Research Staff

Dr. Erika Allen Wolters, OPAL Director

Stepping into my role as the Director of OPAL, I am well aware of, and at times amazed by, the high quality work students are producing for OPAL clients. I believe this quality work stems, in large part, from not only the students’ motivation, but also the establishment of OPAL as an interdisciplinary, collaborative policy analysis laboratory. As a PhD in Environmental Science, my training and research is inherently integrated with multi-disciplines. Furthermore, I have spent my professional career working for government, non-profits, and academia.  These past experiences, along with my inter-disciplinary doctorate, make OPAL a natural fit and allow me to continue to engage with my research interests and my desire to participate in active policy analysis. Overall, I bring to OPAL experience and training, and, more importantly, a passion for engaged policy analysis.

 

Nathan Davis

Policy Interests: Rural Policy; Environmental Policy

Current Program of Study: Master of Public Policy

Research Briefs:

(2015)  Regional Governance of Transportation Issues

I am from Lewistown, Illinois, a small farm town in the Illinois River Valley. For my undergraduate education I stayed close to home, attending Bradley University where I ran cross country and track. I graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with minors in Economics and Sociology. During my undergrad years, I worked with rural towns and villages on community development projects through my job with a local planning commission.  I began to see that rural communities face unique policy problems because of their size and location.  My work with the Sierra Club on their Beyond Coal Campaign taught me the importance of sustainability in economic development.  Further work with rural communities showed me that though some leaders valued sustainable development, many community leaders and citizens valued development regardless of the environmental cost.  My interest in learning how to develop rural communities sustainably is what led me to the OSU Public Policy program.  I am very excited to start my academic journey here and to be a part of a vibrant academic community.

 

Sarah Boege

Policy Interests: International Policy; Environmental Policy

Current Program of Study: Master of Public Policy

After living most of my life in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, I was pretty excited to move to Oregon and enjoy green trees and rain. I graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Sustainability, a BA in Spanish Linguistics, and a certificate in Latin American Studies. Studying abroad in Chile and also Trinidad & Tobago solidified my desire to work in Latin America in the future. Throughout my sustainability studies I focused primarily on international development. In my senior year of undergrad I became really interested in the impact policy could have on sustainable development issues. I saw this program as an logical and effective step towards my career goals.

 

Sayard Schultz

Policy Interests: Environmental Policy; Transportation Policy

Current Program of Study: Master of Public Policy

After completing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, I moved from Alaska to Oregon to pursue a career in law enforcement. In Corvallis, I became more aware of environmental policy issues and developed a passion for incorporating principles of sustainability to everyday life  . I then decided to change my career trajectory and focus on environmental policy issues surrounding community waste management and alternative public transportation. My transition from criminal justice  to working on environmental issues involved attending Corvallis community courses on community sustainability. I also volunteered on the board of directors for the Corvallis Environmental Center and on the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission. I am excited to be part of OPAL  and look forward to my future work to improve the implementation of environmental policy.

 

 

Stephen Naimoli

Policy Interests: Energy Policy; Environmental Policy

Current Program of Study: Master of Public Policy

Research Briefs:

(2015)  Regional Governance of Transportation Issues

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but have spent most of my life in Maryland. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at the University of Texas-Austin. Although my undergraduate studies were in the arts, a strong interest in politics and the environment led me to pursue public policy for my graduate studies. My main policy interest is in climate change mitigation policy. Before coming to Oregon, I worked with various environmental non-profits in DC, Maryland, and North Carolina.

 

 

Undergraduate Student Assistants

Beginning in winter term 2015, OPAL initiated its first undergraduate research program.

 

Bryan Williamson

Policy Interests: Political Theory; Environmental Policy; Energy Policy, Disability Rights/Accessibility Policy; Education Policy

Current Program of Study: BA in Political Science

Research Briefs:

 

Carly Culin

Policy Interests: Water Policy; Environmental Policy

Current Program of Study: BA in Political Science, Minor in Spanish

Research Briefs:

 

OPAL Alumni

Dr. Sally Duncan, Past OPAL Director

Directing OPAL as it emerged from idea to reality was an exciting and unique challenge. Watching students learn and grow as they engaged in real world projects and experiences, seeing them better understand the differences between theory and practice, was a privilege and a lot of

fun. Seeing OPAL come to fruition was the very best way I could have finished my working relationship with OSU. Probably because of my much-blessed childhood on an Australian ranch, I have always been most interested in bridging the gap between academic pursuits and applied problems. To this end, I always loved best the projects that were transdisciplinary, solution-focused, and collaborative. My alleged “retirement” involves a return to farm work, the best path I know to keepin’ it real.

 

Andrew Spaeth, Master of Public Policy

Project Liaison for the Following Studies:

  • (2014) The Corvallis Arts and Culture Commission
  • (2013) Biochar Policy Analysis
  • The League of Women Voters Project
  • NARA: Northwest Advanced Renewable Alliance Project

 

Elizabeth O'Casey, Master of Public Policy

Project Liaison for the Following Studies:

 

Ivan Kuletz, Master of Public Policy

Project Liaison for the Following Studies:

 

Mariana Amorim, Master of Public Policy

Project Liaison for the Following Studies:

 

Trang Tran, Master of Public Policy

Project Liaison for the Following Studies:

 

Undergraduate Student Alumni

Dennis Ngoc Dien Ta, BS in Finance

Project Assistant:

  • (2015) Oregon Lifestyle Survey

 

Keaton Kirkpatrick, BA  in Political Science and Government

Project Assistant:

  • (2015) Oregon Lifestyle Survey

 

Jasmine Eberhard, BA  in Psychology

Project Assistant:

  • (2015) Oregon Lifestyle Survey