The Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC) is part of the Institute for Natural Resources (INR) and is based at Portland State University. INR is a cooperative enterprise of Oregon's public universities and has headquarters at Oregon State University and offices at Portland State University. INR's mission is to inform natural resources decision making by integrating knowledge and information.
ORBIC leads INR's activities related to biodiversity and conservation. ORBIC's key function is to maintain, develop and distribute biodiversity information in the state. ORBIC also coordinates projects on biodiversity monitoring and provides technical assistance for the Oregon Natural Areas Program. ORBIC works with a variety of agency, non-profit, and private partners and is a member of the NatureServe network.
While its name has changed several times since its inception in 1979, the core goals of ORBIC have remained the same, and the office has always been located in Portland, Oregon. The center continues to work with partners to provide the most comprehensive information on plants, wildlife, fish, fungi, and vegetation throughout Oregon.
The program was originally named the Oregon Natural Heritage Program and was formed by the Oregon Legislature in 1979. The program was housed at The Nature Conservancy of Oregon, where it was later renamed to the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center (ORNHIC).
In 2001 the Oregon legislature established the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University, and the program became part of INR-OSU in 2002. Staff became OSU employees, but the organization retained its physical location at The Nature Conservancy's Portland office.
In 2007 the program physically and administratively moved to Portland State University and the program changed its name to the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC). Staff are now a mix of OSU and PSU employees. As of 2015 the program is physically located in the Science and Education Center at Portland State University and is part of the School of the Environment. ORBIC continues to be part of the Institute for Natural Resources and works closely with the staff housed at the Corvallis office.
The Oregon Biodiversity Information Center works with a variety of state, federal, non-profit, and regional partners. The following list includes only a small representation of these.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy of Oregon
Defenders of Wildlife
Natural Areas Association
Institute for Applied Ecology
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank and Plant Conservation Program
Conservation Biology Institute
Oregon Department of State Lands
Oregon Department of Forestry
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Spatial Data Clearinghouse
Oregon State University
Oregon State University Research Office
Oregon State University College of Forestry
Northwest Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering
Portland State University
University of Oregon
We occasionally have paid student positions open. You must be enrolled as a student at PSU and taking either 6 or more undergraduate credits or 5 or more graduate credits to be eligible. Student positions are posted on PSU's CareerConnect site. Click the link below for instructions on how to access the site.
PSU CareerConnect: http://www.pdx.edu/careers/jobs-databasecareerconnect
We are always looking for volunteers; if you are interested please contact Sue Vrilakas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-725-9950. PSU students may be eligible for course credit.