ANREP Banner

Summer 2015
In This Issue
President's Corner
ANREP Professional Development Webinars
Penn State Extension Tackles Harmful Algal Blooms
National 4-H Forestry Invitational
Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project Wraps Up
Midwest Compost School
The Watershed Game
Michigan State University Receives Grant for Invasive Forest Pests
Tri-County Water Summit Wets Whistles
Michigan's Introduction to Lakes Goes Online
Cleanscapes: Landscapes, Septic Systems, and You
Conference Announcements
A Word from Your Editor
President's Corner

I hope you've had a productive summer, and actually got outside and away from your computer to enjoy natural resources.

Plenty of news...

We now officially have our third ANREP Initiative - Energy. The ANREP board officially approved the proposal in July. Right now, the main activity of this group is organizing the biennial National Extension Energy Summit for 2017. As I've said in this column before, this new initiative is a great way for ANREP members and Extension folks in other associations to work together to deal with critical natural resources issues. Special thanks to the group who helped finalize the proposal: Eric Romich, Patricia Townsend, Ramona Madhosingh- Hector, Will Sheftal, Chris Jones, Cathy Elliot and Kris Tiles.

New this year, ANREP Board Regional Representatives are putting together opportunities to meet via webinar or face-to-face to talk about programs and issues that are distinctly regional. This need was expressed strongly by members during our strategic planning process. Stay tuned for opportunities in your part of the country.

Planning for the 2016 ANREP/NACDEP joint conference in Vermont is progressing very well. Thanks to all of the ANREP members who responded to my request for committee volunteers. We quickly filled most of the committees - an excellent sign for a successful conference. Stay tuned for more information about the conference and be sure to reserve the dates for your summer 2016 trip to Burlington, June 26-29.

ANREP is a partner in two other excellent professional development conferences hosted annually by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) - the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference and the JCEP Leadership Conference. Over the years, ANREP member attendance at these events has been modest, even though they each provide a great way to build leadership skills. Your ANREP leaders have a major role in both of these events in 2016 - I am chair of the JCEP Leadership Conference planning committee, while President-elect Diana Rashash is vice-chair of the PILD conference group. See the article about the Leadership Conference in this edition.

Finally, ANREP awards are an important way to recognize and share outstanding accomplishments - indeed the best of the best. Congratulations once again to this year's winners. Please be sure to look at descriptions of the 2015 award-winning individuals, teams and programs on the ANREP website. Maybe inspiration to submit a nomination in 2016?

President, 2015
ANREP Professional Development Webinars

Monday, August 17, 2015 2:00 - 3:00 P.M. Eastern
This webinar will highlight the tips, tools and processes behind the successful Innovative Program and Outstanding Team 2015 ANREP award-winners. It is the ANREP Professional Development Committee's hope that you will leave this webinar with some helpful ideas for your programmatic efforts and be able to apply them to your work as a member of our Extension team.
Past Webinars*
  • Extension Leadership with Community Climate Planning Scenarios
  • Skillful Facilitation in Natural Resources
*All webinars are recorded and archived versions are available online.
Thank you to our amazing ANREP Professional Development Committee for making these webinars possible! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Lara Milligan, ANREP Professional Development Committee Chair at  (727) 453-6905. 

Submitted by:
ANREP Professional Development Committee Chair
Natural Resources Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
Penn State Extension Tackles Harmful Algal Blooms

There are thousands of inland ponds and lakes located throughout Pennsylvania and many common uses of these water bodies include direct human or animal contact with the water.  Harmful algae blooms (HAB's) have become an increasing concern in many parts of the country, but their occurrence in Pennsylvania ponds and lakes is unknown beyond anecdotal information collected by Penn State Extension educators. 
While most forms of pond and lake algal growth are harmless, certain types of blue-green algae can produce toxins that can cause injury or death to animals or humans who interact with the water. These blue green algae, such as Microcystis and Anabaena, are actually a type of photosynthetic bacteria called cyanobacteria.  Cyanobacteria blooms can have important implications for the use of pond and lake water during mid to late summer.  Over 80 different toxins produced by these bacteria can cause noxious odors, kill aquatic life, produce skin irritation, and cause various gastrointestinal illnesses which could affect the use of pond water for fishing, swimming, irrigation or animal consumption and could also severely degrade the aesthetic appearance of the pond which are each important uses of ponds and lakes in Pennsylvania.
A typical floating scum and water discoloration caused by a cyanobacteria bloom in a Pennsylvania pond. Photo: Tom Davis
This project seeks to develop a network of trained water resources extension educators capable of documenting the occurrence of harmful algae blooms in ponds and lakes and who can assist pond and lake owners with the proper identification and management of HABs.  Assistance will be provided through direct microscopic examination of submitted samples along with various outreach efforts (workshops, news releases, webinars and displays).

