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Exploring Advancements in Rural Equity and Prosperity in the Oregon Labor-Intensive Forest Industry: The Practical Application of Transdisciplinarity and Science Communication Public Deposited

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  • Disproportionate exposure to exploitative working conditions, social marginalization, and a lack of equitable living conditions are among the many issues that migrant Latinx populations face daily in the United States. However, such issues cannot be addressed by relying solely on traditional academic research approaches without the participation and direction of the very forest workers who experience these issues. This type of research is called transdisciplinary, and it aims to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing between researchers and those directly impacted by the issues. By leveraging principles of science communication, the knowledge generated through this collaborative research can then be provided back to the vulnerable communities. This capstone report discusses transdisciplinary research and science communication in the context of a specific research project being carried out in Oregon. Ultimately, the project seeks to empower and enhance the capacity of Latinx forest workers, as well as improve the quality of life for the rural communities in which they reside. This will be accomplished through collaboration with several community and development organizations that represent and advocate for Latinx forest workers. Through an exploration of this real-world challenge and active research project, this paper seeks to provide an in-depth discussion and application of transdisciplinarity and science communication in an effort to illustrate why these concepts are valuable and practical in addressing some of the world's most challenging problems.
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