Recognizing the immense value the outdoor industry provides to our people, planet, and economy, Oregon State University has established the Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy. Formerly known as the Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative (OREI), the Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy is now launched in scale-up.

As a partnership of OSU’s Division of Extension and Engagement, the College of Forestry, and OSU-Cascades, the Center is committed to providing the research capacity and relevant programming that will lead to new and better opportunities for its workforce. These innovative programs will draw on close industry partnerships, and the University’s well-earned reputation as an R1 research institution and a leader in education, innovation, and engagement.

The Center will focus in the following areas:

Applied research: connecting industry and higher education to undertake research aimed at understanding outdoor recreation workforce needs.

Program development: uniting industry expertise, academic rigor, and innovative instructional design to deliver engaging and relevant training for every point along the learner’s career journey.

Industry engagement: partnering with industry stakeholders to identify and respond to workforce training, leadership development and research needs.

Higher education outreach: spearheading the creation of a national consortium designed to support and coordinate industry-responsive research & development at universities and colleges nationwide.

Visit the Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy website.


Current Team

Lee Davis
Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative
OSU Extension Service
Meredith Morrice
Industry Engagement Manager, Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative
OSU Extension Service
Paula Matano
Senior Program Strategist
OSU Extension Service
Daniel Powers
Manager of Learning Experience Design
OSU Extension Service
Erin Gaines
Public Engagement (contract)
Sarah Costello
Marketing Strategist (contract)
Emily Chorley
Instructional designer (contract)


Anita Azarenko
Interim Vice Provost/Executive Director
OSU Extension and Engagement