The Water Resources Team has developed simple, pull-up displays for use at county fairs and other events.  The display will include the use of the HAB fact sheet to provide information to the public on HAB's and how to have samples identified by the Penn State network. 
A simple, one page data sheet is used to document information about each algae sample submitted to the network.  Data will be compiled for the project final report to provide an overall summary of the occurrence of HAB's in inland ponds and lakes of Pennsylvania during the summer of 2015.  In addition to the project final report, a final project webinar will be presented in March 2016, through the Penn State Water Resources Webinar Series to disseminate information learned during the project. 
To our knowledge, no research is available on the occurrence of harmful algal blooms in ponds and lakes of Pennsylvania.  Past research by the principal investigators has shown that the vast majority of pond and lake owners perceive management problems that are most often related to nuisance levels of aquatic plants and algae.  This level of concern has prompted a long-standing education program for pond and lake owners through Penn State Extension.  Additional data from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on aquatic herbicide use confirms that algaecides are some of the most commonly requested permits for plant and algae problems.  Anecdotal information that resulted from the much-publicized 2014 events in Toledo, Ohio resulted in numerous algae samples being submitted to Penn State Extension which included several cases of dead or sick animals or other noxious pond conditions that were ultimately determined to be caused by toxin-producing cyanobacteria (Microcystis and Gloeotrichia).  More data and education is clearly needed on HAB's in Pennsylvania ponds and lakes to help the large tools are needed to create awareness among pond and lake owners about the symptoms and effects of harmful algal blooms.
Submitted by:
Diane Oleson
Gypsy Moth Program Coordinator
Renewable Natural Resources Team
Penn State Extension
Tennessee Team Earns Top Honors at National 4-H Forestry Invitational

Tennessee placed first among 14 state teams that competed in the 36th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from July 26-30, 2015. Teams from New York and Alabama placed second and third, respectively. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia were also represented at this year's Invitational.
The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., Society of American Foresters, West Virginia University Extension Service, USDA Forest Service State and Private Southern Region, Southern Region Extension Forestry, American Forest Foundation, and Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.
While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.
Tennessee was represented by Emily Palacios and Julia Palacios both from Thompson's Station and Rebekah Meese from Columbia. The team was coached by Laura Palacios from Thompson's Station.
The Tennessee Team: (left to right) Emily Palacios, Julia Palacios, Rebekah Meese, and Coach Laura Palacios
Julia Palacios from Tennessee received the high point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Rosanne Mow from New York and third place high individual award was given to Tim Caswell from Florida.
The Joe Yeager "Spirit of the Invitational" award was given to Devin Hipp from South Carolina.  This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.
4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state  land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.
Submitted on behalf of:
David Jackson
Forestry Resources Educator
Chair, National 4-H Forestry Invitational
Penn State Extension-Centre County
Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project Wraps Up

