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

President's message

ANREP Updates
  • Remembering Amy Grotta
  • ANREP Conference 2020 update
  • National Extension Climate Initiative
  • Smile to Support NREEF
  • Day in the Life of a Regional Rep
  • National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative

Upcoming Conferences
  • IUFRO EKE Save the Date
  • PILD
  • Agritourism Workshop

Featured Articles
  • Western Region Professional Development Report
  • Utah Biochar Demonstration
  • FL Sea Grant on the Road
  • Mobile Q&A Technology
  • Florida Keys Seafood Festival
  • What's Going on With Roundup?
  • Land of Waste-More than Plastics
  • The Art of Science

  • Understanding Forest Carbon Management Short Course
  • Neighborhood Natural Area Network
  • Western Forbs Online Book Available
  • Testing Message Frames on Facebook
  • Woodland Stewardship 3rd Edition Available

  • Fats, Oils, and Greases Info Wanted
  • Podcast Experience

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!
The ANREP Board is excited for 2020 and I hope you are too! There are so many ways you can get the most out of your ANREP membership and I want to help facilitate that process for you, so read on...

First, you all should have seen the call for ANREP Awards. This is a great way to earn national recognition for the amazing work you all do. This is not a time to be humble. Nominate yourself. Nominate a colleague. Showcase your great programming! Not only does this look great in your annual report of accomplishments, but it allows your work to be seen by colleagues across the country. The deadline is February 17 th so mark your calendars and please take the time to submit.

Second, hopefully you’re all aware this is a conference year for ANREP and are we excited to have our conference in beautiful Sunriver, OR! Registration is open, and the website is awesome (thank you Conference Planning Committee), so check it out, reserve your spot, and make your travel plans. Your Regional Reps have been sending you information about the conference too, so be sure to read through their emails. Oh, and be thinking about a silent auction item to bring, too. 😉

Third, as a member of ANREP, you are automatically a part of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). If you have never attended JCEP’s Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, please consider attending April 5-8 in Arlington, Virginia. As our ANREP Representative for PILD, Jim Ekins said, “It is an amazing, eye-opening experience. After participating, you will keenly understand how our work and funding ties in with national Extension efforts. You will also get a chance to visit your elected representatives’ offices in Washington, D.C., and tell a little part of your Extension story. Please seriously consider attending PILD at least once in your career. It is well worth the trip. Feel free to contact Jim Ekins or Holly Abeels any time if you have questions or would like additional information.”

Fourth, getting involved in ANREP is (in my opinion) the best way to get the most out of your ANREP membership. Not only does it show you're actively involved in your national association, but you get to build relationships with natural resource colleagues from other states. I jumped right in after my first ANREP Conference and honestly think it was one of the best decisions I made as a young Extension Agent. We will have a poster at this year’s conference showcasing ANREP committees you can consider joining, so be thinking about which might be the best fit for you ( see pgs. 17 & 18 in our Policies & Procedures Handbook for more details)

Lastly, it is with great sadness to inform you of the passing of one of our beloved ANREP members, Amy Grotta (Oregon State University). We will have a celebration of life event for Amy at the Conference to honor her legacy. More details about this event and Amy’s obituary are included below. 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about ANREP, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 
ANREP Updates
Remembering Amy
With sadness I include the obituary of Amy Grotta. An active ANREP member for 15+ years, the Western Region Representative for two years, and a frequent conference attendee, Amy was a friend, mentor, and colleague to many. She was a talented forester and exemplified the qualities of the consummate extension educator. Her passing comes way too soon and leaves a hole in the hearts of many.

Amy's Oregon State Extension colleague, Brad Withrow-Robinson, captures her spirit well when he says, " Amy had a strong passion for her work that came from a deep love of the natural world, and a commitment to helping people better understand and care for it. Amy was compassionate, unflappable, inclusive, and organized. She liked to involve people, build community and get things done."

Perhaps it's fitting that we'll be gathering in Oregon in a few months. A celebration for Amy is planned for Tuesday evening, May 5, after our banquet. The setting in the forests and mountains of Oregon is an appropriate place to toast Amy and her life.

- Chad Cook, newsletter editor
Amy Grotta, 49, died December 24, 2019, in Portland, Oregon, after a four-year battle with chondrosarcoma. 

Amy was the wife of David Dreher, mother of Anna (17) and Eben (13), daughter of Emily Grotta and James Grotta, step-daughter of John Boudreaux and Kathy Dreyfus, and sister of Jacob, Andrew and Ben Grotta.

Amy was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and moved around quite a bit as a child, living in Israel, New York, Mississippi, Colorado and Massachusetts. Eventually her family settled in Houston,Texas, where she graduated from Bellaire High School in 1988. Amy was an honor student, a talented gymnast, editor of her high school yearbook, and active in many high school clubs and youth organizations. 

Amy attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Resource Studies. After graduation, she moved to Vermont where she worked as a wilderness trail crew leader, farm hand, gymnastics coach and high school teacher. In 1996, Amy left Vermont for the Peace Corps and spent two years working in rural Paraguay as an agroforestry technician and traveling with friends and family to Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. 

After completing her Peace Corps service, Amy returned to Vermont and married David Dreher. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Corvallis, Oregon and Amy began graduate school at Oregon State University. After receiving her master’s degree in Forest Science in 2002, Amy was hired by Washington State University Extension as the forestry agent for King County. In 2008, Amy and her family returned to Oregon when she joined the Oregon State University Forestry & Natural Resources Extension as an assistant professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. She became a tenured associate professor in 2015. 

