2018 Conference Update
Professional Development Update
Proposed Western Region ANREP Meeting
Rainwater Harvesting: Water Quality Concerns
Florida Microplastics Awareness Project
Sustainability-Focused Extension Programs Database
Florida Supports Nature Poets
Earth Day Mail Art Contest
Illinois Extension Resources
Backpack Sprayer Calibration Fact Sheet
While at the JCEP Leadership Conference last February in Orlando, Tamara Walkingstick, Shannon Carnevale and I were discussing programming and travel. Shannon talked about working with a Spanish speaking population and said she'd like to be able to speak Spanish better. In response, I shared about how I'm learning French and Italian as I dream about a trip to Europe someday. In case someone else finds it helpful, I thought I'd share my method with the rest of our ANREP membership too.
The two tools I'm using are
on the smartphone, and used
language cd's I find on Ebay and Amazon Marketplace. Duolingo is a free app. The used Pimsleur language sets are cheap to buy, especially for common languages, such as Spanish and French. Expect somewhere between $30-$60 each for Level I and II. Each cd has two 20- to 30-minute lessons that build upon the last. The focus is conversational and you get lots of practice to perfect your pronunciation (I usually repeat the cd's a few times until I feel comfortable with what's coming off my tongue). Each level has approximately 15 to 16 hours of instruction you can do while driving. And drive time is something most of us have lots of!
Duolingo helps you learn lots of vocabulary and grammar. It also provides exposure for using advanced verb tenses (Pimsleur Level III or higher). Duolingo has 65 topical lessons, progressing from juvenile to the advanced verb tenses ("would have, could have, should have" types). Each topical lesson has 2 to 8 exercises to complete before you can advance to the next. The exercises consist of vocabulary, building short sentences, and speaking short phrases. Each exercise is about 5 minutes or less, but can run over 10 minutes when you get bogged down on new material. Just persist on a daily basis and eventually you'll complete each exercise and lesson. As you get familiar with certain common verbs using the cd's, you can intuit how to use the vocabulary Duolingo teaches. Although the two don't correspond with each other, I found that the words I am on learning on the cd's would eventually be covered in Duolingo, and often beforehand. Having learned a word beforehand was gratifying when it became the content of the lesson on the cd.
You will need to commit to language learning as your new hobby for best results. Give yourself about four months. By completing Duolingo, and the second level of Pimsleur, you should have enough understanding to converse superficially in your new language, and perhaps even better. If you have a clientele that uses that language, you could put a third leg under your learning regime by practicing with them. They'll love it!
The verdict from my experience? Mi piace l'italiano, e la bella lingua (I like Italian, it's the beautiful language); and Je n'aime pas le francais! (I don't like French!)
Grazie per tutto che fanno! Vi amo tutti, i miei colleghi!
(Thanks for all you do! I love my colleagues!)
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
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
It's that time of year where I, as Past-President, get to ask for energetic, enthusiastic, and determined ANREP members to consider running for office. Elections will be held later this year for the positions of
Southern Region Representative
(2-yr term), and
Western Region Representative
(2-yr term). The duties for each of these positions are located in the
ANREP Policies & Procedures Handbook
(link opens PDF) .
If you are interested in one of these positions, feel free to contact either the current person who holds that position or me for any questions that you may have. If you would like to recommend someone for one of these positions, send me their name and contact information. These are rewarding positions that help move our association forward. I look forward to hearing from you!
2017 ANREP Past-President
Area Specialized Agent - Water Quality & Waste Management
NC Cooperative Extension Service
News From the ANREP Professional Development Committee
Starting June 1
, we will be embarking on a new way to share professional development opportunities with ANREP members, but we need your help. Don't worry, it's SUPER EASY!
Starting June 1
we will be asking members to simply "Forward" any webinar announcements for the following month to firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, if you see a webinar announcement in June for a webinar in July, just hit "Forward" and address the email to email@example.com. Then, at the end of each month, one of our committee members will compile webinar opportunities into a pretty format and send that to the ANREP listserv.
We can't do this without your help, and it really doesn't get any easier than hitting "Forward", so please help us share scholarship opportunities with our members in this way.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact ANREP PD Chair, Lara Milligan at 727-453-6905.
Proposed: Western Region ANREP Meeting
Greetings Western Region ANREP Members,
As many of you know we discussed having a Western Region ANREP meeting last year at our meeting in Burlington. The idea was to combine our meeting with the Western Coordinating Committee (WCC) Annual meeting in the off years from our national ANREP conference.
