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Terry Bousquet. Making the connections

Terry BousquetTerry Bousquet started out as a chemist analyzing industrial wastewater, later designing and managing studies that address environmental questions like reducing waste loads. After more than 25 years in the workforce, she decided to pursue her lifelong goal of an advanced degree.

Bousquet had the benefit of both moral and financial support from her employer, the National Council of Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), a non-profit research institute serving the forest products industry. She found OSU’s PSM program appealing for how it “integrates communication and business skills with science,” she says. For example, the business classes taught her how to harvest innovative ideas and stretch a budget through collaboration with other research organizations in order to get the most out of a watershed study.

Bousquet also took what she was learning to “better communicate and integrate our internal environmental programs,” which include air quality, aquatic biology and forest management. “You need to know how one area of environmental science impacts another,” she says.

For her internship, Bousquet worked on the Alsea Watershed Study Revisited (AWSR), a long-term study that compares the impact of today’s forest management practices with historical data from clear-cut timber harvesting in the 1960s and 70s. The study gave her practical experience in a collaborative process; she developed a study plan to document the responsibilities of the landowner, NCASI, the USDA, plus students and faculty from OSU forestry and fisheries programs.

Two years after earning the PSM, Bousquet is still involved in the AWSR study, developing and maintaining a data management system to share its findings. “That way, we can cross-reference data from different entities or earlier studies to see if there are correlations between, say, fish biology and water chemistry,” she says.

So far, the results indicate today’s water quality is within the 95% confidence limits developed during the pre-harvest period from 1959 to 1965 in the Alsea watershed. Once the study is complete, these results may help to frame future forest management decisions, making the connection between science and policy.