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March 19th, 2015

Kris Anderson is the co-author of State of Giving: Stories of Oregon Volunteers, Donors, and Nonprofits, along with the former president of the Oregon Community Foundation, Greg Chaillé. In anticipation of the book's imminent publication in April 2015, we asked Kris to share some of her experiences writing the book, as well as her take on what makes Oregon such an inspiring place.

Researching State of Giving meant a lot of time on the road. So we can tell you this with authority: Oregon’s scenic byways host some iconic roadside attractions. Petersen’s Rock Gardens, Harvey the Rabbit, and the world’s largest pig hairball, to name a few. But the Prehistoric Gardens on Highway 101 is one of the more arresting. Cruising along the southern coast’s wave-beaten monoliths and forested headlands, a bend in the road brings you face-to-face with a life-size T-Rex reaching with feeble arms and a cartoonish expression towards your car.

It’s a surreal moment, and a charming one. Like many of its roadside kin, Prehistoric Gardens seems a relic of a more credulous, less globalized era of travel. Its hand-painted sign has a typo; its concrete monsters have the lumbering, mud-tailed postures of long outdated paleontological theories. It’s less Jurassic Park, more Flintstones. And it’s a worthwhile stop, especially for fans of nostalgia and kitsch.

A few miles away is Port Orford, a small town that, like many small rural towns in Oregon, could easily be viewed by a stranger through similar lenses: as a quaint, appealing relic of something bygone—and as a nice tourist stopover. It has galleries on the main street, the ubiquitous myrtlewood shops, a beautiful adjacent bay and state park, a few derelict storefronts, and a message sprayed on the asphalt of a side road that reads “Ocean View This Way.”

That’s what you see when you cruise through at 35 miles an hour, at least, or poke around for the afternoon. But, as with many of Oregon’s rural communities, Port Orford deserves to be regarded as more than a roadside attraction for out-of-towners.

One of our key arguments in State of Giving is that across Oregon, there’s fascinating, inventive, and very contemporary work going on to enliven and sustain our state’s communities and landscapes. Much of it is entirely grassroots, created and championed by volunteers, local donors, and impassioned nonprofit and civic leaders. And some of the most engaged, progressive visions are coming out of tiny places like Port Orford: far from being sepia-toned backwaters, Oregon’s small towns are hotbeds of citizen activism and creativity.

State of Giving isn’t just about small town altruism and activism—its perspective is statewide, and it chronicles volunteerism, philanthropy, and civic leadership across many sectors and demographics. It is organized by sector, with each chapter detailing wide-ranging efforts to counteract what we regard as the key challenges facing Oregon: the urban/rural divide, education inequity, environmental degradation, poverty (and the hunger and homelessness it precipitates), dwindling support for Oregon’s cultural and heritage industries, and systemic social inequity and injustice. We profile organizations ranging from Basic Rights Oregon to the Jefferson County Historical Society to Albina Head Start to Wallowa Resources, a consensus-building environmental nonprofit headquartered in Enterprise. But while we outline why each organization is doing vital work, our profiles focus less upon the institutions themselves and more upon the volunteers, donors, and staff that are driving their work forward—first and foremost, this is a book about people.

Petite Port Orford, weighing in at a mere 1133 residents as of the 2010 Census, provides a number of outsized examples. Port Orford isn’t always an easy place to live: its once-vibrant forest products industry is now virtually extinct, its fishing industry has faced similar threats, it has an aging population, 54% of its residents are low-to-middle income, and it’s part of Curry County, which has one of the lowest tax rates in Oregon, meaning that investments in roads, schools, and basic services have all declined sharply. But the town also has a lot going for it: a stunning location, a temperate climate, a fertile ocean, a robust arts scene, a growing tourist economy, and most of all, a very close-knit, hands-on, git-‘er-done community.

Local artist and mom Allandra Emerson, for example, hated that the local schools had to cut arts education from their dwindling budgets but realized that the town had an untapped resource. “We have a healthy arts community here, but there’s not much overlap between the artists and parents of school-age children.” With her encouragement, the Port Orford Arts Council set up a Saturday arts program for children that eventually became incorporated—powered by volunteer labor from the arts community—back into the school day. “That way you can reach the maximum number of kids, not just kids whose parents are interested in the arts,” Allandra explains.

The Arts Council also runs a program at Port Orford’s library, itself the product of impressive civic leadership. For over seventy years, the Port Orford Library was just a room in a crumbling municipal building. But in 1995, residents of Port Orford formed the Library Foundation, a nonprofit established to find the library a permanent home. Led by the irrepressible Tobe Porter, the town raised over $1.8 million dollars and 70% of the community voted in favor a $450,000 bond to be used if needed. In 2008, on the day Port Orford Public Library opened it doors, “four hundred or so people lined up outside. They would just stop and look at it and cry with pride. It’s a library that the community built 100 percent,” Tobe recalls. Under Tobe’s leadership, the library now is a de facto community center, offering everything from job search training to yoga classes to town hall discussions.

