Samara Group


From Invasive Species to Tracking Urban Biodiversity

Select Projects

 Brett Brownscomb, the Natural Resource Policy Advisor to the Oregon Governor, speaks during a panel discussion at the 2016 OISC Summit.

Brett Brownscomb, the Natural Resource Policy Advisor to the Oregon Governor, speaks during a panel discussion at the 2016 OISC Summit.

Oregon Invasive Species Council 

Key services: Council Coordination, Strategic Planning & Communications

Samara Group is contracted to lead coordination of the Oregon Invasive Species Council (OISC). The OISC was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 and serves as the only state agency authorized to conduct a comprehensive and coordinated planning effort to prevent, detect, control and eliminate invasive species.

In addition to coordination of day-to-day activities of the Council, Samara Group facilitated the development of the 2017-2027 Oregon Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasive Species and accompanying action plan as the Coordinator Team for the Oregon Invasive Species Council. We used a collaborative stakeholder approach in combination with milestone tracking to ensure a finished, on-time product with stakeholder buy-in. We coordinated a working group to lead the process and multiple advisory meetings with council members, advisory members, and committees, culminating in an invasive species summit with a wide range of invasive species professionals, agency heads, and policy makers attending to shape the plan. The final product is a user-friendly, visually appealing plan that also serves as an outreach tool for invasive species education as well as a reference for 10-year planning. An accompanying 2-year action plan was developed as a working document to allow for edits over time from those who are working to protect Oregon from invasive species.

Link to Statewide Strategic Plan

Link to Statewide Action Plan

Link to Oregon Invasive Species Council website


Oregon Bee Project 

Key services: Coordination and Communications Planning, Meeting Facilitation, Outreach & Engagement Tools, Branding Design, Marketing Strategy

The Oregon Bee Project (OBP) is an innovative and novel approach to addressing statewide pollinator health. The Project is taking a multi-pronged approach to addressing pollinator health by coordinating efforts among agencies including Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University, and Oregon Department of Forestry. Samara Group supported the development of this young and successful initiative by facilitating meetings, collaborative design and branding of project materials, facilitating interagency communications, and the implementation of a statewide, online awareness campaign leading up to 2018 Pollinator Week focusing on Oregonians and their bees.

Link to Oregon Bee Project website



Emerald Ash Borer

Key services: Research, Collaborative Plan Development, Meeting Coordination and Facilitation

Working with the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Department of Agriculture, Samara Group is using stakeholder engagement and various facilitation techniques in conjunction with in-depth research to develop an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Readiness and Response Plan for the state of Oregon. We are coordinating a collaborative project team including: client partners, core project team, and other key stakeholders to compile species information, provide research summaries, and develop and iterate the EAB Readiness and Response Plan based on feedback from the team.

Link to the Emerald Ash Borer Readiness and Response Plan for Oregon



Don't Pack a Pest


Oregon agencies and institutions are partners with a federal-state cooperative educational program called Don’t Pack a Pest. Samara Group was hired to provide design services to enhance the message and visual aesthetic of the materials for outreach to international students at colleges and universities. Our design solutions were informed by an evolving brand that is used by various state and federal agencies. We created a brochure that now has a reach of more than 10,000 copies distributed to travelers around the country. We continue to hear positive feedback about the professional and engaging look of the brochures from partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and USDA APHIS PPQ. Our design solutions have been reviewed by the cooperative team and will serve as a model for other products that the cooperators design in the future.


Urban Biodiversity Inventory Framework

Key Services: Urban Wildlife & Habitat Expertise, Research, Framework Development

Working with five partner cities active in the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) across the United States, Samara Group provided a standardized scope and methodology to inventory biodiversity in urban areas and facilitated the development of a companion online tool that can guide city-wide efforts to track data and prioritize urban biodiversity strategies.

Link to UBIF website

Link to framework document


Invasive Species Outreach

Services: Communication Coordination, Facilitation, Technical Writing, Design

The Oregon Department of Agriculture's Invasive Pest and Plant Management office is tasked with projecting the state from invasive species. In 2014, the Asian gypsy moth was found in Northeast Portland, triggering an eradication protocol which included an aerial spray of organic pesticide, BtK. ODA contracted with Samara Group to coordinate a more inclusive and participatory engagement process to help residents in the area understand the impacts of Asian gypsy moth and the ramifications of treating aerially. We facilitated stakeholder meetings, collaboratively designed outreach materials and outreach events, developed scientifically based materials and assisted in organizing internal communications between stakeholders. 