Amy was a passionate educator who engaged effectively with the family forest landowner community as the Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent for Columbia, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. She actively supported a group of Master Woodland Managers, members of the Women Owning Woodlands Network, three local chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, and the Oregon Woodlands Cooperative. Amy succeeded as an educator largely because she was not only knowledgeable but also very approachable. She embraced the challenges of working in a very diverse area and was equally at ease working with rural forest landowners, discussing rural/urban interface issues, or helping Portland neighborhoods maintain a healthy urban forest. These skills made her an effective, well-respected, and welcome leader among her colleagues.
In her work Amy sought to include and empower the people she worked on behalf of through her involvement in a number of citizen science initiatives. She was the driving force for the Oregon Forest Pest Detector program, a collaboration with several state agencies that trains volunteers to monitor for the arrival of invasive insect species. She was given the Vice Provost Award for Excellence, OSU Outreach & Engagement for her work on the program in May 2019. Her efforts with the Oregon Season Tracker program, which involves community members in climate science research through observations of precipitation and phenology, were recognized in September 2019 with the OSU Extension Association Search for Excellence award. Most recently she had been very involved with the Oregon Bee Atlas in their efforts to involve family forest owners in studying and understanding the role of wild pollinators in Oregon. Every project Amy was involved in benefited greatly from her participation. 

Amy’s neighbors and friends knew her as an avid gardener, a strong parent, and a lifelong lover of nature and wilderness who was always looking forward to the next adventure. She will be greatly missed by friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues. 

A celebration of Amy’s life will be held Saturday, June 6, 2020 at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon. If you would like additional details for the celebration, please email . Details will also be shared on Facebook through the In Memory of Amy Grotta group. Cards can be sent to the Dreher Family, 4706 NE 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97211.

Donations in memory of Amy may be made through the OSU Foundation. In alignment with Amy’s values and life’s work, all donations will be used to support the research, outreach and education activities of the OSU College of Forestry. Please send donations to: OSU Foundation, 4238 SW Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97333-1068. Please include this form with your donation and state that it is “in memory of Amy Grotta” and for the College of Forestry. If you are including a check, please write “College of Forestry, in memory of Amy Grotta” on the memo line of your check.  
For online donations, please visit the OSU Foundation’s Giving page . T o ensure your donation is tracked correctly, 1) choose the ‘College of Forestry’ on the “Direct my gift to a specific OSU College or Campus” AND 2) put “In memory of Amy Grotta” in the comment box.    
Register for ANREP 2020 – Pay Now or Later!
Registration is now open for the 2020 biannual Conference in Sunriver (near Bend), OR on May 3-6, 2020! We have a full program for you and we are thrilled for you to join us. You can get all the details at the official conference website .  If you need to pay later simply select the “pay by check” option – you can then pay be check or call OSU Conference Services with a credit card number at a later date.

Each person who renews their membership or joins ANREP will receive a discount code. Be sure to use your code while registering to get your discount of $70! The option to enter a discount code will be available on the payment page at the end of the registration process. If you pay full price and then join ANREP, we unfortunately cannot offer you a reimbursement.

Exciting Conference Opportunities
ANREP had over 120 abstracts submitted so get ready to learn, share and contribute! We will have a fun run, mobile workshops and plenty of social time to network and catch up with friends. Make sure to join us for the banquet dinner on Tuesday. There will be a call for you to join an   initiative  and volunteer for committees ! Early registration is open until April 1 st . If you are a new or renewing ANREP member, please be sure to complete your membership forms and wait for the ANREP 2020 discount code before registering for the conference.

Come early or stay late because Bend is in the beautiful Cascade Mountain range with lots to do at the Sunriver resort and in town. Did you know Bend has the most breweries per capita in Oregon and is called “Beer Town USA”? Bend offers an Ale Trail ‘passport’ that you can get stamped at each of their local breweries. Surrounding Bend are miles of hiking and biking trails. Mt. Bachelor is just a shuttle ride from the resort for skiing and snowboard fun. The mountain usually stays open till the end of May. The shuttle is $10 for resort guests and a three-day lift ticket will cost you about $200.

Lodging – ANREP 2020 Rooms Going Fast!
Don’t forget to make your lodging arrangements early, particularly if you are planning to stay before or after the conference dates. There are lots of options for rooms, suites, and guest rooms so you and your family or colleagues can bunk up. The conference website has lodging options and contact information for Sunriver Resort . If you would like to arrange connected rooms as part of a larger group, please call Sunriver Resort directly so they can help (be sure to mention that you are part of the ANREP 2020 conference when making reservations). If you are looking to share a room, contact Alicia Betancourt  and she will try to match you up!

Short on Money? – Apply for a Scholarship
ANREP is offering several $250 travel scholarships for the purpose of encouraging both students pursuing a career in natural resources and ANREP members to attend this national conference. For more information about the scholarship and the criteria, click  HERE .  To apply for the scholarship, click the   Scholarship Form . Scholarship recipients will be expected to volunteer for part of the conference.
ANREP Awards – Celebrate Our Community’s Work
Did you received an ANREP award in 2019 or in 2020 and elected to be recognized at the ANREP conference? We will have our awards ceremonies during the business meeting on Monday May 4 th , and during lunch on Wednesday May 6 th . We can’t wait to see you in Bend!
National Extension Climate Initiative
Dr. Paul Lachapelle at Montana State University is creating a National Extension Climate Initiative and is seeking ANREP member involvement. Paul will be with us at ANREP2020 conference when we will have a time to discuss the initiative further. I appreciate his initiative and look forward to what we can do. Dr. Lachapelle states: “I think we can all agree that we can do a better job of coordinating climate education outreach throughout Extension. I'm proposing a new effort, the ‘ National Extension Climate Initiative ’ to link the work we are doing on  climate change-related education and research across Extension program areas and Associations ; This will build on, reinvigorate, and expand the work done by the ANREP Climate Science Initiative (thanks to Chris Jones and colleagues for starting this initiative).” 

