My research focuses on prevention of childhood obesity in rural communities, with an emphasis on environmental influences on children's physical activity and diets. I am also interested in rural community participation in health promotion. Since 2005, I have been Principal Investigator for U.C. (Union County) Fit Kids, a community-based participatory research project for childhood obesity prevention in Union County, Oregon. My community partners include the public schools, OSU-Union County Extension Service, Center for Human Development Public Health Department, and other community organizations. Through our research, my partners and I have identified numerous barriers to physical activity and healthy eating among rural children, including limited recreational resources, street-related hazards, inadequate physical education, limited availability of healthy foods in small food stores near schools, and school practices that support consumption of high-fat/high-sugar foods. Our current studies are aimed at creating healthier food environments within rural schools and nearby small food stores to promote healthier eating habits among all children who interact with these environments. These studies involve mixed methods, including survey, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and field observation.