five.” This candid discussion will feature five recent graduates from the College of Engineering. Hear how they are using their degrees and get a glimpse into what your future may hold.

The Panelists:

Kyle England, 2014, Civil Engineering

Kyle England is an engineering technician at Devco Engineering where he helps design and create civil site plans and infrastructure for businesses and residential communities within Oregon.  A graduate of Oregon State University, he was involved with ASCE, the Oregon State Volleyball program, and worked as a research assistant at the OSU structural lab, analyzing and applying stresses on concrete bridge beams.  He has passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and is working towards his Professional Engineering license.  Kyle currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

Aaron Sprunger, 2015, Industrial Engineering
Aaron is a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University where he conducts research as part of the Change and Reliable Systems Engineering and Management research group. A graduate of Oregon State University, he was involved in Greek life, the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and undergraduate research. Aaron continues to live in Corvallis and be involved with organizations around campus.

Stephanie McGregor, 2013, Biological Engineering

Stephanie McGregor is an instrument and controls engineer at CH2M where she designs and integrates controls systems. She’s currently starting up a water treatment plant in Davis, CA.  In addition to studying bioengineering, Stephanie was actively involved in athletics during her time at Oregon State. She was a member of the gymnastics team, winning PAC championship titles in 2011 and 2013 , as well as Student Athlete Advisory Committee President her senior year.  Originally from Calgary, Canada Stephanie now lives in Portland, OR where she enjoys biking, hiking and gardening.

Hilary Ely, 2015, Biological Engineering
Hilary Ely is a Life Sciences Applications Development Engineer for HP, Inc. in Corvallis. In this role she leverages her background in bioengineering to develop clinically-relevant microfluidics-based assays for health monitoring and to aid in disease diagnosis at the point-of-care.

Daniel Miller, 2013, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Daniel Miller is a Senior Engineer at Concept Systems. He works on projects in a variety of capacities that include being a primary engineer and providing team support. When working on projects, his work primarily involves custom PC control software, computer vision, and robotics applications. 

Register at osualum.com/engineering5under5

 

Leadership Academy Members DO NOT register through the Leadership Academy Portal for this event, instead register at the link above. Upon verification of your participation following the project, you will receive access to complete a brief survey reflection via the Academy Portal as required for all Academy event. You will receive a credit towards completion of the Academy visible on your account in the Academy Portal.

 

Not a member of the Leadership Academy?  Submit your application today!

(All OSU engineering students in good academic standing are eligible to apply)

Know your Woodland Plants: Plant Identification Walk

Forestry Events - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 2:36pm
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Knowing common native plants as well as some key invasive species is a critical skill for woodland owners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Besides the pleasure you get as an “insider” watching familiar plants develop over the season, being able to recognize plants and knowing something about them can inform you about the site, its value to wildlife and other insights. Recognizing invasive weeds can help you avoid spreading them around, or let you detect new arrivals.

Come join us for a casual evening walk when we will identify common trees, shrubs and other plants we find and talk about their place in the forest. We will also introduce you to several important invasive species to watch out for. Kids welcome. Plant ID books “Trees to Know” and “Shrubs to Know” will be on sale.

If you need directions, call the Benton County Extension office

Registration not required, but RSVP appreciated. Let us know if you want to buy a book too. Come prepared for the weather of the day, remembering the possibility of encountering poison oak.

Spring 2016 Plant Identification Walks

Forestry Events - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 2:34pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Knowing common native plants, as well as some key invasive species, is a critical skill for woodland owners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Recognizing native plants and understanding some of their characteristics can provide valuable information about the site where you find them; you can also use this knowledge to choose plants that enhance wildlife on your property. Recognizing invasive plants can help you in early detection of new arrivals and avoid spreading them around.

This walk will be led by Oregon Master Naturalist and botanist Jeanie Taylor. We will cover common trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in both conifer forest and oak woodland, with a focus on how native plants can be used in woodland management to attract wildlife. Vineyard owner Emily Gladhart will be on hand to talk beneficial insects and share her experience with cultivating native plants on her property. Bring your binoculars; the property is on the Willamette Valley Birding Trail map and nesting season will be in full swing.

**You may also join us after the plant walk for lunch and discussion at the Winter’s Hill tasting room from 12:30 – 1:30pm. Bring a bagged lunch. Optional wine tastings available.

Information for plant walks

Dress for the weather and bring:

·         Plenty of water;

·         A camera or your phone to take pictures of plants;

·         And your favorite plant identification guide.

We will have both Trees to Know and Shrubs to Know available for sale at the walks. If you’d like to purchase a copy, let us know when you register. Space is limited for both of these events. Please register by following this link. If you have any questions, please contact Brandy Saffell (email and phone number below).  

