Our Mission

We aim to promote a cleaner environment, increase economic savings, and cultivate the next generation of sustainability professionals by supporting Oregon businesses in reaching their pollution prevention goals.

About Us

Since its pilot year in 2017, Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality have administered the OASE program through funding obtained by an EPA Pollution Prevention grant. Third- and fourth-year college students and graduate students are recruited to conduct research that helps Oregon businesses reach their waste prevention and sustainability goals. Students are located at the business fulltime for 10 weeks during the summer. The EPA grant helps offset program costs, and intern stipends are administered by Oregon Sea Grant.

This is a win-win program that supports environmental workforce development, waste reduction, environmental protection and economic savings.

We join businesses, academia and government to support projects that create the following benefits:

  • Provide students with hands-on experience applying the principles of sustainability;
  • Assist businesses that have limited resources to create measurable environmental benefits that they may not otherwise have been able to implement; and
  • Improve processes, materials, and equipment using sustainability principles and life cycle thinking.

Below is a basic list of the types of projects we support. See our Case Studies page for more detailed project examples. 

  • Chemical inventory/footprint
  • Energy/water audit that identifies reduction opportunities 
  • Advancing the practices of green chemistry and engineering 
  • Advancing an alternative’s assessment, life cycle assessment or process mapping project 
  • A project to reduce toxics and waste that go beyond basic compliance and simple reductions 
  • Projects that aim to reduce Oregon’s Toxics Focus List chemicals 
  • Create collaborative solutions to environmental problems
  • Help businesses reduce waste, prevent pollution and increase efficiency
  • Develop Oregon’s environmental workforce through hands-on internships
  • Produce measurable environmental improvements
  • Foster an innovative community of practice to prevent pollution

We bring together students, businesses, and government,  nonprofit, and industry partners to prevent pollution in Oregon. As of 2019, we have trained 200 students in sustainability concepts, worked with 19 Oregon businesses, and partnered with 40 organizations.

Our interns work with businesses to analyze waste streams and operational processes to recommend improvements that both save money and benefit the environment. Some of the recommendations have been implemented, others are being piloted, and others are still under review. If all recommendations were realized, as of 2019, our projected savings for businesses is $2 million and our waste reduction impacts are: 11.5 tons of solid and hazardous waste, 61 million gallons of water, 16,000 pounds of water pollution, 83 tons of material through reuse, and 39,513 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. 

Our Team

Sarah Kolesar
OASE Program Administrator
Oregon Sea Grant
Office: 541-737-8695; Send Email

Lisa Cox
OASE Program Coordinator
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Office: 503-229-5181; Send Email

Jenny Engels
OASE Program Assistant
Oregon Sea Grant
Office: 541-737-2011; Send Email

Our Partners

Government Partners
  • Business Oregon
  • City of Gresham
  • City of Portland
  • Clackamas County
  • Clark County Washington
  • Lane County
  • Marion County
  • Multnomah County
  • Oregon Department of Energy
  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Oregon Metro
  • Oregon Sea Grant
  • Oregon Sustainability Board
  • Washington Department of Ecology
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
Academic Partners
  • Mount Hood Community College
  • Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University
  • University of Nevada Reno
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Portland
Nonprofit Partners
  • American Institute of Architects Oregon
  • B Local PDX
  • Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
  • Energy Trust of Oregon
  • LIVE Certified (Wine)
  • Mind the Store - Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
  • Northwest Food Processors Association
  • Northwest Green Chemistry
  • Oregon Coffee Board
  • Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Oregon Small Business Development Center
  • Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
  • Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership
  • Vertue Lab
  • Western States Alliance
Industry Partners
  • Beneficial State Bank, Bcorp
  • Enviro-Stewards
  • MMercer Consulting

The following businesses have hosted an intern, please see the Host Business Page to learn more about their projects.

  • Ant Farm Café
  • Boeing
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Craft Brew Alliance
  • EcNow Tech
  • EMA Architects
  • GoBox
  • Green Hammer
  • Hummingbird Wholesale
  • Knife River Concrete
  • Lamb Weston Potatoes
  • New Seasons Market
  • Northwest Green Chemistry
  • Nossa Familia Coffee
  • RiverBend Materials
  • Stanley Tool
  • Stumptown Coffee
  • West Linn Paper
  • Yogi Tea