Oregon State University Press

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. Today, Oregon State University Press publishes distinguished books in several academic areas from environmental history and natural resource management to indigenous studies.

Showing 1-10 of 395 items.

As the Condor Soars

Conserving and Restoring Oregon's Birds

Oregon State University Press

As the Condor Soars focuses on the increasing role that ornithologists played in public agencies, changing ideas about ecosystems, and conservation debates in Oregon. These themes are most clearly seen in the battles over the northern spotted owl and the development of the Northwest Forest Plan. Contributors to this volume also discuss new developments in the study of birds, such as sound studies, and connections between ornithologists and artists. The volume includes illustrations by Ram Papish. 

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A History of Oregon Ornithology

From Territorial Days to the Rise of Birding

Oregon State University Press

History of Oregon Ornithology is a detailed and entertaining tour of how birds were first observed and studied by explorers in what is now Oregon. The narrative takes the reader from Lewis and Clark through the 1950s, then refocuses on how birding and related amateur field observation grew outside the realm of academic and conservation agencies.

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A Peculiar Paradise

A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940

Oregon State University Press

Published in cooperation with Oregon Black Pioneers

A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon 1788–1940 remains the most comprehensive chronology of Black life in Oregon more than forty years after its original publication in 1980. The book has long been a resource for those seeking information on the legal and social barriers faced by people of African descent in Oregon. Elizabeth McLagan’s work reveals how in spite of those barriers, Black individuals and families made Oregon their home, and helped create the state’s modern Black communities. Long out of print, the book is available again through this co-publication with Oregon Black Pioneers, Oregon’s statewide African American historical society. The revised second edition includes additional details for students and scholars, an expanded reading list, a new selection of historic images, and a new foreword by Gwen Carr and an afterword by Elizabeth McLagan.

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A Force for Nature

Nancy Russell's Fight to Save the Columbia Gorge

Oregon State University Press

A Force for Nature is a biography of a person and a place. It describes how Nancy Russell, a woman with no political, fundraising, or organizing experience, mounted a national campaign to overcome eighty years of conflict—some of it later directed at her through slashed tires and death threats—to protect the Columbia River Gorge, one of the nation’s most scenic, historic, and threatened landscapes.

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Studies in Outdoor Recreation

Search and Research for Satisfaction

Oregon State University Press

An essential resource for students, scholars, and professionals, Studies in Outdoor Recreation explores the theoretical and methodological issues in outdoor recreation and describes the management implications of outdoor recreation research.

Contributors to the fourth edition include Megha Budruk, Kelly Goonan, Jeffrey Hallo, Daniel Laven, Steven Lawson, Rebecca Stanfield McCown, Laura Anderson McIntyre, Ben Minteer, Peter Newman, Elizabeth Perry, Peter Pettengill, Nathan Reigner, William Valliere, Carena Van Riper, and Xiao Xiao.

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Planning the Portland Urban Growth Boundary

The Struggle to Transform Trend City

Oregon State University Press

In this companion volume to his 2012 book Oregon Plans: The Making of an Unquiet Land-Use Revolution, Sy Adler offers readers a deep analysis of Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary.

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Dead Wood

The Afterlife of Trees

Oregon State University Press

The west is full of magnificent trees: mighty spruces, towering cedars, and stout firs. We are used to appreciating trees during their glory years, but how often do we consider what happens to a tree when it dies? We’ve all seen driftwood on the beach. But how many people have truly looked at it and appreciated its ecological role?
 
Ellen Wohl has thought about these questions, and In Dead Wood, she takes us through the afterlife of trees, describing the importance of standing and downed dead wood in forests, in rivers, along beaches, in the open ocean, and even at the deepest parts of the seafloor. Downed wood in the forest provides habitat for diverse plants and animals, and the progressive decay of the wood releases nutrients into the soil. Wood in rivers provides critical habitat for stream insects and fish and can accumulate in logjams that divert the river repeatedly across the valley floor, creating a floodplain mosaic that is rich in habitat and biodiversity. Driftwood on the beach helps to stabilize shifting sand, creating habitat for plants and invertebrates. Fish such as tuna congregate at driftwood in the open ocean. As driftwood becomes saturated and sinks to the ocean floor, collections of sunken wood provide habitat and nutrients for deep-sea organisms. Far from being an unsightly form of waste that needs to be cleaned from forests, beaches, and harbors, dead wood is a critical resource for many forms of life.
 
