UO Research Forum Highlights Work By Graduate Students

Graduate student Jewell Bohlinger studies human and cultural geography at the University of Oregon, and she’s currently researching prisons — from environmental impacts within prisons to whether prisons can be sustainable with high incarceration rates.

Bohlinger is one of more than 100 UO graduate students who will present their research projects Feb. 26 at the UO’s Ford Alumni Center for the UO Graduate Student Research Forum, organized by the UO Graduate School.

The event will include interdisciplinary panel sessions where graduate students will speak about each of their individual projects, a poster session where visitors are invited to vote on their favorite poster and a five-minute blitz presentation by students. In each of these categories, students will be judged and have the opportunity to win a cash prize.

At the event, Bohlinger will speak on a panel about her project, “Sustainability in Prisons.”

“Prisons are not great for the environment,” Bohlinger says. “They are a lot like hospitals. You have to have power running at all times, they have to have lights on at all times for safety and they have a lot of power going into them just to keep them safe and effective. That’s a lot of energy that’s being used.”

Dan Shtob, a master’s student in the environmental studies program, will also speak on a panel at the event and discuss his research project, “Fluid Boundaries: Envisioning Catastrophic Risk on the Oregon Coast.”

Shtob’s process for this project included speaking with 25 Coos Bay residents to initially discuss climate change. As a result of this discussion, Shtob found that a salient issue for Coos Bay residents was the possibility of a massive earthquake and tsunami, also known as “The Big One.”

“I really like empathic research, and I really like trying to understand not only what people feel or what people believe but why they feel they believe that. It is really a key to both finding effective ways to address problems, and also finding ways to build consensus around issues,” Shtob says regarding his work.

The UO Grad Forum will begin at 10 am Friday, Feb. 26, at the Ford Alumni Center at the UO campus. Food will be provided at the free event. To see a full list of the projects, visit bit.ly/1TvPs7P.