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Oregon State University Press

Website: http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/

For fifty years, Oregon State University Press has been publishing exceptional books about the Pacific Northwest -- its people and landscapes, its flora and fauna, its history and cultural heritage. The Press has played a vital role in the region's literary life, providing readers with a better understanding of what it means to be an Oregonian.

Founded in 1961 when the University adopted its current name of Oregon State University, the OSU Press at first published mainly scholarly works on the biological and natural sciences. But sprinkled throughout our list were titles about Oregon that appealed to the book-loving public.

Fifty year -- and nearly 400 book -- later, the heart of our mission is still the same. We are a scholarly publisher with distinguished books in several academic areas from environmental history and natural resource management to indigenous studies and we publish titles that celebrate, evaluate, invent, and illuminate the Oregon condition.


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Oregon State University Press

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The Nude Beach Notebook Cover

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The Nude Beach Notebook

Barbara J. Scot

In this engaging new memoir, a loose sequel to her earlier Prairie Reunion, Barbara J. Scot explores her reluctance and longing to reconnect with a much-loved brother, lost to alcoholism for thirty years.

Scot uses long, meditative walks on the “clothing optional” beach of the idyllic Sauvie Island near Portland, Oregon, to explore family responsibility, time’s passage, and faith. She weaves entries from her notebook—a record of the island’s wildlife, descriptions of the “Odd Ones” she encounters on the beach, and stories about the native people who once lived on the river—with the main narrative, tracing her search for her brother, her close friendship with a fellow writer, and daily life on the moorage. Scot considers the uses of fiction and non-fiction in memory as well as in writing, the brevity and beauty of human existence, and the inscrutable, enduring mystery of death.

In The Nude Beach Notebook, Scot highlights the importance of place as a means for exploring and interpreting one’s own story. In the end, her walks on Sauvie Island lead to her own redemptive journey.

Oregon Archaeology Cover

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Oregon Archaeology

C. Melvin Aikens, Thomas J. Connolly, and Dennis L. Jenkins

Archaeological research has revealed much about Oregon’s history in the last twenty years. Oregon Archaeology incorporates this new knowledge, telling the story of Native American cultures in Oregon beginning with the earliest evidence of human occupation about 14,000 years ago and continuing into the nineteenth century. It includes selected studies in contact-historic period archaeology to illustrate aspects of first encounters between Native Americans and newcomers of European and Asian heritage, as well as important trends in the development of modern Oregon.

Oregon’s early human history is linked to four of the five major cultural regions of western North America: the Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, the Northwest Coast, and California. Oregon Archaeology offers a coherent and unified history of an area that is highly differentiated geographically and culturally.

A historical narrative informed by evidence from critical sites, Oregon Archaeology is enriched with maps, photographs, line drawings, and an extensive bibliography. Oregon Archaeology is an essential reference for archaeology professionals and students, and also for general readers interested in Oregon’s Native American culture and history.

Oregon Geology Cover

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Oregon Geology

Sixth Edition

Elizabeth L. Orr and William N. Orr

Because Oregon sits on the leading edge of a moving crustal plate, a striking diversity of geologic events have molded its topography. Over a century of study, a deeper understanding of the region’s tectonic overprint has emerged. In this timely update to the 2000 edition, Elizabeth and William Orr incorporate that new knowledge, addressing current environmental problems and detailing tectonic hazards. “Caught between converging crustal plates,” the Orrs write, “the Pacific Northwest faces a future of massive earthquakes and tsunamis.”

A comprehensive treatment of the state’s geologic history, Oregon Geology moves through Oregon’s regions to closely examine the unique geologic features of each, from the Blue Mountains to the Willamette Valley, from the high lava Plains to the Coast Range.

The book includes biographical sketches of notable geologists. It is lavishly illustrated and includes an extensive bibliography.

Oregon Plans Cover

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Oregon Plans

The Making of an Unquiet Land

Sy Adler

Oregon Plans provides a rich, detailed, and nuanced analysis of the origins and early evolution of Oregon’s nationally renowned land use planning program.

Drawing primarily on archival sources, Sy Adler explores the dynamics of passing the key state laws that set the statewide program into motion, establishing the agency charged with implementing those laws, adopting the land use planning goals that are the heart of the Oregon system, and monitoring and enforcing the implementation of those goals through a unique citizen organization.

Adler brings to life the key actors associated with Oregon’s land use planning activities and organizations, highlighting the significant roles played by environmental activists, industry groups including homebuilders and realtors, local governments, and state officials. He reveals the conflicts and compromises that these parties with competing interests negotiated.

Oregon Plans both informs those new to Oregon and reminds long-time residents about controversial historic issues and the consequential choices that were made to address them during the mid-1970s. The book will interest anyone involved in land use, conservation, and environmental issues—from citizens to officials to developers—in Oregon and beyond.

Pacific Northwest Cheese Cover

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Pacific Northwest Cheese

A History

Tami Parr

In this rich and engaging history, Tami Parr shows how regional cheesemaking found its way back to the farm. It’s a lively story that begins with the first fur traders in the Pacific Northwest and ends with modern-day small farmers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

For years, farmers in the Pacific Northwest made and sold cheese to support themselves, but over time the craft of cheesemaking became a profitable industry and production was consolidated into larger companies and cooperatives. Eventually, few individual cheesemakers were left in the region. In the late sixties and early seventies, influenced by the counterculture and back-to-the-land movements, the number of small farms and cheesemakers began to grow, initiating an artisan cheese renaissance that continues today.

