Jason O’Brien, Oregon Master Naturalist Program Coordinator, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension & Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.
Jason received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Wildlife Ecology, with an emphasis in Natural Resources Interpretation, from Iowa State University (ISU). His thesis evaluated the environmental education program and exhibits at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Prairie Learning Center by measuring changes in knowledge and attitudes of 4th – 6th graders.
Jason came to OSU in 2009 to start the Oregon Master Naturalist Program (OMN), where he pioneered the first online curriculum for a Master Naturalist Program, which has been recognized with several awards for excellence. The OMN Program has certified 200 Oregonians to-date, while exposing hundreds more to a wide range of natural history and ecology subjects, and since 2012, OMN volunteers have reported an average of 7000+ hours of service per year for some 300 projects representing public and private groups. impacting over half a million people to date. He has received the College of Forestry Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extended & Continuing Education.
His past work experience includes: environmental educator at a residential YMCA Camp, interpretive ranger at the Neal Smith NWR, and at ISU, the creator and Coordinator of a citizen science program called Iowa NatureMapping, instructor of a Junior-Senior-level Interpretation of Natural Resources course, and Interim Extension Wildlife Specialist.