This expanded effort, in partnership with the  Western Rural Development Center , will be  open to all extension professionals  with the following objectives: 

  1. Communicate and share current and future work with a core group of self-selected faculty, staff and administrators representing all program areas of Extension who meet regularly via list serve, social media and video conference.
  2. Represent participating Land Grant Universities, Associations, and related committees and organizations (i.e. ECOP and JCEP).
  3. Meet annually via each Association conferences and affirm progress.
  4. Pursue grant funding collaboratively when convenient or supported.

Please contact Paul at   to subscribe to the list serve or get more information.
(Amazon) Smile...and Support NREEF!
There’s a new way to contribute to the Natural Resource Extension Education Foundation if you buy stuff from Amazon. Just go to  and follow the directions for designating the foundation as your charity of choice. (Type in our whole name – Natural Resource Extension Education Foundation – in the charity search bar to find us.) Once you do that, 0.5% of your eligible purchases at Amazon will be donated by the company to NREEF. Just remember, if you want Amazon to donate, always start your shopping session at the URL

Of course, you can always make direct contributions to NREEF at our web site . Help us meet our goal to raise $20,000 in 2020!

Submitted by the NREEF Board of Trustees
Just a day in the life…
This year is my last as the Northeast regional representative to the ANREP Board (for now!). Elections are coming up this summer and I’m sure you’ve wondered, “what exactly does a regional representative DO?”

Representatives are elected to serve two-year terms. There are 4 regions in ANREP: Northeast, North Central, South, and West. If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, or West Virginia, then you are eligible to run for office to represent the Northeast.

For the formal description of the Representative role, you can always check out the Policies and Procedures Handbook. But the position is so much more interesting than a bulleted list of responsibilities. As a regional representative, it is my job to make sure ANREP members in the Northeast understand how the board and the organization are working on their behalf to promote our profession and represent our interests to the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). We also assist with the biennial conference planning if it is in our region, serve on committees, and engage other members for committees as well. One exciting role helping states to apply for and receive ANREP State Chapter status. And participating on our monthly board calls allows me to meet and learn about programming from like-minded ANREP members.

I am enjoying my time in this position and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about working in teams and professional associations. The board is a fun group that meets monthly and works hard to keep ANREP exciting and relevant. Please contact me if you want to chat about the Representative role, expectations, and time commitment.

Submitted by:
Jen Dindinger , Watershed Restoration Specialist
University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension
National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative
The National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative (NEWFI) group has been busy! 

On September 5, 2019 we had our first quarterly meeting online, then in November we held our second meeting in person at the Association of Fire Ecology (AFE) 8th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in Tucson, AZ. In addition to having an ANREP/NEWFI booth at the Congress, we also hosted a special session about how Extension partners on wildland fire efforts. 

We hope you can join our in person meeting on May 6, 2020 (at 1pm PST after the ANREP conference). At the meeting we will hear about some of the fire-related projects our colleagues are working on, and will be looking for feedback as to your needs related to wildland fire and suggestions for activities in the coming year. 

Finally, there will be multiple sessions and presentations on wildland fire at the ANREP 2020 Conference! The NEWFI leadership team has also been working with the Conference planning team to plan a fantastic post-conference field day on May 7, 2020. The field trip will take place in the Chiloquin Community Forest and Fire Project (CCFFP) landscape in South Central Oregon. During the field tour, we will see parts of the project in action. Along the way, we'll also hear from Extension professionals who deliver a variety of fire-related programs throughout the nation. Spots are filling up fast, so be sure to register for this awesome tour! 

Submitted by:
Extension Associate and SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Work Group Coordinator
NC State Extension
Upcoming Conferences
The JCEP  Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference registration  is now open and I invite you and your members to attend this conference. This year’s conference theme is “Moving Knowledge into Solutions” and the schedule is packed full of presentations surrounding this theme.  Registration  and the  draft schedule  can be viewed at the conference website . Early-bird registration is $410 and ends March 13 th . Rooms at the conference hotel are $230 per night.

We have two amazing presentations for our keynote and capnote. Our keynote presentation will be given by Dr. Jermaine Davis, Professor of Communication Studies at Century College and Organizational Leadership at St. Catherine University. Before receiving the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award, Dr. Davis worked in corporate America for IBM, Keebler Cookies, and Frito-Lay in the areas of sales, management, and marketing. He has authored 10 books including  Get Up Off Your Butt and Do It Now Leading with Greatness The Art of Communicating Effectively with Diverse People , and  The Quote Journal Series: 52 Quotes to Help You Succeed . Our capnote presentation will be given by Dr. Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement at University of Missouri. Throughout his 30-year career, Stewart has been recognized for his expertise in leadership development, strategic planning, legislative affairs, educations, youth, and agricultural education and advocacy. Both speakers have impressive backgrounds and are sure to motivate and inspire you.

When you register, consider attending the pre-conference tour of Washington D.C., which is a great way to city some of the famous sites of this city. When registering, you’ll choose which concurrent sessions you want to attend. So be sure to check out the  draft schedule  before registering. You’ll also reserve your room during the registration process. The cost for the pre-conference tour is $40 and includes snacks and water. There are only 100 spots open for the tour so register early to reserve your spot.

For the latest news and updates check out and like our Facebook page where w e have videos and pictures from previous conferences as well. 