 This graphic was developed to explain how the Asian Gypsy Moth arrived in Oregon and the consequences of not eradicating the species.

This graphic was developed to explain how the Asian Gypsy Moth arrived in Oregon and the consequences of not eradicating the species.

Japanese Beetle Eradication

Key Services:  Community Engagement & Outreach, Strategic Planning

Following the discovery of the largest detection of invasive Japanese beetle in Oregon history, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) utilized our expertise in messaging, stakeholder identification, meeting facilitation, and community outreach in preparation for the treatment of private properties within the affected area. We developed team strategies for the project, a communications plan and project website incorporating diverse stakeholder involvement. We worked side-by-side with ODA staff to reach out to over 1,400 households within the treatment area. This process resulted in positive community relationships and successful completion of the first year of this five-year project. We are continuing to support the ODA and adapting our services to meet the needs of the next phase of the project.

Link to Japanese beetle project website


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Gorse Action Group

Key Services:  marketing and communications, design and photography

Samara Group supported communications planning for the Gorse Action Group (GAG). The GAG was created to bring federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, private industries, and local landowners together to improve regional ecology, public awareness and safety, and fire defense.

Samara Group developed communications and brand strategy for the Gorse Action Group. This included rebranding the project, strategy, developing a multi-year Communication Plan, design of a variety of trade show materials for the Annual Gorse Blossom Festival, development of educational handouts, branded templates, and 12 large signs on Highway 101 for a multi-year gorse removal demonstration project within a budget of approximately $40,000. Our work was overseen by a coordinating committee of 12 agency and organizational representatives. All materials were created in English for this project


West Willamette Restoration Partnership

Key Services: Partnership Coordination, Strategic Planning, Restoration Project & Fund Development

Samara Group has shown exceptional ability to work with a diverse group of partners and incite involvement among public and private landowners. Samara Group has facilitated the partnership through various challenging organizational exercises and has ensured the partnership’s strategic plan moved forward. Some of the responsibilities of holding this position include effective communication (newsletters, outreach materials, website maintenance, social media, etc.), facilitation of productive meetings and all associated follow-up processes, fundraising, data collection and research, and general organizational capacity building.

Link to West Willamette Restoration Partnership Website

 Image from an ArcGIS Story Map by Andrew Addessi, Portland State University:  

Image from an ArcGIS Story Map by Andrew Addessi, Portland State University: 


Western Pond Turtle Project

Key Services: Stakeholder coordination and communication, field monitoring, development of training materials, data management and analysis

Working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Samara Group is coordinating occupancy surveys and pre/post restoration monitoring of Western Pond Turtles across their range in Oregon. As part of this effort we have trained professional biologists and community scientists on proper methodology to conduct visual encounter surveys and are coordinating efforts to answer important research questions and conduct occupancy analysis. In addition we are working to document and assess the impact of restoration activities that seek to improve habitat and nesting resources for the Western Pond Turtle.

iNaturalist page where community scientists and others can add their sightings of Western Pond Turtles



Bull Trout Conservation and Recovery

Key Services: Stakeholder Engagement, Branding Design, Strategic Planning and Communications

Samara Group is working with the Burns Paiute Tribe (BPT) to creating an outreach and education plan that raises awareness about how people can Help Native Fish in Southeastern Oregon. Our goal is to communicate the ecosystem services provided by healthy streams that support threatened native fish such as bull trout while also recognizing the cultural history, economies, and family values associated with these local fisheries. The plan includes three key strategies that we help to implement: stakeholder engagement, educational materials and a public awareness campaign.


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International Urban Wildlife Conference

Key Services: Branding Design

Samara Group worked with the conference planning committee to develop an event logo and branding elements for the 2019 international conference, which will be hosted in Portland Oregon. To date, the logo and branding elements have been used for outreach materials and on the website.