The library has also hosted conversations that led to one of Port Orford’s most visible successes: the transformation of its fishing industry. Helmed by fisherman’s wife Leesa Cobb and supported by board chair Aaron Longton, a commercial salmon and black cod fisherman, Port Orford Ocean Resource Team [POORT] “arose out of necessity,” Aaron says. “Our town had lost its timber jobs, and the fishing was hit-or-miss… Everyone knew there’d be change, and that to weather the storms, we’d have to adapt [and] to organize ourselves.” With Leesa’s vision and with widespread support, including thousands of volunteer hours from local fishermen, Port Orford has taken a leadership role in marine conservation by creating a sustainable fishing industry and a locally administered maritime preserve. POORT has won regional and national conservation awards, attracted support from big-name funders, sells its sustainably-harvested fish statewide, and most of all, has helped place this little town on the cutting edge of triple-bottom-line solutions.

Allandra, Tobe, Leesa, Aaron, and many more like them have ensured that there’s more to Port Orford than meets the roadtripper’s eye. While it has tourist attractions and bygone industries, it’s no quaint throwback—it’s no concrete dinosaur. Rather, Port Orford is just one of hundreds of Oregon communities benefitting from the altruism and activism of folks who give time and money to help transform economies, conserve valuable ecologies, and improve lives.

If you want to hear more from Leesa and Tobe, if you want to learn more about the seminal challenges facing our state, if you want to read about vanguard citizens and organizations working to combat these challenges, if you run a nonprofit or are a volunteer or donor, or if you just want to glean some ideas about how you can engage more deeply with your community, State of Giving might be right up your alley. We had a blast writing it—world’s largest pig hairball notwithstanding—and hope it makes for an entertaining, illuminating, and mobilizing read.

—Kris Anderson

Photographs courtesy of Kris Anderson

March 12th, 2015

What is the inherent value of a forest? Is there an achievable compromise between human and preservation concerns within forest management? Jim Furnish, author of newly released Toward a Natural Forest, knows firsthand how difficult these questions can be to answer. A former US Forest Service deputy chief, Furnish draws greatly upon his own experiences in the agency to create a contemplative memoir that is as thought provoking as it is informative. Furnish joins us today to share his hopes for the future of forest stewardship in the United States.




What is the gestation period of a book? Several years in my case, made longer by being a forester, not a writer. The hurdle involved moving beyond stories and anecdotes to a real message. I believe that today’s conflicts over forest politics and policies speak to a deeper clash over values. Our national forests, managed by the US Forest Service, have become a crucible for a hoped-for solution to the age-old question: “How do we get what we need from our forests without ruining them?” My book attempts to answer this question.


Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt and other far-sighted conservationists, the Forest Service is blessed (some might say saddled) with the responsibility of managing our national forests: a NorthernSpottedOwlstunningly beautiful and resource-rich public estate that accounts for nine percent of the country’s landmass. Devoted public servants – our legendary “forest rangers” – built a lofty, can-do reputation that crashed suddenly in the late 1900s, epitomized by the northern spotted owl controversy. Decades of ambitious logging in these vast, natural forests clashed with a growing awareness of heavy environmental costs and citizens clamoring for an agency that cared more about the values of common people than timber industry profits. The crash yielded a dispirited, wounded Forest Service confused about the future. Humpty Dumpty could relate.    


I observed the growing animosity through an internal lens; I was actually one of those guys responsible for all the trouble. Yet, my immersion in the roiling waters of conflict left me troubled, colored, and ultimately changed to become, yes, an environmentalist. Because the Clinton administration sought leaders with a stronger land ethic, this personal transformation resulted in my promotion to become a high-ranking deputy chief in 1999, a cherished honor. How strange though, after a 35-year career, to then find myself persona non grata and leaving the agency I loved for reasons of principle.


Toward a Natural Forest chronicles twin tales – mine and the Forest Service’s – of tumult and transformation, set against the restive environmental movement.


Environmentalists turned increasingly and successfully to the courts for redress, which imposed severe restrictions on logging public lands. The Forest Service seemed lost, floundering to fashion a future. As supervisor of Siuslaw National Forest on Oregon’s coast, I confronted an organization in free-fall with no viable vision.


TowardaNaturalForestMy memoir relates the journey from despair to hope, building a new forestry paradigm based on restoring naturalness to a landscape. We turned our focus to improving water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities, rather than simply producing wood products. The environmental community – former foes – enthusiastically supported the changes. The timber industry, whose supply of wood was much reduced, accepted a different and smaller role. For the first time in decades, the timber wars ceased.


I speak hopefully of a different and better future, a future that stewards forests humbly and respectfully to sustain their inherent functionality and worth. How much are our public forests worth? Far more than money. I contend they are priceless.




Jim Furnish is a consulting forester in the Washington, DC, area following a 34-year career with the USDA Forest Service. He has served in a number of leadership positions within the agency, including a stint as deputy chief and supervisor of Siuslaw National Forest. Passionate about the protection of forested lands, Furnish was instrumental in creating the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and garnering support for a restorative policy over timber production in the Siuslaw National Forest. You can purchase his new book, Toward a Natural Forest, here.


Photo of Northern Spotted Owl taken by Oregon State University student Kristian Skybak, used with permission from Oregon Wild.


March 5th, 2015



Happy World Book Day! Yes, it’s a thing and yes, it’s definitely worth celebrating. Books ignite passion across the globe, serving as catalysts for the spread of information and ideas. From the first cuneiform tablets to modern digital readers, the written word has proved to be an invaluable tool.


