OSU-Cascades Hits Milestone in Research Funding

OSU-Cascades research funding just hit $3.4 million, the second highest total in campus history.  

The growing Bend campus has received $9.3 million over the past three fiscal years, over double that of the previous three fiscal years.   

“The increased funding is evidence of the productivity of our researchers and their teams, and their shared commitment to improving Central Oregon, the state, nation and our world,” said Andrew Ketsdever, the interim vice president of OSU-Cascades.  

Oregon State University is the state’s top comprehensive public research university, thanks in no small part to OSU-Cascades’ work. The university as a whole has received $380 million in funding for the fifth year running.  

“As OSU-Cascades expands, our research activity will also grow in its impact and benefit to communities locally and globally,” said Ketsdever.  

The largest research project at OSU-Cascades is run by Bahman Abbasi, an assistant professor in energy systems engineering. Abbasi is also the director of the Water and Energy Technologies Laboratory — aka WET Lab — designing systems to create usable freshwater from saltwater, as well as recover usable water from wastewater thanks to hydraulic fracturing.   

Abbasi’s work has brought in over $5 million in research awards from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and U.S. Department of Energy in past years.   

Other noteworthy work includes that of Elizabeth Marino and Chris Wolsko in tailoring COVID-19 public health messages to various audiences, as well as addressing cultural and socioeconomic conflicts involving fishing in Oregon’s marine reserves. Marino also received funding to investigate issues facing coastal communities exposed to repetitive flooding and examine the effectiveness of federal disaster response policies.  

Combined, Marino and Wolkso have received $810,000 in funding from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Science Foundation.  

Other major work being performed at OSU-Cascades includes: 

  • Associate professor in human development and family sciences, Shannon Lipscomb, whose portfolio on education, risk, and resilience in early childhood has brought in $2.3 million in funding to date. 
  • Also in the human development and family sciences program, assistant professor Brianne Kothari has brought in a $42,000 grant from PSU to study recommendations on how child welfare agencies can increase the retention of caseworkers. 
  • Associate professor of biology Matt Orr received a $39,000 grant from the Oregon Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board to investigate the benefits of analog beaver dams in restoring estuaries along Crooked River. 
  • Professor Christine Pollard, who currently serves as dean of academic affairs at OSU-Cascades, received the Research and Scholarship Activity Award in 2021 for her ten years of kinesiology research focusing on undergraduate and graduate students, community health partners, and the public. Pollard helped create the biomechanics FORCE Lab, which examines leg and foot injuries, the biomechanics of running shoes, and injury prevention and rehabilitation programs.