Last August I traveled to Park City to propose this idea to the WCC and through the recent intervention of our ANREP President and WCC member, Chris Jones, and the cooperation of Tony Cheng, WCC member and the CSU host for our proposed August 2017 joint meeting, we have laid the groundwork to hold a
Joint WCC/ANREP Western Region meeting this August in Fort Collins, provided we have enough interest from members.
The proposed meeting would also provide ANREP members the opportunity to give a peer reviewed paper, another desire that was voiced last year in Burlington.
The ANREP portion of the joint meeting would be from Tuesday, August 8 through Thursday, August 10th, with return travel on Friday the 11th. The WCC would hold their executive committee and business meetings on Monday the 7th and the morning of the 8th.
Tuesday the 8th would be travel time for ANREP members in the morning, with a joint meeting with the WCC in the afternoon on cross-boundary issues and forest collaboratives.
Wednesday the 9th would be an all-day field trip to view forest collaborative projects near Fort Collins along with the WCC folks.
Thursday the 10th would be an all-day ANREP meeting, with the morning devoted to 15min presentations by ANREP members, and the afternoon devoted to an ANREP business meeting and strategy session.
Friday the 11th, travel home.
It is anticipated that the registration fee would be about $40.00, and there will be a block of rooms available at the Fort Collins Best Western University Inn for $94.00/night.
Here's what I need from you:
- An email stating whether you would be interested in attending this so we can gauge if there is enough ANREP interest to press forward with planning.
- Indicate whether you would be willing to serve on an ANREP planning committee for the meeting that would a) review abstracts for papers to be presented at the Thursday morning session, b) plan the agenda for the Thursday afternoon business meeting, and c) plan any social events for the evening of August 10th. I'm thinking we could use around 6 members.
What I will do:
If I receive enough interest in response to the notice for holding a meeting, I will proceed with arrangements and will forward to all Western Region ANREP members:
- hotel reservation information
- meeting registration cost and how to pay
- DRAFT and FINAL agendas for meeting
- Instructions for submitting abstracts
- Schedule a Zoom meeting with planning committee members
Please send your indication of interest in the meeting and willingness to serve on the planning committee to:
I think this is a great opportunity that ANREP members should take advantage of if they can. This has the potential to lead to an on-going every-other-year event that could contribute to important collaborations on natural resource issues we face in the western states.
ANREP Western Region Representative
Rainwater Harvesting: Water Quality Concerns
With the renewed interest in gardening, desire to decrease irrigation costs and increase water conservation, more than 2,684 residents attended the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Rainwater Harvesting workshops from 2014 through 2016. Several have expressed concern regarding the quality of the water harvested and their desire to utilize the water for edible gardens. Because of their concern, four research studies, Rutgers, North Carolina State University, Texas Water Development Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency, were reviewed and their findings follow. Overall, research results have shown that water testing is needed and treatment may be required to prevent contamination if the rainwater is to be used from a roof structure for an edible garden.
Substances of Concern:
Heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), microbes, pathogens, pesticides, vehicle exhaust, fecal matter from birds, insects, small mammals; ambient rainwater contaminated by microbial aerosols, leaf litter, bacteria and algae growth in gutter; pH
Roof Type Issues:
Source of lead, caladium, zinc; wood/asphalt contain chemicals from weatherproofing, metal absorbs metals, herbicides to prevent root penetration are present, pesticides from atmospheric deposition/precipitation; shingle and metal had higher turbidity value. Turbidity is a measure of water clarity or how much of the material is suspended in water per water.epa.gov
Microbial contamination found outside US; not suitable for drinking/potable uses without proper filtration/ treatment, exceeds drinking water standards for pH, fecal coliforms, aluminum, lead and zinc, check building and plumbing codes and for necessary permits; aluminum roof and rubber membrane acceptable for use
May have higher bacterial concentrations, wash in contact body parts with warm, soapy water; acceptable for aluminum, rubber membrane and green roof structures.
Chemical treatment is needed before use on edibles. Rainwater should be used in drip irrigation, not foliar application, and applied in the morning with harvesting not occurring immediately application. Drip irrigation may decrease bacteria/pathogens on the plant surface, but this has not been documented. Zinc accumulations in soil from runoff may lead to phytotoxicity. Phosphorus and Nitrogen concentrations are comparable to rainfall pre-roof contact. Water is safe for non-potable use, and wash edibles thoroughly before consuming. Green roofs are not good candidates; contamination affected by length of time between rain events.Rainwater harvesting tank depth is an issue as heavy metals settled on the bottom and pathogens are on surface water. Roofing material is one of many factors affecting the quality of harvested rainwater, quality increased with first flush diverters and metal roofs did not leach higher metal concentrations than other materials (Mendez et al, 2010).