Timber Harvest - Start to Finish

Forestry Events - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 2:34pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

This workshop for woodland owners will cover key aspects of planning and executing a timber sale, both on the business side and in the woods. Topics include:
• Planning your timber sale
• Business and tax aspects to consider prior to timber sale
• Developing your marketing plan
• Selecting the right type of timber sale

Getting it done – hiring the right professionals to harvest and deliver your logs
• Monitoring your timber sale
• Considerations for slash disposal and site preparation
• Accounting and tax options after the logging is done

Instructors: Steve Bowers, Extension Timber Harvesting Specialist and Tammy Cushing, Extension Specialist in Forest Economics, Management and Policy, and Starker Chair in Family and Private Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Please register by April 29. The $20 fee includes workshop materials and lunch. Register online at https://secure.oregonstate.edu/osuext/register/1006

Summer Grape Care

Small Farms Events - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 2:34pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

INSTRUCTOR:  Chris Hubert; Results Partners

Grapes are low maintenance, but need some summer care for health and production – learn what to do and when

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Graduate Leadership Workshop

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 2:34pm
Friday, May 6, 2016 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Interested in learning skills critical for a successful career from a leading Oregon public health expert? Tom Eversole, Public Health Program Manager in the Department of Health and Human Services for Yamhill County, will be leading a professional development workshop to help you thrive in your career.

Friday, May 6
1–4 p.m.
4–5 p.m. social/networking hour
Hallie Ford Center, 115

RSVP required as space is limited.

Focus Groups–Again

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 12:59pm

Focus groups  are a wonderful data gathering collection methodology. Not only are there different skills to learn for interviewing, analysis gives you the opportunity to explore qualitative data analysis. (It is all related after all.)

Now, I will confess that I’ve only ordered the 5th edition of the Krueger and Casey book (I don’t have it). I’m eager to see what is new. So I’ll settle for the 4th edition and try and regale you with information you may not know. (I will talk in a future post about the ways virtual focus groups are envisioned.)

Focus group describes (although sometimes incorrectly) a variety of group processes. Krueger and Casey give the reader a sense of to what to pay attention and to what is based on faulty data. So starting at the beginning, let’s look at an overview of what exactly is a focus group.

Groups are experiences that affect the individual throughout life and are used for planning, decision making, advising, learning, sharing, self-help, problem solving, among others. Yet group membership often leaves the individual unfulfilled, as time wasted. Krueger and Casey (abbreviated KC henceforth) as  say that this failure of group activity is probably due to “unclear purpose and inappropriate process”.

Purpose is critical. Unless the purpose is clear at the outset, the group remains vague and unfocused, the participants confused or frustrated. The purpose is different for different types of groups, such as evaluative, marketing, political, etc.  The other half of the above equation is process. If the leader doesn’t have the group process skills necessary to guide the group, the purpose may not be made clear because the direction is flawed. KC indicate the group process skills needed for one type of group may not work for another.

Focus groups provide the opportunity to gather information in the form of opinions, to listen to those opinions non-judgmentally, and to attempt to understand how people think about an issue, product, or service.

Participants are there because they all share similar characteristics, for example, they are all employed full time outside the home. They typically do not know each other, or know each other only in passing. The participants are not pressured to come to consensus.  (Focus groups are not an example of nominal group technique as solutions are not sought nor ranked.) There is more than one group conducted so that trends and patterns can be collected. Then those comments (trends and patterns) are systematically analyzed.

Focus groups are a carefully planned series of discussions where (hopefully) the participants enjoy sharing ideas and perceptions.

my .

molly.

The post Focus Groups–Again appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Science Pub takes on coral reef decline

Breaking Waves - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 8:00am

CORVALLIS – Research on the worldwide decline in coral reefs will take center stage at the Corvallis Science Pub on Monday, May 9.

Rebecca Vega-Thurber investigates the microbial ecology of reefs in the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Pacific and will describe what she has learned about how microbes influence reef health.

“Coral species differ in their susceptibility to bleaching and disease, but these differences are only partially explained by the evolutionary history of corals,” said Vega-Thurber, an assistant professor of microbiology at Oregon State University.

Science Pub is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Learn more:

The post Science Pub takes on coral reef decline appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Science Pub takes on coral reef decline

Sea Grant - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 8:00am

CORVALLIS – Research on the worldwide decline in coral reefs will take center stage at the Corvallis Science Pub on Monday, May 9.

Rebecca Vega-Thurber investigates the microbial ecology of reefs in the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Pacific and will describe what she has learned about how microbes influence reef health.

“Coral species differ in their susceptibility to bleaching and disease, but these differences are only partially explained by the evolutionary history of corals,” said Vega-Thurber, an assistant professor of microbiology at Oregon State University.

Science Pub is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Learn more:

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

NW Wood-Based Biofuels + Co-Products

Forestry Events - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 2:36pm
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 (all day event)
For more information, http://ow.ly/10gN3S

Weed Watcher Trainings

Forestry Events - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 2:36pm
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Worried about invasive plants and other weeds? Our FREE Weed Watcher workshops will train you to identify the species of most concern now and report them. Meet these plants up close and personal in our Speed Dating round, and take home a free weed id guide. All workshops run from 6-8pm and include a light snack. Please RSVP at www.swcd.net/workshops-education/weed-watchers/ or via Facebook.

