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

President's video message

ANREP Updates
  • ANREP conference update
  • Seeking board nominations
  • Executive Secretary announcement
  • New ANREP logo
  • Newest ANREP chapter
  • NEWFI update

Conferences
  • IUFRO EKE
  • ANROSP 2020
  • UMISC
  • NSS+NEES
  • NEAFCS 2020
  • ESP 2020

Featured Articles
  • Cruising during COVID
  • Facebook Live as an Extension educational tool
  • Creative thinking for continued compliance-based trainings
  • Three hundred trees and counting
  • Shred day: a win for everyone
  • Rutgers reduces waste with wetsuit recycling program
  • Sentiment analysis for text
  • Collaborating to reach a broader audience
  • Master gardeners providing natural resource education

ResourceExchange
  • Free bound journals
  • New online pollinator habitat assessment tool
  • At home beekeeping series
  • Environmental education virtual webinar series
  • New publication: Valuing standing timber
  • JOE article: invasive species terminology
  • The best deer season ever webinar series
  • New invasive species factsheets
  • RREA webinar series
  • Florida urban horticulture news

IdeaExchange

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!
And now for something completely different! A video message from our ANREP President.
ANREP Updates
The ANREP Conference has been rescheduled for May 23-26, 2021 and we're GOING VIRTUAL! After the 2020 Conference in Central Oregon was postponed due to COVID-19 impacts this past spring, the planning team worked hard to reschedule an in-person event in Corvallis, OR for May 2021. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding travel and large gatherings in 2021 from continuing impacts of COVID-19 the ANREP Board and Planning Committee have decided to move this year's conference online.

Please continue to save the May 2021 dates! We are working on next steps to make the ANREP 2021 Virtual Conference an engaging and fun event for our community. Please check the ANREP 2020 website for updates as they become available, 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.
ANREP Board Nominations Needed
We need you! ANREP is currently accepting nominations for the following positions:
  • Northeast Regional Representative
  • North Central Regional Representative
  • Treasurer
  • President-Elect

The Northeast and North Central Regional Representative positions communicate Board activities and decisions back to the regional members. Regional Representatives also serve to recruit new members to ANREP and promote professional development within their respective regions. This includes encouraging the contribution of newsletter articles, nomination for regional and national awards, as well as assisting the formation of new chapters. These positions carry two-year terms and serve on the ANREP Board.

This year we also need to elect a new Treasurer to ANREP. This is a vital officer position to our organization. The Treasurer tracks all banking related matters, including accounts payable correspondence, deposits of membership dues, funds raised through the silent auction for travel scholarships, and proceeds from the ANREP conference. In addition, the Treasurer develops a budget spreadsheet, and a three-year budget projection for the Board, as well as preparing financial reports for the Board and general membership. Again, this officer position carries a two-year term and serves on the ANREP Board.

Finally, the position for President-Elect of ANREP is open. This is a three-year executive term for President-Elect, President, and then Past-President. The President-Elect is a preparatory role the first year in learning how to lead the organization. Critically, the President-Elect serves on the Conference Planning Committee for ANREP and represents our organization on the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. This is a great opportunity to work with the leadership from all Extension organizations across the country.

Serving this organization in one of these roles is a truly rewarding experience. It is hard work, there’s no mistaking that. Yet I have found that working with other dedicated Extension professionals from many disciplines across the country has been inspiring. Now is your chance to contribute, to build this organization into something better, expanding the boundaries for ANREP and yourself!

Ready to serve?! Tell me, or your Regional Representative, which position interests you. You can always learn more about what is expected of these positions by checking out our Policy & Procedure Handbook, or reaching out to a past officer. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

I look forward to hearing from you,
John Kushla, ANREP Past President
(662-566-2201)
Introducing ANREPs New Executive Secretary
The Board is excited to announce the selection of Dean Solomon to serve as our new Executive Secretary. Dean has an extensive history with ANREP including his service as ANREP Treasurer, ANREP Awards Chair, and ANREP President-Elect, President, and Past-President. A retired Natural Resources and Land Use Policy Educator, he committed 36 years of service at Michigan State University Extension, and is now a proud ANREP Life Member. Since retiring, Dean has also taken on the role of Treasurer for the newly founded Natural Resource Extension Education Foundation. His passion for ANREP is evident and we look forward to working with him as we all work towards making ANREP the best it can be. The ANREP Executive Secretary is a non-voting Board Member. You can find out more about the roles and responsibilities of this position in our Policy & Procedures Handbook (see Page 13).
Introducing ANREPs New Logo
The idea for ANREP was born in the early 1990’s and after much discussion, changing of bylaws, wrestling around with different names for the organization, ANREP was formally adopted into the Joint Council of Extension Professionals in 2000. We encompass a lot, as “natural resources” is such a broad category, hence our former logo with all the depictions of focus areas within ANREP. The ANREP Board has been discussing creating a new ANREP logo for some time, and this year, we made it happen! Utilizing the President’s $250 discretionary funds and an additional $25 approved by the Board, ANREP invested $275 into LogoTournament, a neat resource that allows designers from all over the world to submit designs based on information we provide. We can then work with our favorite designers to fine tune their creation. We asked, you voted, and with 193 survey responses, 74 members voted for our, now, new ANREP logo! There were strong opinions voiced on all options presented, but in the end we selected the one the majority of the membership preferred. We took comment into consideration and made appropriate changes. This logo pays tribute to our previous logo, encompasses many of our memberships’ program areas, and shouts ANREP loud and proud! We hope you will come to love our new logo, and if not, just remember, we still represent the same awesome and amazing people!
A New ANREP Chapter
A new state chapter is born! The South Carolina chapter of ANREP kicked off with a virtual meeting in light of COVID-19. This initial gathering included Extension Specialists, Associates and Agents representing Forestry and Wildlife, Water, Horticulture, Economics and 4-H disciplines. Staff from Clemson Cooperative Extension and South Carolina SeaGrant Consortium were in attendance. We look forward to getting SC ANREP going to provide professional networking and development opportunities to members. SC ANREP plans to be well represented at the ANREP national conference in 2021!
The inaugural meeting of the South Carolina chapter of ANREP.
National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative Update
The National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative (NEWFI) has continued to engage members during their online quarterly meetings. During the meetings, three people typically present about their work on a wildland fire-related topic, then a round robin takes place to hear from others about what’s going on in their part of the country. During our last meeting on July 7, we heard from presenters in Pennsylvania and Florida. Our next quarterly meeting will be on October 8 at 2pm Eastern, so please join us! Registration can be found here: go.ncsu.edu/newfimeeting.

