Fall 2017
In this issue
2018 call for abstracts extended
2020 call for proposals to host
Professional development committee update
From research to extension: lessons learned
Southern Region Extension Forestry updates
From two bins to three: composting
Post-Irma response from Extension
Soil moisture probes helping growers manage irrigation
New WI video on oak management for landowners
New MN video teaches process of science to youth
New SREF website: Ask for Wood

President's Corner ________________

Over my daughter's fall break last October, my wife Miriam and I went to visit our middle daughter Gracie, now a Sophomore at Wellesley College (or rather, a Second Year according to her). While threatened by the remnants of Hurricane Nate, we enjoyed some beautiful weather on the days it didn't rain. That particular day was spent exploring the Lexington/Concord area, including the Minuteman Battle Parkway, Emerson's House and Walden Pond.
Being that I have never been to Boston in the fall (or ever before), I was looking forward to experiencing the storied fall foliage. The Virginia creeper and some maples had started to change, but at least ninety percent or more of the trees were still in full green foliage. It was still quite warm the second week of October, so what I missed in color was made up by pleasant weather that day.
We started the morning at the Minuteman Battle Parkway, and then headed to Walden Pond State Park. It was the place to be that warm October weekend. The parking lot was packed, and we got to pay the higher non-MA resident fee because our rental car license plate was from New York. They had recently constructed a lovely visitor center, and the bookstore had lots of Thoreau and Emerson goodies; a little pricey but for a good cause so T-shirts for everyone! Also close to the parking lot is a "to-scale" model of Thoreau's cabin; just right for his hermit's experiment I would agree.
Chris at the Thoreau cabin site, a split second before he toppled half the rocks off the sign's ledge!
We then crossed the road and headed down to the pond. Although there were lots of visitors, it was large enough for everyone to spread out. We took the short hike to the east side of the pond to visit the cabin site, and then went down to the pond to dip our feet in the water. Gracie was interested in learning how to identify trees, so I was pleased to name the ones I could identify as we went. As it was already getting late in the afternoon, and we still had Concord to visit on our itinerary, we headed back up to the parking lot, did our shopping at the bookstore, and made it just in time to be permitted to join the tail end of a tour at the Emerson House. It seemed a comfortable place to live, and it was quite amazing to be in the library, to see the books on the shelves, the paintings of the walls, and the table and chair where he wrote.
Gracie and Chris up to their knees in Walden Pond.

A splendid day indeed!
As a young man, I read several of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays, and when our children were young, we listened to Henry David Thoreau's Walden on cassette during long car rides on occasion. It was a pleasure for me to know I was treading the sacred ground of these literary greats. Indeed, their wisdom is much needed today: 

"All sensible people are selfish, and nature is tugging at every contract to make the terms of it fair." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" - Henry David Thoreau

Be it at work or on the home front, I wish you all the best!

ANREP President, 2017

University of Arizona Extension - Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent
ANREP Updates ___________________

Call for abstracts has been extended to November 22
Call for Abstracts: General sessions will highlight Extension's role in sustaining and promoting natural resource stewardship. Accepted abstracts may also focus on broader, natural resource-based issues and opportunities for Extension at local, state and national levels.
Abstract Review : A panel will review each abstract and selections will be made on one or more of the following criteria:
1.  Quality of Extension educational program;
2.  Role of program in addressing sustainable natural resources;
3.  Evidence of research-based programming, evaluation plan and/or documented impacts;
4.  Innovative use of technology or other tools/methods.

To submit abstract or get more information on selection criteria and important dates, click button below or visit:

2020 Biennial Conference Request for Proposals
The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) is seeking proposals from Extension units that would like to host the 12th National Extension Natural Resources Conference to be held in the year 2020. Proposals should be returned to the ANREP President, Chris Jones, no later than Friday, December 8, 2017. Proposals will be accepted from Extension faculty at Land Grant Universities in any state, but we are especially interested in proposals from the North Central Region
[1] or Western Region[2] . Extension faculty in two or more adjoining states may co-host this event but there will be only one host state (the state in which the conference occurs) recognized by ANREP.  We recognize that serving as a Host State for an ANREP Conference is a major undertaking, but it is also an opportunity to showcase the quality of your staff and the natural resources and special features of your state. The "Guidelines for ANREP Conferences" section of the ANREP Policies and Procedures Manual (pages 19-21 ) contains up-to-date information on this conference.

A more complete version of the request for proposals can be found on the ANREP website. 

