CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has established a partnership with the Universidad de Guadalajara and several other organizations in Mexico to enhance forestry technology and management through the Training, Internships, Exchanges and Scholarship program, or TIES.

TIES is a key initiative of the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity launched in 2001 by United States and Mexico presidents Bush and Fox. It is an eight-year, $50 million collaborative program between the U.S. government, U.S. and Mexican educational institutions and the private sector.

OSU's received a grant of nearly $300,000 to establish the partnership, titled "Enhancing the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Mexico's Forest Sector." It will help build expertise that improves the ability of Mexican partner institutions to train students on campus and individuals in rural regions in forestry technology and management.

The College of Forestry at OSU is in the forefront of international issues in wood science. The TIES partnership will reinforce the college's aspiration to be the world's premier forest resources education, research and service institution.

"Our team is excited about working with our partners in Mexico," said Eric Hansen, a professor of wood science at OSU and U.S. project director of TIES. "This funding provides a unique mechanism for enhanced interaction and knowledge sharing that will benefit all parties. OSU faculty will develop insight and expertise that will benefit OSU students and Oregon's forest industry."

OSU will work closely with consortium institutions to provide training for seven Mexican master's degree students, as well as faculty and staff on outreach and adult education, enhanced delivery of continuing education, and new curriculum at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Opportunities for short-term faculty exchanges will be available, as well as a study tour for 12 individuals from Mexico to visit forests and processing facilities in Oregon. The collaboration will expand OSU's expertise through increased knowledge of forestry and wood products issues in Mexico.

OSU's College of Forestry has similar projects to strengthen forestry research and educational programs in Ethiopia and South Africa.

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Eric Hansen,