Dead Wood follows the afterlives of three trees: a spruce in the Colorado Rocky Mountains that remains on the floodplain after death; a redcedar in Washington that is gradually transported downstream to the Pacific; and a poplar in the Mackenzie River of Canada that is transported to the Arctic Ocean. With these three trees, Wohl encourages readers to see beyond landscapes, to appreciate the ecological processes that drive rivers and forests and other ecosystems, and demonstrates the ways that the life of an ecosystem carries on even when individual members of that system have died. Readers will discover that trees can have an exceptionally rich afterlife—one tightly interwoven with the lives of humans and ecosystems.
 

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A Little Bit of Land

Oregon State University Press

From midwifing new lambs to harvesting basil, Jessica Gigot invites readers into rural life and explores the uncommon road that led her there. Fascinated by farming and the burgeoning local food movement, she spent her twenties wandering the Pacific Northwest as a farm intern and eventually a graduate student in horticulture, always with an eye towards learning as much as she could about how and why people farm. Despite numerous setbacks and the many difficulties of growing food, from soggy soil to rambunctious rams, she created a life for herself defined by resilience and a genuine love of nature.
 
In A Little Bit of Land, Gigot explores the intricacies of small-scale agriculture in the Pacific Northwest, the changing role of women in this male-dominated industry, and questions of sustainability, economics, and health in our food system. Gigot alternates between describing the joys and challenges of small farm life and reflecting on her formative experiences outdoors and in classrooms throughout the region—from Ashland in southern Oregon to the Skagit Valley in Washington state. Throughout, she discovers what it means to find roots, start a family, and cultivate contentment in this unique corner of the world.
 
A Little Bit of Land is a moving memoir about falling in love with a place and all its inhabitants.  It will be relished by readers interested in regenerative agriculture, and anyone who is curious about what it means to live off and love the land.
 

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Native and Ornamental Conifers in the Pacific Northwest

Identification, Botany and Natural History

Oregon State University Press

Most conifer guides available for the Pacific Northwest focus on native species observed in the wild. Native and Ornamental Conifers in the Pacific Northwest presents an integrated perspective for understanding and identifying conifers in any landscape where native and ornamental species grow alongside each other. It is suitable for landscape designers, horticulturalists, arborists, gardeners, environmental scientists, and botanists.

Based on her experiences teaching workshops on conifer identification and cultivation, Elizabeth Price has developed Jargon-free photographic charts, which allow for side-by-side comparison of conifer features and guide the reader to species identification. The charts are detailed enough for specialists yet accessible to amateurs.

The book includes extensive material on the characteristics, botany, and natural history of conifer plant families, genera, and species, all illustrated with original photographs. Research across many disciplines is blended with direct observation and personal experience, creating a book that goes beyond identification and is both rigorous and engaging.

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Cheese War

Conflict and Courage in Tillamook County, Oregon

Oregon State University Press

In the 1960s, Tillamook County, Oregon, was at war with itself. As the regional dairy industry shifted from small local factories to larger consolidated factories, and as profit margins for milk and cheese collapsed, Tillamook farmers found themselves in a financial crisis that fueled multiple disputes. The ensuing Cheese War included lies and secrets, as well as spies, high emotion, a shoving match, and even a death threat.

On one side of the battle was Beale Dixon, head of Tillamook County Creamery Association. Dixon set up a scheme to offer low-interest, low-collateral loans from TCCA’s largest member cooperative, Tillamook Cheese & Dairy Association, to the supermarkets that stocked Tillamook products. Dixon argued it was a cheap, easy way to ensure good will—and continued purchases—in a tight market. On the other side was George Milne, a respected farmer and board president of the cooperative. Milne supported his board’s decision that loans would require board approval and bank oversight. Dixon mostly ignored those requirements.

The discovery of more financial irregularities soon spiraled  into a community-wide dispute, exacerbated by a complex web of family and business relationships. The Cheese War raged for the better part of a decade across board meetings, courtrooms, and the community itself. While largely unknown outside of Tillamook County, the Cheese War was so divisive that some families remain fractured today.

Sisters Marilyn Milne and Linda Kirk, children of the Cheese War, saw how it absorbed their parents. As adults, they set out to learn more about what had happened. The authors conducted years of research and have integrated it with tales of their experiences as farm kids living through the all-consuming fight. As Americans become ever more interested in food supply chains and ethical consumption, here is the story of the very human factors behind one of Oregon’s most iconic brands.

 

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