[1] Includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
[2] Includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
ANREP Professional Development Committee Update
We hope you are enjoying our monthly email with upcoming webinar opportunities. We would love to include more professional development opportunities on this announcement, so please...as you see webinars or conferences, workshops, etc. that might be of interest to ANERP members, simply forward them to anreppd@anrep.org and as long as we get them with enough notice, we will include them in the next "publication".
If you have any thoughts or ideas as to how these announcements can be improved, please email Lara Milligan or call 727-453-6905.
Much appreciation from your ANREP Professional Development Committee!

Submitted by:
Natural Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
Submitted Articles ________________
From Research to Extension: 5 Things I Learned When I Changed My Science Career Path
Editor's note: 
SREF's Southern Forest Health and Invasive Species Outreach and Education Program's Coordinator, Dr. David Coyle, recently published an article in Entomology Today, the Entomological Society of American's main blog, on his journey from research to Extension and what he's learned from the transition. Below is the first portion of that article. 
To read the entire post, click the link at the bottom of the article.

A couple of years ago, I changed careers. No, I didn't leave science altogether; rather, I switched from a research career (the "tenure-track" path, if you will) to a 100 percent extension job.

Why the switch? Several reasons. For me personally, a biggie was family (as in, we started one). We also really liked where we lived, had relatives nearby, and desired some stability in life. Meanwhile, I decided I was sick of doing the tenure-track job hunt (I'd been doing it for four years). It was time to start my career, not keep looking for it.

So, at the end of my research postdoctoral position, I got in touch with the Regional Forester for the southeastern U.S. (my current boss), pitched the idea to him and some Forest Service folks about a regional forest health and invasive species program, and here we are. In a way, you could say I created my own job. Now I run a forest health and invasive species program for the southeastern United States.
In this role, I deal with insects, fungi, and plants-basically anything that impacts forest health. My primary audience is professional foresters and natural resource agents (e.g., state and federal employees, consulting foresters), university extension agents (especially at the county level), and, to an extent, the public. I work across the southeastern U.S., a 13-state area bordered by (and including) Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Virginia-otherwise known as the USDA Forest Service Southern Region.

I'd done plenty of extension activities during my Ph.D. and postdoc, so I felt like it'd be a pretty easy transition. In some respects, it was. In others, however, it was a major change for which I was totally unprepared. To say I learned some lessons on the job would be an understatement. I've been in some conversations with colleagues lately about this switch or about a career in extension. And, as I think about it, there are some things I'd love to tell younger me if I could go back in time.

Submitted by:
David Coyle                                    
Forest Health and Invasive Species Program      
Southern Region Extension Forestry
News From the Southern Region Extension Forestry Group

Part 1:Building Shortleaf Pine Restoration Momentum
Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) is an economically and ecologically importance eastern pine species. It has excellent wood quality, fire-tolerance, and is hardy on a diversity of sites. These characteristics are important in a changing climate with increased incidences of wildfires. Though shortleaf pine grows more slowly than loblolly pine, it is an excellent species for landowners interested in conservation, beauty, wildlife, and recreation with eventual economic return. Shortleaf pine has lost over 50% of its range in the last 30 years due to many factors. The Shortleaf Pine Initiative is bringing awareness to the importance of restoring this species across its 22-state range. On October 3-5, 2017, the 4th Biennial Shortleaf Pine Initiative Conference was held in Galloway, New Jersey. Over eighty participants attended, including forest managers, researchers, educators, and landowners. Conference presentations provided updates on restoration efforts across the region and featured a field tour of several pine barren stands containing shortleaf pine (picture shown). To build restoration momentum, the Initiative seeks help promoting shortleaf pine management from several agencies and organizations working with landowners, including the Cooperative Extension. 

Part 2: Extension Professionals Attend Southern Forestry & Natural Resources Advance
Around 60 Extension forestry and natural resource professionals gathered on October 10-11, 2017 at Cheaha State Park in Delta, Alabama for the Southern Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Advance organized by the Office of Southern Regional Extension Forestry. The event focused on strengthening regional partnerships, identifying multi-state opportunities, and exploring the needs of stakeholders in the South. The group spent time listening to Extension and forestry administrators, federal and regional partner updates and participated in a workshop designed to improve regional programming and impact. The event also offered the opportunity for Extension professionals to work on common strategic programming areas such as urban forestry, wildland fire, wood products, forest economics and taxation, wildlife management, engaging forest owners and forest health. A general summary of the event with photos is available, while resources, including more photos and a detailed summary of the proceedings are available here. 
Some of the participants in the 2017 Advance.