The JCEP PILD 2020 Planning Committee looks forward to seeing you in April!
Extension, farmers, researchers, agricultural service providers, tourism professionals, and others interested in agritourism are invited to the International Workshop on Agritourism in Burlington, Vermont October 27-29, 2020.
Learn about the latest research and best practices, tour farms in the region, and share your experiences with agritourism.
Visit the conference website for opportunities to present, sponsor, exhibit, and get involved. If you would like to be part of the conference planning committee, contact Lisa Chase at 802-257-7967.
Featured Articles
Meeting People and Prickly Plants: A recap of the Western Region Professional Development Meeting 
On November 14-15, 2019, Western region members of ANREP met in Tucson and toured Cochise County, Arizona for a professional development and mobile study tour. Ten members from Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and American Samoa built an incredible bond traveling through the desert in a 15-passengar van learning about ourselves, Extension, and the local desert ecology.

Our first destination was Kartchner Caverns State Park where we met Sami Hammer, a conservation biologist with the Sky Island Alliance. Sami guided us along a trail in the foothills of the Whetstone Mountains, where we discovered a rich diversity of plants. Our destination was a small spring tucked into a grove of netleaf hackberry ( celtis reticulata). The site was moist and green; quite a contrast from the surrounding landscape. Sami described how important small pockets of water are to wildlife in this region. The Sky Island Alliance conducts an inventory and monitoring project for springs and spring dependent species - more info can be found at

After hiking through the park, we explored what USA Today readers voted Arizona’s “best attraction,” the spectacular Kartchner Caverns. While only discovered in 1974, Kartchner Caverns is home to many record-setting and unusual formations, such as the world’s longest soda straw stalactites. The Big Room tour uncovered the history and management of the amazing cavernous mountain that unsuspectingly sits beneath the Arizona desert. We were asked to leave our cell phones, cameras, and water bottles behind, but the memory of this amazing cave tour will stay with us forever.

Upon leaving the park, we boarded a time machine into the past to visit the small town of Tombstone. Tombstone is known for its Wild West history, horse and buggy rides, and cowboy gunfight reenactments. After the Wild West fun, we headed to Bisbee for our members meeting and to rest our heads. Friday morning, Mark Apel presented a background of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, and discussed the challenges Arizona faces with ground water quality and availability. We finished up our Bisbee stay with a visit to the vast Queen Mine which provided a road-side history of the city’s copper-mining past.
Top: Tuscon Village Farm interactive learning space. Bottom: Tombstone. Photo Credits: Francisca Belart
Top: Western Region ANREP meeting participants at Kartchner Caverns. Photo Credit: Chris Jones. Bottom: Petrified douglas fir at the Lab of Tree Ring Research. Photo Credit: Lauren Grand
On Friday afternoon we visited the University of Arizona campus to present peer reviewed presentations. We learned how Alicia Christiansen hosts 1200 students each year at the Douglas County School Forestry Tour; Jim Ekins is developing the first crayfish focused publication and K-12 education program; Norma Kline is empowering landowners to be scientists in the fight against Sudden Oak Death; Racheal Werling is educating Land Stewards in both a volunteer program and hybrid course; Chris Schnepf is training and empowering Master Forest Stewards to become volunteers; Lauren Grand is educating landowners on how to sell logs from their property and creating a curriculum to share with other agents; and Francisca Belart is making sure timber fallers stay safe on integrated mechanized operations on steep terrain.

After the presentations, we toured the University of Arizona’s world renowned Laboratory of Tree Ring Research in Tucson. The lab was founded in 1937 by the founder of dendrochronology, the science of tree ring dating. Tree ring scientists assign exact calendar years to tree rings in samples by using crossdating. Crossdating matches patterns in overlapping samples of wood starting with known dates in living wood, to dead wood on the ground, and finally to dendroarcheological samples. The longest series to date is a pine-oak series from Germany which extends some 12,000 years into the past. Information stored in the ring patterns reveals changes in climate, ecosystems, and human activities through time. Our group saw a cross-section of the oldest tree dated, a 4,844 year old bristlecone pine, as well as intriguing art displays inspired by the studies happening at the lab.

Our last stop of the tour was to Tucson Village Farm to talk with the local 4-H agent, Elizabeth Sparks, about how she transformed the desert into an interactive learning experience for the community. The farm features row crops, compost experiments, chickens, and a pollinator garden.

The 2019 WANREP professional development meeting and mobile study tour was fun, educational, and most importantly, built cross-boundary relationships with members of our professional community. We hope you’ll join us in 2021 for the second annual Tour in Idaho, but in the meantime, we’ll see you for ANREP biennial Conference 2020 in Bend!

Submitted by: Lauren Grand, Norma Kline, Rachel Werling, and Alicia Christiansen
Oregon State University Extension
Successful Big Box Biochar Demonstration in Utah
The Utah Biomass Resources Group (UBRG) recently held a big box biochar kiln demonstration in Providence Canyon, south of Logan, Utah. Thirty attendees watched as piles of juniper were stacked into the dumpster-sized kiln and lit from the top. This technique creates a flame-cap which appears to burn cleaner than burning piles of slash. This is because un-combusted materials are consumed as they rise through the “cap” of flames that forms on top of the kiln. Attendees were able to see from start to finish how biochar is created in this large kiln. While the air quality was not appropriate for burning on the day of the burn, Utah Smoke Management Officer, Paul Corrigan, was in attendance and permitted the burn to proceed calling it a “study day”. Utah State University (USU) air quality researchers were on site to measure air quality impacts; preliminary findings indicated the burn did not negatively impact air quality. While the slash burned, USU Extension Assistant Professor, Darren McAvoy gave a short presentation about the history of biochar as well as the process of creating and quenching it. These details can be found in our recent fact sheet.  Those who attended were also able to take home some of the biochar that was made.

