Tarrah Bickford presenting at ICASS
Tarrah Bickford presenting at IdeaFest in Klamath Falls

Oregon Tech Environmental Sciences and Business student Tarrah Anne Bickford presented her tourism research at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) conference held in Bodo, Norway, May 29 to June 3.

Bickford, a first-year student, is a member of the Oregon Tech Business Research Group focusing on rural and Arctic studies. Last summer, Bickford and fellow student Jaime Kuchle collected data in northern Europe for an undergraduate research project analyzing best practices for rural tourism in Arctic communities.

The research laid the groundwork for Bickford’s ICASS presentation about driving economic development in Klamath Falls and the surrounding basin. Her presentation focused on how lessons from Arctic rural communities that have experienced success via tourism efforts could be adapted and used locally to foster sustainable tourism and bolster regional economies.

Following her presentation at ICASS, Bickford shared her research at Oregon Tech’s IdeaFest project symposium June 7 in Klamath Falls.

Beginning Fall 2024, Bickford will help lead the Business Research Group, and she plans to share her experiences and mentor fellow students interested in pursuing research opportunities outside the classroom.

Tarrah Bickford in Norway
Drs. Sonja and Nate Bickford with Tarrah Bickford at ICASS in Norway

“Through the Business Research Group, the Business Management department provides undergraduate students with opportunities for hands-on research and professional development,” said Department Chair Dr. Sonja Bickford. “Tarrah's achievements demonstrate the immense potential of our students to tackle real-world problems, engage with global communities, and drive positive change.”

The Business Research Group lab is an opportunity open to all students interested in conducting research projects in business, marketing, or international research outside of class at Oregon Tech.

Reflecting on her experience, Bickford expressed gratitude for the opportunity to represent Oregon Tech on the international stage and to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in her field.

"This experience has been truly life-changing," said Bickford. "I've learned invaluable lessons about professionalism and research, and I'm inspired to continue pursuing opportunities to make meaningful contributions to my community and beyond."

For more information, please contact Dr. Bickford, Business Research (Rural & Arctic) Group Mentor, at Sonja.bickford@oit.edu.