In addition, we’re hoping to be able to still provide wildland fire sessions during the 2021 ANREP Conference. To join our list serv and stay up-to-date on our fire-related information, please go to https://groups.google.com, search "ANREP Wildland Fire Initiative" and request to join from a Google email account.

Submitted by:
Extension Associate & SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Work Group Coordinator
North Carolina State Extension
Upcoming Conferences
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Extension and Knowledge Exchange Working Party (EKE, IUFRO 9.01.03) will be rescheduling our 2020 Working Party Conference for September 26-30, 2021. The theme will remain Knowledge Exchange for the Modern Era: Empowering People / Providing Solutions. Abstracts will again be accepted for either 20 minute oral presentations or 5 minute lightning round presentations. See the abstract website for more details. Deadlines for consideration will be updated in early 2021. Stay tuned for potential online alternatives and opportunities to connect this fall.

Sept 22-24, 2020 @ 1pm-5pm (EDT) each day – ONLINE

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. 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. ANROSP facilitates networking and exchange of information and resources. Visit the ANROSP conference website for details. Registration opens August 24th. Questions, please contact ANROSP Vice President and Conference Chair Shelly.Johnson@ufl.edu.
This year's Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC) has moved online November 2-6 with a very affordable rate (less than $100)! This gives a great opportunity for participation in the conference for those who otherwise may not be able to travel to attend in-person. UMISC has become the largest invasive species conference in North America and offers tracks in forestry, terrestrial, and aquatics as well as interdisciplinary topics. If you have resources/services you'd like to share/advertise at the conference, be sure to check out the sponsorship/exhibitor packages. Both of these options (especially the government/not-for-profit exhibit) offer very generous free registrations to the conference as part of the package. Click to learn more about the conference and register.
The 2021 Joint National Extension Energy and National Sustainability Summit has been scheduled for October 4-6 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Penn State University.

Building on the successful collaborative 2019 Joint Summit, the 2021 Summit looks to be the premiere event for Extension professionals and others working in energy and sustainability education and research. Joined by scientists, community partners, government and industry leaders, the Summit will continue to be the best, single venue to learn about the latest in sustainability and energy research, innovative Extension programs, to update your toolbox, and cultivate new communities of practice. The program will include key note presentations and panel sessions with energy and sustainability leaders; workshops, presentations, posters, and tours. Now more than ever, our communities need the positive message and creative solutions that energy and sustainability can provide. Extension is the ideal means for helping make that happen.

Penn State provides a fantastic venue the event. Conveniently located near many major cities on the eastern seaboard, the town of State College is nonetheless tucked away in the beautiful Nittany Valley, where the spectacular colors of fall should be just ramping up at that time. The university has aggressively pursued its strategic plan for sustainable operations, including its sourcing of renewable energy, local and organic foods, and ambitious reductions in its carbon footprint. Facilities on and near campus that may be of interest include photovoltaic arrays, the living filter water management system, the university's onsite composting facility, and the newly completed biogas digester. The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center is an ideal venue for the event, located on the edge of campus with access to walking trails, public transport, and a great view of Mount Nittany (it counts as a mountain for us easterners). We're looking forward to a great meeting and a good time together - hope to see you there!

A Save the Date and Call for Papers will be sent out in future weeks.
The National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) invites your members to attend our Virtual Annual Session on September 14-16, 2020 at a special rate of $200 for Full Registration. This is $50 off the Non-Member price for attendance. Innovation comes in many forms and this is just one way NEAFCS wants to help all FCS professionals in this time of challenge and opportunity.

We have prepared a special code that your members, who are not already NEAFCS members, can use to receive $50 off the set Non-Member price. Our Virtual Annual Session will include the live event which will span from September 14th through the 16th with 25 Ignite Sessions, 73 concurrent sessions, 40 poster presentations, a fully interactive exhibit hall, Keynote presentation and much more. The best part of this year’s event? All of the sessions/presentations are recorded and will be available On Demand for 30 days post-event. No more having to choose which session to attend when there’s a conflict! This opportunity is only available for those individuals who purchase a registration prior to the start of Annual Session.

Please share this special opportunity with your members. The registration link and the special code are below. We welcome your feedback and look forward to seeing your members at the event.

Special Code for your members only: JCEPORG
You are invited to register for the Epsilon Sigma Phi 2020 National Virtual Conference scheduled for October 6-8th. The theme is Cooperative Extension...Focus on the Future!

