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Oregon State’s fisheries and wildlife online program earns prestigious national award

A graphic with a trophy icon above the words fisheries and wildlife sciences, John R. Bourne Outstanding Online Program Award, set above the Online Learning Consortium's logo

By Tyler Hansen
Nov. 20, 2019

A track record of student success and faculty satisfaction have helped an Oregon State University online bachelor’s degree program be honored as one of the nation’s best.

OSU’s fisheries and wildlife sciences bachelor’s program on Tuesday won the Online Learning Consortium’s John R. Bourne Outstanding Online Program Award at a conference in Orlando, Florida.

It is one of the most prestigious awards given in the field of online learning. The OLC is regarded as a leader in advancing the quality of online learning worldwide.

The program is offered by OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife within the College of Agricultural Sciences. It is delivered by Oregon State Ecampus, the university’s nationally renowned provider of online education.

“We are extremely proud of our program and our partnership with OSU’s Ecampus; it’s fantastic to have our collective hard work acknowledged by such a great organization as the Online Learning Consortium,” said Bruce Dugger, professor and associate head of the fisheries and wildlife department.

Oregon State is one of two institutions this year to earn the annual award, which is given to programs that have a history of “excellence and success in providing expanded access, learning effectiveness, and high levels of student and faculty satisfaction in a cost-effective manner.”

Launched in 2009, the fisheries and wildlife sciences program was the first of its kind in the United States and one of the first degrees offered fully online by Oregon State. A total of 262 students have graduated in the program’s first 10 years.

“Ecampus is thrilled for the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to be recognized with this prestigious award for excellence in online teaching, research and leadership,” said Shannon Riggs, the OSU Ecampus executive director of course development and learning innovation. “Faculty have invested years of dedication, hard work, and creativity in this program, and many students have reaped the benefits.”

Distance students can earn a degree from anywhere while experiencing active learning, ranging from self-directed studies assessing animals, plants and habitats to working with landowners to develop conservation plans.

“As an Ecampus student, I wasn’t tied to my computer. I did birding field trips with a professional birder and on my own, which helped me get my job today,” said Jordan Levi, a bird research technician in New York who graduated from OSU in 2018. “The program provided the flexibility I wanted without sacrificing experiential learning.”

This is the latest of many awards won by the online fisheries and wildlife program and its faculty and staff:

  • Outstanding Credit Program Award – University Professional and Continuing Education Association West Region (2015)
  • Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award – Oregon State University Faculty Senate (2013)
  • Stan Gregory, Excellence in Teaching Award – UPCEA West Region (2013)
  • Dan Edge, Excellence in Teaching Award – UPCEA National (2012)
  • Brian Sidlauskas, Innovation in Online Credit-based Teaching Award – OSU Division of Outreach and Engagement (2012)
  • Program Support Award – OSU Division of Outreach and Engagement (2011)


About Oregon State University Ecampus: As a national leader in online education, Oregon State Ecampus provides access to exceptional learning experiences that transform the lives of students in Oregon and around the world. OSU Ecampus delivers more than 70 bachelor’s and graduate programs and over 1,300 classes online and in a hybrid format. Learn more about Oregon State degrees online at

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