Spring 2020
News & updates from your ANREP colleagues
In This Issue:

President's message

ANREP Updates
  • ANREP conference update
  • Award winners announced
  • Seeking Executive Secretary
  • NREEF giving opportunity
  • Day in the life of a Treasurer
  • PILD update

Upcoming Conferences
  • ANROSP 2020
  • NACDEP 2020

Featured Articles
  • Extension role in salmon aquaculture
  • Facebook Live: what we learned
  • 4-H ecology contest online
  • Chew on This webinar series

  • Camp 8 podcast
  • Online learning from Florida
  • Home landscape irrigation resources
  • New paper: Bridging the Gender Gap in Forest Stewardship
  • Everyday Environment webinar series
  • Wildland fire resources
  • Seeding Success course for early career Extension
  • Feral cat management factsheet
  • New training: preparing for wildfires with firescaping
  • WSU forestry webinar series
  • Rutgers Earth Day at Home webinar series


Editor's comments
Follow ANREP on Twitter
President's Message
2020 ANREP President
(727) 453-6905

Natural Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
Hello ANREP Colleagues!
I want to start off by saying CONGRATULATIONS to all our Award Winners. You all do amazing work! I encourage you to check out the awards program on our homepage to learn about the great work your colleagues are doing.

On another note, who is pumped for ANREP 2021! The Conference Planning Committee has done SO MUCH work in preparing for the original conference and then rescheduling, and now shifting to a whole new venue (secret is out)!! I want to personally thank them for all their hard work, passion and dedication to making our ANREP Conference happen in Oregon. See below for more details…

Since it has been so long since we have seen each other, the ANREP Board will discuss a possible virtual Membership Meeting to take place sometime this summer. Stay tuned to your inbox for those details!

In other news, our Professional Development Committee has been sprung back to life and will now be sharing some learning opportunities with you all on a quarterly basis. Thank you PD Committee!

Also, if you missed the announcement, we are currently looking for a new Executive Secretary. This is a unique opportunity to be engaged with ANREP in a non-voting position on the Board. Please see below for more details.
ANREP Updates
NEW Details for ANREP 2021
After working closely with Oregon State University’s Conference Services and the ANREP Board, the ANREP Conference Planning Committee is excited to announce that the conference has been rescheduled for May 23-26, 2021 at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center at Oregon State University in Corvallis! Please save these dates. More information will be sent as we continue to work through the next steps of planning.
The ANREP 2020 website will remain active. Check the website for updates and feel free to contact the Planning Committee with questions.

Conference Registration and Reservations
If you registered for the ANREP 2020 Conference prior to the postponement, you should have received communications and refunds for lodging from Sunriver Resort and registration fees from OSU Conference Services. We will be working to reopen conference registration and lodging reservation links at the appropriate time. Please stay tuned! More information will be posted to the conference website.

We are holding all presentations for the new 2021 conference dates, and the Conference Planning Committee will be in communication with you about next steps. We are currently using the original presentation schedule for the new 2021 dates. If any presenters have conflicts with the new conference dates we will first work with you to identify any possible changes in time slots during the new dates that would better accommodate your schedule. If needed, we may open up a new RFP for the 2021 conference based on openings in the presentation schedule.

Conference Communications
The ANREP 2020 website will remain active. Check the website for updates and feel free to contact the Planning Committee with questions. Communications will also be sent through the ANREP listserv, ANREP newsletter, and to all accepted presenters and registrants for the original 2020 dates. We do apologize in advance for any cross-postings.
We are excited to see you in Oregon, May 23-26, 2021! More information will be sent as we continue to work through next steps on planning while still monitoring the impacts of COVID-19.
ANREP Award Winners Announced
ANREP is excited to announce our 2020 award winners! Thank you so much to those of you who took time to nominate yourself or a colleague, and a special thanks to the Awards Committee and to those of you who served as an awards judge. This is one of the many benefits of being an ANREP member, the opportunity to receive national recognition for your work. Below is a summary of award winners and attached is the full awards announcement including a description of the project receiving the award. I encourage you to scroll through this document and reach out to award winners if their work is of interest to you or is something you can apply locally. ANREP is all about sharing, so let’s support each other in our efforts, especially in a time such as now. Congratulations award winners!

Outstanding Educational Materials Awards

Book or Comprehensive Program Curriculum
Gold Award
Florida Youth Naturalist Program: Instructor Field Guide
Shelly Johnson and Sarah Hensley, University of Florida
Silver Award
Aquatic Weed Control Calibration and Application Math
Susan Haddock, University of Florida
Bronze Award
Trees + Streams = Healthy, Cleaner Water
Jennifer Fetter and Kay Moyer, Penn State Extension

Long Publication
Gold Award 
This or That? A Beginner's Guide to Commonly Misidentified Animals & Plants in Florida
A James Stevenson Jr. and Lara Milligan, University of Florida
Silver Award
SC Adopt-a-Stream Volunteer Freshwater Monitoring Handbook
Katie Callahan, Clemson University
Bronze Award
Living Shorelines Training for Marine Contractors - Manual
Armando Ubeda and Savanna Barry, University of Florida.
Fara Ilami, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Gary Raulerson, Tampa Bay Estuary Program.
Jessy Wales, Marine Discovery Center.
Tom Ries, Ecosphere Restoration Institute Florida