I am sure that after these last five months of pandemic living and working we are all looking eagerly for the future. I look forward to the days that will once again resemble pre-pandemic life.

This year’s conference offers outstanding concurrent, poster and research sessions and ignite presentations. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy. Dr Ramaswamy has had a distinguished career within Cooperative Extension and higher education. He was born in rural India where his pathway to education came from agriculture programs similar to Extension. I look forward to hearing about his experience as he encourages us to position our work for continued impact in the future.

I anticipate learning from the insight shared by our Distinguished Service Ruby Award Recipient and President of Iowa State University, Dr. Wendy Wintersteen. Our Capnote speaker, Jonathan Ntheketha, from Rochester, New York has a wealth of experience engaging others with his stories and his passion to serve underrepresented people.

This year’s conference registration is only $100 through September 7th. The National ESP Board is grateful to the New York Lambda Chapter who has continued in their role as Conference Host.


Mike Knutz
National ESP President
Featured Articles
Cruising During COVID
Cruising your forest can be solitary work, and in these times of COVID-19 restrictions, may be one of the few activities you can safely do outside of your home. But how do you teach these skills to others in times of social distancing when you just want to lean over a shoulder to help line up a Biltmore stick? The University of California Cooperative Extension Forest Stewardship Workshop recently brought together participants to teach basic cruising skills in a way that was both fun and safe.

The Forest Stewardship Workshop series was developed for private forest landowners to gain knowledge about their forests, increase understanding of forest management activities and begin development of the California Cooperative Forest Management Plan. University of California Cooperative Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Advisors, in collaboration with local Cal Fire, Resources Conservation District, and Natural Resources Conservation Service forestry professionals, provide information on topics including:
  • Forest management objectives and planning;
  • Forest health, insects and disease;
  • Forest and fire ecology;
  • Fuels reduction and forest resource marketing;
  • Project development & permitting; and
  • Professional help and cost-share opportunities.

Forest mapping skills using Avenza, and basic inventory skills such as measuring tree height and diameter, are learned through hands-on field activities.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the in-person field day was modified to be in compliance with all county and University guidelines, yet still meet the goals and objectives of the workshop. Prior to the field day, participants were required to read information regarding COVID-19 transmission and symptoms, and submit a health screening form attesting they were symptom free. Participants viewed information on mapping and inventory skills and downloaded Avenza onto their phones. Relevant handouts were emailed ahead of time.

On the actual field day, participants were divided into either a morning or afternoon session of no more than ten people. Participants engaged in mapping activities such as tracking their paths, pinpointing locations and uploading photos. Walking through the forest with appropriate spacing, participants viewed units where different forest management activities had occurred. Foresters were able to describe unit conditions and goals, and answer participant questions. Using Biltmore sticks, clinometers and diameter tape, participants gained experience in measuring tree height and diameter. Gathering in a control unit, participants and foresters discussed treatment options for the unit and what features those treatments would preserve. Pre-post evaluations showed a 60 – 65% increase in knowledge with mapping and forest inventory skills.
The keys to having a successful field day in times of COVID-19 restrictions depended on several factors:
  • All participants understood the risks and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and did not participate if sick;
  • All participants were required to wear masks if unable to maintain 6 feet or more distance from other participants;
  • All activities were held outside;
  • All forestry equipment was cleaned before and after each use; we did not use vests that would have been hard to clean between groups;
  • Handouts were either sent ahead of time or handled by one masked and gloved workshop organizer;  
  • Participants were divided into two smaller groups of ten people that did not intermingle; 
  • Two separate sets of restrooms were made available for participants so they didn’t need to be cleaned in between, and
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes were available at all times.

These accommodations enabled participants to obtain hands-on experience which they could then take back and apply to their own property. One participant wrote, “Even in a pandemic (the field day) was effective. Now I have work to do!!” With proper care, we were even able to lean in and straighten out a Biltmore stick.

Submitted by:
Forest Stewardship Education Coordinator
University of California Cooperative Extension
Facebook Live as An Extension Educational Tool
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida Extension education has switched to online platform. Facebook is the largest social network worldwide, and their live streaming feature Facebook Live has been widely used for internet news broadcasts, however, it’s still new in Extension education.

The Water Resources Regional Specialized Agent partnered with other Agents in the Central District and started a Facebook Live series, Water Wednesday, aimed at educating homeowners on water conservation and protection practices. We live stream a 30-minute talk about Florida’s water resources and how we can protect it on Facebook Live every Wednesday. Topics have ranged from building your own rain barrel to calibrating your irrigation system and preparing emergency water supplies. We also post a Water Wednesday Recap blog every week, have a Water Wednesday webpage, and post recordings on YouTube to reach a broader audience.

As of July 31, 2020, we have streamed 12 live talks. Average viewership has increased to 25 viewers, and active live talk participants interact with the speakers and ask questions. The Water Wednesday videos have received 1,172 post engagements, reaching 6,759 people and 4,197 views.

Facebook Live is easily accessible and doesn’t increase technological difficulties for existing Facebook users. Participants don’t need to register or learn how to use the digital platform. They can interact with the speakers in the comment session or watch the recordings. However, the novelty of Facebook Live has also increased the difficulty to evaluate the knowledge gain and practices adoptions. More empirical research on effective use of Facebook Live and similar platforms to deliver Extension programs is needed.


