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M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awards nearly $60,000 to the university to study forest recruitment and climate change

George Fox University's biology department received a hefty sum from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, netting $59,998 in a grant for ecology research.

The grant, given to the school this spring, "funds the study of forest recruitment and climate change in western forests," according to a release from the university. Assistant professor of biology Paige Parry will lead a group of students in the ecological research endeavor, which will study tree species and their natural responses to a changing climate.

"The grant will support student training and engagement in all aspects of the research project, including study design, field work, statistical modeling, computer programming and presenting research findings through peer-reviewed publications and at national research conferences," the release stated. "No fewer than six undergraduate students (two per year) will be involved in the research and will be provided with structured training in statistical modeling, computer programming, field data collection methods, research dissemination, and all other components of designing and carrying out an independent research project."

The Murdock trust has contributed more than $1.6 million to GFU since 2011 and is active around the region in funding educational projects. It was created based on the will of Melvin "Jack" Murdock – a Portland native who co-founded the Beaverton-based manufacturing company Tektronix.

"Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in the value and power of scientific research, exploration and inspiration," Steve Moore, executive director of the trust, said in the release. "We are grateful to be able to partner with institutions that are investing tirelessly in the work of growing our scientific knowledge and inspiring the next generation of scientific researchers and educators."

The project, funded by this grant, is expected by GFU to create myriad research opportunities on the subject of climate change and forests in the region. It is part of many projects funded by the trust throughout multiple western states.

School briefs

Pain and opiates talk set

Yamhill CCO and Providence is inviting teens and their parents to a discussion about opiate use. The discussion will revolve around pain and the use of opiates by athletes and others. The event, which includes a light meal for free with attendance, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday (May 15) in the Chehalem Cultural Center. For more information or to register, visit bit.ly/painforumregistration or contact Jill Dale at 503-474-4933.

St. Paul Rodeo seeks student artists

The St. Paul Rodeo Association is looking for talented artists from local schools. Students interested in creating Western-inspired art can apply for the rodeo's juried art show and must be a student age 8 or older. College students are also welcome to apply. Applicants must submit a full application that includes a Western-inspired art piece, labeled with the artist's name, the title and a price. The art may not exceed 36 inches in any dimension and must be a finished product ready to be put on sale at the art show. Jurying for the art show begins June 10. For more information, visit the rodeo website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dramafest 2019 set for Saturday at high school

The Newberg High School theater department invites aspiring thespians to its Dramafest 2019 – a camp for those interested in the dramatic arts. Campers will spend four hours preparing to act in a 15-minute play and have fun with high school actors and teachers.

Included in the camp are games, improv, rehearsals and a one-act production complete with costumes and props.

The camp, set for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in Drea Ferguson Auditorium at NHS, is a fundraiser for the theater department and costs $25 per child, welcoming kindergartners all the way through eighth grade.

For more information on registration, call Allie Fontenot at 503-899-8937.


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