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Winter 2014
In This Issue
A Word from our President
New Research Explores US Extension Forestry Programs
Educating Agents about Natural Resource Impacts from Climate Change
JOE Reviewers Needed for Climate and Forestry Submissions
Announcing the University of Minnesota 2014 Forestry Webinar Series
Guaranteeing the Future of Cooperative Extension: A training program for graduate students
A Word from Your Editor
Reflections

 

The association is off and running for the year.  We have had some changes in faces on the executive team, but the team is filled with devotion and energy to make this year a success.  I want to thank the executive team for their hard work this past year and to recognize the following members who have completed their service on the team:

 

 

 

 

  • Eleanor Burkett, 2013 ANREP Past President University of Minnesota
  • Mandy Habecker, Secretary University of Wisconsin
  • Chris Jones, Western Region Representative University of Arizona 
  • James Henderson, Southern Region Representative Mississippi State University
  • Nevin Dawson, North East Region Representative University of Maryland

 

Through the hard work of the executive team and support from you, we were able to end the year with the organization in a sound fiscal state and achieve the following.

 

Professional Development.  Provided support for the National Extension Climate Science Initiative Conference October 28-31, 2013 in Cloquet MN.  This activity was developed under the Climate Science Initiative started by ANREP members. There were 60 people present from several of the national extension associations, as well as non-members, for the training.

 

ANREP participated fully in Galaxy.  We had our display, several association meetings, and a well attended super-session on sustainability and climate change.

 

We continue to look to technology to share and engage with you in professional development.  This past year we hosted a series of webinars for you.  We conducted six webinars covering a range of topics, from using social media to Global Extension.  The webinars were well received and the professional development committee is building on that success with the development of the 2014 series. Check out  http://www.anrep.org/resources/anrep-webinars to see more.

 

Collaborating with Our Partners. We value our extension partners in all the disciplines. We have partnered with the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) to host a networking reception at Galaxy for both organizations. We also worked with NACDEP in developing a training opportunity for both of our organization members who attended the Joint Council of Extension Professionals leadership conference in Memphis, TN, February 11-13, 2014.  We are also exploring hosting our 2016 national conference in a joint location with NACDEP.

 

Board Leadership and Team Effectiveness. To develop leadership and team effectiveness, we have taken our executive board through Strengthfinder training.  This training allows individuals to understand their strengths and to focus on those strengths, so they can become better leaders and team members.

 

Organization Development. Our executIve board has initiated a strategic planning phase for our organization.  The plan is being developed with a 5-year horizon.  We have engaged you in this process through a face-to-face meeting at Galaxy and through an online survey to gather background information.  The next opportunity for you to engage in this process will take place at our national conference.

 

All of these accomplishments would not be possible with out the volunteers who step up to make our organization function. Thank you to all who help makes us a great organization. 

 

See you in Sacramento,

 

Robert "Bob" Bardon

President, 2014

 

 

New Research Explores US Extension Forestry Programs

 

Two new articles in the Journal of Forestry may be of interest to ANREP readers. Our research group at the University of Minnesota conducted a census of Extension Forestry program leaders to produce a national review of state-level Extension Forestry programs. We used results of the census to contact the managers of master volunteer and other peer learning programs. Both publications identify trends and issues faced by Extension forestry programs. In total, Extension Forestry programs employ 249 full time equivalent (FTE) state specialists, educators, and support staff. Reported cuts in base funding from public sources have led to reduced FTE capacity as vacated positions remain unfilled. A majority of state-level programs report increased use of digital communication tools between 2007 and 2012. During the same period, over half have increased instruction on forest health and invasive species, intergenerational land transfer, and the effects of climate change on forests. State Extension program leaders identified a range of opportunities and challenges associated with reduced base funding, loss of capacity, and a trend toward increased dependence on competitive grants to drive programming.

 
State leaders identified 42 forestry-related master volunteer or other peer learning programs. The managers of 39 of those programs completed surveys about trends and innovations between 2008 and 2012.  These programs are designed to combine instruction from experts with peer learning and volunteerism to provide nonformal adult education for family forest owners. Results indicate that Extension Forestry peer learning programs are evolving to address emerging issues and to use recent developments in communication and educational technologies, such as online programming and social media. With median annual budgets of just over $10,000, several programs target small and often underserved segments of the landowner population, such as women and absentee landowners. Although program outputs and demands for service are increasing, many program managers face reduced budgets and a variety of challenges to program sustainability.
 
