About Us

Are you concerned about climate change, social justice and the future of our cities?

OLIS in the News

Sustainable Development: Willamette Falls

  The Willamette Falls is one of the largest in North America and has a unique native American and urban history. The historic waterfront industries have been closed, and Oregon City is currently planning for the future of this site in conjunction with numerous regional, state and national agencies. In the coming spring quarter, students in the OLIS program will have the rare opportunity to participate in the planning of this extraordinary site. These opportunities include: Collaborative design and public involvement Downtown revitalization Economic redevelopment...

Playing the Game of Climate Roulette

Dr. Vicki Elmer, OLIS Director Around me are green trees and the peacefulness that lingers in the last days of summer at the University of Oregon. But I'm thinking about climate risk – reminiscent of Russian Roulette – and I'm anything but peaceful. Fall is a whisper away, and Campus Facilities are making sure the storm drains are in good working order for the heavy rains of winter. Campus Planning is dreaming about more green roofs while Capital Facilities staff are putting the finishing touches on improved bicycle infrastructure. The UO Sustainability Director is preparing for a new generation...

OLIS Grad Directs Campus Sustainability at Whitman College

  One year ago, incoming students of OLIS gathered in a shaded patch of lawn at the University of Oregon to engage in traditional ice breaking activities and introduce themselves to their fellow cohort members. Among the students was Tristan Sewell, a recent graduate from Western Washington University. Having earned a BA in Environmental Policy and worked to expand campus sustainability efforts at his alma mater, Tristan hoped to strengthen his knowledge and experience in the field. While his undergrad experiences sparked his interest in campus sustainability, Tristan credits OLIS with...

Diversity in Sustainability Careers

  It's a familiar refrain: "So, what are you going to do with that degree?" Most recent graduates in the sustainability field have grown well-versed in their unique elevator pitch responses to what can be a skeptical or a perfectly innocent question. Rarely will two responses be exactly alike, and answers tend to change over time. Careers in sustainability defy simple, straightforward explanation. This year’s OLIS graduates find themselves working in fields from renewable energy to community outreach, active transportation and higher education. -Beth Sweeney, OLIS Student Affairs Officer

Connect with OLIS