And it’s precisely that utility for creativity that World Book Day aims to celebrate. According to the event website, World Book Day is a “worldwide celebration of books and reading,” created to “encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.” With the help of dozens of publishers and booksellers, more than 14 million children will receive free book vouchers redeemable at participating stores.


Helping children discover the joys of reading? That sounds like a pretty excellent reason for us to get on board! So, in honor of World Book Day, here are ten reasons you should pick up a text of the tangible variety today:


1.     To rediscover the wonders of reading yourself! When was the last time you opened a cover just for fun? There’s a reason we fall in love with books at a young age.

2.     To share with a friend. Remember that favorite title of yours you keep meaning to lend out? Time to share the wit of your favorite author and wisdom of your marginalia.

3.     To learn something new. You don’t have to be enrolled in a class to cram your brain with knowledge!

4.     To escape. Let’s go to the Caribbean. Or eighteenth-century London. Or the highest campsite in the Himalayas. It’s easy to discover new adventures within the pages of a book.

5.     To bond. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but remember all those nights your parents read to you? Finding someone to read aloud with can be a powerful experience.  Cuddle up with your kiddo or pay mom a visit to return the favor.

6.     To teach. Use an instructional or academic book to share something you’re passionate about with others.

7.     To challenge yourself. We can’t grow if we always ingest information that aligns with our current beliefs; try exploring an opposing viewpoint to place yourself in someone else’s shoes for a change.

8.    To find inspiration. Discover a new muse! 

9.     To take a moment for yourself. Reading offers a great opportunity to pause the chaos that is life and regroup. Turn a page, find some serenity.

10.  To feel. Books have the unique ability to make readers run the gamut of emotions. Life can be more fulfilling when you allow yourself to embrace both the good and bad.


Need a place to start exploring? Start here on our website to discover educational and exciting titles you’ll want to keep around.

February 26th, 2015

On February 28, Oregon will officially recognize the birthday of one of its most prominent citizens with an eponymic day of remembrance. According to a proclamation signed by former governor John Kitzhaber, the state will celebrate Linus Carl Pauling Day this Saturday as “a time to recognize the life and work of [the] great Oregonian and American.”


Linus Carl Pauling was a renowned scientist and peace activist who would become the only individual to be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes (one for Chemistry in 1954 and the other for Peace in 1962). A native of Portland, Pauling attended Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) and Caltech before achieving international acclaim for his work with chemical bonds, molecular biology, and Vitamin C.


Pauling and his wife, Ava, would use this renown to further their support of international peace and human rights. Staunch opponents of nuclear weapons and Cold War policies, the couple would face widespread criticism for their activism—and also earn the respect of thousands.


Biographer Tom Hager described Linus Pauling as “the greatest person [his] home state had ever produced,” a brilliant man who kindly “treated almost everyone like an equal.” This passion for science and concern for humanity blended to create a stunning, enigmatic man whose ingenuity would influence generations.


Fellow Oregonians are invited to honor OSU’s most famous alum by sharing birthday cake this Friday, Feb. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. on the ground floor of the Linus Pauling Science Center. The Linus Pauling Institute also sponsored a cake and ice cream party held this Thursday, the proceeds from which will be donated to the OSU Food Drive.


Those who are interested in learning more about the Paulings have several options. Scroll below to discover what resources the OSU community has to offer regarding one of the twentieth century’s greatest scientists and humanitarians.




LinusPaulingLinus Pauling, Scientist and Peacemaker 

Who: Edited by Clifford Mead and Thomas Hager

What: A concise, intricate biography that draws upon personal correspondence, sketches, papers, and recorded interviews.  Never-before published items and pieces from the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers archival collection offer intriguing illustrations and marginalia that add to the reading experience.

When: Published 2008

For: Those interested in an accessible, multi-dimensional look at Linus Pauling’s life.



AvaHelenAva Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary 

Who: Written by Mina Carson

What: An overdue examination of Ava Helen Pauling, a dedicated activist and intellectual in her own right. The biography follows Ava’s balancing act of housewifery and a passion for movements that supported feminism, environmentalism, and global peace.

When: Published 2013

For: Those interested not only in the life of Ava Helen Pauling, but women’s and reform history during the twentieth century.



HowtoLiveLongerHow to Live Longer and Feel Better 

Who: Written by Linus Pauling, with an introduction by Melinda Gormley

What: Pauling’s guide to healthy living, first published in 1986. Suggesting simple and inexpensive daily habits like vitamin consumption, Pauling offers readers a regimen in order to be happier and stay healthier longer.

When: Fourth edition published 2010

For: Those interested in living a clean, healthy lifestyle or in the historical importance of Pauling’s work in nutritional science.





What: Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers

Where: Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives


What: Pauling Research Notebooks

Where: Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives


What: Linus Pauling: A Centenary Exhibit

Where: Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives 





Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives: http://pauling.library.oregonstate.edu/


The Linus Pauling Institute: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/


The Pauling Blog: https://paulingblog.wordpress.com/


The Pauling Catalogue: http://paulingcatalogue.org/

February 19th, 2015


Former governor John Kitzhaber resigned from his gubernatorial post last Friday in a published letter to Kate Brown, the Secretary of State at the time. Kitzhaber announced his resignation in response to investigations regarding alleged financial misconduct with his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. Accusations against the pair bubbled to a boiling point just weeks after Kitzhaber began his unprecedented fourth term in office.