Southern Sierra Forest. Photo by SNAMP
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is finishing up 8 years of outreach to the stakeholders of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP). This University of California forest research project included teams of UC scientists from 6 different disciplines looking at the effects of fuel reduction treatments in national forests.
UCCE staff including Susie Kocher, forestry advisor, and Community Education Specialists Kim Ingram and Anne Lombardo shared SNAMP research on fire behavior, forest health, water quality and quantity, the Pacific fisher and California spotted owl. Together they hosted 287 in person events (through December 2014) and made over 8,500 personal contacts presentations, meetings, and fieldtrips. This culminated in the final SNAMP meeting on May 27, 2015 and the production of a final project report .
This project was not only a long term study integrating the work of several natural resource disciplines, but it intentionally included a public participation team of UC Berkeley based social scientists and these UCCE outreach specialists. UCCE worked to disseminate the research of over 30 scientists on the project along with providing stakeholders opportunities to share their thoughts and concerns throughout the lifespan of the project.
The work to involve the public focused on 4 basic principles: inclusivity, transparency, learning, and relationship building. Outreach methods included public meetings, management workshops, and fieldtrips with scientists, managers and stakeholders to encourage mutual learning. All gatherings were facilitated by outreach staff to provide a safe environment for discussions. Many SNAMP presentations were made at other group's meetings in communities throughout the Sierra. At a distance methods included an email list and an active website to disperse information. Webinars were held to help ease the travel time burden for participants. Media productions were used to include newsletters, stories in newspapers and blogs. The years of effort organizing and facilitating these collaborative meetings resulted in a workbook and website to assist others in their efforts to facilitate collaborations on challenging issues (for more information contact Kim Ingram) . It is important to note that online interactions could not replace the importance of relationships built during face-to-face interactions.
The team's social scientists conducted pre and post treatment interviews and email surveys with stakeholders to collect their views of SNAMP to see how these changed over the duration of the project. They found that SNAMP outreach efforts had a definite impact on the relationships between participants and had created a "social capital" of sorts, to include people with experience working together that may be valuable to future forest collaboration efforts. The time spent learning together helped create shared understandings of the research methods and scientific results as well as larger more complex topics like adaptive management and forest health. Relationships improved over the long life of the project, even among those historically opposed to each other, such as environmental and forest products groups. Comments indicate that "tr ansparency was enhanced and that there was an increase in shared understandings as a result of the UC role in the SNAMP process. Relationships improved among agencies, stakeholders, and the UC Science Team, and the process helped improve trust among them".  
We hope that the shared understandings developed during this project along with the improved relationships between participants, could be the foundation for more productive and continued collaborative efforts in the future. We share our gratitude for all those involved!
SNAMP Outreach Specialists: Anne Lombardo, Susie Kocher, and Kim Ingram.
Photo by SNAMP
Submitted by:
Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project
Southern Unit Representative
UC Cooperative Extension-Mariposa Office
Midwest Compost School: A Multi-State Effort
University of Illinois Extension hosted a Midwest Compost School June 2-4, 2015 in Lake County.  The school has been conducted annually since 1995, but this is only the second time that Illinois has hosted, and the first to be facilitated by University of Illinois Extension.  The school, a collaborative effort with Extension Specialists from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin along with compost experts in Illinois, targets mid to large scale compost operations in the private and public sector.

Approximately 30 participants from Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota heard presentations on compost quality, regulations and permitting, facility development, and the economics of composting.  In addition, registrants participated in hands on testing and monitoring of compost at Midwest Organics, a composting operation in Lake County. A tour of DK Organics in eastern Lake County was also part of the school.
Compost school participants during a field session.  Photo by Duane Friend

Evaluations included the following comments on how knowledge gained from the school would directly impact the participant's compost business:
  • (I have a) Much better understanding of what it takes to make quality compost. 
  • (I learned how to) Speed up in processing my feedstock windrows.  Learned more about the added importance of moisture, porosity, bulk density.
  • I learned SO MUCH!! Cost of equipment, market demand, the "sweet spot" for O2, moisture, C:N ratio, bulk density....All of these things will help us research our market and test our feed stocks.
  • How to better manage current mortality composting.  The economics of composting.
Participants were tested at the end of the school, and all received certificates of successful completion.

Submitted by:
Environmental Stewardship and Energy
University of Illinois Extension
The Watershed Game: Educating Local Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

The Watershed Game is not Monopoly. There is no jail and no Park Place. Rather, there is a farm, a forest, a community and water. The goal is to achieve clean water in a community watershed by choosing practices, policies, and plans while balancing resources, which like Monopoly includes money.
The Watershed Game is an interactive tool that helps community leadersand students understand the connections between land use, clean water and their community. Participants learn how a variety of land uses impact water and natural resources. They learn how their choices can prevent adverse consequences. Participants increase their knowledge of best management practices (BMPs), the benefits of planning, the role of policies, and how these tools can reduce runoff and reduce the impacts of storms and flooding on infrastructure and natural resources.  The activity is designed to foster interaction and cooperation among participants, and ensures that everyone understands that water doesn't respect political boundaries. 