Full text of both articles is available from the links below.
 
Extension Forestry in the United States: A national review of state-level programs
Sagor, Kueper, Blinn, and Becker. 2014.  Journal of Forestry
 
Extension Forestry in the United States: Master Volunteer and other peer learning programs
Kueper, Sagor, Blinn, and Becker. 2014. Journal of Forestry
 

Submitted by Eli Sagor

Extension Educator - Forestry

University of Minnesota Extension

 

 

Educating Agents about Natural Resource Impacts from Climate Change - Wilmington, NC January 2014

 

Talking about climate science and climate change, and more importantly, integrating it into our programming, is challenging with a capital C!  Given the mixed state of the public's perceptions of the issue and the mixed state of Extension agents' attitudes towards climate science/change, it requires some internal education, better message framing, and some ideas for what to do next. To this end, Extension agents from the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension, 1890s historically African-American Colleges, and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (NGO that works with minority landowners) gathered in Wilmington, NC to learn more about climate science, climate change, and - more importantly - impacts to different sectors.

 

Agents who attended this meeting came from multiple natural resource areas including agriculture, forestry, and coastal issues. Since many agents must program in multiple natural resource sectors, the workshop was designed to teach attendees about the basics that everyone needs to know (climate science, climate change, perceptions of climate change, etc.) and then introduced resources and program ideas - from crops and livestock, to forestry and coastal challenges.  Attendees overall enjoyed the workshop and the variety of speakers, as well as the integration of the different topics.

 

The workshop had 25 people registered and the agenda allowed for discussion time, so that everyone could ask many questions. The workshop's final morning included an overview of available resources for incorporating climate change concepts into programming or learning more about climate science.  This workshop was the second of three workshops to be offered to agents who work primarily with minority landowners.  In the next workshop, we intend to build on earlier successes and incorporate some of the suggested improvements.

 

Wilmington Climate Change Workshop attendees, January 2014

 

Climate change is a risk to all of our natural resource systems and providing Extension agents who are the "foot soldiers" in this challenge more education and training is key.  This training was organized by the Extension team of the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP), more information on that project can be found at www.pinemap.org and additional climate science/change resources can be found at: http://www.pinemap.org/education/climate-science-change-educational-resources

 
Submitted by Leslie Boby

Extension Associate - Southern Region Extension Forestry

 

 

JOE Reviewers Needed for Climate and Forestry Submissions

 

This past January, I was pleased to replace Dr. Robert Bardon as ANREP's representative on the board of directors of Extension Journal, Inc. (EJI).  EJI publishes the Journal of Extension (JOE) and the National Extension Job Bank. 

                     

As part of this new appointment, I recently learned that the number of manuscript submissions to JOE related to climate and forests has spiked in recent months. JOE is short of reviewers for these important topics, and ANREP members can help to fill that gap. If you are willing to offer your services as a peer reviewer of natural resources related submissions, that would be of great help to JOE.

 

You don't have to have a Ph.D. or research appointment to review JOE manuscripts. All it takes is a bit of time and your professional judgment. Reviewing is a tremendous opportunity to learn about recent research and help to advance the scholarship that fuels our profession.  It's also an important service to the profession that you can report on your CV and promotion materials. Reviewers serve three-year terms, renewable one time.

 

To learn more and to join me in volunteering this winter as a new JOE reviewer, visit http://www.joe.org/about-faqs.php#Q10. You are guaranteed to learn from the process and you will be serving ANREP well. 

 

If you have comments or questions about JOE or the National Extension Job Bank, drop me a line anytime. Thank you!

 

Submitted by Eli Sagor

Extension Educator - Forestry

University of Minnesota Extension 



Announcing the University of Minnesota 2014 Forestry Webinar Series

 

The University of Minnesota Extension and Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative announce a monthly series of web-based presentations, or "webinars," on current forest ecology and management issues.  The series targets natural resource managers, landowners, and educators; and would be well suited to the professional development needs of ANREP members.

Topics in the 2014 series include adaptive silviculture for climate change, an update on tick-borne illnesses, the state of Minnesota's logging businesses, changing industrial forest ownership, green building standards, current forest health issues, and much more.  While presenters will focus on applications to Minnesota forests, much content will be relevant and applicable well beyond the state. 