Submitted by:
Yilin Zhuang, Tina McIntyre, Krista Stump, Eva Pabon, Norma Samuel, LuAnn Duncan, Lisa Hamilton, and Caroline Warwick
UF/IFAS Extension
Creative Thinking for Continued Compliance-Based Trainings
While COVID-19 has affected the scope of how we interact with our various constituencies, the demand for certain programs remains unabated. For 15 years, Clemson Extension, in partnership with South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (SCDHEC), has provided two compliance-based training and certification programs to address stormwater plan review and inspection of permitted SC construction sites.

The Certified Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Inspector (CEPSCI) and Certified Stormwater Plan Reviewer (CSPR) programs educate and certify individuals in the areas of erosion prevention and sediment control from proper design and review of stormwater plans to installation, maintenance and inspection of construction site BMPs. Both courses focus on meeting regulatory and compliance requirements. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in cancellation of all in-person CEPSCI and CSPR training courses that hundreds of personnel rely on each year for certification and recertification.

Comprised of Extension specialists, associates and agents partnering with regulatory colleagues at SCDHEC, the development team set out to provide alternative solutions to in-person instructional restrictions. Since May 2020, the team created, organized and offered five distinct and separate courses (some multiple times) utilizing three online platforms and facilitating virtual instruction to 654 participants. Courses occurred asynchronously through Canvas, and synchronously through Zoom, with certification exams provided using Remote Proctor Now. This extensive effort has resulted in 167 newly certified and 444 recertified participants within the abbreviated timeframe.

Team members created instructional modules within each Canvas course platform. To provide opportunities for self-paced learning, digital videos were created, edited and served to participants. To assess knowledge gained, short quizzes were embedded throughout the modules, and a passing score was required to advance to the next section. For synchronous courses via Zoom, facilitators and instructors continued the ability for interactive questions to be completed by utilizing breakout rooms for participants and instructors to work through relevant problem-solving course materials.

Through evaluation data for asynchronous courses such as the online CEPSCI recertification, the team noted positive quantitative results with 327 participants (94%) agreeing or strongly agreeing that the course was an effective use of their time. 95% of the same group felt that the level of information in the course provided enough detail to meet their needs, and 96% plan to include content learned in the course into their business practices. Qualitative responses revealed an unforeseen positive impact that multiple participants expressed: economic costs saved by offering the course online: “…Online course provided certification without travel and associated costs and out of office time.” Overall, the efforts have not gone unacknowledged: “When I realized that my certification would lapse while we were under travel restrictions, I was very concerned with how it could be resolved. I was very pleased when I checked back on the website and saw the online option being offered. You've done an excellent job preparing the material in a quick time frame. Great job, but that's what I would expect from my Tigers!”

The CEPSCI & CSPR teams will continue to offer online and remote course options as SC residents and the world experience extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instructors and Course Facilitators: Calvin B. Sawyer, Ph.D., Jeremy Pike, Haley Parent, John C. Hayes, Ph.D., PE, Charles Jarman, PE (Shannon Hicks, PE and Paul Quattlebaum, PE, of SCDHEC)

Submitted by:
Haley Parent, Calvin Sawyer, Jeremy Pike
Clemson University
Three Hundred Trees and Counting
In 2013, a tree canopy study of Sarasota County, Florida, indicated 35% coverage in the urban service area, but there has been continual land development and consequent tree removal since completion of the study. Communities derive many ecosystem services from urban trees including reducing urban heat island effects, so to mitigate canopy loss in Sarasota, the Treejuvenation Florida urban forestry Extension program was launched. Program objectives are to promote community engagement in urban forestry activities, and increase the number of trees planted. Since the program’s launch in 2017, 421 Sarasota residents have participated in 31 urban forestry Extension activities, and have planted 300 native trees.

To support canopy conservation efforts, Treejuvenation Florida develops promotional media campaigns, distributes urban forestry Extension publications at libraries, and conducts a series of urban forestry community engagement Extension projects. The urban forestry Extension projects are designed to increase community awareness of tree assets and include: TreeQuest – Florida Arbor Day scavenger hunts for native trees in local parks; Adopt-a-Tree – National Arbor Day tree planting demonstration events at various locations throughout the county; Talking Trees – experiential summer workshops at libraries, educating youth about the ecosystem services of urban forests; and Tree Trail Tour – guided tree-centric nature walks in local gardens and arboreta.

Treejuvenation Florida hosts Adopt-a-Tree urban forestry demonstration events at libraries and farmers markets on Arbor Day, to accomplish an annual goal of having Sarasota residents plant 100 trees. At these tree-planting demonstration events, classes on tree care are offered, and class participants pledge to plant a tree on their property, receiving up to 3 native trees per local address. To assess new tree survival rates, a follow up survey is done 3 to 12 months after the tree-planting demonstration event, with participants having the option of submitting pictures of their new sapling(s) in the survey response. Since launching the Treejuvenation Florida Extension program in 2017, survey responses show that Adopt-a-Tree participants have achieved an 84% tree-planting survival rate (n=355). The program’s goal is to continue facilitating 100 tree adoptions per year.

Submitted by:
Comercial Horticulture Agent
UF/IFAS Extension-Sarasota County
Shred Day: A Win for Everyone
What have you been doing while sheltering in place as a result of COVID-19? Many Alabamians filled their stay-at-home hours with cleaning. People are tidying up garages, closets, medicine cabinets, and storage sheds. This was apparent by the number of items dropped off for recycling or proper disposal during a community-wide Shred Day event in Morgan County.

Why Shred Days are Important
Shredding events are critical to communities that want to be eco-friendly, and residents who wish to safeguard their identities. In 2019, the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2019 published by the Federal Trade Commission reported 650,572 cases of identity theft, surpassing all other fraud complaints. This data suggests that providing a safe and secure way for residents to dispose of important documents is essential. Shred days offer that and so much more.

