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Southwestern Oregon community college Receives AT&T Technology and Environment AWard


Project will use mobile technology to track salmon originating in Coos Watershed

Coos Bay, Oregon, Octorber 16, 2012 — AT&T has a long legacy of supporting research in fields that focus on the intersection of the economy and the environment. As part of the ongoing commitment to developing more sustainable business practices the AT&T Technology and Environment Awards Program has awarded Southwestern Oregon Community College $25,000 to use wireless devices to track Coho salmon and teach entry-level students how to design a scientific study, develop research hypotheses, and incorporate the latest technology in natural resource science.

Coho salmon are a huge part of our culture, and our economy. This project brings the latest technologies to our efforts to restore and enhance our natural resources.  AT&T's investment will bring incredible dividends for our community today and for future generations," said Karen Pringle, executive director of the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation. 

"Coho salmon are a huge part of our culture, and our economy. This project brings the latest technologies to our efforts to restore and enhance our natural resources.  AT&T's investment will bring incredible dividends for our community today and for future generations," said Karen Pringle, executive director of the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation.

"Our understanding of salmon and the Coos Bay watershed has grown substantially in recent years, and this project will take our knowledge even further, to even more people," said Dr. Jon Souder, executive director of the Coos Watershed Association. "We're gratified AT&T has joined our collaboration and we're excited about what we can accomplish."

Since 2004, research funded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has monitored Coho salmon in the Coos Bay Lowlands.  This work included attaching microchips into juvenile and smolting fish to track their movements. More than 8,000 fish have been tagged in five years. The AT&T Technology and Environmental Award will incorporate wireless technology into the data collection system. This will allow the project to make data available on-line, increasing public awareness and support of salmon restoration. Remotely downloading data and having the ability to receive text message alerts if equipment malfunctions will significantly improve the efficiency of the operation.

The AT&T Technology and Environment Award also included funding for students' stipends during their summer internship with the Coos Watershed Association. The nine-week course at Southwestern Oregon Community College introduced scientific principles and the use of animal telemetry and wireless technology to college students.

"This forward-looking program is capitalizing on the fact that environmental science and restoration is a significant economic opportunity and jobs generator.  I appreciate AT&T's investment in growing the clean economy," said Cylvia Hayes, First Lady of Oregon.

AT&T's award of $25,000 will leverage a local match of $110,033 for a total project cost of $135,033.

The AT&T Technology and Environment Awards program aims to stimulate interdisciplinary research involving environmental issues, engineering, science, economics, management, business, law and public policy issues. Southwestern Oregon Community College was one of only three institutions nationwide to win the award.

The program aims to achieve the following objectives:

(1)  to understand how Information and Communications Technologies (e.g. mobile connectivity) can affect the environment;

(2)  to understand how businesses can apply research findings related to ICT products and services to operate with less environmental impact; and

(3)  to produce university faculty and students who can contribute to solving global and regional environmental problems.

"When it comes to generating new ideas and business practices, collaboration is the key to success.  We're excited to be part of the salmon-restoration efforts in Coos Bay. The project fulfills AT&T's triple bottom line, achieving positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes," said Adam Grzybicki, president of AT&T – Oregon. "We all share the goals of increasing public engagement while promoting the sustainability of local resources."

For more information about the AT&T Technology and Environment Awards, please visit att.com/connectingminds.




Published Oct 16, 2012 (Updated Nov 19, 2012)

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