: All studies indicated additional testing was needed, whether to determine if installation of a first flush diverter would reduce sufficient pathogens for irrigation; soil testing to determine if concentrations were significant enough to harm plants (thus people); on asphalt fiberglass shingles and cool roofs for a 'robust data sheet on harvested water quality'; for metals, oils and grease contamination; and treatment may be needed to prevent pathogen contamination. Wood shingles, cement and terra cotta tiles, lead, copper and asbestos are not recommended roofing structures for rainwater harvesting. Considerations that require additional research include human health risks, regional and climate considerations, environmental and ecological impacts (EPA 2013).
After reviewing the above research, all recommend caution be used when applying harvested rainwater on edibles. One study issued a caution warning on utilizing harvested rainwater for edible irrigation (Haberland et al, 2013). Water and soil testing were recommended, as well as the use of a first flush diverter. The first flush of roof runoff has the highest contaminant levels. None of roofing materials were clearly superior after the first flush. Water treatment is also essential, with the most common being filtration and ultraviolet light disinfection (DeBusk et al, 2009). Harvesting rainwater is a step in the right direction for water conservation and use in the landscape. Additional research is being conducted which will provide future direction in the use of harvested rainwater in edible gardening.
Haberland, M., Bakacs, M., Yergeau, S. 2013. "An Investigation of the Water Quality of Rainwater Harvesting Systems." Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Water Resources Program
DeBusk, K.M., Hunt, W.F., Osmond, D.L., Cope, G.W. 2009. "Water Quality of Rooftop Runoff, Implications for Residential Water Harvesting Systems." Urban Waterways. North Carolina State University, A&T State University Cooperative Extension.
Mendez, C.B., Afshar, B.R., Kinney, K., Barrett, M.E., Kirisits, M.J. 2010. "Effect of Roof Material on Water Quality for Rainwater Harvesting Systems." Texas Water Development Board.
2013. "Rainwater Harvesting, Conservation, Credit, Codes, and Cost, Literature Review and Cast Studies." United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent
UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service
Florida Microplastics Awareness Project Receives Award
In September 2015, NOAA's Marine Debris Program provided an outreach and education grant to Dr. Maia McGuire (University of Florida/IFAS Extension) to initiate a statewide citizen science microplastics project. In April 2017, the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project was recognized with a "Champions for Change" Award from UF's Office of Sustainability.
Microplastics (defined as pieces of plastic that are less than 5 mm in size) are a growing concern in aquatic environments. With much media attention focused on the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," the goal of the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project was to have citizen scientists collect and analyze local water samples for microplastics. The data from this effort are being used to encourage people to reduce their production of plastic waste, in large part by reducing the use of single-use plastic items. Sixteen partners around the state serve as regional coordinators for this effort.
Between September 1, 2015, and April 12, 2017, 968 one-liter water samples have been analyzed. 89% of the samples contained at least one piece of plastic. On average, samples contain 8 pieces of plastic per liter, with 83% of those plastics in the form of microscopic fibers. This information about the amount of plastic in our natural water bodies has inspired people to take action to reduce plastic waste. The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project is using community-based social marketing strategies to encourage behavior changes. These strategies include a pledge, in which people are asked to indicate their willingness to adopt one or more of eight behaviors. People can also indicate which behaviors they are already doing. Suggested behaviors include refusing single use drinking straws, using washable cold and hot drink containers, bringing washable containers to restaurants to use for leftovers, and using reusable shopping bags. Other suggested behaviors are reading labels on personal care products (face wash, deodorant, makeup) and avoiding those containing polyethylene, and choosing natural fabrics rather than synthetics.
For more information about the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project contact Maia McGuire. Other UF/IFAS Extension faculty involved in the project are Rick O'Connor, Chris Verlinde, Laura Tiu, Lara Milligan, Shelly Krueger, Lisa Krimsky, LeRoy Creswell, and Holly Abeels.
Over 1,000 people have taken the pledge. Follow-up surveys of over 100 people show that on average people have adopted three new behaviors to reduce plastic waste since learning about microplastics. This effort is continuing to expand in Florida and through the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to Eric Sparks (MS/AL Sea Grant).
UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant Agent
Sustainability-Focused Extension Programs Across the Nation
April, the host month of Earth Day, has many of us thinking about our beautiful planet and what we can do to help improve it. Perhaps you wish to find new colleagues to collaborate with on sustainability outreach, or to glean inspiration from other Extension programs addressing major sustainability issues. Thankfully, with the help of a new national database of sustainability-focused Extension programs, helping you achieve these goals has been made easy! Simply visit the database and discover 172 entries with 41 states represented. Extension programs range from New York's Consumer Education Program for Residential Energy Efficiency to New Mexico's Master Composters program.
