Other Rural and Regional Research Centers

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Oregon State University and the Rural Studies Program offer courses dealing with rural issues in several departments and colleges. Below is a list of some of course available with rural content.  The Rural Studies Program at Oregon State University has developed a statewide, multi-disciplinary program from five colleges and the Extension Service to develop a new and unique model of University engagement with rural communities. This model involves partners from other universities, governments, and the nonprofit sector in creating new educational opportunities, applied and fundamental research, and outreach that address the needs of rural communities. This program has four objectives: Prepare a new generation of community leaders, professionals, and scholars with capacity to take on the kinds of complex, often messy situations that emerge as rural communities seek economic and social viability.  Generate new knowledge about the challenges facing rural communities and what policies work best in rural places for achieving sustainability. Engage rural communities in learning about their strengths and opportunities and in developing place-specific strategies to support long-term development. Build broader public understanding about the contributions of, and constraints faced by, rural communities and about the impacts of federal and state policy on rural communities.

Southwestern Minnesota State University. The Rural and Regional Studies Department is part of Southwest Minnesota State Universityís Center for Rural and Regional Studies. The Center fosters interdisciplinary research and teaching among University faculty and programs. The Center supports SMSUís founding mission to study, represent, and serve southwestern Minnesota. The Centerís geographical scope includes southwestern Minnesota, the tallgrass prairie bioregion, and the central North American grassland biome. Its work encompasses environmental, ecological, demographic, geographic, social, cultural, and historical studies. Topics of special interest include the upper Midwestern agricultural economy, the regionís unique migrant streams, evolving ethnic communities, and the experiences and daily lives of its people.

Emporia State University Center for Great Plains Studies   Situated in tallgrass country near the West's legendary trails, Emporia State University emphasizes the study of the grasslands as one of its primary responsibilities to Kansas and the region. When the Kansas Board of Regents authorized the Center for Great Plains Studies in 1977, that sense of responsibility became an exclusive mandate for ESU.  Academic programs, public service activities, and research projects are intended to inform, interest and promote appreciation of the sprawling mid-continental grasslands. Here, academic fields in the natural sciences, fine arts, social sciences and humanities converge. Faculty members from art to zoology study the common and the uncommon of the region that invest it with a particular texture and spirit.

The Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska Lincoln is an interdisciplinary intercollegiate program administered in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its goal is to foster the study of people and the environment in the sparsely populated Great Plains. A region with highly variable weather set against grassy, rolling land, the Great Plains stretches westward from the Missouri River at Omaha and Kansas City to the Rocky Mountains, and northward from the Texas Panhandle into the Canadian prairie provinces. The region invites inquiry into the relationships between the environment and the cultures brought to it by its various inhabitants, as well as the implications of these relationships for the future. Careers:  A major or minor in Great Plains Studies may be a useful program for students who plan careers in regionally based businesses, in educational, governmental, and public service agencies, and in archival or historical museums. The Center publishes two scholarly journalsóGreat Plains Quarterly, a humanities journal, and Great Plains Research, a natural and social science journalóand an undergraduate publication, Plains Song Review.

Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont    The mission of the Center for Rural Studies is to promote the dissemination of information through teaching, consulting, research, and community outreach.  Primary emphasis is placed upon activities that contribute to the search for solutions and alternatives to rural problems and related issues.  Bringing over two decades of experience to its work, the Center recognizes that answers to critical and timely questions often lie within a community or organization.  In approaching rural problems, the following considerations are integrated in our work:  1) Commitment to working with the full range of human and natural resources already existing within a region or area.; 2) Encouragement of community member participation representing community interests throughout the entire process. 3) Creation of planning framework compatible with indigenous ecological and natural resource constraints.  4) Promotion of locally owned businesses and local assets; and 5) Commitment to creation of high quality jobs and local employment opportunities.  CRS focuses on three different levels of activities:  1)Long term grant and contract projects (one to five years) . 2) Short term fee-for-service projects (one week to several months) 3) Daily data requests for information and publications.

The Canadian Plains Research Center (CPRC) at the University of Regina was established in 1973 as an interdisciplinary regional research centre. Its mandate is to initiate, undertake, encourage, support, and publish scholarly research on all aspects of prairie life, including its history, resources, land, and people.  The aims of the Center are to: 1. To foster an understanding and appreciation of the Canadian Plains region.  2. To develop a community of people studying the region. 3. To study and help solve problems of the region, its people and its resources.  4. To provide services to prairie institutions and researchers. 5. To publish scholarly work which examines life in the prairie region of Canada. The Canadian Plains Research Center is the longest-serving research institute at the University of Regina with a broad mandate to improve understanding and appreciation of the Canadian Plains region, its people, and its resources. It does so through contributing to the development of a broad community of scholars of the region using interdisciplinary approaches that initiate and support scholarly research on all aspects of prairie life.