The Decatur Shred Day was hosted by the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama and several partners, including the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University (Alabama Extension) and the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG). Urban Extension Agent Allyson Shabel and Extension Specialist Karnita Garner, were on hand to help with the event. The event adhered to COVID-19 safety protocols and comprised vital services, including a drug take-back, e-waste recycling, and paper shredding by Document Destruction Services.

Impacts of COVID-19 
Although recycling efforts have taken a massive hit during COVID-19, this event revealed positive impacts on people's desire to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Last year, 110 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications were turned in, 1,200 pounds of electronics were recycled, and community partners shredded 7,000 pounds of documents. In 2020, those figures tripled:

• 378 pounds of medications were collected indicating a 244% increase
• 3,000 pounds of electronics were recycled, representing a 150% increase
• 13,000 pounds of documents were shredded, reflecting an increase of 86%

During the three-hour event, approximately 409 cars came through with help by more than 25 volunteers from Epic Church and the Volunteer Center of Morgan County.

"Without proper reclamation channels for both medications and e-waste, our homes and environment are in significant danger," says Urban Extension Agent, Marcus Garner, who assisted with the event.

Studies have shown that flushing medications down the drain can impact aquatic organisms and wildlife and contaminate drinking water sources. Unwanted and expired prescription drugs in the home also places the health of small children, teens, and pets at risk.

Proper Waste Disposal
Medications were collected and incinerated by the Morgan County Sheriff's Office. Alabama Extension staff from the Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceuticals in the Environment program distributed educational material and free drug deactivation pouches. The pouches, donated by WellStone Behavioral Health, involve a 3-step process to dispose of drugs safely. A total of 130 residents dropped off unwanted medicine.

In addition, Managed Asset Recovery Services and Alabama Extension's E-waste Management Education Program personnel collected electronics. The electronic waste was broken down for recycling, and precious metals like copper and gold were reclaimed. Many electronics are filled with hazardous materials such as mercury, cadmium, and lead are linked to adverse human health issues. If improperly disposed of, the materials can contaminate soil and water resources.

Overall, the Decatur Shred Day allowed citizens to recycle or dispose of waste responsibly, creating safe homes and communities. In addition, consumers reduced the risk of identity theft and possibly facing economic hardship. Morgan County citizens also had a chance to give back to their community by donating cleaning supplies to NARCOG’s senior citizens.

Visit Alabama Extension’s Natural Resources page to learn more about environmental stewardship.

Submitted by:
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Rutgers Reduces Waste with Wetsuit Recycling Program
Set up of educational display promoting wetsuit recycling at Ocean Wreck Divers Flea Market in February 2020. (Credit: Steven Yergeau.)
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the beaches along the Jersey shore for summer fun. For many of these visitors, wetsuits are an essential piece of equipment as they enjoy surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and diving. New Jersey is not alone in its love of the beach and water sports with an estimated 20 million surfers and 6 million divers worldwide. This level of activity results in around 250 tons of wetsuits being discarded every year.

A wetsuit protects from cold water and sunburn, defends against skin abrasion, and offers buoyancy. Once they are no longer usable, wetsuits enter landfills and the neoprene (a synthetic rubber) persists for a long time in the environment. Therefore, surfers, divers, and kayakers need to find other options to dispose of their old and worn out wetsuits. Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) in Ocean County developed the Wetsuit Recycling Program to provide those who wish to use wetsuits in their recreational activities with an environmentally-friendly alternative to simple disposal. The goals of the Wetsuit Recycling Program are to educate the public on the benefits of recycling wetsuits (less rubber in landfills, less toxic materials in environment, etc.) and to reduce the amount of neoprene entering and enduring in landfills.

The program was developed by RCE faculty after holding discussions with members of the Surfrider Foundation’s Jersey Shore chapter regarding available information on and opportunities for wetsuit recycling. From these discussions, a fact sheet, titled ‘Jersey Summer Shore Safety: Wetsuit Recycling,’ was researched, drafted, and published in August 2018. Since publication, there have been 347 pageviews of the fact sheet.

In addition, a display was developed and created in early 2020 for use at events with information specific to wetsuit recycling. The Wetsuit Recycling Program display was designed to provide the following to those who visit the display: information regarding wetsuit recycling (the benefits of recycling, how to recycle a wetsuit, etc.) through the fact sheet; the opportunity to deposit wetsuits that will be recycled/repurposed by RCE of Ocean County; and additional items to encourage visitors to recycle wetsuits (pre-printed labels to recycling companies, etc.).

The display has been set up at one event, the Ocean Wreck Divers Flea Market in Beachwood, NJ. This annual event is held in Ocean County at the end of February. It is estimated that more than 150 people viewed the display and 28 fact sheets were distributed, showing that approximately 19% of attendees left with information specific to wetsuit recycling. At this one event, 23 wetsuits were collected from the public and the vendors, representing 122 pounds (55 kilograms) of neoprene collected. These wetsuits will be recycled with a local company that creates new products from the neoprene, thus removing this material from the landfill. This one event has shown that the program can meet its goals of education and environmental stewardship and meets a need in the surfing and diving communities. Future events in which to exhibit the display are being contacted to reach out to more people and to collect additional wetsuits.

Submitted by:
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Extension Center
How to Analyze all that Text from your Evaluations? Try Sentiment Analysis
You just completed an important program you spent weeks developing. If you’re like me, you’re eager to read through the program evaluations from participants. What came across well and what areas need to be improved?