Typically, the UBRG uses 5’x5’ kilns for making biochar, which takes about four hours to burn down a full load of slash. The kiln used at this demonstration is approximately 17 times larger in volume than the 5-foot kilns, measuring 16 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and 6 feet tall, and can process more biomass than the 5’x5’ kilns. The UBRG hopes to use this kiln more and increase the efficiency of the burn process overall. Scaling-up this approach with the larger kiln allows for disposal of more excess forest fuels, reducing the amount of pile burning, reducing fire hazards, and sequestering more carbon. McAvoy said they already learned a lot from the previous day when they used the big kiln for the first time. In a new design for another big box kiln they would make the sides shorter so that you can see inside of it and modify it to make the kiln easier to tip over so that the biochar can be dumped out once it has been quenched. Overall the launch of this kiln was successful and the UBRG is excited to increase the pace and scale of hazardous fuel reduction using big box kilns.

This demonstration was held in partnership with the Logan Ranger District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, with support from a Utah Public Lands Initiative Grant, provided by the Utah State Legislature.

Submitted by:
Extension Educator, Forestry
Utah State University
Florida Sea Grant Extension Goes on the Road
Back in November, I experienced one of proudest moments since starting this position at UF/IFAS Extension in Miami-Dade County. Rene Estevez, a colleague from Puerto Rico Sea Grant (PRSG), reached out to me inquiring about the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) training that we developed to engage recreational divers here in Florida to become citizen scientist observers. Rene was concerned that the SCTLD outbreak might reach Puerto Rico, and wanted to hold a proactive training session to prepare the dive community for this possibility.

I responded to Rene with a resounding “yes.” We were fortunate that PRSG offered to fund myself and my Monroe County Sea Grant Extension Agent, Shelly Krueger to travel to Puerto Rico and offer this workshop. As we developed the agenda, Rene expressed interest in having two training sessions: one for the recreational divers, and another session for local resource managers, biologists, and contractors. Since the latter audience would presumably have a higher level of experience with coral identification and familiarity with signs of coral disease, we needed to understand the groups’ objectives and create a new training session with their needs in mind. I worked with Maurizio Martinelli, the Florida Sea Grant Coral Disease Response Coordinator to create this content. This is exactly what we do in Extension; identify the audience, their needs, and fill that need using best available science.

Maurizio and I designed a training session for the Puerto Rico scientific cohort that consisted of five parts: overview and status of the disease event in Florida and greater Caribbean, the levels of susceptibility of the different coral species, how to distinguish between SCTLD and other stressors, monitoring protocols and objectives, and an overview of the Florida disease response structure. This session went beautifully and was quite well-received by the group, consisting of about 30 participants.

Shelly and I taught our original SCTLD observer training in the afternoon, working with recreational divers from different parts of the island. A major bonus was that Melissa Gonzalez, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Management Fellow worked with the University of Puerto Rico to be able have us lead an in-water practice session! This was the cherry on top for me, as I will happily take any reason to get into the water, especially when this opportunity has historically resulted in the largest impact of the class. We are confident that Puerto Rico’s stakeholders are more prepared for the possibility of SCTLD, and we look forward to potential collaboration. 

Submitted by:
Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County
Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent Ana Zangroniz, right, works with Melvin Guzman of Vieques, Puerto Rico to check his data sheet on a reef off of La Parguera, Puerto Rico on November 16, 2019. Photo: Puerto Rico Sea Grant/Pinchón Duarte
Sarah Elise Field of Vieques photographs during her in-water training session off of La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Photo: Puerto Rico Sea Grant/Pinchón Duarte
Recreational divers swim along a transect line to practice coral and organism identification on a reef off of La Parguera, Puerto Rico, on November 16, 2019. Photo: Puerto Rico Sea Grant/Pinchón Duarte
Mobile Q&A at Extension Events
Here in Minnesota we recently tried a novel approach to managing Q&A and open discussion at a large Extension event. The technique was a success and might be of interest to other ANREP members. 
Context/setting: A symposium on fire in resource management, attended by 151 professional resource managers in two rooms. The second room had a live Zoom broadcast.
Problem: Q&A sessions can be inefficient, particularly when they address controversial issues, as this one did. One or two people can monopolize discussion time on topics of lesser interest to most of the group, and some people are reluctant to raise their hands in a large group. 
Potential solution:  I used for online Q&A.’s features are comparable to platforms like Pigeonhole Live or PollEverywhere. (Other platforms offer similar services; I have no relationship with or its developers, financial or otherwise.)
The system allowed me to set up separate Q&A sessions for each agenda block. The printed agenda (available from ) included QR codes and shortlinks for participants to access the system using a laptop or mobile device. Attendees could post questions, read others' questions, vote questions up, or reply to questions. These features gave event organizers a way to see what questions were most popular among the whole audience, to display those questions on a projector screen, and to focus discussion on the most relevant topics. Attendees were not notified of our plan to manage Q&A through devices, so would have made no special plans to bring or use devices in advance. 
How it worked: The new Q&A technique was popular, with 48 questions submitted for one of the blocks and 205 total for the two-day event. The system allowed us to focus limited time on questions of greatest interest to the audience. In my opinion, having hosted many similar events with traditional Q&A formats, this process was superior. Attendees clearly agreed; while we did receive a couple of negative reviews (and online evaluations are still coming in), at the time of this writing, 96% of 71 respondents said “Yes” we should use this system again. 
A few quotes from the anonymous online post-event evaluation: 

