Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

OSU sustainability, environmental Clubs offers hands-on student experience

Taylor Cockrell, OMN Photographer
Members of the Organic Grower’s Club smile at the Sunday Skool work party at the student farm in Corvallis.

The goal of most clubs at Oregon State University is to highlight various opportunities OSU has to offer and provide students with opportunities to explore their passions.

For those who want to get more involved with environmental and sustainability topics, here are some OSU clubs that connect with students to explore environmental aspects in fun, educational ways.

The Environmental Science Club

Covering a variety of topics ranging from wave simulations and discussions with researchers, to holding 75,000-year-old ice in your hands, the Environmental Science Club offers various possibilities to connect with your passions.

The club presents a friendly and less daunting approach to learning a variety of environmental-themed topics, as Glenna Rapp, president of the Environmental Sciences Club, and third-year environmental science major, described it.

“They can have a space to discover new passions, discover new opportunities and cool things that they’re interested in,” Rapp said.

Rebecca Vega Thurber presents methods and research regarding conserving marine ecosystems and resources at the Environmental Sciences Club meeting in Wilkinson Hall.

Weekly meetings in Wilkinson Hall 235 on Thursdays at 6 p.m. can include chances to talk to OSU faculty about their research, as well as the opportunity to tour some of OSU facilities and labs, such as the Ice Core Lab and the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, the largest nearshore experimental facility at an academic institution in the U.S.

The club offers students a sort of “peeking a little bit behind the curtain,” Rapp said. “Seeing what actually they can do in their major and what resources and opportunities that OSU provides.”

The club also holds global discussions in which students can present their IHRSA projects, study abroad prospects, and anything else that might interest them under the environmental umbrella.

“We had someone last year do a presentation about why beavers are amazing, and their own ecosystem and their ecological function and stuff,” Rapp said.

One of the signature qualities of the club is the strong sense of community that flows through each meeting, creating a comfortable atmosphere for people to get involved.

“You take so many classes, you meet so many people, but it’s very nice to meet once a week and have a group of people here, pretty consistent,” said Rapp. “You just get to see and connect with people and friends.” 

Website: https://osuenvisci.weebly.com/

Ocean11 Marine Club

Named for its inclusion of students from all 11 colleges, Ocean11 Marine Club is a club that focuses on exploring and learning through various discussions and activities, how to make a difference in our ocean and coast.

“We’re all about just welcoming anyone and everyone who has an interest in some way shape, or form of the ocean,” said Kate Larson, third-year marine studies major and president of Ocean11 Marine Club.

From hosting a variety of on-campus events such as research mixers, float-in movie nights, scientific illustration workshops, and seminars, Ocean11 Marine Club intends to show students what resources they have to pursue their passions 

The club also offers affordable economic field trip opportunities, giving as many people as possible the chance to go to places such as the coast, Hatfield Marine Science Center, and the aquarium.

Pedro Lomonaco, director of O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, discusses wave generation with a group of Ocean11 club members at the wave research laboratory.

“We bring in people to help (students) see all the opportunities that are available to them through the club,” Larson said. 

The club also has hands-on experiences, giving students the chance to be a part of an even bigger discussion.

“We do things, you know, beyond ourselves as students,” Larson said, “Into the greater community where we try to include people to go on these beach cleanups once a term and just make a difference.” 

Above all, Ocean11 Marine Club encourages diving into whatever makes you giddy, with an open mind ready to learn.

“If they want it to be like a part of their career or just as a really cool hobby and passion, we are there to help them learn about it as much as they want to and give them those connections that’ll be really meaningful for the long term,” Larson said. 

Listserve: https://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5db2NLz8XifeDdj

The Organic Growers Club

Created by three students complaining about the limited hands-on activities within their degree, the Organic Growers Club has grown into exactly the club it imagined it could be, extending opportunities for everyone to get their hands dirty and learn about organic farming as you do it.

But OSU didn’t make it easy at first.

From being given a poor piece of research land, to OSU allegedly attempting to shut down the club numerous times, throughout its 24 years of existence, the Organic Growers Club feels they have faced much adversity according to James Cassidy, club founder and advisor.

Having come a long way, the club meets every Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to dark, at Oak Creek, located at 843 SW 35th St, to work for a few hours, accompanied by a hot meal, potluck style. 

“Instead of adding something to the student’s schedule, like ‘hey, come up to the student farm’, additional to your life; It kind of swapped out something that they had to do anyway, which was eat and find food and, you know, forage and cook,” Cassidy said.  

A member of the Organic Grower’s Club shovels soil at the Sunday Skool work party at the student farm in Corvallis.

The club also meets at the student farm, located across Willamette River, on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon for “Sunday Skool”, a time for students to gain a variety of hands-on experiences without actually being in a class or school setting.

“We’re too cool for school because it’s not school,” Cassidy said. “This isn’t meant to be academic, though a lot of learning happens and a lot of really fascinating discussions happen.” 

The fruits and vegetables grown by the club are distributed into the community through the Saturday Market and the Community Supported Agriculture program, which allows customers to purchases a box of produce each week from May until November. 

Not dependent on grades or assignments, the club’s goal is just to gather people who are interested in creating healthy farming habits.

“I try and make it fun, I try and make it challenging, but we do it together,” Cassidy said. “It’s kind of like with a lot of us trying, we can do amazing things.” 

If you would like to sign up for the listserve to get more information on the meetings, email Cassidy at [email protected]. For more information on the CSA shares, visit:


Website: https://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/organic-growers-club

To find more information and other club opportunities, visit: https://fa.oregonstate.edu/sustainability/sustainability-clubs-and-organizations 

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