Lake, River, Stream Version: Educating Local Officials and Community Leaders
The Lake, Stream, and River Versions are designed to be used with adult-based audiences including elected and appointed officials and community organization leaders.  Designed to fit within a 45 minute session, to-date, over 100 facilitators in 12 states are trained in using this activity. The Stream Version represents a small headwaters stream watershed; the Lake Version represents a lake and its watershed; the River Version represents a large river system.  

Classroom Version: Building the Knowledge of the Leaders for Tomorrow
New in autumn 2015, the Classroom Version of The Watershed Game is designed for middle and high school students. It can be played in both formal and informal learning environments. Working in teams, students apply tools (practices, plans, and policies) to decrease water pollution while balancing financial resources. The goal of the activity is to reduce pollution from various land uses to the stream without going broke. Up to 32 students can play the Classroom Version at one time.  It is a multi-disciplinary lesson that addresses multiple education standards in science, social studies, and English language arts.  
Students deciding which practice, plan or policy to apply in the watershed game. 
Photo by John Bilotta

The Classroom Version has two components: 

1) The Introduction: Students learn about watershed and water pollution concepts prior to game play so they can better understand the Watershed Game. A teacher accomplishes Part 1 by using provided PowerPoint presentations, videos, articles, websites, and existing water science curriculum such as Project WET. Concepts include:

    • What a watershed is
    • Sources of pollutants
    • Impacts of various pollutants
    • Common land use categories
    • PUs:  Pollution Units
    • Clean Water Goal

2) Student teams play the Watershed Game: Students break into four land use teams to reduce the amount of sediment or phosphorus pollution from their acreage.  Teams examine, discuss and choose various pollution reduction tools, balancing the costs of those tools with the amount of pollution reduction each tool is able to achieve. Small teams track their selections and progress on worksheets. Teams present their efforts and, with the teacher's guidance, discover that they must work as an entire class to achieve the clean water goal for the watershed. 

Submitted by:
Extension Educator-Water Resources
University of Minnesota Extension
Michigan State University Receives Grant for Invasive Forest Pests

The negative consequences of invasive species in the United States, including plants, animals, insects, pathogens and other organisms, are staggering. Effects of these unwanted foreign invaders range from enormous economic costs to profound changes in our native ecosystems.
As we learn more about invasive species and their most common methods of travel, we become better able to predict high risk areas, where non-native species might be introduced and become established. While not foolproof, these predictions allow us to target outreach and education efforts focusing on potential invasive pests in these high risk areas. This can lead to more efficient use of resources and increase the probability that a new pest will be detected soon after it becomes established. Early detection provides officials with more options to respond to the new pest before substantial damage occurs.
Asian longhorned beetle. Photo by Larry R. Barber, USDA Forest Service
This strategy underlies a new program at Michigan State University (MSU) entitled "Eyes on the Forest: Invasive Forest Pest Risk Assessment, Communication and Outreach," which was recently funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. The program focuses on three invasive forest pests that are not yet  known to be established in Michigan, including the Asian longhorn beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid, and Thousand Canker disease of walnut.  "Eyes on the Forest" links research with outreach and communication projects through the MSU Department of Entomology and MSU Extension.
The project involves a multi-faceted approach that combines modeling to assess likely invasion pathways, mapping to identify areas at high risk of pest introduction, and public education. A major goal of the project is to increase awareness among Michigan residents about the risks and impacts of invasive forest pests. This should reduce the risks that new pests will be accidentally introduced and increase the chances that a new pest will be quickly detected if one does become established. As the project progresses, Michigan will be better prepared to prevent and/or respond rapidly to the first known occurrences of any of these new pests, should they be found in the state.
One of the unique aspects of this grant will be the creation of a network of "Forest Sentinel Trees" across Michigan. The framework of the Forest Sentinel Trees project will be an extensive network of trained volunteers who agree to "adopt" an individual tree, then periodically monitor and report on the condition of the tree over time. This network should greatly increase the number of people checking on the health of trees in forests, suburbs and urban areas. The more pairs of "eyes" out checking the trees, the more likely it is that new pests or other problems will be detected early, before substantial damage occurs.
The project is just getting underway, but will be ramping up rapidly and should be fully operational later this year. For more information on the Eyes on the Forest project, please contact Dr. Deb McCullough  or Russell Kidd, Eyes on the Forest Outreach Coordinator .
Submitted by:
Natural Resources Educator
Michigan State University Extension
Tri-County Water Summit Wets Whistles