Newsletters or Series of Articles
Gold Award
Fire Lines Newsletter
Dr. David Godwin and May Armstrong, University of Florida.
Laurel Kays, NC State University
Silver Award
Nature Notes Series of Articles Promote Better Pest Control
Nicole Pinson, University of Florida 
Bronze Award
Victor Blanco, University of Florida

Podcast or Radio
Gold Award
Victor Blanco, University of Florida
Silver Award
Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principles on Better Lawns & Gardens
Tina McIntyre, University of Florida

Promotional and marketing Materials
Gold Award
Kids in the Woods
Michael Andreu, Annie Hermansen-Baez, and Molly Disabb, University of Florida
Silver Award
UF/IFAS Drone Prep Course
Brittany Scharf, Kalan Taylor, Matthew Smith, Stacy Strickland, University of Florida
Bronze Award
Seagrass Safe Boating Promotional Packet
Savanna Barry, Brittany Hall-Scharf, Emily Colson, Joshua Patterson, University of Florida

Short Publication
Gold Award
The OSU Woodland Stick
Lauren Grand, Alicia Christiansen, and Francisca Belart, Oregon State University
Silver Award
Treejuvenation Florida: My Tree Benefits - Urban Trees
Marguerite Beckford, University of Florida
Bronze Award
Assessing and Managing Storm-Damaged Timber
Spenser Bradley, Bence Carter, and Adam Maggard, Auburn University

TV or Video
Gold Award
Forest Team Go!
Jordan Benner, Norie Dimeo-Ediger, Oregon Forest Resources Institute
Lauren Grand, Oregon State University  
Silver Award
Sea Level Rise Video Series
Carrie Stevenson, University of Florida, Mikaela Heming, Stephen Deal, and Renee Collini, Mississippi State University, Melissa Daigle, Louisiana State University, Rhonda price, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Christine Buckel, David Kidwell, Marian Hanisko, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Christine Mohrman, Gulf Coast Alliance 
Bronze Award
Selection Methods for Honey Bee Breeding
Timothy Lawrence, Matthew Ziegler, Susan Cobey, and Walter Shepard,  Washington State University
Televised Conference - Video Conference - Webinar
Gold Award
Prescribed Fire Ignition Techniques YouTube Video Series
     Spenser Bradley, Auburn University
Silver Award
Water Quality Summit: Televised Live and Online Videos
Lee Hayes Byron and Abbey Tyrna, University of Florida

Websites – Apps – Educational Technology
Gold Award
Jennifer Fawcett and Laurel Kays, North Carolina State University
Silver Award
After the Flush Septic System Program
Andrea Albertin, Jim Moll, Mary Lusk, Whitney Elmore, William Lester, University of Florida
Bronze Award
SPM605: Environmental Sports Management
Randall Penn and Jackie Sirmopoulos, University of Florida

Achievement Awards
Achievement Awards recognize exceptional ANREP members who exhibit outstanding leadership and program excellence individually and in teams.

Innovative Program
Energy Upgrade: Supporting housing affordability through utility savings
Lee Hayes Byron, Sara Kane, Sophia Moundous, University of Florida

Outstanding Team
Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors Program Team
Allison Holland, Daniel Larkin, Patrick Mulcahy, Amy Ranger, and Meghan M. Weber, University of Minnesota

Early Career Leadership
Lauren Grand
Oregon State University

Distinguished Career Leadership
Robert Bardon
North Carolina State University

Outstanding Regional Collaborator
Southern Region
Saw Safety Team
Adam Gore, Andrew Jeffers, Anthony Melton, Benjamin Powell, Bruce McLean, Callen Bethea Outen, Chase Smoak, Christopher Burtt, Cory Tanner, Kerrie Roach, Laura Lee Rose, Mark Arena, Parker Johnson, Paul Thompson, Sarah Scott, Vicky Bertagnolli, Zack Snipes, Clemson University

Alfredo Martinez-Espinoza, Ellen Bauske, Glen Rains, Heather Kolich, Josh Fuder, Rolando Orellana, Wade Hutcheson, University of Georgia

Anelle Ammons, Cliff Ruth, Daniel Shires, Debbie Dillion, Hannah Bundy, Jason Weathington, Julie Flowers, Keith Wood, Leslie Peck, Lucy Bradley, Matt Jones, Peg Godwin, Sara Freeman, Selena McKoy, Tim Mathews, Tom Dyson, North Carolina State University

Western Region
Western Region Professional Development and Mobile Study Tour
Christopher Jones, University of Arizona
Lauren Grand and Norma Kline, Oregon State University
Chris Schnepf and William Warren, University of Idaho
ANREP Seeking Executive Secretary
The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professional’s (ANREP) Board is seeking to fill the position of Executive Secretary.

Applicants must be able to dedicate approximately 20 hours per month to satisfy the duties of this position. The position of Executive Secretary is a non-voting Board position that will receive a small stipend for the effort. The ideal candidate will have experience with managing and entering data, strong organizational skills, and be proficient with emails. Additional duties of this position can be found here. Familiarity with ANREP is expected. Qualified persons wishing to be considered for this position must submit a letter expressing their qualifications for the position, to the ANREP President, Lara Milligan by May 15. Position is expected to start on-boarding in June.
CARES Act Benefits Giving This Year
By now most ANREP members have probably heard of The Natural Resources Extension Education Foundation (NREEF). NREEF is the 501(c)3, (non-profit charitable) organization recently founded by ANREP members to generate, receive, and distribute resources that support and promote “our kind of Extension educational programs, initiatives, and activities.” Why would someone give to NREEF? First, to ensure a strong bright future for natural resources Extension education and support their values regarding conservation and environmental resources management. Second, to establish a fund or program that bears their name or the name of someone they wish to honor in perpetuity. And third, to provide tax savings for their estate and heirs.

