Maradel K. Gale
Director (retired), Micronesia and South Pacific Program
Maradel's interest in the Pacific islands began as a child and was cemented by a
sabbatical trip throughout the south Pacific in 1984-85. On this trip, she studied a wide
range of issues, such as the role of Pacific women in their communities, environmental
protection measures taken by the island governments, and local education systems.
Returning to the University of Oregon, she founded the MSPP in 1988 for the purpose of
working with Pacific islanders on projects that enhance island
community sustainability. She was also interested in finding ways to enable university
graduate students to put their skills into an applied community development setting. The
MSPP focuses on skills transfer, primarily at the grass-roots level.
In addition to her work with the MSPP, Maradel is an Associate Professor in the
Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon, where
she has been on the faculty since 1974. The courses she teaches include Legal Issues in
Planning, Conflict Resolution, Leadership and Facilitation
Methods, and Intercultural Communication.
"The U.S. Pacific Northwest and the Pacific islands have many things in
common, including the fact that both are highly dependent on their natural resource base.
One of the many exciting things about working with Pacific islanders is learning from them
things that can assist the PNW in its efforts to achieve social, environmental and