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Spring 2014
In This Issue
Volunteerism
Action Plan for Promoting Sustainability in Extension Offices
2013 Tri-County Water School
Ecological Monitoring in Extension: We want to hear from you!
Explore Chile: An Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Tour
Citizen Fire Academy: Helping to Build Fire-Adapted Communities
Nation Urban Extension Conference 2015
A Word from Your Editor
Volunteerism

 

As I sit here thinking about all of the great things that have been happening with ANREP this quarter, it came to mind that these things happen because of the many volunteers in our organization.  We do not have paid staff, executive director, or a manager to do our day-to-day work of running an organization.  Our organization is built on volunteers - volunteers that are committed to the success of our organization.  As I thought about how our organization is run, I began to question, "Why do people volunteer?"  As I explored this, I came up with several reasons why people might volunteer to help ANREP.

 

  • A sense of obligation to the profession
  • Gain professional experience
  • Learn new skills
  • Promote personal growth
  • Give back to the community
  • Network with others
  • Make a difference

 

As I thought about these reasons, I realized these are the reasons why I got involved.  You may look at these reasons and realize they may be the reasons why you would volunteer.  You may have other reasons to add to the list.  All I know is that ANREP is a great organization that relies on its volunteers.  Maybe you are looking to volunteer.  ANREP has many opportunities for its members to share their time and talent (http://www.anrep.org/people/committees).  As a volunteer in ANREP, you do not have to commit to a lifetime of service.  Many of our volunteer opportunities are for short periods of time, some just a few hours, others a few days.  We also have volunteer opportunities for those who want to share their time and talent over longer periods of time.  Maybe you want to learn new skills or gain professional experience as a leader.  Many of our volunteers serve in leadership roles, requiring longer commitments.  As you think about the possibility of helping ANREP consider these positions and opportunities to volunteer.   

 

  • Communication Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • Awards Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
    • Public Issue Leadership Development Conference Planning Committee
  • State Champion
  • Executive Team

 

This list is just some of the possibilities to help ANREP and to meet your needs as a volunteer.  As we move forward towards our biennial conference in Sacramento, begin to think about how you might strengthen ANREP as an organization.  You will have the opportunity at our conference to speak with current volunteers and to sign up as volunteer for the organization.  If you are not able to attend the conference and you want to consider volunteering, just let someone on the Executive team know so they can assist you in getting involved.  If you have any questions on volunteering for ANREP please do not hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email.

 

Thank you to all who help make us a great organization. 

 

See you in Sacramento,

 

Robert "Bob" Bardon

President, 2014

919-515-5575

 

 

Action Plan for Promoting Sustainability in Extension Offices

 

Many Extension offices are being asked to save money for their county in any way possible.  The University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Program for Resource Efficient Communities, working with UF's Office of Sustainability and undergraduate students in UF's College of Design, Construction and Planning, produced the document, Action Plan for Promoting Sustainability in Extension Offices.  The intent is to help Extension offices become models for resource-efficient, sustainable, behavior for the clients and community they serve as well as saving money for the county.  Note that the Excel spreadsheet, found at http://buildgreen.ufl.edu/Extension_and_Sustainability.htm, is referenced in the Word document also found on the same website.

 

The students who worked on this document hope that a few faculty, staff members, and volunteers working within each county Extension office will take on this challenge to create and promote a greener and more sustainable world.  Please consider their request and show that Extension is interested in initiating practices that contribute to a more sustainable, high quality of life in and for all communities.  If you have questions or suggestions for improving the document or spreadsheet, contact Kathleen Ruppert (kr@ufl.edu) with the Sustainable FloridiansSM program.  Both the Word document and the Excel spreadsheet are intended to be copied to your hard drive and edited to fit the needs of individual county Extension offices.  Note that, with some minor changes, these materials could be utilized by any group or organization.

 

Submitted by Kathleen C. Ruppert

Program for Resource Efficient Communities

University of Florida

 

 

2013 Tri-County Water School

 

The 2013 Tri-County Water School (Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties, Florida) was a two day event held in Hillsborough County on October 16-17, 2013.  The purpose was to educate community leaders, natural resource managers, and decision makes about current issues and future concerns regarding surface water quality, quantity, and conservation.  Twenty-two attendees plus speakers, volunteers, and staff participated in this event.  The program covered critical surface water issues and water challenges in our region.  The first day included several speakers, a panel discussion, and an interactive watershed activity.  The second day involved two field trips: one to the Tampa Bay Surface Water Treatment Plant, Tampa and the second to Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, where participants toured retention pond renovations.  Educational presentations made each field trip even more beneficial and pertinent to the topic discussions.

 

On day one, participants gathered for an information-packed day starting with a keynote presentation by John J. Sansalone, Ph.D., P.E. (professor, Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida).  Dr. Sansalone's presentation was on the behavior and sustainability of urban best management practices.  He presented water quality challenges and opportunities seen in urban communities.  His technical concepts were new to many of the participants and offered a great platform for discussion.

 

 

Lara Miller (Natural Resources Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension Pinellas County) and Maria Sgambati (Environmental and Human Health Consultant, Cedar Key, FL) conducted a water issues activity where participants were divided into small groups for interactive discussions.  The issues participants generated were documented, posted on the wall, grouped, and themed.  This activity was designed for participants to interact with each other while generating discussions on water issues.  The activity was rated as either "excellent" or "good" by 86% (n=14) of participants.  Some comments about the activity included, "Helped me get to know people and see different perspectives" and "Gave lots of idea of our water issues - including some I had not thought of".

 

John McGee (Chief Environmental Scientist, Hillsborough County Public Works-Specialized Services) presented information on the Adopt-A-Pond program and provided insights to potential water quality solutions.  Lindsay M. Cross (Environmental Science and Policy Manager, Tampa Bay Estuary Program) provided the history of Tampa Bay and role of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, which emphasized the coastal component of Tampa Bay's water issues.  A panel discussion followed for an hour and a half question and answer session with those listed below in addition to Dr. Sansalone, John McGee, and Lindsay Cross:

  • Ken Enlow, Assistant Project Manager, Tampa Bay Water Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant
  • Glenn Acomb, FASLA, Senior Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture,  University of Florida
  • Clark Hull, President of Clark Hull and Associates (environmental consulting firm)
  • Kevin Stover, Field Technician Supervisor, Resource Data & Restoration, Southwest Florida Water Management District

 

Day One came to a close with a presentation by Mr. Enlow, prefacing the field tour to his facility the next day.  Survey results showed that 100% of the respondents (n=15) gained some level of knowledge (9 much, 4 moderate, 2 slight), and 86% of respondents (n=14) indicated their policies or practices will be altered as a result of the information gained that day.  One comment that summarized the day was, "I was very impressed with the panel and the wealth of knowledge present.  You did a very good job amassing this group." Fifty-three percent learned about the program via email.

 

 

Day Two survey results showed 100% of the respondents (n=12) gained some level of knowledge (7 much, 4 moderate and 1 slight), 100% of respondents (n=12) felt the field trips increased their general understanding of critical water issues, and 92% of respondents (n=11) % indicated their policies and practices would be altered as a result of the information learned. All respondents (n=12) rated the surface water treatment plant tour at excellent or good, and 92% of respondents (n=11) rated the Lakewood Ranch retention pond tour as excellent or good.  Two comments from the second day were: "I feel compelled to do something to increase public awareness so I will" and "Also, thanks for having such intelligent & qualified presenters."  This was another successful educational event that will be repeated next year in Pasco County (the 2012 Tri-County Water School was held in Pinellas County, FL).

 

Submitted by Lynn BarberBJ Jarvis, and Lara Miller

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent

University of Florida/IFAS - Hillsborough County Extension Service

 

 

Ecological Monitoring in Extension: We want to hear from you!

 

Communicating about a changing climate can be difficult. It is basic human nature to believe information that we can see and personally verify - that comes from sources that are close to us. Observed changes (or not) in the timing of melting ice in rivers and lakes, budbreak, leaf-out, the arrival of our favorite migratory bird, and so on can tell a powerful story. This type of data can also provide highly localized, verifiable, and high-resolution insights into what is and is not changing.

 

On the other hand, we should not be surprised that our audiences are skeptical about models that project conditions long into the future, developed far away by people they have never met. And for a variety of reasons, the specific impacts of climate change are likely to vary greatly from place to place, ecosystem to ecosystem, and even species to species; making it difficult for an individual landowner to know what she should do anyway. 

 

Careful, structured monitoring by regular people in a local community can generate data that may seem more persuasive to skeptical audiences. Further, these data can be of value to researchers investigating things like the specific impacts of changing precipitation patterns versus changing temperature profiles on particular species.

 

Emerging female cones on red pine, Woodbury MN. Photo by Eli Sagor.

In Minnesota, we see ecological monitoring as an area with great potential to make a difference to how our audiences understand and relate to a changing climate. This is why we are developing new programming to help interested people carefully monitor and report on the timing of seasonal changes - or phenology - in nearby natural places. These places could be their yards or woodlands, community or state parks, schools, or other locations. Our trained volunteer monitors use standard protocols, developed by the USA National Phenology Network (NPN), to improve the consistency and reliability of data presented. NPN's system also includes filters to identify outliers and other unreliable data and also has visualization tools to explore local data. Some information about our work is at http://z.umn.edu/phenology. 

 

Phenology monitoring fits well with other Extension programs focused on forest health monitoring. For example, many states have Forest Pest First Detector (or related) programs. Some others may be involved in reporting precipitation through a system like CoCoRaHS. 

 

We want to hear from you: Are you involved or interested in getting involved in Extension programming around forest health, phenology, precipitation, or similar monitoring? If the answer is "yes," please drop us a line at esagor@umn.edu or carls009@umn.edu. We would love to build a network, likely within the existing ANREP Climate Science Initiative, to learn from one another and exchange ideas, questions, and resources.

 

Submitted by Eli Sagor and Stephan Carlson

Extension Educator - Forestry

University of Minnesota Extension 

 
 
Explore Chile: An Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Tour

 

Chile is a country of high mountains, dramatic coastlines, deep forests, picturesque towns, and lively cities. We'll sample most of these - and some excellent Chilean wines - during a 10-day study tour of Chile sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Service, from November 2-11, 2014. The tour is designed for woodland owners, forest managers and other natural resource professionals, students, and anyone else interested in learning about the forests and forestry in Chile.

The study tour itinerary includes visits to the lake and volcano country of south-central Chile.  Photo by Fred Smith.

As a tour participant, you will meet with small woodland owners and walk their lands, visit world class wood products facilities, step into stands of trees growing faster than you ever thought possible, and explore forests where you can name 14 species just within eye sight. Our 10-day itinerary will expose you to a varied cross section of private and public forests, wood products facilities, communities, and Chilean landowners and managers. You will visit fast-growing plantations and native temperate rain forests, and gain an appreciation for the country's culture, history, and landscapes. You will come away with new ideas, new perspectives, and a better understanding and renewed appreciation for forest management in your home area. 

Tour registration is now open. For more information, including registration costs and details, see the tour website at http://bit.ly/Mswslb. If you have questions, please contact OSU Extension Faculty Max Bennett, or Nicole Strong

Submitted by  Max Bennett

Forestry/Natural Resources Agent

OSU Extension Service, Jackson-Josephine Counties

 

 

Citizen Fire Academy: Helping to Build Fire-Adapted Communities

 

With a massive buildup of woody material in the woods following decades of fire exclusion, ever hotter and drier summers, and increasing development in the wildland-urban interface, the need to create fire-adapted communities is greater than ever. To address this need, Oregon State University (OSU) Extension recently teamed up with the Oregon Department of Forestry and other partners to create a new Citizen Fire Academy (CFA) program. CFA's vision is to promote, maintain, and enhance fire-adapted communities where residents and landowners know how to prepare for and safely react to wildfire.

CFA will help spread the message about home fire protection in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).  Oregon Department of Forestry file photo.  
 

Citizen Fire Academy is a collaborative education and service program designed to increase the outreach capacity of fire agencies, and ultimately to maintain and enhance fire-adapted communities. The goal is to increase implementation of defensible space and other Firewise practices and build human capacity to deal with wildfire through education and volunteer service.

Citizen Fire Academy will train volunteers to support and expand natural resource agencies through community outreach and engagement activities related to wildfire prevention and safety. The comprehensive CFA curriculum will cover fire science, home protection strategies, fuels reduction, living in a fire environment, evaluating risk, emergency planning, volunteer outreach, and communicating about wildfire. The training will include 35 hours of classroom and field-based instruction taught by subject experts and tailored to local conditions. 

The first CFA training will take place in southern Oregon in spring 2014. Three additional trainings will take place around Oregon in 2014-15. Through these trainings, the CFA curriculum will be pilot tested, modified, and made available to fire agencies in other states.

CFA is funded under a USFS State and Private Forestry grant. Key partners include the Oregon Department of Forestry and many other regional and local fire agencies and natural resource organizations. For more information about CFA, contact Rhianna Simes, OSU Extension, (541) 776-7371 x221, Rhianna.simes@oregonstate.edu 

Submitted by Max Bennett

Forestry/Natural Resources Agent

OSU Extension Service, Jackson-Josephine Counties

 


Nation Urban Extension Conference 2015 - Honoring the past, living the dream, embracing the future

 

Urban Extension Professionals play an important role in the vigor of Extension programming across our nation. Programming in urban areas must remain dynamic and adaptable to meet the fast pace of urban needs and provide urban communities with reliable, research-based information from our nation's top Universities. From May 4-7, 2015, the National Urban Extension Conference will be taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. Plan to come join urban Extension Professionals from across the nation to share emerging issues, be inspired by urban Extension impacts, and look to the future for ways to link urban communities with the research that continues to improve lives. 
 
Attendees will enjoy all that the city has to offer and see urban Extension at its finest, from dynamic programming with 4-H and youth, to innovative Family and Consumer Science programming and the latest in urban agriculture and natural resource conservation in the metropolitan area. Atlanta links successful urban programming throughout several counties and showcases the integration of program areas. You will be sure to experience exceptional examples of urban Extension and the impact it can make in metropolitan communities. 
 
Join us by submitting a proposal for one of the three types of presentations to share your knowledge and experience with your colleagues. Sessions are 60 minute workshops, 30 minute road runner sessions with similar goals being paired together for a 60 minute session, and poster sessions. 
 
For more information and to submit a proposal, go to: http://urbanextension2015.com/. The deadline for proposal submission is October 1st. This is a great opportunity for sharing your best practices in Extension. If you would like to serve as a proposal reviewer visit the website and register by June 1. 
 
Come to Atlanta in 2015 as we honor the past, live the dream, and embrace the future of urban Extension. Learn more, submit a presentation application, and sign up to receive more information about the conference at http://urbanextension2015.com/.

 

Submitted by Mary Carol Sheffield

Paulding County Extension Coordinator

University of Georgia Extension

 

 

A Word from Your Editor
Diana paddling

To all those who contributed articles to this newsletter: Thank you!  For those of you who didn't, don't despair.  Articles for the summer issue can be submitted any time up to July 15.

 

Submitted articles should be roughly 600 words or less in .doc or .docx format.  Photos are greatly desired with caption and photo credit!  This is your chance to let your peers know what you have been doing.  As editor, I always find it interesting to read the various submissions.  We do a lot with and for our clients.

 

In the Winter issue, I mentioned the various ice/freezing rain storms that visited coastal NC - typically on a Tuesday.  The graphic below shows just how wild the January-March 2014 weather was in eastern NC.

 

Source:  NC State Climate Office
Sincerely,
 
ANREP Communications Chair
North Carolina State University
 
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