An interesting opportunity has just arisen that we want you all to be aware of. Under the CARES Act, Congress recently made a new deduction available: Up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in annual charitable contributions for tax year 2020. This is available to people who take the standard deduction, not for those who itemize their deductions. It is an "above the line" adjustment to income that will reduce a donor's adjusted gross income (AGI), and thereby reduce taxable income. We encourage you to consider giving to NREEF and receive a tax benefit this year. Visit our website to find out more about NREEF and to donate.

Lastly, please don’t forget you can also contribute to NREEF every time you buy something from Amazon. Just go to smile.amazon.com and follow the directions for designating NREEF as your charity of choice. (Type in our whole name – Natural Resource Education Foundation – in the charity search bar to find us.) Once you do that, 0.5 percent of your eligible purchases at Amazon will be donated by the company to NREEF when you start your shopping session at the URL smile.amazon.com.
Just a Day in the Life (Part 2)...
I have had the pleasure of serving on your ANREP Board for the last EIGHT years. My first 2 terms I served as the North Central Regional Rep. And these last 2 terms I have been serving as your Treasurer.

ANREP runs solely on your time and resources, and we need YOU. Please consider running for a Board position or contributing to one of the committees. I can say that my time on the Board has been very rewarding. The relationships I have built with colleagues across the U.S. has been invaluable in my programming role at Wisconsin Extension. I have participated in several grants with colleagues based on relationships forged on the Board. I also look to past Board members as mentors for me in my Extension work. Most importantly, I look forward to catching up over a beer with all these folks at our ANREP conferences. Although I have given my time to ANREP, I have surely gotten as much in return as a result.

My time with the Board will come to an end in December, and I am certain many Board members will be happy to hear the end of “we should check the minutes from 5 years ago on that”. Please consider throwing your hat in the ring for 2021-22. As with most terms on the Board, the Treasurer is elected for 2 year terms. The Board and your Finance Committee are there to help you along the way. And please, let me know if you have any questions about the position.

Submitted by:
ANREP Treasurer
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
PILD 2020 Update and Summary
As a member of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, ANREP participates in the organization of the yearly Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, which is held in April every year. The organizing committee, for which Jim Ekins and Holly Abeels served as ANREP representatives, meets monthly throughout the year to plan for next year’s conference. Individual organizers are assigned to one or two tasks and sub-committees, to be sure that all the details are attended to. As an example, Jim and Holly were focused on outreach and social media. It is a venue for understanding how to represent Extension’s success stories to elected representatives. PILD also provides an opportunity for Extension professionals and volunteers to interact with National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and to understand the complex funding mechanisms that make Extension possible. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, at a very late date one month before the actual conference, the organizers of the 2020 PILD conference were forced to cancel the in-person conference and chose to switch to an online format.

The organizing team made this switch very quickly. We were able to refund the portion of registration fees that would have gone toward food, tours, etc. The remainder of the fees were used to pay for the capnote and keynote speakers, the enhanced Zoom tele-conferencing platform, and other expenses. Most of the 230 registrants stayed the course, continuing plans to attend PILD virtually. In fact, we increased our participant count from the original 230 to a total of 284 online participants. This continued interest allowed us to retain all the speakers, including the keynote (Dr. Jermaine Davis), and capnote (Dr. Marshall Stewart). Dr. Scott Angle, NIFA Director, provided his overview of “The New NIFA”, and the NIFA Science Liaisons all had their chance to provide an overview, too.

Evaluations provided good feedback, with some particularly interesting responses. 66% of respondents were agents or educators. About 10% were specialists, 8% were volunteers, and 8% were administrators. Family and Consumer Sciences was the largest program area responding to the survey, but all the areas of Extension were represented. Respondents thought that Dr. Jermaine Davis did a great job. Dr. Scott Angle, discussing “The New NIFA” got high scores, too. Participants ranked the “value of having breakout sessions” pretty high as well reinforcing the choice to continue with these sessions was a good one.

While most participants and organizers missed the face-to-face conference, many respondents expressed gratefulness that the conference could go on and acknowledged that it created new opportunities for people who otherwise would not have been able to attend in person. A few respondents noted that a combination in-person and virtual conference would be a good idea. However, that might cause everyone to just attend online, with too few participants in person!

As always, let Holly Abeels or Jim Ekins know if you have questions or would like more information. And on a very important note, please let ANREP President Lara Milligan know if you would like to join the PILD organizing committee. It was a strong learning opportunity for Jim and Holly, and is a great way for early career Extension faculty to demonstrate national leadership toward promotion and tenure. To learn more about this conference and the Extension Leadership Conference go to the JCEP website.

Submitted by:
Holly Abeels , University of Florida IFAS Extension
Jim Ekins , University of Idaho Extension
Upcoming Conferences
Knowledge Exchange for the Modern Era: Empowering People / Providing Solutions

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2020 International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Extension & Knowledge Exchange (EKE) conference.