Submitted by:
Southern Region Extension Forestry
From Two Bins to Three: Composting at the World Rowing Championships

The last week of September was an important one for Sarasota, Florida. It marked the first time the area was hosting a major sporting event, the World Rowing Championships. Over 40,000 were in attendance at the week-long event, offering their support to the 900 athletes representing 70 counties.
UF/IFAS Extension played an important role in the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Extension staff and volunteers assisted in collecting food waste in the official UF composting collection bins placed around the venue. The project involved a team of composting volunteers assisting with the collection, separation of recycling and trash from the compost bins.  Focusing on the athlete, food carts and general public areas, the UF/IFAS composting team collected nearly 600 pounds of food waste at the event.
The food waste collected is processed in mulch-lined composting bins, specially constructed in the park's maintenance area. The unique aspect of the composting project is that the food waste is collected and processed onsite, reducing unnecessary environmental impacts. Additionally, composted material resulting from the project will be reused within the park.  The food waste collection and diversion program is the first of its kind for organized rowing events.
This marked the third rowing event UF/IFAS has provided compost collection in 2017 (Florida State Youth Rowing Championships, US Rowing Nationals, and World Rowing Championships). Collectively, the three events have diverted over 1,000 pounds of food waste. The UF/IFAS waste reduction effort is part of a collaborative partnership between Sarasota County's Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources and Solid Waste departments, Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA)
, and Nathan Benderson Park.

Submitted by:
Waste Reduction Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Sarasota County
Post-Irma Cleanup in Florida Highlights Extension Response, Part 1

Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources (PCR) Department manages more than 20,000 acres of parks and preserves enjoyed by more than 17 million visitors annually. When Hurricane Irma struck, PCR worked fast to have these valuable resources operational and open to the public, but it wasn't without the help of faculty and staff from partner organization, UF/IFAS Extension.

Highlighted efforts involved cleanup by a north county team from Pinellas County Extension's satellite office located at Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center. The Preserve buildings and trails fared well in the storm, but help was needed to cleanup other local, county parks. The team consisted of Lara Milligan, Natural Resources Agent; James Stevenson, Extension Specialist; Julia Myers, Education Support Specialist; Sheree Scheuer, Education Support Specialist; and Trevor Ackerman, Sustainability Program Assistant.

The north county team helped to clear large debris from the 121 acre Philippe Park in Safety Harbor, piling large tree branches in piles that would be picked up by a contractor, and leaving smaller vegetation to be cleared by the mowing crew. The following day, the same team headed to 255 acre John Chestnut Sr. Park in Palm Harbor to do similar work.

Pile of vegetation collected and removed from John Chestnut Sr. Park in Palm Harbor by team of UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County faculty and staff. Credit: Lara Milligan

A south county team from Pinellas County Extension's satellite office located at Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center also pitched in to help. This team consisted of Brian Niemann, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Agent; Allison Saltoft, Education Support Specialist; and Jim Goodburn, Pinellas County volunteer.

The south county team cleared over five miles of hiking trails and one mile of a paddling trail at the 3,190 acre Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg, a preserve enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for biking, hiking, fishing, paddling and more!

Pile of vegetation collected from the public use areas at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg by team of UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County faculty and staff. Credit: Jim Goodburn

This partnership between PCR and Extension helped Pinellas County open their parks sooner for anxious residents and families looking for outdoor activities. 

Submitted by:
Natural Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
Post-Irma Cleanup in Florida Highlights Extension Response, Part 2

Caribbean spiny lobster is Florida's largest commercial fishery, with 5.9 million pounds netting almost $48 million in 2015. Monroe County leads the state in annual landings and the fishermen and women that make up the fleet are important members of the Florida Keys community and economy. While hurricanes always have an effect upon the spiny lobster season, Hurricane Irma was unprecedented in the breadth and scope that affected the entire South Florida fishery, and displaced and damaged an untold number of spiny lobster traps. Shelly Krueger, the Florida Sea Grant agent in Monroe County for the UF/IFAS Extension, contacted the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association (FKCFA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and they indicated a rapid assessment was needed in order to locate the traps lost during Hurricane Irma.  

With funding from NOAA, Florida Sea Grant was able to contract two experienced spotter pilots to fly the length of the Florida Keys, bayside and oceanside, and identify traps for retrieval and recovery, thus saving local fishermen hundreds of hours of boat time and diesel fuel searching for lost traps. Harry Crissy, UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County economic resource development agent, flew with the pilots and turned the GPS points into maps that were distributed to local marinas in a coordinated response with the FKCFA and FWC. The FWC is easing regulations that do not allow a person to have a lobster trap on-board a vessel that does not belong to them, which will allow quicker turnaround for trap retrieval, recovery and redeployment. 