Within the span of a single letter, Oregon lost a prominent politician, gained a new governor, and opened a groundbreaking chapter in state political history.


Although Kitzhaber is not the first Oregon governor to have stepped down, he is the first to do so amidst such controversy and confusion. According to the Oregon Blue Book, four other governors have resigned since the territory achieved statehood. 


“The current situation [of Governor Kitzhaber’s resignation] is without precedent,” said OSU Press author Tom Marsh via email. “True, several Oregon governors have resigned from office—Douglas McKay being the most recent governor to do so. In McKay’s case, he resigned to take the cabinet seat of Secretary of the Interior in the Eisenhower administration. Not so with John Kitzhaber. Never has a sitting Oregon governor resigned under these circumstances.”


Marsh, a former state legislator himself, is the author of To the Promised Land: A History of Government and Politics in Oregon, published in 2012. Marsh’s work serves as the first comprehensive political history of Oregon, following important political figures and ballot measures throughout the state’s undulating social and economic narrative. An essential volume for anyone interested in understanding the foundations of the modern political climate, To the Promised Land places Oregon within the greater context of national politics.


Following the state constitutional order of succession, former Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn into the gubernatorial office Wednesday. With her inauguration, Brown became Oregon’s first openly bisexual governor and only the second female to hold the seat.*


“This is a sad day for Oregon,” Brown said in a statement published by CNN. “But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move Oregon forward.”


Oregon’s first female governor, Barbara Roberts, certainly knew a thing or two about progress during her governorship from 1991 to 1995. A “trailblazer in a state that knows something about pioneers,” as Sen. Jeff Merkley called her, Roberts recounts her story in Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman’s March to the Governorship. The book follows her own unlikely rise to power, documenting what leadership is like for a female in politics.


Both To the Promised Land and Up the Capitol Steps offer readers a unique and timely perspective on the current period of upheaval. In order to fully understand the complications and consequences of today’s world, a reflective look backwards is often useful.


To stay informed, here are four of OSU Press’s most topically pertinent and powerful titles:


·       To the Promised Land: A History of Government and Politics in Oregon by Tom Marsh

·       Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman’s March to the Governorship by Barbara Roberts

·       With Grit and By Grace: Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir by Betty Roberts, with Gail Wells

·       Remembering the Power of Words: The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader by Avel Louise Gordly, with Patricia A. Schechter


You can purchase these items on our website by selecting the “Add to Cart” link on the respective book pages, or by calling 1-800-621-2736.






*Kate Brown will be the third female to sit as acting governor in Oregon, according to information gathered by the Statesman Journal. Carolyn B. Shelton officially served as acting governor for one weekend in 1909 when her boss, Gov. George Chamberlain, left to accept a U.S. Senate position and his successor, Frank Benson, was too sick to be sworn in immediately. Her unique position resulted from a small clause in state law that required a governor’s private secretary to become acting head of state in times of absence or illness. Ironically, it would not be until 1912 that women were given the right to vote in Oregon. Most personal secretaries at this time were male.

February 11th, 2015

It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring. And you? You, my friend, are searching for a book with which to curl up by the fire. You’re looking for the perfect title to alleviate the drudgery of a drizzly Oregon day, something to excite your senses and spark your synapses. And what better way to spend a day indoors than snuggled beneath a blanket, hot cocoa in hand, eyes glued to a page? I’ll answer that one for you: none.


Still not convinced? Then here’s some inspiration from your fellow book lovers at OSU Press. Grab your heated blanket, prepare the hot water, and read on to hear some of our staff’s recommended rainy day reads.




Marty Brown, Marketing Manager


Trask by Don Berry


I’m a sucker for historical novels and all things Oregon, so how could I not love Don Berry’s TraskTrask? Loosely based on the life of Elbridge Trask, an early fur trapper and mountain man, the novel follows its eponymous character as he treks in the early 1850’s from the Clatsop Plains, near Astoria, to the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Trask takes the form of a hero’s journey, but this is not your typical myth of manifest destiny. The story is sensitive to the many complexities of native culture and has a strong spiritual thread running through it. It’s full of adventure and the search for meaning at the wet edge of the continent. For best effect, read it while wrapped in a Pendleton blanket.


The Next Tsunami by Bonnie Henderson


As long as we’re on the north coast of Oregon, I have to mention The Next Tsunami by Bonnie TheNextTsunamiHenderson. Like a lot of other people, I have a certain…  prurient fascination with natural disasters. I thought that Henderson might offer a cautionary tale, a dark vision of how our coast will look after its bays and estuaries are scoured out by the next big tsunami, with marinas reduced to match sticks, collapsed highway bridges, underwater shopping districts, and etc. Instead, I finished this book with an uncanny sense of calm and hope. Henderson tells the story of how scientists came to discover the Cascadia Subduction Zone and definitively proved the Pacific Coast’s long geological history of earthquakes and tsunamis. Thanks to Henderson’s skillful telling, this history of science unfolds like a mystery. Who knew that geologists could be such fascinating characters?


Up all Night by Martha Gies


What else? We have so many worthy books and authors on our list, I could go on all day, and all then all night. Which reminds me of Up all Night by Martha Gies, another personal favorite. This collection of stories about swing- and graveyard-shift workers takes readers on a guided tour of one city’s nocturnal professions. That city happens to be Portland, but it could be anywhere. Night workers live in a country all their own, and Gies is a friendly, companionable guide.