“Thought it was very streamlined. Voting on the questions lets the ones that pertain to the most people be answered, instead of randomly calling on raised hands.”
“It helped more introverted people get their questions answered.” 
“I liked that questions were read by the facilitator so that we could hear the question clearly.”
“The Q&A process was great. I loved the ability to 'up vote' questions, ask questions anonymously or with my name attached. I also liked that allowed for interaction within the questions (ability to reply).
Conclusion: I will definitely use mobile/online Q&A again. Technologies like this, when well suited to the objectives and purpose of the event, can streamline and focus large-group discussions. They may also help Extension be seen by our audiences as innovative and committed to continuously improve the value of events we offer. A downside is that asking attendees to pull out their phones rather than directly engaging in conversations can undermine the personal connections and relationships that we hope to build through our programs. Nonetheless, the many upsides outweigh this potential risk. 
A few additional thoughts: 
  • In addition to their value during the event, questions and the votes they received can inform needs for future programming. 
  • I believe that some attendees asked anonymously some provocative questions they would have hesitated to ask publicly, and that added to the value of the event.
  • After the event, I invited speakers to reply to questions online. I’ve published all submitted questions, votes, and replies to the event page as a record of the event that is of value to attendees. 
  • To watch the technology in action during a Q&A session, see the recording links under “Event Resources” at 

Submitted by:
Extension Forestry Specialist
University of Minnesota, Cloquet Forestry Center
15th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, Monroe County is busy every Martin Luther King weekend working with our local commercial fishermen and women at the Florida Keys Seafood Festival. This year was the 15 th Florida Keys Seafood Festival in Key West, Florida. The UF/IFAS Monroe County Extension Service established this annual 2-day seafood festival in 2006 in response to Hurricane Wilma that impacted the Keys in October, 2005. Hurricane Wilma resulted in substantial flooding and reduced the ability of many commercial fishermen and women to participate in the spiny lobster and stone crab fisheries that are the most productive during the autumn season. Collectively, spiny lobster and stone crab dockside landings generate around $90 million per year. Many people in our community rely on these two fisheries for the bulk of their income. Even before the “local food” movement was popular, the Monroe County Extension recognized the need to support the local commercial fishing sector in the Florida Keys. 

In Monroe County, commercial fishing supports more than 4,500 jobs directly, and the economic contribution nets more than $900 million to the local economy every year. This is second only to tourism and a leading economic activity. The Port of Key West ranks 10 th nationally, out of 128 ports, for commercial fisheries landings. Furthermore, commercial fishermen and women represent an important cultural heritage and comprise the social fabric of our communities. 
Shelly Krueger, Florida Sea Grant agent, Doug Gregory, Florida Sea Grant agent (Emeritus), and Alison Johnson with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Shelly Krueger.
What is really unique about the Florida Keys Seafood Festival is that all of the food is provided by commercial fishers and their families, who volunteer their time to cook all of our local species, from stone crab to Key West pink shrimp, yellowtail snapper, spiny lobster, and fish dip. Of course, conch salad, conch fritters, and conch chowder are local favorites, too – and these are the only dishes served not caught in Florida, since the Queen conch is protected, and harvest is prohibited. The deserts are all home-cooked local favorites – flan, natillas de Leche, and bucci. Besides providing local seafood, the event features live music, all day both days, and fun for the entire family. A sea of vendors and local organizations, like Mosquito Control and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, are there to answer your questions and sell their ocean-themed wares.  

Today, the event is organized by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, whose mission is to work with county, state and federal agencies to minimize the negative impact of regulations on fishermen while improving the conservation of marine resources. All proceeds from food and gate support local sustainable fisheries management and scholarships for high school students entering college in natural resources management, science, or law enforcement. 

Save the date -- next year’s Florida Keys Seafood Festival will take place on January 16-17. 

Submitted by:
Florida Sea Grant
UF/IFAS Extension, Monroe County
What’s Going On With Roundup ®
The news media is full of offers to join class action lawsuits against glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicide formulations, including Roundup®. High profile lawsuits in California have successfully sued Monsanto, the original manufacturer of Roundup. The assertion was that their clients’ long-term use of Roundup® caused the plaintiffs' cancer.

I am no toxicologist, but I am an extension forester and a faculty member at a land-grant university who is committed to looking objectively at the scientific data and making recommendations. In this case the lawsuits and media do not seem to jive with the science.

So why is glyphosate so important? Controlling undesirable vegetation in forestry is critical to assuring a healthy forest, assuring forest regeneration, creating wildlife habitat, and controlling invasive species. Controlling undesirable vegetation is possible using prescribed fire, mechanical tools and equipment, and even goats, but herbicides are much more effective and efficient. In fact, mechanical control methods may pose a greater safety threat for human injury.

Glyphosate is a type of herbicide that has an active ingredient that interferes with plant growth. There are other herbicides with active ingredients that have their own unique way of disrupting or interfering with plant growth. In this case, glyphosate works by blocking the activity of an enzyme in the one of the biochemical processes so that the plant can not grow. The process is found only in plants and not in humans and other mammals. Monsanto marketed glyphosate as Roundup® in 1974 and held the patent on the chemical until 2000. The patent expired in 2000, allowing companies to legally produce and sell glyphosate, and at lower cost, which is where we are today.

Glyphosate is found in many formulations and trade names, and is sold in big box stores and through agricultural dealers. It is widely used in forestry, agriculture and residential markets to control unwanted vegetation. It works on all types of plants, becomes inactive in the soil, breaks down quickly in sunlight, and poses little danger to the environment. Glyphosate, like every chemical active ingredient for any herbicide, goes through an assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which determined that it is safe when used “according to the label directions.” The label is the law.

Some recent court verdicts in California have found glyphosate responsible for causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Scientists do not really know what causes this cancer. If glyphosate caused cancer at realistic exposure levels, then farmers and other applicators would be the first to show this effect. The largest study ever published, looking at farmers and other applicators, found no association between glyphosate and solid tumors, including NHL (Andreotti et al.).

