Keats Conley presented recently at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in Bend, Oregon. This year, the meeting’s theme was ”Building Partnerships and Community between Fish and Folks”. Keats’ presentation, entitled “Fostering Partnerships through Student Research: A Service-Learning Approach to Riparian Stewardship”, was coauthored by Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Co-Director Peg Boulay and by Jared Weybright of the McKenzie Watershed Council.
Keats presented on her experience serving as a project manager for the 2012 Stream Stewardship Team, which was comprised of 12 UO undergraduate students who completed a service-learning riparian restoration project on the Berggren Watershed Conservation Area and the Middle McKenzie Side Channels. She shared “lessons learned regarding successful project design and implementation,” and described “how service-learning can provide students with practical field and writing skills, an introduction to restoration knowledge, and experience working collaboratively in a team-based setting, while also providing a useful product to project partners.” Keats sums up the significance of her experience: “By serving as a project manager I played a small role in continuing the long-term partnership between the University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program and the McKenzie Watershed Council.”