Tom Booth, Associate Director


Three books that I’m likely to pull from the shelf during the dark, wet days of an Oregon winter:


Mink River by Brian Doyle

Doyle’s debut novel brings to life a wet Oregon coastal town through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people. Rain, “in every form from mist to sluice,” is a constant presence in the book: 


"Rain slips and slides along hawsers and chains and ropes and cables and gladdens the cells of MinkRivermosses and weighs down the wings of moths. It maketh the willow shiver its fingers and thrums on doors of dens in the fens. It falls on hats and cats and trucks and ducks and cars and bars and clover and plover. It grayeth the sand on the beach and fills thousands of flowers to the brim. It thrills worms and depresses damselflies. Slides down every window rilling and murmuring. Wakes the ancient mud and mutter of the swamp, which has been cracked and hard for months. Falls gently on leeks and creeks and bills and rills and the last shriveled blackberries like tiny dried purple brains on the bristle of bushes."


Up All Night by Martha Gies UpAllNight

Martha Gies guides readers on a nocturnal tour of Portland, offering fascinating profiles of the graveyard shift workers who keep our city running after dark. I grew up here and have lived in Portland for most of my life—but Gies shows a side of the city that even longtime locals haven’t encountered. It’s one of the great unsung books about Portland.


Land Snails and Slugs of the Pacific Northwest by Thomas Burke, with photographs by William P. Leonard LandSnails

An essential tome for understanding and identifying terrestrial slugs and snails in the Pacific Northwest. Know thy neighbor.





Faye Chadwell, Director


Breaking Chains by R. Gregory Nokes BreakingChains


Greg Nokes explores an important aspect of Oregon’s history that I don’t believe a lot of Oregonians know.  That includes Oregonians who moved here like myself 20 years ago.




Ava Helen Pauling by Mina Carson AvaHelenPauling


Mina Carson’s biography is the first ever to reveal more of the personal side of the Paulings’ life together.  More importantly, she rightfully establishes or acknowledges Ava Helen’s contributions to Linus Pauling’s anti-nuclear stance for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Arguably many feel like this should have been his 2nd shared Nobel Prize.



Mink River by Brian Doyle Kesey


I love reading and rolling along with Brian Doyle’s lyrical prose.  I would actually recommend reading this title and Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion.  Together the two provide two worthwhile perspectives on coastal communities in Oregon albeit separated by time and imagination of their respective authors.






Still looking for the perfect rainy day read? Browse our online database, read some previous blog post synopses, or request a print copy of our Spring 2015 catalog. Questions, comments, or concerns? Shoot us an email!


February 6th, 2015


The opinions expressed below are those of intern Victoria Hittner and not necessarily those of OSU Press.


I despised the phrase “look it up in the dictionary” as a child. We’ve all seen it happen: intrepid young student asks teacher for spelling advice, only to be sent toward the giant tome on the shelf. A tome that’s alphabetized. With a student who’s questioning the letter arrangement of a word.


While the illogical practice may have infuriated the obstinate younger me, it also fulfilled the purpose my teachers had intended. Each time I shuffled to the shelf, I Dictionarybecame lost in the cadence and mystery of words I didn’t know. Flipping pages was no longer such a chore because I fell in love with the intricate English lexicon. The written word quickly became a personal fascination, one that has followed me into adulthood.


And so, to appease my inner logophile (and offer silent salute to my elementary school teachers), below is a brief list of words, inspired by our Spring 2015 new releases.* Each new title has been assigned a single descriptor. It’s like our very own Merriam-Webster, OSU Press special edition. Alphabetized and all.




connectivity (n): the quality, state, or capability of being connective or connected


For the Love of Rivers by Kurt Fausch


In his latest publication, Fausch explores more than just the ecology of stream environments. Expounding upon the beauty and mystery so entangled with our world’s water systems, Fausch uses his own field experience to link fact with emotion. For the Love of Rivers explores how science connects aquatic ecosystems to their streamside forests and the organisms found there—including humans.



consciousness (n.): the normal state of being awake and able to understand what is happening around you


Silviculture and Ecology of Western U.S. Forests, Second Edition by John C. Tappeiner, et al.


The modern concept of silviculture has grown to encompass a multitude of important topics, adding forest health and aesthetics to traditional ideas of reforestation and timber harvest. Four esteemed forestry professors combined research and passion to create an updated edition of this comprehensive reference—the only text that focuses on silviculture in western U.S. forests. Silviculture and Ecology adds a new dimension to conservation and consumerism, showing how contemporary silvicultural practices help prevent the two concerns from becoming mutually exclusive.



continuity (n.): something that is the same or similar in two or more things and provides a connection between them 


Environment and Society in the Japanese Islands, edited by Bruce L. Batten and Philip C. Brown


Brilliant thinkers from fields like history, geography, and climatology lend their knowledge to this compilation, exploring the historical connection between environment and the Japanese people. Through these essays, Batten and Brown introduce readers to the idea of continuity, challenging previous notions that pre-modern and modern environmental history cannot be compared in tandem.



