EUGENE, Oregon — The University of Oregon will open a new research hub that will work to research the effects of wildfire smoke and look at ways to reduce the risk, as the length and severity of fire seasons has been growing in Oregon.
“We know that wildfires aren't going away, so how do we adapt to this new reality of wildfire smoke,” said U of O research professor Cass Moseley, who said the center will work on a variety of fronts to answer the adaptation question.
The center is happening thanks to both of Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, who secured the $800,000 in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The center will now be a home for finding new ways to better protect homes from smoke infiltration, more efficiently communicating with people to educate or in emergency situations or developing community action plans unique to different parts of Oregon.
“This is an all hands on deck kind of problem, we really want to bring diverse folks together and to be the facilitator and help accelerate the extent to which people are already coming together to try and solve these issues,” said Moseley.
The new center will build on the university’s existing activities through the Ecosystem Workforce Program, and will also involve students and faculty from the School of Journalism and Communication’s Center for Science Communication Research, among others on campus.