Along with documenting the history of cheese in the region, Parr reveals some of the Pacific Northwest’s untold cheese stories: the fresh cheese made on the Oregon Trail, the region’s thriving blue cheese and regional swiss cheese makers, and the rise of goat’s milk and goat’s milk cheese (not the modern phenomenon many assume it to be).

Pedaling Revolution Cover

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Pedaling Revolution

How Cyclists are Changing American Cities

Jeff Mapes

In a world of increasing traffic congestion, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on city streets. Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities. explores the growing bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities, suburbs, and small towns across North America.

From traffic-dodging bike messengers to tattooed teenagers on battered bikes, from riders in spandex to well-dressed executives, ordinary citizens are becoming transportation revolutionaries. Jeff Mapes traces the growth of bicycle advocacy and explores the environmental, safety, and health aspects of bicycling. He rides with bicycle advocates who are taming the streets of New York City, joins the street circus that is Critical Mass in San Francisco, and gets inspired by the everyday folk pedaling in Amsterdam, the nirvana of American bike activists. Chapters focused on big cities, college towns, and America’s most successful bike city, Portland, show how cyclists, with the encouragement of local officials, are claiming a share of the valuable streetscape

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Portland in Three Centuries

The Place and the People

Carl Abbott

A compact and comprehensive history of Portland from first European contact to the twenty-first century, Portland in Three Centuries/ introduces the women and men who have shaped Oregon’s largest city.

The expected politicians and business leaders appear in Portland in Three Centuries—William Ladd and Edgar Kaiser, George Baker and Vera Katz. But Carl Abbott also highlights workers and immigrants, union members and dissenters, women at work and in the public realm, artists and activists, and other movers and shakers.

Incorporating social history and contemporary scholarship in his narrative, Abbott examines current metropolitan character and issues, giving close attention to historical background. He explores the context of opportunities and problems that have helped to shape the rich mosaic that is Portland.

A highly readable character study of a city, and enhanced by more than sixty historic and contemporary images, Portland in Three Centuries will appeal to readers interested in Portland, in Oregon, and in Pacific Northwest history.

Public Lands, Public Debates Cover

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Public Lands, Public Debates

A Century of Controversy

The subject of historic struggle and contemporary dispute, public lands in the United States are treasured spaces. In Public Lands, Public Debates, environmental historian Char Miller explores the history of conservation thinking and the development of a government agency with stewardship at its mission.

Owned in common, our national forests, monuments, parks, and preserves are funded through federal tax receipts, making these public lands national in scope and significance. Their controversial histories demonstrate their vulnerability to shifting tides of public opinion, alterations in fiscal support, and overlapping authorities for their management—including federal, state, and local mandates, as well as critical tribal prerogatives and military claims.

Miller takes the Forest Service as a gauge of the broader debates in which Americans have engaged since the late nineteenth century. In nineteen essays,he examines critical moments of public and private negotiation to help explain the particular, and occasionally peculiar, tensions that have shaped the administration of public lands in the United States.

“Watching democracy at work can be bewildering, even frustrating, but the only way individuals and organizations can sift through the often messy business of public deliberation is to deliberate...”—Char Miller, from the introduction

Race and Science Cover

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Race and Science

Scientific Challenges to Racism in Modern America

Edited by Paul Farber and Hamilton Cravens

During the course of American history, scientific theories have been used to legitimate racial ideas that in turn have been important in creating and interpreting the law. Race and Science collects essays from leading voices in law, history, history of science, botany, and the social sciences, resulting in a rich and comprehensive multidisciplinary exploration of the roots of and the scientific challenges to racial essentialism.

The notion that someone’s racial identity and characteristics define everything of importance about them has become deeply embedded in American culture, society, and science. These essays illuminate the roots of this belief and present case studies that explore how and why natural and social scientists have challenged these racist views.

Reflections of a Pragmatic Economist Cover

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Reflections of a Pragmatic Economist

My Intellectual Journey

Emery N. Castle

In Reflections of a Pragmatic Economist, Emery Castle traces an intellectual journey that spans more than half a century and has helped shape the fields of agricultural, rural and resource economics.

Castle’s memoir is grounded in the integration of his personal and professional experiences. He describes his roots as the son of Kansas tenant farmers, his service during World War II, his education, and his academic career, exploring the ways in which these experiences influenced his teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities.

An influential figure in the development of resource and environmental economics, Castle is also the pioneer of a rural economics based in the interdependence of the rural and urban. Castle’s memoir reflects the history of ideas in economics and agricultural economics. Drawing on ten years of leadership at Resources for the Future, a highly influential think tank on resource and environmental policy research, Castle gives special attention to contrasting elite and land-grant institutions.

In a lifetime spent studying people and places, Castle has helped expand the boundaries of applied economics in profound and eloquent ways. Reflections of a Pragmatic Economist recounts this unique journey.

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