drive (n.): an impelling culturally acquired concern, interest, or longing 


Money Trees by Emily K. Brock


What fostered the modern American conception of forests and their value? Emily Brock explores this question in Money Trees, following traditional political debates to the current wilderness movement. Using the forests of the Pacific Northwest as a guide, Brock provides an interdisciplinary history of industrial and public views of American forests, adding provocative commentary on the driving forces behind political currents and forest management practices.



essence (n.): the basic nature of a thing; the quality or qualities that make a thing what it is


Honey in the Horn by H. L. Davis


Beloved Oregon author H. L. Davis’s award-winning work returns to print in this new edition, containing an introduction by historian Richard W. Etulain. Honey in the Horn chronicles the adventures of Clay Calvert, a young ranch hand who journeys across Oregon in search of a new start. Along the way, he meets a score of fascinating characters from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. Perhaps even more poignant than when it was first released, Davis’s work captures the true essence of Oregon’s pioneer spirit in a way that avoids melodrama but smacks of veracity.



mold (v.): to give shape to; to determine or influence the quality or nature of 


Toward a Natural Forest by Jim Furnish


The verb, not the kind that grows in old, damp apartments! Jim Furnish’s memoir follows his rapid career rise through the ranks of the U.S. Forest Service at the turn of the century. Working in a field mired in controversy, Furnish struggled balancing his growing passion for conservationism with loyalty to his employer. As the department as a whole was being shaped by changing public interests, so, too, was a man molded by his environment. Offering a unique inside view to the industry, Furnish explores the pitfalls—and important potential—of the Forest Service in global conservation efforts.



perseverance (n.): the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult


American Dreamers by Ken Austin, with Kerry Tymchuk


How did a kid from rural Oregon turn a tiny kitchen-based operation into a global manufacturer? Ken Austin and his wife, Joan, founders of dental equipment company A-dec, reflect on the journey of perseverance and dedication that led to their current business and philanthropic success. Following the renowned “A-dec way,” the Austins prove that good ol’ hard work and compassion truly do pay off.



purpose (n.): the aim or goal of a person; what a person is trying to do, become, etc.


Naked in the Woods by Margaret Grundstein


Utopia or dystopia? Or somewhere in between? Margaret Grundstein reflects upon her time in a hippie commune in the backwoods of Oregon, living off the land in harmony with the environment and other people—at least initially. Disillusionment, rifts, and reality eventually invaded the small community, tearing apart a settlement founded on unity. Naked in the Woods explores the interrelated ideas of human nature and social change, leaving readers with much to think about beyond the final page.



stewardship (n.): the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care


Building a Better Nest by Evelyn Searle Hess


Evelyn Searle Hess’s latest book explores sustainable living on a personal and detailed level, following the construction of Hess’s cabin in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range. Throughout the process, Hess determined that a sustainable life involves more than just recycled products; it requires cooperative and healthy human relationships, too. Building a Better Nest asks readers to think outside the box to ponder whether the quality of the local watershed and quality of human life are truly separate issues at all.



syncretism (n.): the combination of different forms of belief or practice


At the Hearth of the Crossed Races by Melinda Marie Jette


Melinde Jette delves into the syncretic explosion that occurred within the French Prairie area of the Willamette Valley during westward expansion. Far from undeveloped during the 1850s, the French Prairie area teemed with a complex culture all its own: the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyan people and French settlers who lived in comfortable mingled communities. This synthesis of cultures fostered a hale and happy valley, which was later disrupted by the Anglo-American pioneers’ institution of settler colonialism and racial exclusion. At the Hearth of the Crossed Races provides a glimpse of oft-unseen Oregon history and underlines the complexity of differing social values and traditions.



trailblazing (adj.): making or pointing a new way


A Man for All Seasons by William G. Robbins


Go Blazers! And while we do root for the red-and-black adorned basketball team, we’re talking about political trailblazers here. In A Man for All Seasons, William G. Robbins documents the incredible career of politician Monroe Sweetland. A prominent Oregonian during the twentieth century, Sweetland left a lasting legacy upon the region through his involvement with the modern Oregon Democratic Party and National Education Association. A champion of those whose voices were often marginalized, Sweetland pushed for the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 and successfully propelled the ratification of the twenty-sixth amendment in 1971. Robbins’s portrait shows a compassionate, yet conflicted, man whose passion helped shape the modern American political landscape.



universal (adj.): existent or operative everywhere or under all conditions


State of Giving by Greg Chaille and Kristin Anderson


Compassionate people and projects exist around every corner, yet very rarely receive adequate recognition. State of Giving follows the stories of numerous civic leaders, grassroots organizations, and volunteers who make a difference every day, all across Oregon. Covering topics like hunger and homelessness, the urban/rural divide, and education inequity, State of Giving demonstrates there are ways in which anyone, regardless of background, can give back to the community.





Want to learn more about our upcoming titles? You can browse our online Spring 2015 catalog or request a print copy here.



*All definitions taken from www.merriam-webster.com.

January 29th, 2015

Betty Roberts was no stranger to testing societal convention with her indomitable spirit and relentless determination. Returning to college at age 32 as a wife and mother, Roberts would go on to become a teacher, lawyer, state legislator, candidate for governor, and eventually Oregon’s first woman Supreme Court Justice.


Emerging onto the political scene during the tumultuous 1960s, Roberts fought hard for human rights and responsible environmental stewardship. A true political trailblazer, she had a hand in several pieces of groundbreaking state legislature, including Oregon’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.