 

Presentations are roughly 45 minutes long and permit live Q&A with the presenters. Each presentation has been approved for one hour of SAF, ISA, and MN Forest Stewardship continuing education credits.

 

Two ways to participate:  You can either 1) tune in live from a personal computer for a small registration fee, or 2) ANREP members in Minnesota can attend a local broadcast site at no charge.  Broadcast sites are planned for Cloquet, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Rochester, MN. 

 

Details about presentation dates, locations, and registration are available at http://z.umn.edu/2014webinars. Direct any questions or comments to Eli Sagor (UMN Extension) or Julie Hendrickson (SFEC). We hope to see you there.

 

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer and educator.

 

 

Submitted by Eli Sagor

Extension Educator - Forestry

University of Minnesota Extension 

 


Guaranteeing the Future of Cooperative Extension:  A training program for graduate students

 

For Extension to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world, we need a constant influx of new ideas for methods of delivery and emerging areas of concern. Getting graduate students involved in Extension is an ideal way to bring new perspectives and new people into the profession. While some students are fortunate to have mentors who work with extension personnel, many students seeking an applied, engaged career pathway have never heard of extension. And in an academic department, there are typically few training opportunities for learning the skills needed for extension. In UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), many of our county advisors (agents) and extension specialists are nearing retirement. We are in need a new generation of extension professionals, and in UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources (CNR), there are many students interested in applied, community-engaged work. UC ANR is a network of advisors, specialists, faculty, and staff, working on a variety of applied problems from across a very diverse state, and integrating graduate students into this system can strengthen that network. A group of motivated students (myself included) set out to raise awareness of extension and create training opportunities in order to simultaneously address these needs of UC ANR and CNR graduate students.

We formed a graduate student working group and developed our own informal curriculum for graduate training in extension. We met as a group to discuss ideas for training, informally assessed interest and ideas among other graduate students, and used a series of surveys to evaluate 1) student interest in and awareness of cooperative extension, 2) what delivery methods might make best sense for graduate students, and 3) feedback on the three delivery methods we've tried: a yearly Extension Showcase, where we featured extension research in an afternoon-long set of presentations; a semester-long weekly seminar with extension speakers from around the state; and a set of workshops on specific extension skills.

 
One preliminary outcome is that graduate students have many demands on their time, and in our college they also have many opportunities for seminars, courses, and student groups, so one key to facilitating student participation in extension training was to use a less frequent, more specifically targeted structure. The most effective way to deliver extension training was to develop workshops and hold several of these per semester. We solicited ideas for topics informally and through a survey, and then individually pursued speakers from within ANR to lead the workshops. We have held successful workshops on survey design, social media and blogging, mapping as an outreach tool, and public participation in the scientific process. We are planning several more workshops for the upcoming Spring semester, as well as another Extension Showcase.
 
We are currently working on developing an institutional structure within UC ANR to support graduate student training, and we'd love to hear how other organizations deliver extension training to students.  Please write to mveitzel@berkeley.edu and share your student training programs with us! Incidentally, I was able to attend ANREP 2012, and it was an amazing experience. Many thanks to all the members who welcomed me and my fellow students! I'm looking forward to ANREP 2014 here in Sacramento and hope we can all discuss graduate student training ideas in person.

  

Figure caption:  Workshop for CNR graduate students on public participation for scientists, featuring Susie Kocher, Kim Rodrigues, and Kim Ingram.
 
Submitted by Melissa Eitzel
PhD candidate -Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

University of California - Berkeley 

 

 

A Word from Your Editor
Diana paddling

To all those who contributed articles to this newsletter: Thank you!  For those of you who didn't, don't despair.  Articles for the spring issue can be submitted any time up to April 15th.

 

Submitted articles should be roughly 600 words or less in .doc or .docx format.  Photos are greatly desired with caption and photo credit!  This is your chance to let your peers know what you have been doing.  As editor, I always find it interesting to read the various submissions.  We do a lot with and for our clients.

 

I apologize for the lateness of this issue.  Traveling and ice storms have taken their toll on my time.  For the rest of you who have also been dealing with rough weather this winter, hang in there and drive safely.

Sincerely,
 
ANREP Communications Chair
North Carolina State University
 
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