The conference is scheduled for September 20-24, 2020 in Asheville, NC.
ANROSP 2020 National Conference
September 22-24, 2020 McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana

The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) is a national consortium of natural resource-focused adult education and stewardship programs, including Master Naturalists, Master Watershed Stewards, Wildlife Stewards, Master Woodland Mangers, Open Space Programs, and more. This dynamic conference is for professionals and partner organizations who coordinate, administer, or host training and volunteer programs in natural resource conservation, education, and outreach. This intimate group setting is also ideal for those interested in learning from existing program leaders and developing similar programming. The ANROSP Board of Directors are carefully monitoring the current health crisis and will be considering alternative options (virtual /dates) as necessary. We are opening the call for presentations with this in mind. Please indicate on the submission form your willingness and availability to present in alternative formats or timelines if requested. We understand some organizations may have limited travel or funding allowances this fall. Contact ANROSP Vice President and Conference Chair, Dr. Shelly Johnson, with questions and concerns.
Schedule At-A-Glance:

Friday, May 29
REAL-Talks / Workshops Orientation
1890’s & 1994’s
Institutions Regional Meetings

Monday, June 1
PLENARY: Keynote Concurrent Session 1 + 2 Business Meeting Themed Hangouts Virtual Social Hour

Tuesday, June 2
COVID-19 Panel Concurrent Session #3 Student Views Response to COVID-19 Mobile Learning Tours Closing Social Hour

Wednesday, June 3
REAL-Talks / Workshops

Over 50 sessions and posters. Spaced to prevent Zoom-burnout. Presentations, discussions, and engaged ideas. COVID-19 related talks.

Special professional development fee of $105. Register or more details on the schedule are online
Featured Articles
Extension to play key role in three-year, nationally funded salmon aquaculture project kicks off with northern Wisconsin meeting 
Inaugural meeting of the Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network (RAS-N). Washburn, WI, December 11-12, 2019. Credit: Lisa Tossey, Maryland Sea Grant
Meeting attendees from across the country got a true taste of a northern Wisconsin winter at the inaugural meeting for a Sea Grant-funded effort to support the sustainable development of the land-based Atlantic salmon industry in the U.S.

Temperatures were well below zero in Washburn, Wisconsin in December, but energy levels were high inside the Harbor View Event Center as over 50 attendees began laying the groundwork for a robust collaboration that was dubbed RAS-N, for “Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network.” The effort is being funded as part of a larger package of $16 million in federal aquaculture grants announced in September 2019 by the National Sea Grant Office.

Participants at the meeting included Sea Grant staff from Maryland, Maine and Wisconsin, as well as the National Sea Grant Office; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff; and representatives from private industry, including feed and salmon producers.

The December event spanned two full days of presentations and discussion. It also featured a tour of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF) in nearby Bayfield. Attendees observed various NADF research projects with Atlantic salmon and other fish species.

Growing the economy—and the workforce
As conference speakers noted — seafood represents the United States’ largest trade deficit of any agricultural product, and wild fisheries alone cannot meet the increasing demand for seafood. This sets the stage for sustainable U.S. aquaculture to help meet the world’s demand

Wisconsin-based Superior Fresh is already having success in this arena as the country’s first land-based Atlantic salmon producer and world’s largest aquaponic farm. Said Chief Science Officer Steve Summerfelt, 99.9% of the facility’s water flow is recycled, and there is zero discharge to surface water. Superior Fresh currently employs more than 70 staff and is expanding. Representatives from Riverence, Whole Oceans and American Salmon — other private entities currently in this space or preparing to launch facilities — also presented.

Several speakers addressed the educational and workforce development aspects of the industry. Scarlett Tudor of the University of Maine’s Aquaculture Research Institute described her campus’ approach to fostering the future aquaculture workforce. By placing paid interns in companies, the university helps students build their resumes while conducting research for industry that may not otherwise be possible. The university is also interested in reaching noncredit students. As Tudor noted, hands-on experience is key in the aquaculture world, and not everyone needs a degree for their particular career path.

Emma Wiermaa, Outreach Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) and Wisconsin Sea Grant is excited to be part of a university that is a leader in aquaculture education. She says UWSP is the first accredited university in Wisconsin to offer an aquaculture minor (which is still uncommon in U.S. colleges) and the first in the country to offer full-semester aquaponics courses, a master class and professional certificate program.
Land-based aquaculture systems offer a chance for locally-grown, fresh seafood with lower carbon footprint and environmental impacts than many other wild-caught operations. Credit: Lisa Tossey, Maryland Sea Grant.
Fish health, biosecurity, consumer perceptions and other topics were also addressed during the wide-ranging meeting. The aim of this gathering was to bring together a small, focused group of stakeholders to get the project off the ground.

Maryland Sea Grant is leading the three-year project to identify and address challenges faced by the land-based Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar) industry. The Wisconsin and Maine Sea Grant programs are partners in the multistate consortium. University of Maryland Extension (UME) will hire the only full-time position on the project. Dr. Catherine (Cat) Frederick will begin her role as an Extension Specialist on the project in mid-February. Bill Hubbard, University of Maryland State Extension Program Leader for Environmental, Natural Resource and Sea Grant programs is excited to have her on board. “We are at an exciting time with land-based aquaculture. It is has become more economical, more socially acceptable, and more environmentally friendly than ever before.  Cat will be charged with shepherding input from internal and external stakeholders, coordinating educational programs, and products to the public and profession, and development of a white paper, communication plan and road map for the RAS Salmon industry. I’m hopeful she will connect with our ANREP Sea Grant community as well as aquaculture Extension, teaching and research from around the country and world”.