Anti-glyphosate advocates point to the 2015 report form the International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization. The report labeled glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, a determination that was surprising to many. IARS responded to critics by clarifying their intent – to identify potential hazards. They asked, “Can it cause cancer under any circumstances?” They defer to others to do risk assessment based on expected levels of exposure and background cancer rates. Most governments (US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) have published risk assessments about glyphosate, finding it unlikely to cause cancer in humans when used according to label directions. 

Information for this article was drawn from the following sources:

Coyle, D. R. (2019). Glyphosate: Cause for Concern? Forest Landowner, November/December 2019, 25-38. Retrieved from

Buhl, K.& Bubl, C. (2018). Glyphosate Questions & Answers. Oregon Master Gardener Coordinators. Retrieved from

Andreotti, G., Koutros, S., Hofmann, J.N., Sandler, D.P., Lubin, J.H., Lynch, C.F., … Beane Freeman, L.E. (2018). Glyphosate Use and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 110(5), 509–516. Retrieved from

Additional Resources:
Kabat, G.. “Who’s Afraid of Roundup?” Issues in Science and Technology 36, no. 1 (Fall 2019): 64–73.

Submitted by:
Extension Forester
University of Maryland Extension
Land of Waste – It’s So Much More Than Plastics!
University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Pinellas County partnered with local municipalities to collect public input on the issue of waste management to support updates to waste management contracts. The cities (Clearwater and Dunedin) collaborated with Extension faculty to host community forums on other topics in previous years and valued the approach to gather local public input using an open, structured conversation. To ensure a diverse set of public perspectives, Extension faculty targeted under-represented audiences by working directly with the Hispanic Outreach Center (HOC) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation centers. Forums are designed to be small gatherings focused on education and engagement using the principles of deliberative dialogue. The public concerns surrounding waste management and the resulting costs to cities and taxpayers are borne by citizens across the spectrum so different perspectives allow cities to collate data for solution generation that is more representative of the city’s residents.

Extension faculty supported the cities by developing the marketing materials, identifying strategies for target audience selection, and requesting accessibility services (translation) to ensure an inclusive environment was created to support idea sharing. Extension faculty facilitated a total of three forums using principles from the National Issues Forum Institute with a total of 57 attendees. The largest attendance was recorded at the HOC where 80% of attendees identified as Hispanic and 50% at the MLK center in Clearwater identified as African American. This data supports Extension faculty’s efforts to reach underrepresented audiences.

Beyond the typical post-evaluation program evaluations, attendees were asked to assess knowledge, attitudes (engage others in discussion about the subject), and motivation (to participate with others about the subject) retrospectively. Figure 1 reflects the outcomes of these questions across the different locations using a 5-point scale where 1 is very low and 5 is very high. 
Figure 1.
Participants also offered the following comments on the evaluations about the forums:
  • Very professional and informed
  • Initially I expected suggestions on how to reduce/reuse. Very interested in learning more about the “bigger picture” on how to address these issues
  • I believe this is a valuable way of learning and participating in our community
  • This was fantastic! We need more of these to bring attention to important topics.

Extension faculty also collected survey feedback from the city partners to assess their perspective on the joint effort to conduct community forums. Results show partners support the use of forums to help residents learn more about the city and allow for direct communication between residents and city representatives. One city has already used the feedback to improve signage about littering and address pick up schedule for receptacles on the beach. Forums are a valuable mechanism to collect input when designed and marketed to the target audience. Extension brings added value to public engagement efforts by aligning forums with important public issues and city efforts. 
Submitted by:
Ramona Madhosingh-Hector , Regional Specialized Agent, and
Lara Milligan, Natural Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension, Pinellas County
The Art of Science
Washington State University (WSU) Extension educators are exploring what happens when art and science merge. So far, they’ve learned that fun, engaging, and informative education programs are attracting a new audience of eager learners. Fun promotional posters, like the one to the right, and social media are bringing in the crowds. Here are a few examples of art and science programs held recently by WSU Kitsap County Extension.

Seaweed Pressing:   A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist led participants through the artistic process of pressing seaweed while sharing information about the specimens being pressed in a local craft brewery. Along the way, participants learned distinctions between the seaweed species and their ecological importance.

Forest Foto Expeditions:   A local photographer and videographer led participants through the artistic process of forest photography while sharing special features about a forested park. Participants were invited to share their photos to be featured in  Salish Magazine , an online, place-based magazine.

Wild Plant Event:   A Seattle-based author joined a culinary instructor to guide participants on an edible plant hike and a cooking demonstration/workshop in a culinary arts college kitchen. Participants learned about the ecological and culinary aspects of wild edible plants growing in the area.

In Jefferson County seaweed pressing is also popular as is  Digging for Dinner  – learning to safely harvest and prepare shellfish on the beach. Partnerships with other organizations and subject matter experts are key to these events. Washington Fish and Wildlife has been a valuable partner along with the Jefferson Marine Resource Committee.

Evaluations show that the participants value the community building that occurs along with the relaxed atmosphere of these events. The hands-on activities and the chance to interact with an expert in the field was also valuable. The fun factor was also high. One participant noted, “Art, beer, science – it’s hard to find a better combination!” (We should point out that non-alcoholic options were available and most of the events are family friendly.)

WSU Kitsap Extension coordinator, Amy Linhart, reports that 40 new community members have signed up to receive her monthly newsletter at these events so they can get involved in future educational opportunities. She created the graphic above to convey outcomes from her first four events. Her programs are promoted on social media and fill quickly. Cost is kept as low as possible. Amy is planning the next event with an artist-led workshop and talk about marine debris and citizen science with the goal of recruiting new volunteers.

If you have question or ideas about the confluence of art and science please contact Amy Linhart at Kitsap County Extension.