Next to tourism, fishing is the Florida Keys second most important economic driver, and these fishermen and women need to get back on the water to support their families, employees and our local economy. 

Submitted by:
Sea Grant Marine Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County
Aqua Chautauqua - Water Resources Experiential Learning Pilot Project in Minnesota

What do you call a combination of more than 20 learning stations with activities and demonstrations related to water resources, a stage line-up of presentations ranging from music to experts speaking about new water-centric research, and a  series of walking tours, all set in an outdoor setting along a beautiful river? Aqua Chautauqua!

The first Aqua Chautauqua, created and run by Extension's Water Resources Team, was held in Fergus Falls, MN on Saturday, August 12 along the Riverwalk on the Otter Tail River. It was modeled after chautauquas of days gone by: combining education with history, arts, and culture. Designed to educate adults as well as children about natural resource issues in the Otter Tail River Watershed, the event covered topics such as how to monitor for aquatic invasive species, water-friendly lawn care, shoreline property management, fish and mussels of the river, stormwater runoff, healthy soils, pollinators, water quality sampling, harmful algae blooms and more. Several of the learning stations were staffed by Extension educators and researchers. The focus was on the entire Otter Tail River Watershed, which includes nine larger communities, including Fergus Falls. In addition to science education, the event was designed to encourage and promote civic engagement within the community so that citizens can become more involved in the decision making process on water resources issues.

One of the learning stations at Aqua Chautauqua, staffed by West Otter Tail County 4-H, was the River of Dreams project. Anyone stopping by was encouraged to select a 14" cedar canoe and decorate it however they chose, and then the canoes were launched into the Otter Tail River. Each canoe has a unique identification number on it, as well as a note asking that whomever might find the canoe downstream please report it on the River of Dreams website, then return it to the river to continue on its journey across the Canadian border and toward the Hudson Bay. People who decorated a canoe can track their canoe on the website to see if anyone has reported it.

4-H'ers from Big Stone County were also at the Aqua Chautauqua, demonstrating their aquatic robotics. The team designed and built remote controlled robots that go out into the lake, below the surface of the water. The robots have lights and cameras, allowing the students to search for and identify aquatic invasive species in a lake or river. In addition to doing demonstrations at their learning station, the 4-H'ers also gave a presentation on the stage, demonstrating their skills in communication along with their knowledge of robotics and aquatic invasive species.

Another popular learning station was the "Tell Us Your Watershed Story" video booth, where participants took a seat in the easy chair and told a story about their special place or event in the watershed. Watch for these videos to show up on Extension Water Resources Team's website and their Facebook page.

This Aqua Chautauqua was a pilot project which will be evaluated and then replicated (with modifications based on evaluation results) in one or two other communities in 2018 and beyond. Anyone interested in learning more about the Aqua Chautauqua may contact Extension Educator Karen Terry at 218-770-9301. 

Submitted by:
Water Resources Extension Educator
University of Minnesota Extension
Soil Moisture Sensors Help Suwannee Valley Growers Manage Irrigation

Soil Moisture Sensors (or SMS) are a precision agriculture technology on the rise in North Florida. Using electronic sensors at various depths, moisture readings are taken continuously throughout the day. By using this technology, growers are now able to "see underground" and at a distance through cell phone transmission of data.  UF/IFAS Extension, as part of the land grant system, typically works to find solutions to production problems in agriculture and seeks out technologies or methods to answer them. In the case of SMS, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) have made cost-sharing (reimbursement) a high priority in promoting Best Management Practices. Now, many supporters of this technology are eager to get feedback on their use and benefit.
Through an eight-week summer internship, the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center hired a rising UF Agricultural Education and Communication senior, Abby Marion, to help evaluate sensor use in the Suwannee Valley. Ms. Marion and UF/IFAS extension agents visited nine growers, two vendors and two government agency personnel to learn about their experiences with soil moisture sensors. Though SMS have been around for over a decade (in simpler forms), we were surprised to find over 600 SMS probes currently in operation in the Suwannee Valley.  The difference in technology is that the new instruments provide 24-hour, multi-depth, sensing (volumetric content) that can help guide irrigation timing and amounts. Overwhelmingly, growers shared positive comments on the productive role SMS play in their field management, especially for irrigation scheduling.
As with any new technology, mastering how to use it takes time. In our small sample of grower interviews, we found that most probes were purchased through cost-share programs. In all but one of the interviews, growers said they have already changed the way they irrigate to better meet crop needs. Most growers expressed that the real benefits came from reduced labor, tractor time, and input costs for production. 