On Friday, Feb. 13, at the Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, Betty Roberts will be honored for her invaluable contributions to the state with an afternoon of short presentations and the grand unveiling of her portrait, which will later reside in the Oregon Supreme Court Building. The celebration, “Portraits of Possibilities: Women at Work,” will feature a myriad of topics, including education, business, and fair labor.


The event boasts several short presentations by nationally prominent women, followed by a BettyRobertsEventkeynote address from Pam Karlan, a peer of Justice Roberts’s who now works for the Federal Civil Rights Division. Other speakers include Cait Clarke, Alice Tang, and Seema Patel, among others. Guests are invited to stay after the presentations and unveiling for a reception with wine, beer, and tasty snacks—“just like Betty would have liked,” according to the event invitation.


The portrait itself was funded through generous donations to the Betty Roberts Portrait Project, and facilitated by an independent portrait committee. Its artist, Lynda Lanker, is a local lithographer and painter celebrated for her stark and powerful portraiture of women. For the past two decades, Ms. Lanker has traveled across the western United States, bringing the spirit of tenacious women alive through her “Tough by Nature” art collection.


LyndaLanker“Betty Roberts’s family and the Portrait Committee are excited by the power of Ms. Lanker’s portraits, and by her ability to convey her subjects’ depth of personality and strength of character,” said coordinators on the portrait project website. “We cannot think of a better subject for her talents than Justice Betty Roberts.”


Space is limited, so those interested in attending must register and RSVP online. The event will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, located in Portland, Ore. Adult tickets are $10 apiece, while students may attend for free. Copies of Betty Roberts’s memoir, With Grit and By Grace, will be available for purchase from the Oregon Historical Society at the event.


Anyone who can spare the time is invited to attend this momentous celebration, aptly inclusive and inspiring in honor of the woman who continually used her talents to better the whole of the community around her.


Perhaps the portrait project website enumerates it best: “Justice Roberts’s portrait will join those of her predecessors in the Oregon Supreme Court Building—a powerful gesture of long overdue recognition.”



Photos courtesy of Oregon Historical Society and bettyroberts.net.

January 22nd, 2015

It’s trivia time! Put on your thinking cap and find a comfortable seat; the OSU Press is a fascinating place to work and we want to share some of the fun. Keep scrolling to test your knowledge about the Press, its authors, and some of its most popular titles. Here’s a hint: browsing the website and our catalog may be a shrewd quiz-taking tactic.


Think you have what it takes to be an OSU Press Whiz Kid? Let’s find out! Answers to all questions can be found at the bottom of the page.




1.    When was Oregon State University Press founded?

a.      1970

b.     1961

c.      1954

d.     1943


2.    How many books has OSU Press published?

a.      About 400

b.     About 300

c.      About 500

d.     About 700


3.    One of our first titles, Weather of Oregon, initially retailed at what price?

a.      $1.50

b.     $0.75

c.      $1.25

d.     $2.25


4.    How many catalog editions does the Press publish each year?

a.      3

b.     4

c.      1

d.     2


5.    Which author had a book published by OSU Press in 2014?

a.      Aimee Lyn Eaton, Collared

b.     Judith L. Li, Ellie’s Log

c.      Tim Palmer, Field Guide to Oregon Rivers

d.     Steve McQuiddy, Here on the Edge


6.    OSU Press belongs to which national organization?

a.      United Press Association

b.     Association of American University Presses

c.      University Press Association

d.     United National Press Organization


7.    Which OSU Press book features a bird on its cover?

a.      Mink River by Brian Doyle

b.     Morning Light by Barbara Drake

c.      To the Woods by Evelyn Searle Hess

d.     Nature’s Justice, edited by James M. O’Fallon


8.    Which republished work is the only Oregon book to have ever won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction? (Hint: it’s on our Spring 2015 list!)

a.      The Prairie Keepers by Marcy Houle

b.     Illahe by Kay Atwood

c.      A Man for All Seasons by William G. Robbins

d.     Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis


9.    How many university presses exist in the state of Oregon?

a.      1

b.     2

c.      3

d.     4


10. How many titles are slated for publication by OSU Press this Spring 2015 season?

a.      10

b.     6

c.      12

d.     8






1.    B. 1961.  The OSU Press was founded the same year Oregon State University adopted its current name.


2.    A. About 400.  That’s a lot of books to put on your reading list!


3.    B. $0.75.  That would buy you…half a stick of gum today?


4.    D. 2.  The Press prints two different catalogs each year, one for each the fall and spring seasons. Our catalogs are available both online and in hard copies upon request.


5.    C. Tim Palmer.  His book, Field Guide to Oregon Rivers, is a popular, colorful work that explores 120 different waterways throughout the state. You can take a look at it here.


6.    B. Association of American University Presses.  The AAUP contains 136 members with representatives in 12 countries.


7.    A. Mink River by Brian Doyle.  One of the Press’s few novels and a favorite among readers, the book follows the adventures and misadventures of residents of a tiny coastal town in Oregon. Read more here.


8.    D. Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis.  You can read the Oregon classic, as well as a new introduction by Richard W. Etulain, when it prints this June!


9.    A. 1.  Yay for being unique!


10. C. 12.  We have a packed front list coming this spring, covering topics from forestry to philanthropy. You can view our Spring 2015 catalog here.


