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Clint Oster

On March 16, the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs Alumni Association will present the 2011 Capitol Hill Colloquium and Reception in Washington, D.C.

The keynote speaker is Professor Clint Oster, whose upcoming retirement inspired his presentation, “Thinking About Energy Policy after 30 Years at SPEA.”

While his service to SPEA will come to an end in July, Oster’s research, writing, and participation in influential national and international committees will continue.

He currently serves as chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Effects of Commuting on Pilot Fatigue. “I am privileged to work alongside an interdisciplinary group of some of the world’s leading researchers,” he said.

Oster is also working on two book projects and three chapters with his longtime collaborators, SPEA Professor Kurt Zorn and John Strong, a business professor at the College of William and Mary. Although each is armed with a Ph.D. in economics, the trio made waves in 1992 after releasing their internationally acclaimed book, Why Airplanes Crash: Aviation Safety in a Changing World. In 2008, he and Strong published Managing the Skies: Public Policy, Organization, and Financing of Air Navigation, which was recently translated into Chinese.

Oster said his ability to pursue diverse interests was nurtured at SPEA. “SPEA faculty members have the freedom to pursue research projects without artificial boundaries,” he said. “That is a very attractive draw to new faculty.”

David Reingold, SPEA's executive associate dean for Bloomington, said Oster’s retirement is a reminder of what it means to be a SPEA faculty member. “Clint has used his training in economics and applied it to real-world problems,” he said. “His professional impact has spanned the halls of the academy, the executive branch of the U.S. government, and the National Academy of Sciences, among other institutions. He has worked tirelessly over the years on behalf of IU, SPEA, and the state of Indiana. Perhaps most importantly, he has worked continuously to shape the hearts and minds of his students.”

Register for the Capitol Hill Colloquium here by March 13. This summer, Oster and his wife, Chris, will leave the hills of Bloomington for the mountains of northwest Montana, where they can enjoy flyfishing and pottery. Experienced potters, the Osters plan to build an expansive anagama wood-fire kiln with the help of their new community.

Surrounded by remote, rugged beauty yet linked in cyberspace, Oster will enjoy his retirement as he did his academic career—without boundaries.