All entries in the database fall into one or more of the following categories: Land (landfill and land conservation issues), air (quality and climate change), food (sustainable and local food systems), water (quality and conservation) and energy (efficiency and renewable). In building the database, all states were contacted several times. However, if you do not see your program represented and would like to add it, there is an easy form on the database page that you can complete.
Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist
Utah State University Moab
Florida Supports Nature Poets
A young mother whose children are competing in the 4-H Forest Ecology Contest approached me last year saying when SHE was a 4-H'er, the Forest Ecology contest had a poetry station, and wouldn't it be great to revive that tradition? She even found the instructions from 1981 and sent them to me.
Our 4-H state staff, always looking for ways to engage youth in skill-building exercises, thought it would be a fine thing to try. One agent was excited about the possibility and the Florida 4-H Nature Poetry Contest was born. In our pilot year all Forest Ecology contestants were eligible, as well as any youth from Citrus County.
I worked with a local poet and creative writing professor from the University of Florida (Dr. Sidney Wade) to identify characteristics of good poems and developed a form for applicants to use. Twenty-one poems were submitted from five counties.
A team of judges (Sidney, me and three students representing English, Fisheries, and Environmental Education) met one morning over muffins during spring break to read each poem out loud (poems should be heard, not just read) and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. Having no background in creative writing, I didn't think I could judge a poem, but it was easier than I thought. Winning poems excelled in a variety of ways. Some wonderfully expressed observations and insights, others were scientifically accurate, while others were quirky and fun. The timeline need not be consistent (I learned) and the perspective could change, as long as it makes sense. With some poems the reader is lulled into a pattern and then jerked to a new reality. With others the physical layout on the page followed a particular format (like a haiku or dimante poem).
We selected winners (first, second, third, and honorable mention) in each of three age categories (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) before lunch and enjoyed the process. The youth were delighted to win ribbons and recognition for their talents at the Forest Ecology contest. We'll be doing this next year for the entire state, asking county agents to submit a maximum of 20 poems in any age category.
Here are our three first place winners!
First place, Junior
By Emmerson Reed, Pinellas County
apping in the morning sun
here in the tall dying tree.
it by a speeding truck, while going for a drink.
vacuated by the F. W. C.
escued, Rehabilitated and Released!
First place, Intermediate
My life as a tree
By Maria Avlonitis, Pinellas County
My life as a tree started in the ground
The soil was dark and damp
I could not see beyond it
I strain for light
I stretch my roots and I push up
I find the light
I am happy
Day after day I grow
I wait for a long time
I have grown a trunk
I am bigger and leaves have sprouted out of my branches
But I must wait long if I want to grow taller
A bird has flown onto my branch
He is pecking my trunk
"Why are you pecking me?" I asked
"What wrong have I done to you?"
The bird does not answer and keeps pecking
"What have I done," I asked. "To deserve this?"
I have grown taller
A family of squirrels has come
They have made a nest
I am happy for them
They have a safe place to live in
It is a stormy night
Lightning flashes across the dark sky
Thunder is booming in the distance
The wind is howling
But I will stand strong
The squirrels are shivering against me
The little one is wailing
"Bend down, bend down," the reeds tell me
"You will fall, you will fall"
My roots are sturdy
I must not fall
I have gone past the storm
But I am old
Is it my time to fall?
Many creatures have made homes here
Little children rest against me on hot summer days
But it is my time to fall
New trees are rising
I have fallen
Two men with large axes come to chop me up
"What have I done," I asked. "To put you against me?
I have provided shade for your children
I have given you sticks to put in your fireplace to keep you warm
I have given you clean air
Why must you give me such a terrible end?
They do not hear my cries
Their axes came down in heavy blows
I have been built into a crib
There is a new child
He is young
He has forest green eyes
The two men with axes have carved pictures of a tree on me
A tree in the springtime, when its flowers bloom
A tree in the autumn, when leaves danced in the wind
A tree in the winter, snow hanging on its branches
A tree in the summer, two children resting against it
Then I realized
That tree is me
First Place, Senior
Focus In a Winter Night
Henry J. Keating, St. Johns County
Its outline was invisible until it moved
Shuffling cautiously through moonlit woods
A twig snapped somewhere nearby
Startled, the shadow lunged at an imaginary threat behind it
Suspicious, began to step backwards
Until its glance caught the silhouette of a human
Silent in a tree stand
It locked its gaze on me in a curious way
Not threatening, but not passive either
It would be cliché to call it fiery
But it was not fire I saw
It was focus
Every ounce of being it possessed focused on the sight before it
What do you know, thought I
Trying to speak through the winter air by sheer focus on a thought and that thought alone
A man and a wolf trying to communicate
The wolf did not hear me
It did not need to hear me
It turned and went on its way
I sighed and looked up towards the sky
They know things we never shall
Environmental Education and Extension
University of Florida
Earth Day Mail Art Contest
This Earth Day, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County hosted a mail art contest that focused on environmental awareness, conservation, and sustainability. Contestants submitted entries in the following categories:
#LoveTampaBay - Show us why you love Tampa Bay's waters and wildlife.