Summarizing the quantitative data is straightforward. For example, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how well was the instructor prepared for the workshop?” But oftentimes the text responses to open-ended questions provide us the most value. For example, “To improve this course, what changes do you suggest we make?” The challenge with text responses is that it’s difficult to quantify the responses, other than saying evaluations were “mostly positive” or “mostly negative”.

Sentiment analysis might be used in Extension programs to squeeze more information from evaluations. Sentiment analysis, or “opinion mining”, takes the emotional tone of words and quantifies how positive or negative they are. Sentiment analysis relies on choosing a lexicon, or a vocabulary of words that assigns a sentiment scale to individual words.

Some lexicons categorize words in a binary way (i.e., it’s a positive or negative word) while some lexicons rank words along a scale from -5 (most negative tone) to 5 (most positive tone). For example, the word “angry” is a negative word in one lexicon, but it scores as a -3 on a -5 to 5 point scale in another lexicon. (For your reference, in this lexicon curse words primary rank as -5.)

I gathered some general responses from our evaluations from recent programs offered to private forest landowners through the University of Minnesota Extension. After I ran the text responses through a sentiment analysis, a number of results emerged. The image shows the most common words that are both negative and positive in tone. As an example, the negative word “limited” was found in a comment that read “Unfortunate to have a virus pandemic during the class. Seriously, sorry that there were limited hands on events.” The positive word “enjoyed” was found in the comment “The course was well done and I appreciate the time and effort put into the videos and resources online. I really enjoyed the field trips.”

Sentiment analysis will likely work best for Extension programs with greater numbers of participants that ask for text responses in their evaluations. While individual words themselves are insightful, sometimes the phrases that they’re a part of mean more. For example, if a landowner had commented “In this class I learned how to remove aggressive invasive plants”, the words “remove”, “aggressive”, and “invasive” each would register as negative words. More advanced sentiment analysis techniques can overcome these limitations by optimizing sentences rather than words.

I encourage you to try a number of free websites that offer free sentiment analysis tools. One example is Daniel Soper’s Sentiment Analyzer. In this tool, text from your evaluations can be copied/pasted to conduct a simple sentiment analysis

If you’re interested in exploring more on how to use sentiment analysis in Extension or have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you.

Submitted by:
Associate Professor/Extension Specialist
University of Minnesota
Collaborating to Reach a Broader Audience
The Nature Knowledge speaker series was launched in April 2020 by the State Specialized Agent in Natural Resources at UF/IFAS Extension to provide an online opportunity to share current information about Florida’s natural resources. The program hosts an expert speaker for 1 hour each month to discuss new information on a natural resource issue that may be evolving, controversial, or often misunderstood.

The goal of the program is to arm attendees with accurate and up to date information to disseminate to their clientele and extension program participants. The target audience includes instructors and graduates of the Florida Master Naturalist Program, UF/IFAS Extension personnel and volunteers, college students and other faculty, and natural resource professionals across Florida.  It is also an opportunity for the speakers to reach a broader audience and share information regarding local programs that may be applicable at the statewide scale.

In June, Tina McIntyre, UF/IFAS Extension Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) Agent in Seminole County, Florida, discussed how Florida-Friendly Landscaping conserves and protects Florida’s most precious natural resource: Water. In the program she discussed, 1) What FFL is and the how the legal side relates to HOAs and homeowners, 2) How watersheds impact our aquifer, lakes, rivers and streams; specifically, as it related to flora and fauna, and 3) What participants could do to make a difference.

The June program attracted 105 participants; prior to viewing the program, 17 self-reported being very knowledgeable about FFL and 88 reported being only slightly knowledgeable or not knowledgeable at all about FFL. The program also streamed on FB live with over 100 views and a recording was made available on an UF/IFAS Blog post. The audience included a wide variety of extension program affiliates, natural resource professionals, homeowners, government employees, HOA members, and others from all regions of Florida.

Interactions and abundance of questions during the program indicated a high level of interest in the topic. At the end of the webinar, 98% of participants agreed or strongly agreed the program met the goal of providing an introduction to the benefits of Florida Friendly Landscaping, and 89% agreed or strongly agreed they intend to use the information in their job and/or share the information with others.

As we adapt our programming, it is important to look within our own institutions to see how we can collaborate with like-minded individuals to grow support, interest, and attendance. Reaching across program areas and expanding beyond geographic boundaries is increasingly feasible with virtual platforms. The Florida-Friendly Agent was able to reach a new and diverse audience that had an open mind to the behavior changes recommended for the to use in their home landscapes! Collaborating on programs has the capacity to be mutually beneficial and fulfill the goals of both programs and extension faculty.

Submitted by:
UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida
Master Gardeners Providing Natural Resource Education at County Park
Gwinnett County, a suburb of Atlanta, GA, has one of the largest and most comprehensive parks systems in the country with a total of 50 parks and recreational facilities with a combined total of over 10,000 acres of parkland. One of interest is Vines Park in the Loganville area. In 1990, Myrna and Charles Adams, donated their 90-acre estate to Gwinnett County in honor of Myrna’s father, Odie Vines, with the stipulation that the land remains a county park. It consists of a lake, several garden areas with a multitude of plants such as an Asian garden and railroad garden, trails, and a mansion used for events such as weddings. The UGA Extension Gwinnett Master Gardener Extension Volunteers County Agent's supervision has assisted in the garden's maintenance. They have held many educational programs for the general public.

Six to eight Master Gardeners work at Vines Park an average of three hours each week throughout the year in collaboration with the county Parks and Recreation Officer. The work involves pruning, planting, clean-up, answering questions from visitors, and any other necessary garden work in the 31 acres of a landscaped area of the park. Various Master Gardeners have “adopted” certain areas of the park based on their interests and experience such as the rose, Asian and southscape gardens.

Once a quarter, Master Gardeners with guidance form the Agent develop and present a “walk and talk” demonstration for the community. The target audience is home gardeners, homeschoolers, people who frequently walk in the park, and others who visit the park. The average number of attendees is 45. Recent programs include ‘Unusual Plants at Vines,' ‘Pruning and Caring for Roses,' ‘A Butterfly Garden for Children,’ and the ‘Strolling the Asian Garden.’
The Master Gardeners promote their programs through flyers distributed in all county parks.
Asian Garden walk and talk educational program conducted by the Gwinnett Master Gardeners for the general public.
The Master Gardeners have also initiated projects to help blooming, unusual plants, beaver problems, or whatever is of interest at Vines during that week. A one-page insert is placed in an information box at the park entrance for visitors to use on a self-guided tour. They put new guides in the box every week.

The Master Gardeners conduct several programs geared toward school children. On Earth Day in April of each year, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation participates in Global Volunteer Youth Services Day at Vines. On average, 50 to 75 children from families, school clubs, focus groups, Scouts, and other organizations are formed into groups according to their interests and abilities to transplant, pick up limbs and pine cones, and other simple tasks.

Master Gardeners lead each group and impart as much knowledge of horticulture as possible during the morning’s work. Also, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, with the Master Gardeners' guidance, use the park to help them fulfill project requirements. For example, Girl Scouts planted annuals flowers at Vines, and Boy Scouts cleaned out the reflecting pool in the Asian Garden. Eagle Scouts are designing benches to replace benches that were stolen from the gardens.

The Gwinnett County Master Gardeners contributed 430 hours in 2018 and 463 hours in 2019 of volunteer service. They continue to provide their expertise in the upkeep of the garden and conducting educational programs.

Submitted by:
County Extension Agent
University of Georgia Extension, Gwinnett County
ResourceExchange
FREE Bound Journals
First come, first served...Go retro and be cool!

Dear fellow ANREP’ers, I’ve got a neighbor with an awesome collection of “ANREP’ish” Journals. If you (or anyone you know) would be interested in one or more sets of the below, please let me know and we’ll figure out a way to get them to you.

Journal of Range Management
  • inception, 1948 - ~1985

The below will be from the 1960’s to 1990’s
Journal of Wildlife Management
Ecology
Ecological Monographs
Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Symposiums
Rangelands

Just think… you can put these behind your in your virtual office and look better than any virtual background or line them up in your regular office and be 10% smarter looking than your office-mates. Don’t delay, while this offer will last long, pretend like it won’t! Otherwise, these are likely to return to the earth from whence they came.

Submitted by:
Virginia Cooperative Extension
New Online Pollinator Habitat Assessment Tool
To help promote local habitat for pollinators, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Gratton Lab in the Department of Entomology, Dane County UW Extension, and the Dane County Environmental Council have launched a new, free online tool to help you assess any site for the quality of its pollinator habitat. The assessment tool is suitable to use for any property throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states.

The Wisconsin Online Pollinator Habitat Assessment takes less than 20 minutes to complete. It’s a simple evaluation designed to be completed on a smartphone or tablet, so you can walk around a garden or property and observe features like how many species of flowers are blooming at different times of year, and what undisturbed nesting habitat is available to insect pollinators. With descriptive photos and links to resources built in to the tool, it’s an educational resource that can be used by anyone, including families with kids.

Submitted by:
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
At Home Beekeeping Series Starting Soon
Note: links in the above image are not live.

Submitted by:
Urban Regional Extension Agent
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Environmental Education Virtual Webinar Series
Alabama Extension’s urban forestry, wildlife, and natural resource management team presents the Environmental Education (EE) Virtual Webinar Series.

This free series includes training sessions on traditional conservation topics as well as new and emerging issues in environmental education. These sessions offer effective best management practices, aimed at safeguarding human, animal, and environmental health, and practical solutions to help people reduce their ecological footprint. Whether an educator, environmental professional, or just a nature-lover, everyone can tune in to discover how to become a better steward of the environment and its precious resources. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available to those who attend.

When: The fourth Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. CST
Where: The webinars are presented through Zoom, an online video presentation format. They are also available through Facebook Live on the Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs Facebook page.

Registration 
Registration is required for this webinar series. The Zoom meeting number and link will be provided upon completion of the registration. Visit www.aces.edu/go/2020EE to register. Each webinar offers one professional contact hour by the AAMU/UAH Regional In-service Center on the PowerSchool platform.

Submitted by:
Extension Environmental Specialist
Alabama A&M University
Valuing Standing Timber: New Penn State Publication
Penn State Extension has released the Valuing Standing Timber publication, a manual designed to help landowners and loggers understand the economic value of timber and how that value is determined.
This 24-page publication describes methods for estimating timber volumes and values in a simple, easy to understand, manner. It will also help landowners and loggers understand how the value of timber is determined and, in turn, provide them with increased opportunities for obtaining a fair market price when selling timber, said Dave Jackson, extension forester and publication co-author.

The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To learn more, visit https://extension.psu.edu/valuing-standing-timber or call 877-345-0691.

Submitted by:
Extension Forester
Penn State Extension
Invasive Species Terminology: Standardizing for Stakeholder Education
New Journal of Extension article focuses on invasive species terminology.

Stakeholder education about the control and harm caused by invasive species is hindered by the excessive number of terms related to biological invasion. These terms are difficult to remember and often used incorrectly. Through consensus building conversations, members of the University of Florida IFAS Invasive Species Council has developed a list of seven already commonly used terms that are understandable, typically interpreted correctly, and useful in educating about most situations pertaining to invasive species of all taxa (native, nonnative, introduced, established, invasive, nuisance, and range expansion). We also provide a list of terms to avoid, as they are often misused or misinterpreted (native invasive, invasive exotic, invasive weed, alien, foreign, and nonindigenous). The standardized terminology presented in this paper will increase stakeholder understanding, thereby helping to limit the spread and negative effects of invasive species.

Submitted by:
Assistant Professor, School of Forest Resources and Conservation
University of Florida
The Best Deer Season Ever Webinar Series
Join Alabama Extension this September and October for The Best Deer Season Ever webinar series. This online educational series provides helpful information for all deer hunters – beginner to veteran – to ensure that this season is the one you will talk about for years to come.

Tune in on Tuesdays

Cost: Free

When: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: The webinars are presented through Zoom, an online video presentation format. They are also available through Facebook Live on the Pickens County – Alabama Extension Facebook page.

Registration
Registration is required to attend this webinar series. The Zoom meeting number and link will be provided upon completion of the online registration. Register for this webinar series online at www.aces.edu/go/bdsereg.

Dates and Topics

September 1
Session 1 – Food Plot Preparation and Planting
September 15
Session 2 – Stands, Houses, Safety, and Ethical Decisions
September 29
Session 3 – Habitat and Deer Management
October 13
Session 4 – Rules, Regulations, and Chronic Wasting Disease
October 27
Session 5 – Processing and Preparation

Submitted by:
Pickens County Coordinator
Alabama Extension
New Invasive Plant Fact Sheet Series
With recent efforts to combat the threat of invasive plants in woodlands, Penn State Extension has released new resources to help with identification and control. A total of 14 invasive plant fact sheets are now available. Each four-page fact sheet provides in-depth practical information to help landowners and natural resource professionals identify and treat invasive plants commonly found in fields, forests, and other natural areas. The fact sheets provide full-color images and descriptions to assist with identification, as well as information on native look-alikes, dispersal, site, and control, including a management calendar and treatment and timing table.

Species described in the series include tree-of-heaven, Callery pear, common and glossy buckthorn, Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, shrub honeysuckles, autumn olive, privet, burning bush, Oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, mile-a-minute vine, Japanese stiltgrass, and garlic mustard.

They can all be found by typing the plant name in the search bar on the Penn State Extension website. Each is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase.

Submitted by:
Extension Forester
Penn State Extension
Renewable Resources Extension Act Web-Based Conference Series
From Dissemination to Impact: Using Peer to Peer Learning in Natural Resource Extension

Please join us for our fourth (in a series of nine) webinar!
September 17th at 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
This webinar is open to all!
Please distribute to your colleagues and other interested people.


Webinar Summary:
We, as Extension educators, know that information dissemination is not the same as education. But how do we move beyond “dissemination” to encourage stakeholders to reflect and integrate natural resource-based information for actual impact? With more than half of the forests and rangelands in the US under private ownership, and most others managed through local, state or federal entities, how do we work with land managers and owners in order to support complex natural resource decisions for resource health?
Join us as our three speakers share experiences in using innovative approaches with peer-to-peer learning to benefit natural resource management.

This webinar will highlight:
Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Smith, Teaching Professor in Forest Resources and Natural Resources & Youth Extension Specialist, Penn State University, Peers and Pros 360

Dr. Eli Sagor, Extension Specialist, University of Minnesota, The Great Lakes Silviculture Library

Retta Bruegger, Western Region Specialist in Range Management, Colorado State University Extension, Peer-to-Peer Learning in Drought

This webinar series is funded through the Renewable Resource Extension Act under the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture as Award number 2018-46401-288801. The USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.
Urban Horticulture Newsletter
Florida urban horticulture newsletter is now available for viewing/downloading.

Submitted by:
UF/IFAS Extension Broward County
IdeaExchange
No content submitted for this section.
A Word from Your Editor
Whew! What an avalanche of material was submitted for this issue! Thank you for sharing your work with me and your colleagues. As you'll see, there continues to be a lot of creative solutions to the inability to conduct in-person programming right now. The last issue had a number of articles on how programming was changing and I'm sure the fall issue will as well. We're working on some additional ways for you to share your programming modifications with the ANREP membership so stay tuned.

Here's where I'd insert some thoughts on how we're entering into another phase of uncertainty and the unknown as the school year starts but honestly, I'm tired. I'm sure you all are, too. Tired. Distracted. Stressed. Skeptical. But on the flip side of that, I'm also hopeful. Hopeful that as we continue to navigate life right now, we're growing, becoming stronger and more resilient. And that will serve us all well when things are "better". It's tough right now but don't forget to cut yourself some slack. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do to get through the most pressing needs. I've been having conversations with colleagues the last few weeks and we talk a lot more about life than about programming. These conversations remind me again that our work in Extension is all about people and relationships. Without that, Extension doesn't exist. Building our relationships and supporting each other in these tough times is what will see us through and we'll all be stronger. Enjoy our summer newsletter...perhaps it's one small way we build our collegial relationships across the miles.

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 November 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