My name is Dustin James. I am a student at University of California, San Diego. I am majoring in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and minoring in Photography. In the fall of 2016 I participated in the Ecology and Conservation program that is run through the UC Natural Reserve system. In this program I gained knowledge on various field methods in ecology, data collection and data analysis, and scientific writing.

When I finally settled into my major I had thought that research was the only route that was available with such a degree. I had taken up a minor in Photography not as a career path but rather with the intent to further develop a hobby. The Ecology and Conservation program made me realize two things: that doing research was not the only way in which science can be communicated and that I liked photography more than I had initially thought.

This summer I am working for Oregon Sea Grant from the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance near Bandon, OR, conducting coastal tourism asset documentation and marketing through photography. This project’s purpose is to tie the tourist experience to resources in the local communities/local environment. I will do this through the acquisition of professional images, specifically for marketing purposes. These images, while ranging in content and subjectivity, will be meant to engage those who might not be familiar with Oregon’s southern coast by showcasing the services, amenities, and features that make the South Coast so unique. This makes it an ideal project to observe nature, document it, and use it in a way that is beneficial for the economies of the larger Oregon community.

 

Courtney Flathers, Intern

The past five months have passed quickly and my internship with Oregon Sea Grant/OSU Extension is coming to a close. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about tourism and business development on the South Coast, and I look forward to utilizing my new knowledge and skills after I graduate from the Master of Public Policy program at OSU next month.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the projects I’ve worked on as an intern and share some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.

One of my primary tasks during my internship was to compose several fact sheets on issues related to tourism and outdoor recreation development on the South Coast. This included fact sheets about Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties, Transient Lodging Taxes on the Oregon Coast, and the Impact of Tourism & Outdoor Recreation on Oregon’s Economic Landscape. Through researching these topics I learned about how state and local policies intersect with tourism and outdoor recreation development efforts at the local level. There is a surprising amount of variability among local governments as it concerns tourism-related policies, which means that trying to sort through the specific requirements to develop or expand tourism operations can be a complicated process. For this reason, I think it’s really valuable that there are people like Miles in positions with OSU Extension/Oregon Sea Grant who can provide education and training for community members who might be interested in getting involved in this area to improve our overall economy.

As an intern I also had the opportunity to participate in the Southern Oregon Coast Rural Tourism Studio presented by Travel Oregon. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the potential for additional tourism and outdoor recreation development in this region, and to learn about the tools and resources provided by organizations including Travel Oregon and the Oregon Coast Visitor’s Association. We have an abundance of natural assets in our region and I am excited to see what projects develop out of the Rural Tourism Studio process.

Southern Oregon Coast Rural Tourism Studio Group Photo

Finally, I spent a significant amount of time researching and writing new material for this tourism blog. Entries included announcements about upcoming training and education opportunities, brief posts about plant and animal life on the Oregon Coast that tourism providers can share with their guests, and links to valuable resources for those working in tourism on the Oregon Coast. This is also where you can find links to the documents I helped create during my time as an intern.

I am thankful for the opportunity to spend the last five months as an intern working on a variety of challenging, yet interesting, projects. In addition to learning more about the tourism and outdoor recreation industry, I was able to learn a great deal more about the services provided by OSU Extension and Oregon Sea Grant that can be utilized in partnership with local individuals, businesses, and organizations to bolster coastal communities. I look forward to carrying these, and many more, lessons with me into the future.

Kayaking on the South Slough near Coos Bay on the last day of my internship
Agritourism Permitting Tips
Agritourism Permitting Tips

We are excited to share a new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties: Land use policy and permitting requirements.” This document provides guidance for coastal farmers considering agritourism as a way to enhance or expand their business.

The publication summarizes the agritourism land use policy and permitting requirements for farm use, farm stands, home occupation, agritourism events and wineries, and provides contact information for Oregon coastal county planning departments, as well as online resources for additional information.

You may download a free PDF of the four-page publication here.