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.

Legislative Purpose

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 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.




Advisory Board

INR and the Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) share an advisory board. The INR-IWW advisory board is comprised of members representing Oregon's public universities; federal, state and local government; private industry; and non-governmental organizations. The board is instrumental in helping to develop our mission and strategic plan, and in contributing to the identification of our key focus areas.

Advisory Board Members

Bill Boggess, Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences (OSU)

Faye Chadwell, Don and Delpha Campbell University Librarian and OSU Press Director (OSU)

Dar Crammond, Director, USGS Oregon Water Science Center

Anthony Davis, Acting Dean, College of Forestry (OSU)

Jackie Dingfelder, Hatfield School of Government (PSU)

Steve Emery, CEO, Earth2o

Derek Godwin, OSU Extension Watershed Management, Biological and Ecological Engineering

Chris Lauver, Co-Leader PNW Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit and National Park Service Research Coordinator

Meta Loftsgaarden, Executive Director, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

Cathy Macdonald, Director of Policy and External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy

Jason Miner, Oregon Governor’s Natural Resource Policy Director

Scott Reed, Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement (OSU)

Todd Rosenstiel, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Science (PSU)

Cy Smith, Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services Geospatial Enterprise Office

Mike Wilson, Natural Resources Division Director, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde

Technical Committees

Technical committees are being formed for land, water, and data sharing.




The Institute for Natural Resources and the Institute for Water and Watersheds (INR-IWW) are engaged in a number of multi-agency and multi-institutional efforts.


  • Governor’s Natural Resources Cabinet
  • Oregon Geographic Information Council
  • Science Management Team
  • Integrated Water Resources Strategy
  • Climate Change Adaptation Framework
  • Department of Land Conservation and Development IMMI
  • Sage Grouse Conservation Project (SageCon)
  • Oregon Coast and Marine Data Network (OCMDN)
  • Willamette Aquatic Invasives Network (WAIN) 

Federal and Regional

  • Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit
  • Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit
  • U.S. Geological Survey External Research
  • U.S. Geological Survey State Water Resources Research Institute Program
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources
  • Western Landowners Alliance
  • Integrated Data Management Network
  • Western Invasives Network (WIN) 


  • National Council for Science and the Environment
  • National Natural Heritage Program Network
  • National Institutes for Water Resources
  • Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI)
  • DataONE
  • USGS Protected Areas - US
  • National Park Service Vegetation Inventory 
  • National Ecosystem Services Partnership


  • Collaboration for Environmental Evidence
  • iMapInvasives