Knowing how, when, and where to make investments that will restore healthy watersheds, conserve Oregon’s natural heritage, adapt to changing conditions, and facilitate sustained community and economic health and development is a challenging endeavor. Part of meeting that challenge depends on having and using relevant information to guide planning and management. Part depends on applying technology and information to improve productivity, efficiency, use, and long-term maintenance of our natural resources. And part depends on having policies that encourage people to make choices that balance the environment, economy, and society.

The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) was established in 2001 through the Oregon Legislature (ORS 352.808) to fulfill several legislative purposes that provide ready access to relevant science-based data, tools, and information for natural resource and environmental decision making.

INR works to advance centralized, science-based natural resource information for Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.



To be “Oregon’s place” – a neutral venue where anyone can ask questions, propose studies, and learn about natural resources and environmental conditions throughout Oregon.


To provide reliable, objective, relevant, and science-based integrated natural resource knowledge to facilitate long-term stewardship of Oregon’s environments and natural resources.

By knowledge we mean the synthesis of expertise, research findings, data, tools & information.

What we do

  • Data and information integration and access
  • Technical assistance and analysis 
  • Science review and advisory services
  • Research and research coordination
  • Training and capacity building


INR 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. INR and IWW adopted a joint strategic plan in June 2018.