Our research found that:
  • Over 600 SMS sensors are in operation in the region, representing almost 85,000 acres
  • 1 probe manages an average of 130 acres
  • 8 SMS vendors serve North Florida
Of the 9 growers interviewed:
  • Collectively, they are using 125 probes (~21% of all probes in the SRWMD).
  • They collectively farm around 17,000 acres (~12% of SRWMD irrigated acres).
  • All (100%) received some financial assistance from FDACS, NRCS or SRWMD.
  • 8 out of 9 indicated they have changed how they irrigate.
  • 8 out of 9 saw savings in water, fuel, fertilizer, or electricity.
  • 7 out of 9 showed labor reductions.
The benefits SMS provide varied for each farm, but most noted that continuous data availability on mobile devices allows for closer management of fields, especially geographically distant ones. Soil moisture sensors are now widely used in the area, and they are helping growers manage irrigation more efficiently. Long-term goals include quantifying the impact SMS have on yields, crop quality, water conservation, and nutrient management.  
Results from this survey demonstrate strong adoption of soil moisture sensors in the Suwannee Valley Basin and positive feedback shows how diverse vegetable and row crop growers are using this technology. With further outreach and education, UF/IFAS Extension hopes to work with them to better understand and use this information to improve their production.

Submitted by:
Regional Specialized Agent-Row Crops
UF/IFAS Extension
ResourceExchange ________________
New Video Aims to Help Landowners Preserve Future of Oak in Wisconsin

A new video , produced by foresters and social scientists from UW-Madison, UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, encourages Wisconsin woodland owners to adopt land management practices that will help ensure a future for oak trees in the state.

The video, which tells the story in a visual way, helps people to visually understand why oak need lots of sunlight and how woodland owners can play a role in assuring the future of oak trees on their property

The video points viewers to  MyWisconsinWoods  for more detailed information about land management practices to support oak forests.

Contact: Bret Shaw, Environmental Communications Specialist, University of Wisconsin Extension
New University of Minnesota Extension Video Teaches Process of Science to Youth

Based on a true story, this video illustrates the adventures  of a young scientist investigating a group of eastern phoebes. Along the way, the viewer is introduced to the scientific process through lively and dynamic animations . Use this video in your youth programs to help teach about the process of science. Share with your STEM colleagues.  Brought to you by the University of Minnesota Extension, this 9-minute video was developed to support the Driven to Discover project that works to engage youth in citizen science which serves as a springboard into independent science investigations.

Contact: Andrea Lorek Strauss, Extension Educator - Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Education, University of Minnesota Extension
Ask for Wood: New Website From Southern Region Extension Forestry

Ask for Wood is a website designed by Southern Regional Extension Forestry in collaboration with the Clemson Extension Wood Utilization + Design Institute (WUD) and the United States Department of Agriculture. Its goal is to help Extension agents and others learn about wood products and their role in healthy forests, a better environment, and improved rural economies. The web site is designed both to educate the user and to provide resources for the user to share with others. SREF, WUD, and the USDA invite extension agents to use the website begin a dialogue with their client bases to educate them about wood products and increase wood use, especially in the non-residential construction market. Agents are also encouraged to use the hashtag #AskforWood on social media in posts about wood and wood products to further spread the word. 

Contact: Brent Peterson, Southern Region Extension Forestry
IdeaExchange ____________________
There was no content submitted for this category.  

This want-ad type space is where you can solicit your colleagues for help or their expertise.  Developing a presentation and need some ready-made slides? Ask here. Considering a new programming effort and looking for ideas or for expertise from those that have already gone down that path? Ask here.

WordFromEditorA Word From Your Editor__________
Another year is almost in the books. It has certainly been an interesting year, on many levels. As I put this issue together, I was really heartened to see a couple of the articles that came from my Florida colleagues and highlighted how Extension pitched in post-Irma to help their communities. These are the types of stories that make me proud to be part of Extension. I know there are many, many other stories out there that would demonstrate that same level of giving and assistance. From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to western wildfires to countless number of other, local challenges, I know my Extension colleagues were there to help their communities deal with the aftermath. Thank you all for carrying on the Extension tradition and allowing me to share those stories to all of ANREP through this newsletter. 

The next deadline for content submittals is February 1. With luck, the next newsletter will be out around February 15. Submit content at any time. Try to limit article length to 600 words. Photos (with captions/credit) are appreciated but please send them separately. Don't embed them into a document. As always, please contact me if you have questions.
Chad Cook | ANREP Newsletter Editor | University of Wisconsin - Extension