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The effective use of science in decision making depends not only on the integrity of the process for developing new science, but on the review and synthesis of existing science, and the relevance, access to, and usability of integrated science-based information to specific plan, management, or policy decisions.
Our mission is to provide access to integrated knowledge and information to inform natural resource decision making and develop solutions in the context of sustainability.
The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 through the Oregon Sustainability Act. INR is a cooperative enterprise of Oregon’s public universities tasked to link the science-based knowledge and expertise of universities and other research entities with natural resource decision making. See Oregon statute ORS 352.808.
Role within Oregon’s Public Universities
Oregon State University (OSU) is INR’s lead institutional home. INR is located on both the OSU and Portland State University (PSU) campuses, and has Vice Presidents of Research from these universities and the University of Oregon on its advisory board.
As a research institute, INR helps decision makers identify and use relevant science in making natural resource policy and management decisions. At INR’s foundation is the land grant mission – building synergy and connections between research and practice, and communicating knowledge and uncertainty to decision makers, communities, and the public.
Merger with the Institute for Water and Watersheds
INR has recently merged with the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) to expand the focus on water-related issues. IWW is the state water resources research institute for Oregon and is one of the 54 state- or territory-based institutes established by the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act. In this role IWW serves similar integrative functions to INR, but focused on water resources research and education. Paired with INR’s data and information management and accessibility functions, the merger of INR and IWW expands our ability to address multi-agency and multi-disciplinary resource issues.
Through the merger, INR and IWW share an advisory board, staff, and continue to carry out our related mission of informing natural resources decision making.
The INR 2013-2017 Strategic Plan can be found here. IWW adopted the INR 2013-2017 Strategic Plan in 2014. In October 2017, INR and IWW will start the process of drafting the "INR-IWW 2018+ Strategic Plan" (INR-IWW strategic planning background handout, INR version IWW version).