Written and submitted by:
Jennifer Smith , University of Wisconsin Sea Grant
Bill Hubbard , University of Maryland Extension
Facebook Live: What We Learned for Extension
Note: click for a longer article with even more tips.

Like so many others, we’re working from home, practicing physical distancing and learning a lot about how to engage our audiences remotely. Two natural resource Extension educators in Minnesota (Andrea Lorek Strauss and Angie Gupta) recently experimented with Facebook Live with a goal to test this outreach method with our respective audiences. We found that Facebook Live is a fairly fast, user-friendly tool especially if you have a history of engaging with your audience on Facebook. View the recorded events:

Winter Tree ID virtual event, March 26, 2020, 2:00 pm (30 minutes)
Get ready for City Nature Challenge, April 10, 2020, 12 noon (32 minutes)

Diving in with Facebook Live
Like many, both presenters have personal Facebook accounts and are administrators on several organizational/group accounts. We found that the audience options differ depending which type of account you use to generate the broadcast. An organizational account allows audience restrictions by geography, but are otherwise public. A personal account can broadcast to the public at large, friends, or a subset of your friends.

Angie used her smartphone and used an unlimited data plan to broadcast from the woods near her home. She had scouted the location ahead of time, and the outdoor setting provided real specimens to demonstrate.

Andrea broadcast with an iPad from the front porch of her home to access the in-home wireless internet. Surprisingly, showing the app on her phone came through the iPad video adequately to illustrate which buttons to click. Neighborhood noise proved a real distraction including garbage trucks, passing cars, and gawking dog walkers.

The conversation that takes place within the comments can be great but it’s nearly impossible to manage videoing, presenting content and navigating comments all at the same time. Online co-workers who watched the broadcast in real time, as we’d pre-arranged, were invaluable in adding links and answering questions live in the comments. Comments are saved and stay with the video as it lives on Facebook so it’s worth the effort to include resources in the comments.
T ips for Facebook Live
  1. Practice, practice, practice. When firing up a Live post, notice at the top left of the screen you can select your audience by clicking the upside down triangle and under “Who can see your post” and choose “Only me.” Then you can experiment with lighting and audio, and then just delete instead of sharing the post. You can also try a dry run with friends and family on your personal account to test your data/wifi connection, audio, and lag times for comments. 
  2. Have help in the field. If you’re planning to move around at all, you’ll want someone else to hold the camera/phone for you. This person can help monitor comments, too. 
  3. Have more help in the wings. It is really helpful to share links to resources during the Live event as you talk about them, but that’s hard to do on your own. Get the links ready ahead of time, and ask a coworker to share the links as you present.
  4. Know the limitations of your equipment. You’ll have better resolution when you bring your camera closer to the subject instead of zooming in. Also, details can be hard to see on a busy background, so have a plan for making sure the camera's autofocus zeros in on the correct thing, such as holding a hand or clipboard behind a tree branch. 
  5. Limit noisy interruptions. Try to get away from sources of loud noise like roads and wind. And don’t forget to silence your notifications!
  6. Check your service. If you’re using a smartphone to do a Facebook Live, be sure to confirm cellular service from all the locations you’ll be shooting, and make sure you won’t get dinged for data overages.
  7. Account for lag. Viewers may not join your live video until several minutes after you begin and there may be a lag before you can see comments viewers submit. Plan for this by having discussion points ready to fill in while you’re waiting. 
  8. Recruit viewers. Stir up a buzz a day or two before you go Live, and ask viewers to “Share” the Live video to their network. 
  9. Be real and have fun! Facebook Live is perfect for a more casual (but still professional) tone. Let people see the real you, and embrace the imperfections of non-scripted video. Your audience will appreciate it and provide helpful feedback—really!
Making FB Live events educational
While it’s fun and engaging to whip out a Facebook Live video event, in Extension we want to ensure that we’re actually meeting our educational goals, too. Given the start up lag time, a short Live event may not be effective. If you’re not going to interact with viewers any way, perhaps a pre-recorded video would do just as well and allow the flexibility for retakes while decreasing your performance pressure. And don’t forget to apply all the standard educational best practices: Who is your audience? What are the intended outcomes? Clearly state your goals and objectives in your advance recruitment as well as during the broadcast itself. Facebook provides a couple of metrics to help you get a sense for the reach of your Live event. Look for counts of viewership (passive) and engagements (active) immediately following the broadcast and a few days later -- you may be surprised by how those numbers grow. Caution: even engagements still don’t rise to the level of achieving impacts as we aim for in Extension, but they can still serve a purpose.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to using Facebook Live as an Extension outreach tool is its ability to provide informal and informative connections with our audiences while we are unable to gather in person. They require less upfront investment, and due to their relatively short shelf-life, allow us to experiment and have a little fun. If the subject gets a lot of attention, maybe a better, high quality professional video or full blown webinar can follow when we have time and resources to do them well. For any subjects that don’t get a lot of attention, move on, try something new, learn and apply that new knowledge in the future.

Submitted by:
University of Minnesota Extension
4-H Forest Ecology Contest...ONLINE!
Most years, about 100 4-Her’s gather on a sunny April Saturday in the school forest at the University of Florida, clipboards in hand and pencils at the ready, to compete in the 4-H Forest Ecology Contest. This year, of course, they stayed home. To help youth cope with the upheaval of home schooling, we moved the contest online to retain one familiar aspect of their spring schedule.

The Florida contest typically involves six stations for Juniors (age 8-10) and Intermediates (age 11-13): Tree Identification, Forest Health Identification, Map and Compass, Plant Identification, Forest Ecosystems, and Wildlife Identification. Senior participants (age 14-18) compete in Tree Measurement and Forest Management instead of Forest Ecosystems and Wildlife Identification to help them prepare for the National Forestry Invitational.

Our first decision involved selecting which stations to include in the online contest. The identification stations would work if we had access to identifiable photographs, but the skill demonstration stations (follow a compass course; measure the height of a tree) would not. The existing forest ecosystems and forest management multiple-choice quizzes would be easy to convert to the online format. The in-person contest gives youth 20 minutes in each station. We planned for a 2-hour period for four stations in each of the three age-specific contest quizzes.

A number of other decisions and challenges followed. We offer these tips to ease the path for those who might follow.
  1. Calling in favors. We needed lots of help to create the online contest and got it. Faculty and students took photos and reviewed drafts, making sure photos were identifiable. Everyone recognized this as an opportunity to help youth and were happy to assist.  
  2. Qualtrics or Canvas? We asked our on-campus experts in distance education to help us evaluate our platform choices. Qualtrics lacks the ability to monitor computer activity but allows contestants to easily access the contest. Both appear to be similar in other aspects. We opted for Qualtrics as it is easier to access, which could be critical if families are less familiar with online platforms. 
  3. Duplication is not the goal. The online contest will not be like the live contest. We will what we can do with the resources we have and develop a program that meets revised objectives.
  4. Develop a practice quiz. Based on feedback from a contest coach, we developed an opportunity for participants to open a Qualtrics link and become familiar with the contest question format. Contestants will have the opportunity to ask questions or fix technological problems well before the contest begins.
  5. Pilot testing is essential. We sent each quiz to a group of students, professors, and forestry professionals who helped review and revise the quizzes to identify problems before the contest goes live. Just as we are learning, so are the contestants. 
  6. Watch the file names. It is easy to manage photographs if the file name identifies the species. But a savvy contestant can look up the file name of the photograph. Make sure your photographs are uploaded with coded names.
  7. Evaluation can help. Our evaluation is an important strategy to receive feedback and make improvements. Adding a few questions directly to the online contest will increase our typically poor response rate from youth. 
  8. Keep it for the future. We may need an online contest in the future, and we now have a good start that can be improved. If we are able to have an in-person contest, this online quiz will be a wonderful study guide for ambitious youth, or a tool to help county agents form teams for the state contest. 

Submitted by:
UF/IFAS Extension
Chew on This - A Webinar Series for Extension Agents
University of Florida/IFAS Extension agents in two Florida districts collaborated to develop and deliver Chew On This, a webinar series for Extension agents. The program was a direct response to meet the needs of agents during the pandemic and to address emerging and ongoing issues related to the crisis. The series was launched on April 15, about three weeks after many agents had already begun working from home due to closures by both the university and local counties. So far, a total of four (4) webinars have been hosted by the team using the Zoom platform and the series is scheduled to continue through May 27. More than 98 agents have attended with a total of eight publications (seven (7) blogs, one guidance document and one report) produced as a result of this effort. (see Figure 1 for outcomes).

The webinar series provides an opportunity for agents to connect and network while learning about strategies to work productively from home, managing and planning for uncertain budget times, thriving in a collaborative team environment, and jumpstarting the planning process for stalled Extension programs. Many agents are concerned about budget challenges, developing programs that meet local clientele needs, using new technology and realizing that some impacted audiences will be left out in the revised re-launch of Extension programs when Florida reopens. Despite these concerns, agents have been appreciative of the opportunity to feel connected considering the emphasis on social distance protocols. Many are balancing their job responsibilities, caring arrangements for young children and elderly parents, and operating a household.
Figure 1: Webinar Series Outcomes (as of May 6,2020)

Participants also offered the following comments and concerns via the chat box which reflects the uncertainty of the crisis on professional and personal lives.
  • It’s good to hear others’ thoughts and to not feel alone in this :-)
  • It is hard to decide where I should be focusing my attention. The competition mentality is not healthy!
  • I’ve definitely had to put projects on hold. I’m not sure how to restart. 
  • Funding is a worry – for sure
  • How to reach and resonate with online audiences is a concern – so much competition.
  • Charging for virtual programs, fee waivers, scholarships
  • “Bridge” programs between soon and the time we get back to “normal”
  • I feel like I need to be making new programming to stay relevant and write more on the weekly Qualtrics survey
  • Some projects/classes/programs are suited to online where others are not
  • The greater question is as we provide educational materials online, do we need as many agents in every county?
  • Economies of scale!
  • I’m newer in Extension and wondering if I will still have a place in the future. 

Additional concerns are reflected around thoughts of reopening and interacting with the public and volunteers, many of whom are classified as vulnerable populations. Extension faculty are resilient and innovative, and the Chew on This series allows new and seasoned agents to share challenges, connect, and find opportunities to thrive. Many of the attendees have been requesting that the effort continue beyond the immediate crisis suggesting the critical need for continued engagement and camaraderie to support Extension faculty and avoid the “burnout” crisis. This new series has filled an immediate need for the mental and professional well-being of Extension agents and provides considerable value to enable Extension agents to continue meeting clientele’s immediate and changing needs.

Submitted by:
Ramona Madhosingh-Hector , Regional Specialized Agent, Urban Sustainability
Alicia Betancourt , County Extension Director, Monroe County
Linda Seals , Regional Specialized Agent, Community Development
Carol Roberts , County Extension Agent, FCS/Community Development
UF/IFAS Extension
Camp 8: Lake States Extension Forestry Podcast
Camp 8 is a new biweekly podcast hosted by University of Minnesota Extension Specialist Eli Sagor and Kyle Gill of the Cloquet Forestry Center. Episodes highlight voices from the Minnesota woods including those of foresters, wildlife managers, researchers, landowners, and others. The podcast launched in spring 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, as a way to keep folks connected during a time that many felt isolated.

The podcast isn't intended to serve as an instructional resource or source of continuing education credits, but we will be using it to reinforce ideas that come up in our in-person and online Extension events. I'm new at this and would love to hear from others in Extension about your reactions to the podcast or your ideas to make it better.

Submitted by:
University of Minnesota Extension
Florida Educators Offering Online Learning
UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant agents have developed a " Bite-sized Science" webinar series. These 30-minute webinars are offered live, but are also recorded. To see past and future offerings click the link above.

Some of Florida Sea Grant's elementary curriculum materials focused on sea turtles and manatees have been adapted into YouTube videos for at-home learning.

Submitted by:
UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant Agent
Interim Associate Program Leader
Making Irrigation Calibration Easy With A Three Minute Video!
Saving water in Florida is important because all the fresh water is derived from the aquifer, which is already seeing impacts from pollution and salt water. Helping homeowners with their irrigation can be overwhelming and complicated to them. This three-minute video explains the importance of saving water, while teaching them the catch-can method, a simple way to calibrate any irrigation system.

Submitted by:
Florida Friendly Landscaping Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County
Bridging the Gender Gap in Forest Stewardship: Facilitating Programs for Women Landowners
Nationwide, women woodland owners are increasingly taking on the primary decision-making role for their land. In Wisconsin and beyond, most existing landowner outreach efforts target mixed-gender audiences. This article in the Journal of Extension explores how facilitation techniques can be incorporated into a women-centric workshop to increase women landowners' confidence, knowledge, and readiness to take action in forest stewardship. The article highlights three core techniques Extension workshop developers can use to promote landowner learning and engagement: creating space for participant-driven open dialogue, generating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, and enabling participants to receive personalized advice from professionals about their land.

 Submitted by:
Environmental Communications Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
Everyday Environment Webinar Series
In response to many people being at home during the COVID- 19 event, Illinois Environmental Stewardship Educators initiated a weekly webinar environmental series. Called the Everyday Environment Series, these webinars are providing new information to help people have a positive impact on the environment.

The weekly webinars are scheduled from April 9th until June 25th, 2020. Topics have included atmospheric optics, coyotes, plant pollinators, two on natural lawn care, and managing waste in the home. Future topics will include , the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report, and Explaining the Greenhouse Effect.

Submitted by:
Extension Educator, Environmental Stewardship and Energy
University of Illinois
Wildland Fire Resources
Wildland fire is increasingly a topic of interest for communities across the United States. Climate change, population growth, human expansion into natural areas, and a legacy of fire exclusion have resulted in both catastrophic wildfires and a pressing need for more prescribed fire on the landscape. Extension professionals are increasingly being called upon to address issues related to wildland fire in their communities.

To help Extension and other outreach professionals implement safe and effective wildland fire programming, North Carolina State Extension Forestry has released Wildland Fire Programming for Extension and Outreach Professionals. The guide includes considerations for planning various types of wildland fire programs, including “ learn and burn” workshops (workshops that allow private landowners to conduct a prescribed fire under the mentorship of professionals), fire festivals, prescribed burn demonstrations, and wildfire response drills. While the guide is focused on the Southeast, it will be helpful for Extension professionals in any region.

Submitted by:
Extension Assistant & Southern Fire Exchange Outreach Coordinator
North Carolina State University
Seeding Success: Online Course for Early Career Extension Professionals
A Unique Online Course for Early Career Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Professionals


As a new Extension forester or natural resource specialist, you are part of a national network of diverse, knowledgeable colleagues. This course will put you in touch with many of them online. You’ll learn from their perspectives on and experiences in your unique role in the Land-grant University System.

Course attendees are encouraged to attend the introductory course to learn more about the certificate offered for completion of this program as well as for a chance to engage with fellow students and make connections.

Longtime ANREP member Mark Megalos put pen to paper (well, probably fingers to keyboard) and drafted the following credo as the Seeding Success course was being finalized. Mark's thoughts on the Extension Educator:

S/he is Great at Extension
• Starts with a need
• Is transparent
• Starts where the people are in thought and action
• Dreams of a better day and makes it happen
• Connects people for success
• Respects diverse points of view, backgrounds and means
• Respects tradition while embracing progress
• Is on the learning & leading edge of change
• Strives for collaborations and consensus
• Is constantly learning
• Is constantly tweaking for better results
• Learns from mistakes
• Still takes risk for the common good
• Says thank you
• Stays connected
• Lives life and recharges
• Prioritizes
• Serves
• Measures and reassesses
• Keeps the community in focus
• Leads from the back of the room / pack
• Is not a glory hound
• Revels in community success
• Is last in line for food
• Is first in line to clean up
• Knows the power of relationships
• Is a good partner
• Sleeps well at night
• Knows how & helps teams work
• Shares with others
• Helps successors succeed in outreach and extension
• Listens
• “Makes Momma proud!”
Feral Cat Management Factsheet from Florida Wildlife Extension
Wildlife Extension Specialists from the University of Florida’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation recently wrote a fact sheet summarizing the effectiveness and humaneness of Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) for feral cat management. The article can be accessed in html or PDF format via UF’s Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS).

Submitted by:
Associate Professor, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, University of Florida
Preparing for Wildfires with Firescaping: A new training for Extension educators, Master Gardeners, and other community groups
As another wildfire season approaches many parts of the U.S., this is an important time to prepare communities and homes for wildfire. The USDA-NIFA funded training, Preparing for Wildfires with Firescaping, was designed to train both southeastern U.S. Master Gardeners and Cooperative Extension educators on fire-resistant landscaping, or firescaping. The training, however, it is also very applicable to other regions of the country, as well as Master Naturalists and other community groups seeking to help reduce their wildfire risk. The project includes (1) an online training for Extension educators (note: for educators-only, not Master Gardeners) and (2) a Firescaping Training Toolbox to teach the day-long training to Master Gardeners and other community groups. The training toolbox includes presentations, handouts, interactive activities, recommended outreach activities, and much more. Please contact Holly Campbell for more information or to host a virtual training in your area (virtual-only for now, due to the Coronavirus).

Submitted by:
Public Service Assistant, University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources
Washington State University Extension Forestry Offers Free Spring/Summer Online Class Series
COVID-19 is not going to slow down the WSU Extension Forestry program. As in nature, the program is simply adapting, partnering with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to bring in experts from around the state to deliver high-quality classes and workshops online for people who own forested property.

The classes, which started on May 13, have something for all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans, covering a wide variety of topics from growing mushrooms to boosting wildlife habitat to preparing trees for climate change. 

The eleven classes are offered as liver webinars through Zoom. Each class is offered twice, once at 12:05 p.m. for the lunch crowd and again at 7:05 p.m. for the evening crowd. All classes are free to the public, and hundreds of people have signed up so far. For more information on class content and registration, please visit our website.

The schedule of classes is as follows:
  • May 13: Moving the Target: Managing Your Forest in a Changing Climate
  • May 18: Mushrooms You Can Eat More Than Once: Growing Your Own Edibles
  • May 21: Lions and Squirrels and Bears (Oh My!): Critters in the Forest
  • May 27: A Dead Tree’s Excellent Adventure: There’s Nothing Bogus About Dead Wood
  • June 4: Another One Bites the Dust: Why so Many Trees Have Been Dying in Western Washington
  • June 8: Dang it, Who Chewed my Tree? Controlling Animal Damage
  • June 18: If You Build It, They Will Come: Fun Wildlife Habitat Enhancements
  • June 23: Well Begun is Half Done: Proper Site Preparation and Early Vegetation Control
  • June 29: Plant Trees Like a Boss (So That You Only Have to Do it Once)
  • July 14: Plantae Non Grata: Invasive Species on Small Woodlands
  • July 28: The Four Horsemen of the Root Disease Apocalypse

Submitted by:
Extension Forester, Washington State University
Rutgers Cooperative Extension “Earth Day at Home” Webinar Series
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Rutgers Cooperative Extension has been running a weekly webinar series “Earth Day at Home”. This series focuses on steps everyone can take to protect the environment. We can all do our part to take actions that make our homes more sustainable, from environmentally friendly lawn care, to composting, to reducing plastic waste. These actions, more than ever, start at home.

Details: Join us on Mondays at 6:30pm to learn from experts at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. These live, interactive sessions are 1 hour. To join in you need either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Every week we cover small actions that together reduce negative impacts on the environment. Click to register and see the schedule. Missed a session? Recordings of passed sessions are on the website.

Submitted by:
County Agent II/Associate Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County
No content submitted for this section.
A Word from Your Editor
Under normal circumstances we'd be fresh off our conference in Oregon but nothing seems normal these days. I know the conference planning committee and ANREP leadership put a lot of effort not only in the initial planning but in debating the options once the conference was canceled. I'm glad to see we have plans to meet a year from now in Corvallis...definitely something to look forward to.

I know the word "normal" is being use a lot these days, as in, "once we get back to normal..." but I have a feeling there is no "back to normal". We're adapting to current conditions and a lot of our adaptations are worth keeping as we move forward. Despite the stress, chaos, and heartache we're experiencing right now, a lot of good can come of this. So keep the good stuff you're doing, toss the stuff that can be tossed, and we'll come out of this stronger, more nimble, and hopefully more resilient. And what you do keep, share with your colleagues!

Thanks to all who submitted content for this edition. It's always a pleasure reading about your work and the great partnerships you support. The next newsletter will arrive in your inboxes around August 15. You can send me content any time. Please try to keep articles to 600 words or less and the more complete/formatted (i.e. in a Word document) the better. If you're sending photos, attach those separately to your email, don't just embed them in the document. And please send captions and photo credits if you have them.

Chad Cook | University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension