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About this Site

About the Oregon Explorer

The Oregon Explorer uses the power of today’s cutting edge information technology to create a state-of-the-art natural resources digital library that integrates and provides access to data and scholarly information from state and federal agencies, local governments, university scientists and citizens to support informed decisions and actions by people concerned with natural resources, environment, and communities throughout Oregon.  The Oregon Explorer was initially launched in June 2007 and redesigned in June 2015.

Oregon Explorer helps users:

  • Learn about natural resources issues in Oregon and the West
  • Quickly find, retrieve, integrate and synthesize well-organized data and information
  • Access maps, charts, tables, data collections, photos, videos, reports and publications in highly interactive and visually engaging formats
  • Develop customized data products and tools to support informed decision-making
  • Obtain place-based demographic data
  • Create shared understanding about Oregon's natural resource and environmental issues, problems and opportunities and build community networks

Oregon Explorer Program Staff

Institute for Natural Resources (INR):

Janine Salwasser, Program lead (

Lisa Gaines, INR Director (

Myrica McCune, Project manager and GIS analyst (

Tyson Schoepflin, GIS analyst (

Oregon State University Libraries and Press (OSULP):

Marc Rempel, Technical program manager (

Margaret Mellinger, Emerging technology and services director (

Ryan Ordway, System administrator


Development of the Oregon Explorer is a long-term collaboration among:

OSU Libraries and Press: OSU Libraries & Press (OSULP) engages with the OSU community and the people of Oregon in their pursuit of knowledge. The OSULP partnership with the OUS Institute for Natural Resources supports delivery of information and services related to the protection and management of Oregon's vitally important natural resources. OSULP provides all the back-end technical support and services for the Oregon Explorer program.

Institute for Natural Resources: The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) provides Oregonians with ready access to current, relevant science-based information, methods, and tools for better understanding natural resource management challenges and developing solutions. INR co-manages the Oregon Explorer with OSULP. INR is located at both Oregon State University (headquarters) and Portland State University. INR provides all the programmatic support and GIS technical support for the Oregon Explorer program.

Oregon Geospatial Enterprise Office: The Geospatial Enterprise Office (GEO) provides geographic information system (GIS) coordination for state agencies and is the main GIS point of contact for other agencies or organizations. GEO is the Oregon Explorer partner for the Oregon Spatial Data Library and the Oregon Imagery Explorer.

Oregon State University (OSU) Rural Studies Program and OSU Extension Service: The OSU Rural Studies Program works with rural communities to improve environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being. The OSU Extension Service engages the people of Oregon with research-based knowledge and education that focus on strengthening communities and economies, sustaining natural resources, and promoting healthy families and individuals.

Initial funding for the Oregon Explorer was provided by the Meyer Memorial Trust and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to develop and launch the Willamette Basin Explorer, the first Oregon Explorer natural resources digital library prototype in 2004.

Since then major funding and in-kind support for the Oregon Explorer has been provided from our long-term sponsors: Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, The Wetlands Conservancy, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Sea Grant.

Additional funding and in-kind support has been provided by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other public and private sources to support development of specific Oregon Explorer tools.

How to Cite:

Oregon State University Libraries & Press and Institute for Natural Resources. 2021. Oregon Explorer. Accessed on [insert date]. URL:

Additional information about the Oregon Explorer is described in these articles:

Developing the Oregon Explorer – a Natural Resources Digital Library.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 2010

Assessing the Need for a Natural Resources Digital Library.”  Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 2002