Research by Students in the School of Public Policy

Graduate Student Research


OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory


Undergraduate Student Research

SES Fellows

Madeline “Molly” Courville
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Oregon State University

I am a sociology and psychology major at Oregon State University. I transferred to OSU from Pikes Peak Community College in my home town of Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am an officer for the Psyched Out club, which is the psychology club at OSU responsible for planning student events related to the subject of psychology. I am also a START Transfer Ambassador and will help out with welcoming new transfer students to OSU throughout the year.

Wildfires have had a large impact on my community. In 2012, the Waldo Canyon fire started very near Colorado Springs. Ultimately, this fire was not that large compared to other wildfires that have occurred, but it had huge effects on my community. Although my family was not evacuated, we housed many of our family friends because they were unable to stay home. The smoke also had huge impacts on the community, as it heavily affected air quality. All though this fire was not incredibly large, it still had huge effects on my community, which shows how impactful and dangerous large wildfires can be.

Marisol De La Torre
Major: Sociology w/ Crime & Justice, minor in Business
Oregon State University

"Hello! My name is Marisol De La Torre (she/her/hers). I am a third-year undergraduate student at Oregon State University majoring in sociology with an option in crime and justice with a minor in business. Some of my hobbies include: visiting art museums, reading, listening to music, photography, traveling, walking, hiking, visiting gardens, baking, sewing, shopping, sleeping, eating ice cream, and discovering new bakeries.

Wildfires impact the Latinx community disproportionately as they represent the majority of farm workers in rural Oregon. Wildfires can cause serious health complications; for example, over-exposure to fire smoke can lead to illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Many Latino/a/x farmworkers don’t have health insurance which makes them less likely to receive adequate healthcare after being exposed to fire smoke. Latinx farmworkers also tend to fall in lower-income brackets, therefore, living in fire-vulnerable housing and lack the resources to prepare and recover from wildfire disasters."


Asusena Munoz Flores
Major: Human Development and Family Science, Sociology
Oregon State University

My name is Asusena and I'm a third year student majoring in Human Development and Family Science and Sociology. Some of my favorite hobbies include going on walks, watching K-dramas, and skateboarding. I'm excited to take part in studying how wildfires affect our community because few people take into consideration the effect that fire has on community functioning. I remember the wildfire that occured in The Dalles Oregon. I was working that day, when I went outside the sky was filled with smoke. The air quality was so bad people were asked to avoid going outside. It had a definite impact on the lives of people.

Markus Julien
Major: Sociology w/ Crime & Justice

My name is Markus Julien and I am a sociology major and in the near feature adding a focus in crime & justice. I want to eventually work somewhere in the corrections field! Some of my hobbies include going outdoors, hiking, lifting weights, intramural sports, and nice days out by the water with friends.

I also enjoy video games, skateboarding, listening to music, and time with family & friends. Living in Cottage Grove, Oregon I’ve been exposed to wildfire smoke and the surrounding counties having large fires. It has made it so our community is at risk of smoke inhalation and even fire danger because of our location in the valley. Back in high school I had football practice in the gym for a whole week leading up to the Friday night game. Though my team luckily ended up playing, schools in areas more impacted by the fire first hand had to deal with even more adjustment to their season.

Luz Cervantes Guzman
Major: Sociology w/ Crime & Justice, minor in Spanish
Oregon State University

Hello, my name is Luz Cervantes Guzman (she/her/hers). I am a third-year undergraduate student studying Sociology with an option in crime and justice and a minor in Spanish. Some of my hobbies include: hiking, traveling, dancing, working out, coloring, journaling, shopping, and reading.

Wildfires impact my community by creating economic and social problems. Oregon offers many recreational activities and a wildfire can cause communities who financially rely on tourism to be devastated both economically and socially. Members within my community are from the working class, immigrants, have limited or no access to healthcare. Wildfire damage will leave this population vulnerable, however, research can limit or prevent the harm.