January 15th, 2015

The opinions expressed below are those of intern Victoria Hittner and not necessarily those of Oregon State University Press.


Long holiday weekends are lovely. They provide time for extra recreation, a little relaxation, and perhaps even the opportunity to read a book! But they also offer opportunities for reflection upon why that third day off exists. As Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches, we may not all have the capacity to effect change as Dr. King did. We do, however, have the tools necessary to support and aid others within our own communities.


So, in honor of MLK Day, here is a list of several powerful memoirs, biographies, and histories. Follow the lives of the movers and shakers of the Pacific Northwest as they stood up for what they believed in, achieved the near impossible, and made our little pocket of the world an even more beautiful place to live.




A Force for Change

By Kimberley Mangun

Willa Award Winner


African American journalist Beatrice Morrow Cannady bravely utilized her profession to ForceforChangefight segregation and discrimination between 1912 and 1936. A Force for Change highlights Cannady’s important role in advocating for better race relations in Oregon in the early decades of the twentieth century. Using her skills as a reporter, editor, and publisher, Cannady lobbied for the protection of human rights, no matter one’s color or station in life. Mangun’s work helps dispel the myth that African Americans played little part in Oregon’s history and restores due recognition to a woman who played a vital role in developing Oregon politics.



Remembering the Power of Words

By Avel Louise Gordly with Patricia A. Schechter


Remembering the Power of Words recounts the personal and professional journeRememberingthePowerofWordsy of Avel Gordly, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate. A brave and honest telling of Gordly’s life, the book follows the struggles of growing up black in Portland in the mid-twentieth century and the incredible power and resilience that stem from determination. Important as a biographical account of one significant Oregonian’s story, Remembering the Power of Words also contributes broader narratives on black history and women’s rights within the state.



Sonny Montes and Mexican American Activism in Oregon

By Glenn Anthony May

Finalist, Oregon Book Award


On one level a biography of Oregon’s leading Mexican American activist, this book also tells SonnyMontesthe broader story of the state’s Mexican American community during the 1960s and 1970s, a story in which Sonny Montes had an important part. Montes became a community leader and visible public figure after his work in collective action like sit-ins, protest marches, and prayer vigils—always with a consistently high level of Chicano support. May’s book deepens our understanding of the Chicano Movement in Oregon and beyond as well as providing a much-needed account of the Mexican American community in Oregon during that time period.



Oregon’s Promise

By David Peterson Del Mar


A concise and compelling general history, Oregon’s Promise explores familiar and neglected OregonsPromisepeople and movements in the state’s history, while challenging readers to view Oregon’s past, present and future in a new way. Peterson del Mar shows there’s more to our beautiful state than just Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail. Examining both the traditional center of Oregon history and its often overlooked margins, readers will discover that the state’s settlers were much more varied, contentious, complicated and interesting than conventional heroic stereotypes would suggest.



Yours for Liberty

By Jean M. Ward and Elaine A. Maveety


Between 1871 and 1887, Duniway, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, chronicled YoursforLibertythis “true history” in the pages of The New Northwest, one of the few newspapers in the nation devoted to women’s advancement. This compilation of her work provides a vivid portrait of the pioneering suffragist and the turbulent era during which she lived, when traditional social attitudes and institutions were directly challenged. Duniway’s writing sparks with life, her wit and love of adventure evident in tales of attending séances, falling off stagecoaches, being hung in effigy, and barnstorming the Pacific Northwest in the company of Susan B. Anthony.



Linus Pauling

By Clifford Mead and Thomas Hager


One of the most brilliant scientists and controversial figures of the twentieth century, Linus LinusPaulingPauling was the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes. This unique volume gathers his words and those of his contemporaries and students, together with photographs, drawings, and reproductions from the Pauling Papers. As both scientist and citizen, Pauling was passionate and deeply thoughtful. From his penning of renowned book The Nature of the Chemical Bond to his work with vitamin C as a cure for cancer and cold prevention, Pauling left an indelible mark upon the scientific field.



With Grit and By Grace

By Betty Roberts with Gail Wells


We really can do it all, ladies. Take a page from Betty Roberts’ book and use a combination of WithGritByGracetenacity, passion and dedication to chase your own dreams. In her memoir, Justice Roberts reflects on her role as a mother, wife and political trailblazer. Her story is important to the history of women’s struggles to challenge prevailing stereotypes, but it is also a deeply personal story of a life sometimes stark, sometimes humorous, often exhausting, and always brightened with friendships and family.



Asserting Native Resilience

Edited by Zoltan Grossman and Alan Parker

First Peoples Series


With cultures and economies among the most vulnerable to climate-related catastrophes, AssertingNativeResilienceNative peoples are developing responses to climate change that serve as a model for Native and non-Native communities alike. Having survived the historical and ecological wounds inflicted by colonization, industrialization, and urbanization, Indigenous peoples are using tools of resilience that have enabled them to respond to sudden environmental change and protect the habitat of salmon and other culturally vital species. Asserting Native Resilience presents a rich variety of perspectives on Indigenous responses to the climate crisis, reflecting the voices of more than twenty contributors.




Browse our complete list of titles to find more on influential figures and groups in Oregon’s history. While you’re at it, make sure to catch a sneak peek of some our new and upcoming books; there’s always something exciting to read! Who knows, you just may be inspired to effect some change of your own.

Member of AAUP