Submitted by:
Water Stewardship Program Coordinator
Washington State University, Kitsap County Extension
Open: Understanding Forest Carbon Management - Online Short Course
We would like to extend an invitation to join our online short course – Understanding Forest Carbon Management  - offered through the  Forest Carbon and Climate Program  (FCCP) at Michigan State University Department of Forestry This course was developed in partnership with the USDA to provide a robust introduction to forest management specific to carbon while boosting confidence for natural resource professionals in this interdisciplinary topic. Thematic areas include carbon cycle and storage science, policy overview, project case studies, management considerations, measurement basics, and available tools and support.
Interested individuals  may register on the MSU FCCP website . The course will be open from March 15 th , 2020 through July 15 th , 2020. The course is self-paced, with an estimated participation time of 6-8 weeks, though users are free to begin and complete the course at any time within the course period. Learners who complete the short course will receive a formal Certificate of Completion from the MSU Department of Forestry. 
For more information, visit the  Understanding Forest Carbon Management webpage .This page includes registration instructions, course pricing information, and a recording of an informational webinar session that includes a demonstration of the online course space. You are also invited to reach out to us directly at  with any questions or to discuss course information.
Neighborhood Natural Area Network
Conserved natural areas in cities have many benefits but also many challenges with management and functionality in terms of ecological and environmental benefits (e.g. wildlife habitat and capture of rainfall as a stormwater benefit). There is a need to raise awareness with residents and built environment professionals about the value of these conserved areas and about the management issues.

Objectives are:
  1. To get feedback from local residents about how they view/use these areas and any challenges/help needed to manage them
  2. To start conversations and restoration/monitoring activities among neighborhoods across the U.S.
These online conversations would generate some qualitative data for how people value these areas and challenges/solutions (for a paper?). A secondary goal is to identify some project that a neighborhood needs help with and we could involve undergraduates to help provide labor. This would be a service learning internship for the undergraduates.

Please join the group and email me back if you are interested and know of neighborhood groups to involve

Submitted by:
Professor, Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
Now available: Western Forbs: Biology, Ecology, and Use in Restoration
Native forbs of the Intermountain West are essential components of resilient, biologically and functionally diverse plant communities. Recognition of their importance to pollinators and other wildlife, successional processes, and healthy communities is contributing to their increased use for restoration. Synthesis of research and practical experience is essential to the selection of appropriate native forb species and populations, management and increase of seed supplies, and development of strategies to improve success in establishing diverse wildland communities.

This online book,  Western Forbs: Biology, Ecology, and Use in Restoration , synthesizes all existing research and practical experience gained over the last 20 years. It is designed to aid seed collectors, seed growers, nurserymen, landowners, restoration contractors, and land managers as they increase the supply and use of native forbs. Each chapter features an individual species’ biology, ecology, seed technology, and use in restoration. This book is funded primarily by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with additional support from the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Great Basin Fire Science Exchange.

Submitted by:
Great Basin Fire Science Exchange
University of Nevada, Reno
Testing Message Frames on Facebook to Promote Urban Forestry
Paid social media message tests provide an opportunity to determine which messages resonate most with the public related to promoting urban forestry. In this webinar, Professor Bret Shaw reports on public perceptions about our urban forests and shares the results of two paid Facebook message tests designed to promote urban forestry. The presentation includes results about what message frames were most effective in driving web traffic, and there is a discussion about how to use social media message testing to promote other urban forestry initiatives.

 Submitted by:
Environmental Communications Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
This video is part of a collection of webcasts hosted by the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation. The entire collection can be found on their Urban Forestry Today website .
Woodland Stewardship, 3 rd Edition Now Available
A revised edition of  Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners  is  available online   and  in print ! This book is designed to help woodland owners identify goals for their property and work with a professional forester to choose the management practices that will help meet those goals. The revised edition includes new or expanded chapters on forest health, agroforestry, and climate change for woodland owners. It is also available in several e-book formats. 

Submitted by:
Associate Professor/Extension Specialist
University of Minnesota
Fats, Oils, and Greases Information Needed
I am leading a new Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) education and outreach campaign targeted at residents with the goal of reducing total number of wastewater discharges that occur as a result of grease blocks. Some of you might work in areas that already have successful FOGs programs. Have you or your colleagues developed education and outreach materials on the issue that you are willing to share? I am looking for flyers, mailers, video links, unique give-a-ways, best management practices, etc. that have been created to make the program successful. I would also love to talk about appropriate measures of success. Really any and all information would prove valuable as I am new to the FOGs arena. 

Water Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension & Sustainability
Podcast Experience?
Shannon Carnevale and Lara Milligan with UF/IFAS Extension are thinking of starting up a nature-focused podcast. Anyone have experience doing podcasts? We would love to talk to you about your experience, lessons learned, etc. Let us know!
A Word from Your Editor
I'm a little late in getting the newsletter out this time. There was a lot of excellent content this time and a certain ANREP president kept sending me additional items to add! But mostly, I was stalling because I knew I'd be including Amy's obituary and was having a hard time finding the words to add to that section. I knew Amy...not that well but I had come to know her through ANREP. She had some Wisconsin connections and we would run into each other at ANREP conferences. Mutual friends/colleagues expanded our connection over the years and my last memory of being with Amy was at the ANREP conference in Biloxi in 2018. A group of us went out to dinner on the last night (there may or may not be a photo floating around of the "clown car" but unfortunately Amy was driving and not in the photo). I could see the toll her illness was taking but remember thinking that she wasn't let it slow her down. She was still active and engaged and it was a great evening. I'm saddened that that's the last memory I have of Amy but glad that there is a memory. To me, that's one of the best things about organizations like ANREP. They expand our connections, our thinking, and our perspectives. I'm grateful to have known Amy and appreciate the times we were able to connect in our careers.

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 May 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.

Chad Cook | University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension