The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Bob and Kaety Jacobson Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

January 20, 2015


“A Family Dynasty in Marine Extension”  January 20, 2015  Location: Lincoln County Extension Office, Newport, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview Bob Jacobson and his daughter Kaety reflect on their experiences as students at Oregon State University as well as their work as Marine Extension Agents based in Newport, Oregon.

The session begins with Bob's recollections of life growing up in North Bend, Oregon during the 1940s and 1950s. He then discusses his enrollment at Oregon State College in 1958, his participation on the OSC basketball team, his social life and academic progression, and his involvement with the school rally squad. He likewise makes mention of an accident in which he cut off three of his fingers while working in a sawmill; campus jobs that student athletes of his era were expected to fill; his memories of Slats Gill and Paul Valenti; his first jobs at the Oregon Fish Commission; and the means by which he became the country's first Marine Extension Agent.

At that point, Kaety Jacobson then shares her story of growing up in Newport and being heavily influenced by fishing and Extension activities as a youth. She likewise discusses her academic path and social activities while an OSU undergraduate, differences in the natural resources curriculum from her father's era, moving back to Newport and completing her schooling online, and the advancement of women within Forestry and Fisheries at Oregon State.

From there, the interview turns its attention back to Bob Jacobson's work as Marine Extension Agent. In this, Bob outlines the means by which he became acquainted with the local fishing community; the administrative relocation of his position within Oregon Sea Grant; his involvement in public policy discussions; the progression of his own commercial fishing interests; and the role that he played in improving the availability of fishermen's survival suits throughout the region.

Kaety Jacobson next describes the means by which she became employed as Marine Extension Agent; her involvement with the creation of Extension publications and YouTube videos; and her activities surrounding renewable energy research on the Oregon coast. Both interviewees then remark on their connections with the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

As the session nears its conclusion, the Jacobsons discuss their family in greater depth, as well as Bob's community involvement with youth sports and Newport High School athletics. The interview ends with final thoughts on OSU and the importance of Extension.