Swiss Needle Cast Spring Field Tour

Forestry Events - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 2:37pm
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

The SNCC Spring Field trip is open to everyone!  Bring your own lunch, but we will provide some snacks and drinks.  This year we focus on Swiss needle cast research with a drive through Tillamook, and visit to Cascade Head Experimental Forest, a USFS PNW Research Station managed experimental forest.  BUT, we start with a visit to Stimson ground where we will visit a tree farm with unusual amounts of black stain root disease mortality.  

7:30 AM.  Meet in Corvallis, at the west side of Richardson Hall in the shared lot with USFS.  Drive to Gaston to the Stimson Office and Mill Site. 49800 SW Scoggins Valley Road, Gaston, OR 97119.  The 2-story building by the second mill entrance is where you want to head.   Come to the office parking, or if needed park to the right near the front gate.  We’ll have a rig with coffee in the Parking lot.

Methodology 2: Focus groups

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:30am

Previously, I talked about Survey’s (even though I posted it April 27, 2016). Today, I’ll collect all the posts about focus groups and add a bit more.

2010/01/05 Talks about the type of questions to use in a Focus Group

2010/01/27 One of three topics mentioned

2010/09/09 Talks about focus groups in terms of analyzing a conversation

2011/05/31 Talks about focus groups in the context of sampling

2011/06/23 Mentions Krueger, my go to

2013/11/15 Mentions focus groups

2014/10/23  Mentions focus groups and an individual with information

2015/02/11 Mentions focus groups…

2015/05/08 Virtual focus groups

Discovery

Although focus groups are a mentioned throughout many of my posts, there are few that are exclusively devoted to focus groups. That surprises me. I need to talk more about focus groups. I especially need to talk about what I found when I did the virtual focus groups, more than with the specific post. From the interest at AEA last year, there needs to be much discussion.

So OK. More about focus groups.

Although Dick  Krueger  is my go to reference for focus groups (I studied with him, after all), there are other books on focus groups. (I just discovered that Krueger and Casey have also revised and published a 5th edition.)

The others for example (in no particular order),

  1. Stewart, D. W. & Shamadasani, P. N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. There is a 3rd edition of this book available
  2. Morgan, D. L. (ed.) (1993). Successful focus groups: Advancing the state of the art. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  3. Greenbaum, T. L. (2000). Moderating focus groups. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  4. Greenbaum, T. L. (2nd edition). (1998). The handbook for focus group research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  5. Carey, M. A. & Asbury, J-E. (2012). Focus group research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc.

Plus many others that are published by Sage, available from Amazon, and others. I think you can find one that works for you.

Mary Marczak and Meg Sewell have an introduction to focus groups here (it is shorter that reading the book by Krueger and Casey).

I think it is important to remember that focus groups:

  1. Yield qualitative data;
  2. Are used in evaluation (just not in a pre-post sense);
  3. Are a GROUP activity of people who are typically unfamiliar with each other.

Next time: More on focus groups.

my .

molly.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oregon Sea Grant publication wins Silver Award of Distinction

Breaking Waves - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 9:00am

Oregon Sea Grant has won a Silver Award of Distinction in the 2016 Communicator Awards competition, for its field guide Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch: Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris in the Eastern Pacific.

According to the Communicator Awards’ website, the competition is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, “an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.” The competition, which receives “over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes,” honors work that “transcends innovation and craft – work that made a lasting impact.”

The Award of Distinction is presented for “projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.”

You can download a free PDF or order printed copies of Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch here.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

MATE ROV competition in North Bend this weekend

Breaking Waves - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 8:00am

NORTH BEND – Forty-three teams of elementary, middle school, high school and college students from across Oregon descend on the North Bend Community Pool and North Bend High Schoolthis Saturday, April 30, to try out their hand-built underwater robots in the Oregon regional section of the annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle competition.

The event, which is open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

The Oregon competition is one of 24 regional contests held around the world under the coordination of the MATE Center. Top teams from upper level divisions will earn an opportunity to compete in MATE’s 15th annual international ROV competition June 23-25 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in scientific research and exploration in the deep ocean and outer space. Students will pilot their RVs through missions designed to meet NASA-identified needs. Among other things, teams are challenged to build a robot that can survive transport to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and operate in the ocean beneath the moon’s ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Teams must also create a poster and be interviewed by engineering judges.

The competition promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills by requiring students to organize their teams into a company, with each student taking on a specific roll as they design, manufacture and market their student-built robots. They must manage a project and budget, brainstorm innovative solutions and work as a team – all important workforce skills.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by numerous partners and more than 50 volunteers who serve as divers, judges and support staff. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Stem Hub.

Learn more:

 

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs