Spring 2016
In this issue
ANREP/NACDEP Conference Updates
North Central Region Networking
NNSLE Leadership Change
New Youth Stormwater Curriculum from Penn State Extension
Rutgers Extension Develops Water Engineers Program
Cisterns for Nursery Irrigation
Florida Horticulture Program Provides Inmates with Green Skills
Cross-Laminated Timber in Utah: A Potential Home-Run for Industry & Forests?
Southern Regional Extension Forestry Website Collaborations
Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry Through Citizen Science
Project Learning Tree Adds West Nile Virus Activity
President's Corner ________________

It is hard to believe that 2016 is moving along so rapidly.  The JCEP Leadership conference and the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference have both come and gone.  ANREP attendance at these conferences is generally sparse; however, I hope that our members get good information and leadership skills from them.  The joint ANREP/NACDEP/NAEPSDP mobile workshop to the Las Vegas Wash was very good.  We even saw a pair of Great Horned owls!  I'm looking forward to what the 2017 Leadership conference planners have in store for us in Orlando.
Great horned owls, Las Vegas Wash, Feb. 2016.  Credit: Marina Denny, MSU Extension

In just a few short weeks, many of us will be meeting face-to-face at the joint ANREP/NACDEP conference in Burlington, VT.  More than 20 people have taken advantage of the reduced rate for members and joined ANREP.  There will be a new member meet & greet on Sunday, June 26, just prior to the opening reception.  If you see a new member, please take a moment to say "Hi!" and welcome them to our association.  Although the early bird rate has ended, it's not too late to register for the conference!  Conference information is available on the ANREP website.

Speaking of the conference - ANREP depends on its members to volunteer for various tasks.  As we close in on the conference over the next month, we're recruiting volunteers that are much needed to help the conference run smoothly.  If you're attending the conference, consider volunteering for the silent auction, poster judging, session moderating, AV set-up, and other tasks. 

ANREP also depends on its members to volunteer for various tasks and committees throughout the year.  Many of our volunteer opportunities are for either a short duration or only periodic participation, others are longer; however, they are all vital.  Whether you are able to attend the biennial conference or not, consider these positions and volunteer opportunities:
  • Communication Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • Awards Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • State Champion
  • Various elected positions (Dean Solomon will be seeking names for nomination in a few months.)
You will have several opportunities during the conference to speak with current volunteers and sign-up for a committee.  If you will not be able to attend the conference, just contact me or any of the other Board members.  We will be happy to help you and discuss the positions.  If you have any questions about volunteering for ANREP, feel free to send me an email.  It is each of you who make this a terrific organization.

Looking forward to seeing you in Burlington,

ANREP President, 2016
PILD Chair, 2017

North Carolina State University - Area Specialized Agent
ANREP Updates ___________________
We are now just a little over a month away from meeting in Burlington. The early registration deadline is past but there is still time to register and join your ANREP and NACDEP colleagues.  

An incredible number of people responded to the call for presentations and posters. The result is that the conference will feature 172 sessions, 8 Ignite presentations (short, quick-moving), and 74 posters.  

June 26-29, 2015

Burlington, Vermont

Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center

Conference Lodging
The official conference hotel is full however lodging is still available at the University of Vermont. The conference website also links to other area hotels that may have space available. Diana Rashash, diana_rashash@ncsu.edu, has a list of those needing a roommate if you're looking to save on lodging costs.  

Conference Fun!
If the wide range of learning opportunities aren't enough enticement to register, consider these activities that the Hospitality/Networking Committee has been busy working on. Mark Megalos provided this teaser list of what awaits attendees.

Local Foods
· M ap with restaurant listings featuring local foods
·  D inner sign-up sheets for Sunday night dinner on your own
·   Shuttles will be running Sunday and Tuesday night

Breakfast Networking Tables
·   Three days of breakfast networking with different plans for each day

Social Media Challenge
·   Twitter feed-prizes for posting photos, blurbs, and "ah-ha" moments to Twitter
·   Scavenger hunt with prizes during poster session (Prizes: drink tickets to fortify your karaoke prowess and performances!)

·   Tuesday night 9:30-? (see drink ticket reference above if you have concerns about performance anxiety)

ANREP Jam Session
·   Sunday night 8:30-11:30pm -bring your instrument/vocals

Morning Yoga
· S essions before breakfast

Silent Auction
One of the conference mainstays has been the silent auction.  Besides the opportunity to go home with some unique item from another state, the money raised by the auction goes towards future ANREP travel scholarships. The Silent Auction Committee is calling all members to consider bringing an item (or more) that represents their home state, region, their work interests, their hobbies or just something that represents themselves.
Past items have included books (some autographed), honey, jewelry, hand-woven baskets, woodwork, carvings, maple syrup and a wide variety of other items. Be creative and bring something that represents your state. The more the merrier.
Maybe we can have a contest as to which state raises the most money, or get a bidding war going on a MUST HAVE item.

If you're planning on bringing an item, drop a note to Marty Havlovic, martin.havlovic@uwex.edu, and he'll provide you with a donation form to fill out.  
North Central Region Networking

On April 26th, nine regional colleagues did some speed-dating, of the professional sort. In an effort encourage networking among regional colleagues, the North Central Region held a webinar for members who are involved in citizen science. We had folks from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin sit together and not argue about the merits of their football teams.

Angela Gupta (MN) shared programming she is doing with invasive species as part of the Forest Pest First Detector Network and a new program called Wasp Watcher. The Wasp Watcher program asks citizens to check for the smoky winged beetle bandit wasp in baseball diamonds. The wasp preys on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), and is used as an early detector of EAB. Mike Schira (MI) shared a similar program from Michigan, called Eyes on the Forest, which asks citizens to "adopt" a tree and observe it for change over time. They are particularly interested in tracking Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid, and thousand cankers disease of walnut.

Several members (Bindu Bhakta-MI, Eleanor Burkett-MN, and Andrea Lorek Strauss-MN) shared their Master Naturalist programs.  The program in Michigan is the MI Conservation Stewards Program. Bindu reported that they have been shifting their program delivery options to include both in-person and online training, which has cut back on the number of days participants need to sit in trainings. Andrea and Eleanor shared their recent work with the   MN Master Naturalist program.

On the water side of things, Megan Weber (MN) and Eleanor Burkett (MN) talked about changes in their Aquatic Invasives program. They are looking into two tracks: detectors and trackers. Megan is fairly new to Extension, so please take a moment to welcome her.

Both Andrea and Bindu work together as part of the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP). ANROSP promotes active stewardship by supporting science-based outreach and service programs in the field of natural resources. The group had some discussion of whether there was interest in a regional network of folks working in citizen science. Conversations will continue, but please take some time to look up these folks and their good work. 
National Network for Sustainable Living Education (NNSLE) Update

Cathy Elliott
Change is in the air! Catherine Elliott, Sustainable Living and Wildlife Specialist, UMaine, has been serving as Director of NNSLE since Viviane Simon-Brown's retirement in 2012. Now it is Cathy's turn ... she is retiring in July 2016. At the ANREP-NACDEP Building a Path to Resilience conference, Cathy will be handing the "chain of office" of NNSLE to our new Director, Roslynn Brain, Sustainable Communities Specialist, Utah State. Congratulations Ros!
Ros Brain
NNSLE will be holding a brief meeting sometime during the conf erence ... keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement of where and when. Please join us, or stop by the NNSLE-CSI-NEEI poster on Monday evening to learn  more about NNSLE and ANREP's two other initiatives, the Climate Science Initiative (CSI) and the National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI). Membersh ip in the initiatives is open to all Extension professionals. See you there!
Submitted Articles ________________
New Youth Stormwater Curriculum from Penn State Extension

Excess stormwater is a growing problem in Pennsylvania and across the country, contributing to water pollution, flash floods and other issues. To help youth and adults understand and reduce the impacts of stormwater, Penn State Extension has launched a new curriculum titled " Rain to Drain -- Slow the Flow."
"When it rains in your community, where does the water go?" asks Jennifer Fetter, Penn State Extension watershed and youth development educator based in Dauphin County. "As our communities grow, we change the Earth's surface, leaving little room for rain water to soak into the ground. Instead, it becomes runoff which leads to flash flooding and water quality issues."
Fetter noted that there are innovative ways to continue developing a community while maintaining or creating new places for water to enter into the soil instead of becoming runoff.
"Teaching others about these development practices and the need for them has been a challenge," she said. "That's why we created 'Rain to Drain -- Slow the Flow.' This online book is a hands-on way to engage youth and adults in learning about stormwater. Using simple, low-cost and easy-to-get materials, anyone can participate in this fun science experiment."
Although developed as a 4-H curriculum, "Rain to Drain" can be used by community groups, in school classrooms, by after school clubs, and even by individuals, according to Fetter. The program is designed to teach about the movement of stormwater through natural and developed ecosystems, covering concepts such as runoff and groundwater infiltration, impervious surfaces, green infrastructure, human impacts on the environment, flooding and other topics.
"It was written with middle-school aged youth in mind but is easily adaptable to younger and older audiences, including the public," Fetter said. "It can be used as an ongoing classroom experience or a fast-paced demonstration at a community event."
Students from the Steelton-Highspire Elementary School 4-H Club perform an experiment as part of Penn State Extension's "Rain to Drain--Slow the Flow" stormwater science curriculum.

Fetter piloted the program at the beginning of this school year with about 150 seventh-grade students in the Harrisburg City School District. After completing the curriculum, the students went out onto school property to identify stormwater problems firsthand. As a result, they organized a tree planting on a hillside below their school and a trash cleanup on the streets and sidewalks. They also identified two storm drains around the school that were clogged and not functioning properly.
After contacting Capital Region Water, which is responsible for the city stormwater system, the students observed as the storm drains were cleaned and learned about potential careers with the city's water authority.
The project was beneficial to the students at Rowland Academy, said Evelyn Wassel, GEAR UP-3 academic coach for the Harrisburg School District. "It broadened their perspective to see that their choices can affect areas outside their neighborhood and that they can positively impact their environment with even small changes," she explained. "It inspired some students to continue working on decreasing stormwater runoff through their work in the EXPLORE program after school."
Post-tests of students at Rowland Academy and a control group of students at another school in the district that did not participate in the "Rain to Drain" curriculum showed there was a statistically significant difference in knowledge of stormwater science between the two groups. "Several months after finishing the experiment, students at Rowland continue to have a significantly higher understanding of the stormwater problems that affect their community and potential solutions to those problems." Fetter said.

Submitted by:
Penn State Extension
Watershed and Youth Development Educator
Rutgers Extension Develops Water Engineers Program

Many hands make light work to educate students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through a collaborative project between the 4-H and Environmental Agents in Ocean County, NJ.  For years, educators have attempted to address STEM in the context of real-world, applied science but face a lack of learning opportunities and limited funds to allow for project-based learning.  These factors hinder the ability of educators and youth to put their new understanding of STEM to effective use.  The collaboration in Ocean County has resulted in the creation of Water Engineers Program which is designed to develop teaching and learning tools for educators to teach youth about stormwater pollution.  Educators are also provided guidance on implementing service projects that reflect best practices in dealing with stormwater pollution.  The objective is to engage students in a hands-on learning experience that will help to reduce water use or water pollution at their schools.
The approach to this program is two-fold:
Provide instruction to educators - First, educators learn how to lead project-based activities in water quality and watershed management.  These activities focus on hydrology through building topographic watershed models and observing how runoff pools on, absorbs into, or flows over various surfaces.  Educators will also learn what practices are available for dealing with this runoff and how they can be implemented.
Engage students through service learning - Educators then lead these activities for youth in their respective classes.  Armed with this knowledge, youth will then implement a service project selected from a series of provided learning opportunities that will directly impact runoff at their site, either with volume reduction or treatment practices. 
Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program.  Credit: Steve Yergeau

So far, a two-part teacher workshop was conducted for seven educators from six schools in March 2016 for the Water Engineers Program. The first part was led by 4-H and provided teachers with the materials and curricula for a watershed model activity and information on several options for the hands-on service learning projects. The second part described in detail the service learning projects for the teachers and how to evaluate their school sites to best pick one of the projects. The Water Engineers Program includes a small amount of funding to implement the service learning projects at each of the educators' schools. Rutgers Cooperative Extension faculty in Ocean County are working closely with all the educators and providing technical support with three of the schools to design native plant pollinator gardens and to build and install rain barrels to be used to water the gardens. The remaining schools are in the planning phase of their service projects, which include a possible rain garden and additional native plant gardens that will reduce the use of water for landscaping.
Helping teachers adapt to changing curriculum needs can only be met through collaboration and the sharing of expertise.  When the expertise of faculty and staff is valuable to the communities they serve, partnering to leverage resources is proving both efficient and effective in the implementation of programs.

For further information on this project, contact Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent at (732) 349-1227, or Steve Yergeau, Environmental and Resource Management Agent - Ocean & Atlantic Counties at (732) 505-3671.
Funding for this project was provided by the Phillip Alampi Fund and the authors gratefully acknowledge their support.

Submitted by:
Environmental & Resource Management Agent, Ocean & Atlantic Counties
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Cisterns for Nursery Irrigation

A large rainwater harvesting system was recently installed at Cerbo's Nursery located in Parsippany, N.J.  The project was made possible through a United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 319h grant which Dr. Christopher C. Obropta, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Water Resources Specialist and Patricia Rector, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Environmental and Resource Management Agent received from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Cerbo's is a family owned and operated certified nursery, growing most of their own plants. Cerbo's was established in 1913, serving the community for over 100 years, and is now operated by the third and fourth generations of the family. This implementation project is one of many which will improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Troy Brook.
The cisterns were installed as part of the Rutgers River Friendly Business Program. This program is part of a cohesive Rutgers Cooperative Extension programming effort to educate and include all sectors of the communities in the efforts to move towards clean water in urban/suburban areas. The Rutgers River Friendly Business Program overview and program guidance won the 2015 ANREP Bronze Award for Long Publication.
Three of six 2,500 gallon cisterns that collect stormwater from the hoop houses. Credit: Pat Rector
Greenhouse with pipes that collect roof runoff. Three hoop houses are connected to the piping which leads to the cisterns. Credit: Pat Rector

Rainwater Harvesting is the active collection, storage and reuse of rainwater and is part of the continuing implementation of green infrastructure practices throughout New Jersey. Cerbo's Nursery is a functional nursery with greenhouse structures attached to the retail operation. This rainwater harvesting system incorporates collecting rainwater from the gree nhouse roof and gutters. During a one-inch rain storm the system collects between 5,000-6,000 gallons that previously travelled directly through stormwater pipes into the Troy Brook, increasing the frequency of the small flooding events. "This can help us think about the reality of runoff from impervious surfaces throughout the township, and how much water actually runs into our streams from a parking lot, driveway, or the roof of a mall." said Pat Rector, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Leaves are filtered out of the system and the initial flush of water is diverted from the rainwater collection tanks. This rainwater collection system is a "wet" system and is unique compared to conventional rainwater installations. "The challenge with the system design was to supply the tanks with the roof water. Due to space constraints the cisterns were not placed next to the greenhouse. Due to height constraints with an above ground system a pipe from the gutter was installed underground across a driveway and up into the first flush diverter", said Bill Hoffman of Elite National Water Management, LLC, the installation contractor. The "wet" system remains "charged" during the rainwater collection season and is winterized or drained during the colder months. The system uses gravity and water pressure to move water from the greenhouse roof to the six (6) 2,500 gallon rainwater collection tanks. The collected rainwater will be used to supplement the nursery's city supplied water supply and will be used to irrigate the nursery's plant stock. 
The system was installed with funding from a grant to reduce water quality impairments in the Troy Brook. Cerbo's Nursery is a participant in the Rutgers River Friendly Business Program and is expected to be certified within the next few weeks.

Submitted by:
Environmental & Resource Management Agent
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Florida Horticulture Program Provides Inmates with Green Skills

Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Coleman, the largest Federal prison in the country, is home to UF/IFAS Horticulture/Culinary Arts Vocational Training for its inmates. The Horticulture program, started in 2011 has trained 415 students, in 20 classes throughout its 10 semesters. The program supports the mission of Extension to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life science and to making that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. As we partner with the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Green Industries Best Management Program (GI-BMP), the inmates are able take with them the knowledge and skills learned as well as horticulture certifications to start them on the road to success. 

This program provides much more than just the skills needed to achieve gainful employment. Studies show that hands in the soil can have a beneficial effect.  Journal of Health Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp.3-11, VanDenBerg, Agnes and Custers, Mariette H.G. (2011), "Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration for Stress". A recent meeting at the prison provided micro greens, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots and more on the luncheon plates that were grown, harvested, cooked and served by the inmates in the program. Pride on the faces of those men and women when applauded by the guests told the story. Thoughts provided by inmates continue to demonstrate its success:

"Rehabilitation is a state of mind for each inmate. My rehabilitation has been enhanced by the horticulture program in the short term in that I have a program that keeps my mind alive. In the long term, we have potential career opportunities. The value of the program is obvious and is making a difference."  -Robert Hohman 

This program gives us a very good opportunity to monitor and track the program. Students are tested with pre and post exams throughout every session. These numbers provide us with some tangible evidence of the success of the program.   
Average Knowledge Gain              134%                       
Ground Cover/Vines                     113%
Shrubs 1                                     162%                       
Shrubs 2                                     105%
Palms                                         132%
Turf/Ornamental Grasses              242%
Bedding/Herbaceous                    110%
Foliage/Indoor                             94%

Table 1: FCC Coleman 5 Year Data on FNGLA

Table 2: FCC Coleman 5 Year Data on GI-BMP Exams

The numbers above tell only half of the story. Rates of recidivism nationally are running 60%. Data from the Bureau of Prisons website is collected quarterly on each of the student/inmates. Of the 415 inmates who have been trained, 196 have been released. Of those 196, only 7 have been re-incarcerated giving us a rate of recidivism of less than 4%...substantially lower than the national average. 
The community and industry leaders have come together to support the program as well as the inmates. Leaders from every walk of life have volunteered to travel to the prison to do mock interviews with inmates. It starts in the classroom before the day of the mock with the inmates being counseled on writing and presenting resumes. Each inmate sits down with a volunteer and "interviews" for a position, answering questions much like they may experience in real life situations. This is just one more area where classroom experience mirrors real life and can provide them with the skills they will need when they are released. 
The future: At the present time we have one horticulture instructor, three culinary instructors and a program clerk. Additional program assistants and instructors are planned later this year as we expand the programs to other areas of the prison.  We look forward to continued partnerships with GI-BMP and FNGLA as well as developing new relationships with related fields and professionals in order to continue to provide inmates a leg up as they begin again.  

Submitted by:
Extension Agent I, Florida-Friendly Landscaping/Urban Horticulture
UF/IFAS Sumter County
Cross-Laminated Timber in Utah: A Potential Home-Run for Industry and Forests?

Credit: National Research Council Canada
In 2015 the Utah Biomass Resources Group (UBRG) was awarded a USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant totaling more than $164,000. Grant partners include Utah State University (USU) Extension, the USU Botanical Center, and Euclid Timber Frames. This grant will facilitate the design of a first-of-its-kind public cross laminated timber (CLT) building in the country. Utah Biomass Resources Group spearheaded the grant with the goal of sparking a new industry that could bring jobs and utilization to Utah - two things greatly needed in the forestry sector. One potential benefit? Cross laminated timber allows for the utilization of a previously low-value product: beetle-killed wood.

We worked in collaboration with other extension staff (Food Sense Nutrition Program, Horticulture Extension) to ensure that many different groups would find the building useful. For example, a demonstration kitchen and teaching area is part of the building concept. The kitchen will be used to provide nutrition education to (primarily) low-income Utahans. Horticulture classes will be taught in teaching facility with easy access to the attached gardens. USU Forestry Extension will conduct a public outreach campaign directed at growing the market for CLT in Utah and beyond. This outreach will involve public (oral and poster) presentations, dedication of a webpage ( under construction) geared toward CLT education, publication of a Utah Forest Newsletter article, and a Learn at Lunch Webinar presentation (date TBD, 2017). USU Forestry Extension Associate, Darren McAvoy has presented on the CLT project at the Extension Sustainability Summit (Portland, OR) and he will present again at the National ANREP meeting in June, 2016 (Burlington, VT). The push to educate public and private partners as well as industry professionals about this new CLT technology is an essential part of making this project a success. The UBRG team is dedicated to this aspect of the grant by using a variety of platforms: social media, in-person presentations, and public outreach. 

What is Cross-Laminated Timber?
Credit: Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Developed in Europe in the 1990s, cross-la minated timb er walls are constructed  from pieces of wood that are joined together using glues, hardware, or wood joinery. Large planks of wood can also be used by butting them together into sheets that are then laminated at 90 degrees to each other. Typical panels consist of three, five or seven layers of dimensional boards. Using these methods, panels of almost any size can be created. This type of construction offers a long list of benefits:

Carbon sequestration characteristics of CLT construction make this a sustainable building product. How? When fallen or diseased trees are utilized and made into CLT walls, the carbon that would have been emitted by microbes (as the wood was broken down on the forest floor) becomes sequestered, or stored in the structure of the wood.
Reduced demand for carbon intensive building products such as concrete and steel may occur. How? Wood manufacturing requires less energy and emits less greenhouse gasses than the manufacturing of concrete or steel; wood also has a smaller carbon footprint because even after it is harvested, it continues to store carbon.
Waste wood is utilized and wildfire risks may decrease as insect damaged wood is utilized. How? This waste would have been traditionally left in forests thereby adding to an already high wildfire risk in the Intermountain West. Instead, this damaged wood is made into CLT walls.
Decrease of energy consumption and cost for heating and cooling due to the high energy efficiency of CLT. How? Because of their superior insulating capabilities, CLT homes use approximately 1/3 less energy for heating and cooling than a traditional framed house. CLT walls insulate 10 times better than concrete and masonry, and 400 times better than steel.
Increased efficiency in construction time: prefabricated CLT walls go together quickly and reduce construction costs. How? CLT buildings can be joined on site with simple and rapid connections, expediting traditional construction time anywhere from 10 to 50%.
Increasingly consumers seek sustainable building products that are renewable, aesthetically pleasing, and efficient. Cross laminated timber can be a part of the answer. One challenge is getting the product to the consumer at a reasonable price. To do that the right combination of resource presence, construction, fabrication and utilization capacity must converge. Another challenge is getting building inspectors comfortable with the performance of this product. Our efforts at USU Forestry Extension include working on solutions to these challenges. To learn more about CLT market and production, visit the Utah Biomass Resources Group website.

Submitted by:
Utah State University Extension Forestry
ResourceExchange ________________
Southern Regional Extension Forestry (SREF) Website Collaborations

The Climate Learning Network (CLN)'s flagship site provides climate resources for Extension professionals in forestry and agriculture, including 6 premiere e-learning modules featuring multimedia content and lectures from experts in relevant climate-related topics. The modules can be taken for continuing education credits from the Society of American Foresters and/or Certified Crop Advisors (CCA).  The CLN is an SREF collaboration with eXtension and the USDA Office of the Chief Economist designed to promote climate literacy among Extension professionals and to support the USDA Climate Hubs. 

Contact: Dan Geller, Southern Regional Extension Forestry

This centralized hub connects Extension  agents to education and training materials on forest health and invasive species in the southeastern US. Resources currently include fact sheets, webinars, videos, and links to relevant websites. The site is part of the Forest Health and Invasive Species Education and Outreach program, a joint effort from the University of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the US Forest Service managed and coordinated by SREF's Dr. David Coyle. 

Contact:  Dr. David Coyle, Southern Regional Extension Forestry

This one-stop website is  devoted to offering the most recent state and regional level data on forest economic impacts in the Southeast.  It provides easy access to economic impact reports for each of the 13 states in the Southern region and links to other relevant forest economic resources on the web.  The site serves as an essential resource for anyone seeking to promote the importance of forestry and the forest products industry. Partners include the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF), the  Association of Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED), and the State and Private Forestry (S&PF) Unit of the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Southern Region. 

Contact: Steven Weaver, Southern Regional Extension Forestry
Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry Through Citizen Science

Got citizen science?   A new project in Minnesota is training leaders of youth groups  to use citizen science experiences to stimulate curiosity and inspire motivation to design and carry out scientific research projects. Targeted to youth age 10-14 outside the traditional school setting, such as 4-H clubs, scout groups, or community youth programs, this program model is easily adaptable to your location, project, and audience. We're happy to help you think it through. Feel free to download our curriculum today!

Contact: Andrea Lorek Strauss, Fish, Wildlife, & Conservation Education, University of Minnesota Extension
Project Learning Tree Adds West Nile Activity

In response to the alarming increase of West Nile virus in some communities, researchers at Auburn University and the U.S. Forest Service have been studying factors that influence outbreaks of the West Nile virus.  The outreach portion of the project resulted in the development of an activity designed for middle and high school students. In the West Nile Virus: Forests Help Reduce the Risk  activity, students learn how the West Nile virus is transmitted, how individuals can protect themselves, ways communities can reduce the risk of outbreaks, and how the loss of tree cover has been linked with higher incidences of West Nile virus. The activity is part of the Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests module, which  is designed to foster student understanding of, and appreciation for, the forested lands throughout North America.

Contact: Denise Cole, Outreach Director, Auburn University Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban Rural Interface. 
IdeaExchange ____________________
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WordEditorA Word From Your Editor__________
"Sometimes outside smells better than inside."  Words of wisdom recently spoken by my 4 year old niece.  I can't argue with her astute observation.  Between wild plum, lilacs, apple trees, flowering crabapples, fresh-cut grass and bunch of other spring treats, it has certainly been a fragrant spring.  Besides the smells of Nature waking up from another winter, I'm always amazed at the almost infinite number of shades of green that appear.  To me, Spring rivals Fall as the most colorful season. These sights and smells of Spring also mean we're rapidly approaching another ANREP conference.  I'm looking forward to visiting Burlington, a place I've never been to before, and joining with our colleagues from NACDEP.  The joint conference means a wider range of sessions from which to choose and even more networking opportunities.  It also means seeing Extension colleagues that I haven't seen since the last conference. Can't wait to get to Vermont...hope to see you there!
The next deadline for content submittals is August 1.  With luck, the next newsletter will be out August 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