#ToEarthWithLove - Show us how you give back to the earth, whether it is through recycling, composting, conserving water, educating, etc.
#PlasticAware - Show us how plastics are impacting the environment and/or communities (people)
Participants were asked to submit an original artwork; there was no limitation on size except that it should adhere to postage guidelines, no perishable items, and no unauthorized replication of an artwork/image. Each category was divided into three sub-categories based on age (under 12, 13-18, over 18). Entries were evaluated by an independent group of judges based on creativity, artistry, and how well it related to its category's theme. Each artwork was also automatically entered into the Facebook Fan Favorite contest unless the participant opted out. Entries were scanned and uploaded to Facebook and the artwork receiving the most "likes" was judged the winner. Prizes ranged from a guided canoe hike of Weedon Island Preserve and plastic free totes to an energy savings kit. Facebook Fan Favorites were awarded with gardening kits in each category. A total of 59 entries were received and "Honorable Mention" certificates were also awarded to student entries based on judges' recommendations.
Adult winner #LoveTampaBay
Pinellas County Extension received very favorable comments on the contest; school teachers included notes expressing their "thanks" for hosting the contest and appreciated the opportunity to discuss environmental conservation in the classroom.
Regional Specialized Agent, Urban Sustainability
UF/IFAS Extension, Pinellas County
Southern Region Extension Forestry Updates
Southern Forest and Tree Health Diagnostics
A new forest health diagnostic resource for county extension agents in the Southeast! Dr. Jiri Hulcr (University of Florida) and Dr. Dave Coyle (Southern Regional Extension Forestry) have created the Southern Forest and Tree Health Diagnostics page on Facebook. This group seeks to harness the collective knowledge of forest health experts throughout the Southeast to answer questions and make diagnoses from users who upload their tree health issues. Submitting a question or issue is free and easy - users need only to upload a few cellphone pictures and give a short description of the issue. Experts generally get back within 1-2 business days.
Forest Health Webinars
Contact: David Coyle, Southern Region Extension Forestry
Follow him on Twitter at @drdavecoyle or find him on
for forest health information and program updates.
Illinois Extension Resources
Illinois Extension is sharing some of their websites on natural resource topics, designed for teachers and students.
Treehouse weather kids. Teacher/student information on weather. 4
grades. Available in English and Spanish
Riding the winds with Kalani. Teacher/student resources on weather for K-3 grade levels. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.
Shake Rattle and Slide. Teacher/student information on earthquakes, volcanoes and glaciers for 4-8
grades Available in English and Spanish
Contact: Duane Friend, Environmental Stewardship and Energy Educator, University of Illinois Extension
New Backpack Sprayer Calibration Fact Sheet from Penn State Extension
Penn State Forestry Extension has just released the fourth in a series of Forest Science Fact Sheets. The latest in the series, entitled Backpack Sprayer Calibration Made Easy, provides in-depth practical information on calibrating backpack sprayers for both band applications and spot treatments. The fact sheet was written by Dave Jackson, Penn State Forest Resources Educator, Art Gover, Penn State Wildland Weed Management and Kimberly Bohn, Penn State Forest Resources Educator.
Contact: David R. Jackson, Forest Resources Educator, Penn State Extension-Centre County
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|A Word From Your Editor__________
I spent last week in Detroit, attending the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference. It was huge...over 1,000 attendees and 700+ presentations. As the name would suggest, it's a very research-oriented conference with the audience mostly made up of university and agency (federal/state) researchers and students. While I appreciated seeing the science and hearing about all the great work being done at our universities, I found myself missing the application part. The "ok, that's great, but how do we translate this research into action?" part. The part Extension excels at. While the back and forth about the value of science is front and center these days, I'd say equally important is the translation of science into action and the process of meaningfully connecting the research to those it affects. All this has me already looking forward to the 2018 ANREP conference so I can continue to learn from my colleagues and be inspired. Besides, it's been cold and rainy here lately so I'm looking forward to some Gulf Coast warmth and sun.
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.
NREP Newsletter Editor | University of Wisconsin - Extension