On June 12, 2015 University of Florida/IFAS Extension Pasco County Extension hosted the Tri-County Water Summit in partnership with UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties at Crystal Springs Preserve in Crystal Springs, FL. Water Schools, and this Summit, are designed to bring elected officials and community leaders together to discuss relevant water-related issues and solutions. The 2015 Tri-County Water School focused on emerging water quality and public policy issues and featured experts from across Florida and the United States with proficient knowledge in water quality and protection as well as national and state governmental policy and economics. Topics addressed by speakers included the potential impacts of the lifting of sanctions on Cuba on Tampa Bay Region water resources; the potential impact of micropollutants and pharmaceuticals entering waterways; and the impacts of emerging contaminants from diffuse environmental sources.
Tri-County Water Summit participants studying emerging issues. Photo by Lara Milligan

Tri-County Water Summit attendees were surveyed prior to and immediately following the program to assess knowledge gain. Based on survey results and comments, the topics presented at this Water Summit significantly influenced the participants' perception of what is important to address in public policy concerning the protection of regional waterways. The overall knowledge gained by participants was highly significant, based on survey results and analysis, indicating there is still more work to be done to educate the public through community leaders on issues involving water protection.
Based on survey results, 92% of respondents (n=12) were "Extremely Likely" (5) or "Likely" (6) to use the information provided at the Water Summit to make professional decisions affecting water resources in their particular county or region. Additionally, 67% of respondents (n=12) said it was "Extremely Likely" (2) or "Likely" (6) that any of their future policy decisions would be altered as a result of the information they received at the Water Summit. And, 85% of respondents (n=13) indicated they "Strongly Agree" (9) or "Agree" (2) that "Water education programs, like this Water Summit, can improve public policies relating to water."
The UF/IFAS Tri-County Water Summit Extension Team, made up of Mrs. Lara Milligan, Pinellas County Natural Resources Extension Agent; Dr. Whitney Elmore, Pasco County Extension Director and Urban Horticulture Agent; Ms. Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Florida-Friendly Extension Agent; and Mr. Jim Moll, UF/IFAS Pasco County Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator will conduct a three-month follow-up evaluation to determine behavior change as a result of participants' experience at the 2015 Tri-County Water Summit which will be sent out in September 2015.  

Submitted by:
Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent
University of Florida/IFAS - Hillsborough County Extension Service
Michigan's Introduction to Lakes Goes Online

Photo by MSUE
Michigan residents have long since been attracted to the many splendors of lake living. Whether to enjoy the clean water, picturesque views, habitat that supports a variety of fish and wildlife species or access recreational opportunities including boating, fishing and swimming, there is something for everyone. With over 11,000 inland lakes across Michigan, there is a critical need to provide education on inland lake ecosystems and management to ensure these water resources are available for future generations to enjoy.

Michigan State University Extension (MSUE)'s Introduction to Lakes program was originally designed to be a multiple-session, in-person educational offering. This program was packaged up to potentially be offered anywhere in Michigan during 1990's by Natural Resource Extension Educators who would work in coordination with local county Extension offices. This course was specially designed for lakefront property owners, lake association members, lake improvement board members, local government officials, natural resource professionals, K-12 educators and others. The original program was developed by MSUE's Dean Solomon, Jane Herbert, and Howard Wandell.

Over the years, due to a variety of administrative and programmatic changes within MSUE, fewer Educators were available to deliver Introduction to Lakes via the in-person format. Trying to figure out a way to make the program easier to deliver to a larger number of individuals across the state, the MSUE Greening Michigan Institute's Natural Resources Water Team secured funding from Michigan State University's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife  and MSUE to revamp the original curriculum and convert it into an online course. This program was developed by Dr. Jo Latimore and Dr. Lois Wolfson from MSU's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and MSUE's Jane Herbert, Bindu Bhakta, and Terry Gibb.

Beginning on October 6, 2015, the Introduction to Lakes program will again be offered, except in its new online format, complete with a fully updated curriculum. This six-week course will wrap up on November 18.  

Participants will be given access to a new unit of the Introduction to Lakes course on a week-by-week basis will be able to view course content on a 24/7 basis. Each unit consists of close-captioned video lectures, activities, discussion forums, additional resources, and quizzes. The schedule allows for regular online communications with classmates and course instructors through weekly topical discussion forums and three, pre-scheduled live chat sessions. Online course instruction is provided via Michigan State University's D2L course management interface. Live chat sessions are offered via Zoom video conferencing.  

Through this program, participants will:
  • Understand the ecological and economic values associated with Michigan's inland lakes
  • Recognize inland lake management is complex, multifaceted and requires stakeholder involvement
  • Use federal, state, and local resources to help improve water quality
Introduction to Lakes covers six topics main topics:
  • Introduction to Lake Ecology
  • Lakes and their Watersheds
  • Lakes and their Shorelines
  • Michigan Water Law
  • Aquatic Plants
  • Citizen Involvement in Lake Stewardship
A Certificate of Completion is available to those who complete all weekly course assignments, including quizzes. Participants can also earn advanced training credits that can be used to earn the MSUE Master Citizen Planner credential. In addition, participants can also earn credits that can be applied toward registered pesticide applicator credentials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Finally, teachers have the opportunity to earn State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) from the Michigan Department of Education.
Enrollment for the Fall 2015 session of Introduction to Lakes is currently open and introduction pricing is being offered. The cost of the course is $75. Those who register by Aug. 31, 2015 will receive the early-bird rate of $60.

For additional details about Introduction to Lakes Online, particularly for those who are currently in the process or have already have developed a similar course, please visit the MSUE Introduction to Lakes Online program page, or contact Bindu Bhakta .

Submitted by:
Natural Resources Educator
Michigan State University Extension
CoyoteWatch: A Florida Master Naturalist Wildlife Monitoring Program
Nesting Loggerhead turtle. Photo by Ken Gioeli
St Lucie County, FL is home to twenty one miles of beachfront along the southeastern Atlantic coast of Florida.  Its beach e s are found on North and South Hutchinson Island and are critical nesting sites for three species of marine sea turtles listed as either threatened or endangered on the U.S. Endangered Species List.  Loggerhead sea turt les ( Caretta caretta ) are listed as threatened while green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) and leatherback sea turtles ( Dermoche lys coriacea ) are
listed as endangered.  Significant portions of St Lucie County's beaches were given special federal designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a s "Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle" in July 2014.  St Lucie County also has protective ordinances in place designating the official sea turtle nesting season as March 1st - November 15th.

Unfortunately, these sea turtles face threats from encroachment of non-native species such as coyotes.  Indian River County directly to the north and Martin County directly to the south reported significant sea turtle nest predation by coyotes in 2013.  No sea turtle nest predation by coyotes had been reported prior to 2013 in St Lucie County.  Indian River County reported approximately 341 sea turtle nests destroyed throughout that county by coyotes in 2013 while approximately 150 sea turtle nests were destroyed on Hobe Sound Beach in Martin County that same year.  Coyotes are also common on mainland St Lucie County including Savannas Preserve State Park which is a ten mile long stretch of land immediately west of St Lucie County's barrier islands.  The Indian River Lagoon estuary separates the Savan nas Preserve from St Lucie County's barrier islands designated as critical sea turtle habitat.
Master Naturalist project leader Marcia Kopp conducting coyote research. Photo by Ken Gioeli

Given the significant coyote encroachment from the north, south and west, the UF/IFAS Natural Resource Extension Agent predicted that coy ote predation on St Lucie County's sea turtle nests was highly likely.  The CoyoteWatch program was initiated in late spring of 20 14 to monitor strategic locations for evidence of coyote predation on sea turtle s nests.  A team of Florida Master Naturalist volunteers were trained and engaged in the  CoyoteWatc h monitoring program.  Wildlife monitoring techniques used included night vision cameras, track identification, and road kill surveys.  Educational outreach was also conducted.
CoyoteWatch found evidence of raccoon predation on sea turtle nests at Walton Rocks Beach and Ocean Bay Hammock on South Hutchinson Island.  The team worked with St Lucie County Mosquito Control and Coastal Management to harden trash can receptacles and increase trash service.  This reduced nuisance raccoon activity.  They also placed signage at Walton Rocks Beach reminding residents to leash their dogs on this dog-approved beach.

The team identif ied and confirmed coyote predation on five sea turtle nests on North Hutchinson Island.  These findings were confirmed by specialists at the University of Florida.  The state park manager was able to use the findings of the CoyoteWatch Wildlife Monitoring Program to justify the implementation of a coyote management program to protect sea turtle nests on this critically important nesting beach.  On March 4, 2015, a trapper reported removing three coyotes in the two weeks prior to the start of the 2015 sea turtle nesting season.

Submitted by:
Program Extension Agent IV/Natural Resources & Environment
University of Florida/IFAS - St Lucie County Extension
Cleanscapes: Landscapes, Septic Systems, and You
Georgia Extension agents frequently receive questions from homeowners and others about septic systems. Many people do not know how their systems work, how to maintain their systems, or how to appropriately landscape the drainfield. They are unaware of their obligations and responsibilities and whom to contact when they suspect a problem. Master Gardeners often deal with homeowner questions on the phone, in the office and at other venues such as trade shows, farmers markets, and fairs.

To address these issues, the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) Program, Center for Urban Agriculture, and UGA Marine Extension Service collaborated to create an advanced training for volunteers. The training, "Cleanscapes: Landscapes, Septic Systems and You" earned participating Master Gardeners a certificate that applies to both the Gold Star and the Silver Star advanced training recognitions. 

The training focused on water in the landscape, the cleaning power of soils, location and maintenance of septic systems, and appropriate landscapes for the drainfields. Standard, mound, and other advanced systems were covered. The training included real-life examples of septic system impacts in Gwinnett County and coastal Georgia. 

The training was delivered using a hybrid distance format with agents hosting the training in their counties. Lectures by specialists were delivered via Blackboard collaborate 10.4.8 in the morning and agents selected and directed the hands-on activities in the afternoon. These activities, handouts, training evaluations and other resources were posted to a wiki for agents to use.
A total of 71 Master Gardener Extension Volunteers were trained in 13 counties across the state in the impact, function, and maintenance of septic systems. Pre- and post-training evaluation scores indicated an improvement in knowledge from an average of 65% to 77%. The impact of the training was also assessed with a post-training online survey. Over 50% of the participants responded to the survey. Prior to the training, 46.7% of the respondents did not feel confident "at all" responding to questions on septic systems or drainfields. After the training 94% reported being likely or somewhat likely to talk or answer client questions about septic systems. Comments indicated that the hands-on activities were well received and complimented the training presentations. 74% of the participants would recommend this training to other MGEVs. Training materials and presentation posted on the wiki will allow agents to train Master Gardener Extension Volunteers as needed in the future.

Submitted by:
Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent
University of Georgia Extension - Bartow County
Conference Announcements
2016 JCEP Leadership Conference

February 10-11
Las Vegas, NV

"One of the best professional development conferences I've ever attended."

"Loved the Keynote Speaker!!! Learned a lot about leadership!!"

These are just a few of the positive comments about the 2015 Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Leadership Conference. Mark your calendar for the 2016 conference, February 10-11 at the Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. This professional development opportunity is a great way to build your leadership skills, hear top quality keynote speakers, network and learn from Extension colleagues from across the nation.

The 2016 conference theme is "Leadership across Generations." Our keynote speaker, Jones Loflin, is a nationally-known presenter on leadership topics.

Attend this conference if you are:
  • Seeking a high quality professional development opportunity and leadership development training. 
  • A state or national leader in any of the seven JCEP member associations.
  • Active at the state level and are ready for national committee or board leadership.
  • An Extension professional with a leadership role such as a county director, district or regional director or other administrative position. 
The planning committee is enhancing this conference with an outstanding keynote speaker, and new concurrent session options and tracks. Stay tuned for the request for presentations in September. Don't miss out!

Submitted by:
2016 JCEP Conference Chair

National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Conference

November 16-19, 2015
Tampa, FL

The National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium agenda is now posted and early registration is up! Early bird registration ends August 24 th.

Submitted by:
Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent
University of Florida/IFAS Brevard County Extension

A newer feature in the newsletter, this space is reserved for you to connect with your ANREP colleagues as you look for advice, information, or program connections. 

There were no submissions for this section for this issue.  
Future Forest Stewards
Penn State Cooperative Extension is offering a new program to teach youth about forests and the concept of forest stewardship. The program, Future Forest Steward is a successor to the Junior Forest Steward Program, offered for the past 10 years with good success.  Future Forest Steward is designed for implementation by teachers, youth-group leaders, and other adults working with youth.  The adults do not have to be naturalists or forestry experts to carry out the program. An interest and willingness to learn right along with youth is the only thing required. The program is suitable for both formal and non-formal educational settings.

The program format is also flexible. Young participants 1) read an interactive publication (individually or as a group), 2) discuss the questions, and then 3) participate in a forest stewardship activity led by the adult educator or helper. A guide for adults accompanies the publication and provides answers to questions and ideas for activities that participating youth and adults can undertake. After participants complete the three steps, their adult helpers send in a short "tally-sheet" and the youth receive an embroidered Future Forest Steward patch as an award and reminder of what they learned. The program raises awareness of forest stewardship and the importance of being a steward of the natural world. 

For questions about the program, contact Sanford Smith. To request copies of the Future Forest Steward publication and adult guide, contact Penn State's Renewable Natural Resources Extension Office at (814) 863-0401. Downloadable versions of the curriculum materials can also be found online.

Submitted by:
Extension Specialist and Senior Lecturer
Penn State Extension


Harvesting non-timber forest products are an excellent way for individuals to enjoy and learn about the abundant natural resources surrounding them. Members of the University of Minnesota Extension Forestry Team have recently been sharing blog posts on the MyMinnesotaWoods website about seasonal forest products and how they can harvest them in sustainable ways. These topics range from harvesting fiddlehead  ferns and morel mushrooms, to tapping maple trees for their syrup. All of these posts point readers to more detailed fact sheets that are found in the Minnesota Harvester Handbook. Recent topics include:

Submitted by:
Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist
University of Minnesota


Heating With Wood
Here are several online calculators and estimators related to heating with wood.  

And here is a wood heat curriculum that was authored as a component of the Exploring Energy Efficiency & Alternatives (E3A) series.  

Submitted by:
BioEnergy Associate Specialist
Montana State University Extension 
A Word from Your Editor

The summer is starting to wind down and I'm sure we've all been busy juggling work, fieldwork, and play time in the slowly diminishing daylight hours. While I often lament not taking full advantage of every beautiful day during the summer, and we've had a lot of them, I do enjoy lying in bed at night this time of year listening to the cricket chorus and the other night sounds that seem to reach a fever pitch as we fade towards Fall.  

As we approach Fall I've heard widely varying predictions on what the strengthening El Niño will mean for our weather.  Whatever it brings, I'm sure Extension will be ready for it.  And speaking of El Niño, I'm always reminded of this classic Saturday Night Live clip featuring fellow Wisconsinite Chris Farley. If I've just given you a Halloween costume idea, you're welcome.  

Articles for the Fall issue can be submitted any time up to November 1.  Submitted articles should be roughly 600 words or less. If possible, send photos separately, not embedded into your document.  Photos are greatly desired with caption and photo credit !  This is your chance to let your peers know what you have been doing.  
ANREP Newsletter Editor
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Quick Links