Digital posters, pre-recorded ignite presentations, and pre-recorded oral presentations will be available for registered attendees on the conference's Whova page before, during, and after the May 2021 conference dates. For more information on oral presentations, please visit the Program Agenda page and click on the "subsessions" to view presentation abstrracts.
Details on Ignite Presentations and Posters are listed below.
Ignite presentations are 10-minute pre-recorded talks that can be accessed on-demand before, during, and after the conference. There will be no separate Live Q&A Session, however presenters can answer questions and interact with participants through the networking and discussion capabilities on the conference platform.
Posters are displayed as PDF documents in the Poster section of the conference Whova website, which is accessible for all registered attendees. Participants can talk with poster presenters during the Live Poster Session on May 25th at 12:30-2:30pm PDT. Attendees and poster presenters can also connect through the networking and discussion capabilities on the conference platform.
Addressing marine debris through a multifaceted extension program
Presenter: Eric Sparks, Mississippi State University
Biology, ecology, and use of forbs in restoration Presenter: Corey Gucker, University of Nevada, Reno
Fires and other disturbances that are severe enough to remove native seed or occurring in areas with depleted native seedbanks require seeding or planting to restore native plant communities and ecosystem resiliency. Native forbs, long overlooked in revegetation, are important to pollinators, wildlife, and ecosystem functioning in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems in the Great Basin, USA. For the past 25 years, an extensive, multi-disciplinary research effort involving various institutions and agencies has improved our understanding of the biology and ecology of western US forb species and provided guidance for their use in restoration. Yet, the information and practical knowledge gathered has yet to be compiled and synthesized.
An online book, Western Forbs: Biology, Ecology, and Use in Restoration, is synthesizing published data and unpublished protocols necessary for seed collectors, growers, practitioners, and land managers to increase the supply and use of appropriate native forb seed sources for restoration of sagebrush steppe and other western ecosystems. The book is made up of chapters focusing on individual forb species including distribution, biological characteristics, ecosystem importance and function, and knowledge gained through seed harvesting, seed production in agricultural fields, and wildland planting.
Corey Gucker, University of Nevada, Reno
Nancy Shaw, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station
Anne Halford, Bureau of Land Management
Genie MontBlanc, University of Nevada, Reno
Developing a residential invasive tree removal program to assist county efforts in the fight against invasive species
Presenter: Krista Stump, University of Florida
Schinus terebinthifolia, commonly known as Brazilian peppertree, is a small invasive tree found throughout much of central and south Florida. It covers over 700,000 acres, affecting urbanized and agricultural areas alike. It produces a thick, impenetrable canopy that shades out native species, making it difficult to remove. Osceola County spends a significant amount of money each year on managing invasive species in their public parks. However, as the fifth fastest growing county in the nation (by percentage), many of the county’s nature parks are adjacent to residential communities where Brazilian peppertree is not controlled. A homeowner removal program is proposed to assist residents with removal of the invasive tree on their property. The program will emphasize integrated pest management, and will teach the proper usage and handling for removing Brazilian pepper with herbicide. Those who successfully complete the course will be given a pre-mixed minimal amount of herbicide to treat the invasive tree in their yard. Remaining herbicide must be returned along with the follow-up survey to confirm proper usage and handling. The program objective is to increase the knowledge of the workshop attendees about Brazilian Pepper and its control by 50%. In addition, that 75% of attendees successfully remove the target species as measured by a follow-up survey. Studies will be conducted using aerial imaging to monitor the impact of the program by tracking the coverage of Brazilian pepper in the target area. If successful, the program will protect native plants and decrease the county's economic burden.
Krista Stump, University of Florida IFAS Extension Osceola County
Cody-Marie Miller, The Nature Conservancy
Dana Sussmann, Florida Forest Service
Developing an adaptive stormwater management plan for the City of Hinesville
Presenter: Ashley Hoppers, University of Georgia
Polluted runoff from impervious surfaces is one of the greatest threats to water quality. For communities to implement stormwater green infrastructure, municipalities must first understand the role sustainable infrastructure can play in improving the quality of their water resources and protecting them from the effects of natural disasters and riverine flooding. Thus, the Extension Agent partnered with Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant for a one year project where the project partners sought to (1) identify green infrastructure opportunities in the City of Hinesville, (2) create an Adaptive Stormwater Management (ASM) plan to guide green infrastructure implementation, and (3) engage the City of Hinesville to create awareness and foster support of improved stormwater management. The ASM plan highlights locations, identified through municipal engagement (i.e. engineers, water managers, public works staff, and other environmental professionals) and recommends green infrastructure strategies that are tailored to function optimally based on site-specific characteristics. Data collected through field assessments of over 30 sites determined suitable green infrastructure strategies for implementation. The City of Hinesville intends to use the ASM plan to better understand their impervious cover and resulting stormwater runoff, and plan to implement recommended practices to manage local flooding and improve water quality. This plan has the potential to save the City of Hinesville thousands of dollars in planning and proposals for stormwater improvements. This project, in tandem with other green infrastructure efforts, will empower the City of Hinesville to educate, change policy, and take actions toward improved stormwater management and climate resiliency.
Ashley Hoppers, University of Georgia
Developing future watershed scientists through collaborative partnerships in the classroom
Presenter: Steven O'Shields, Clemson University
What's in our Waters (WOW) Jr. is an educational program designed to teach fourth grade elementary students about watershed protection. This program is unique because of the partnership that brings together students, teachers, scientists, and water resource professionals to promote science and environmental stewardship in the classroom. WOW Jr. is co-led by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service (4-H Youth Development and Water Resources Programs) and Clemson University Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program. WOW Jr. follows the mission and model of Clemson 4-H in that it uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth gain the knowledge and skills to be responsible, productive, and contributing members of society. The major themes covered in WOW Jr. are watersheds, water pollution, and water conservation and protection. Topics covered include the scientific method; recycling, waste reduction, and water usage; stormwater pollution; erosion and sediment control; aquifers and toxicology; and water quality monitoring. Upon completion of WOW Jr., students are able to keep a scientific journal; understand the concept of a watershed; identify major sources of water pollution; identify ways to help reduce water pollution; and share their knowledge with others. WOW Jr. is currently implemented in two South Carolina schools (Townville and Central Elementary) with the possibility of future expansion. Topics are taught in multiple one-hour sessions over the course of the school year. The curriculum is designed to help teachers meet numerous South Carolina academic standards for fourth grade science. Pre and post-assessment surveys are administered to each student to assess program effectiveness.
Steven O'Shields, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
Mallory Dailey, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H Youth Development Program
Melissa Heintz, Clemson University. Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program
Charly McConnell, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. Water Resources Program.
Jessica Simpson, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H Youth Development Program
Education and outreach in the Raccoon Creek watershed
Presenter: Mary Carol Sheffield, University of Georgia
Paulding County is a fast-growing county in Metro Atlanta with a current population of 168,000, estimated to grow to 230,000 by the year 2030. Paulding is home to Raccoon Creek Watershed and the intersection of the lower Ridge and Mountain ecosystem with the Piedmont, resulting in rich biodiversity unique in our state. Features of the region include montane Longleaf Pine stands, pristine streams with 43 documented native fish species, fox squirrels, and other unique wildlife. In May, 2017 the agent facilitated forest landowner training in coordination with the Nature Conservancy in an effort to increase the planting of montane longleaf pine populations in this region. The Raccoon Creek Symposium was held in January, 2018, organized by Kennesaw State University in coordination with Paulding County Water System, The Nature Conservancy, Georgia DNR and Paulding County UGA Extension. The goal of the symposium was to bring together researchers, educators, community leaders, natural resource professionals, interested community members to learn about current research and teaching that is taking place in Raccoon Creek Watershed. As a result of these initiatives, landowners have committed to planting new stands of longleaf pine in Paulding County and several local foundations have made four teacher stipends available for High School Teachers who can commit to working with their students and Kennesaw State University Researchers in the ecological projects in Raccoon Creek Watershed. Local officials are also making efforts to learn more about the watershed and working with state agencies and TNC to conserve additional land within the watershed.
Mary Carol Sheffield, University of Georgia
Bill Ensign, Kennesaw State University
Timothy Pugh, Paulding County Water System
Kathleen Owens, The Nature Conservancy
Brent Womack, Georgia Department Wildlife Resources
Engaging community partners to enhance K-12 field trips
Presenter: Elissa Wells, Oregon State University
Natural resource-focused field trips are a main component of the K-12 school enrichment programming offered by our county 4-H Program. During the field trips, students investigate forests, streams, riparian areas, wetlands and the ocean shore. The purpose of our field trips are two-fold: to strengthen environmental literacy in K-12 students and to spark interest in natural resource-based careers. While exploring the great outdoors, students spend time with natural resource professionals. Through the field trip activities, resource professionals illustrate the work that they do. They tell students about what they studied in college and how they selected their career path. Students also have an opportunity to ask questions of the resource professionals. The format of these field trips receives positive feedback from teachers, students and resource professionals alike.
Elissa Wells, Oregon State University
Estimating the impact of recreational crabbing in coastal Georgia
Presenter: Bryan Fluech, University of Georgia
The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus is one of coastal Georgia's most iconic and recognizable species. Catching them is a popular recreational activity, as access to crabbing locations is fairly abundant, they are easy to catch with minimal amounts of gear, and their meat is prized by consumers. Despite the popularity of these activities, little is currently known about the impacts of recreational crabbing in Georgia, and this deficiency has been identified as a coastal management research need. In response Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant received a Coastal Incentive Grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to characterize the activities of recreational crabbers in Georgia. In collaboration with UGA's Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the team developed and distributed an online survey to estimate effort and harvest rates as well as characterize the economic significance of recreational crabbing. Dock intercept surveys were also conducted at known public crabbing locations. In addition to the questions asked on the online surveys, the intercept surveys also collected information on crabbers' opinions and knowledge of crabbing regulations. Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant used the survey results to develop multiple outreach resources and organize crabbing outreach events to promote the importance of the recreational fishery to the state and demonstrate responsible crabbing practices. This presentation will discuss the results of the surveys and highlight the outreach resources that were developed.
Bryan Fluech, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Sea Grant Program
Lisa Gentit, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Sea Grant Program
Extension efforts to address harmful algal bloom issues on Florida's Treasure Coast
Presenter: Vincent Encomio, University of Florida
Harmful algal blooms (HABs), particularly cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, blooms have been a chief environmental concern among communities along Florida's Treasure Coast (Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties). To better address stakeholder concerns related to HABs, UF IFAS extension agents and specialists representing these counties formed a HAB working group in 2019. The objectives of the working group are to 1) utilize the best available scientific knowledge on HABs to educate the public and address potential misinformation on HABs, 2) establish lines of communication and support among Treasure Coast IFAS faculty on HAB issues, 3) support research and extension programs that address HABs and their impacts, and 4) engage and partner with other agencies and organizations involved in HAB issues. Guided by these objectives, and in response to specific impacts caused by cyanobacterial blooms along the Treasure Coast, extension products and programs were produced and developed. To address cyanotoxin poisoning of dogs in 2018, we produced a fact sheet for the general public on cyanobacteria and dog safety, with planned conversion to an infographic document. We also collaborated with the Martin County Department of Health to translate blue-green algae advisory signs to Spanish. We also developed a citizen science program on algae monitoring, expanding a 2017 pilot program and uniting this this regional program with a national citizen science program (NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network). These initial efforts provide examples of how this working group has addressed regional HAB issues and developed a framework for ongoing collaboration.
Vincent Encomio Martin and St. Lucie County Extension, Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida IFAS
Donna Kaminski University of Florida IFAS
Ken Gioeli St. Lucie County Extension, University of Florida IFAS
Extension programming to enhance shoreline conservation and restoration
Presenter: Payton Billingsley, Mississippi State University
Extension “Tree Trail” provides shade, improved health, and field botany training
Presenter: Carrie Stevenson, University of Florida
Objectives: To increase usage and improve tree cover on our walking track, improve community health, increase use of native tree species on county property, and provide tree-based education for students and residents. Methods: The Escambia County Extension office installed a 0.8-mile walking track in spring 2018. There are very few sidewalks and no public parks in the general area. There were mature shade trees along a third of the path, but the remainder of the track is in full sun. Using grant funds, we purchased and planted trees that will help increase usage year-round, especially summer. We also created signage identifying trees' common and scientific names. Results: By providing the track, our office serves as a gathering place for families to exercise away from busy streets. Through a partnership with the Florida Forest Service, two teams of students from Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters are using the "tree trail" to learn calculation of diameter, tree height, and identification. These identified trees encompass 40 out of the 50 species included in the state FFA tree judging competition. For the past two years, Extension faculty and staff have participated in a spring walking challenge, using the track on breaks and before/after work. Several staff members have reported improvements in health, including weight loss and improved blood pressure. Conclusions: The trail has had a positive impact on the health of its users and provided a living classroom for local middle and high school students.
Carrie Stevenson, UF IFAS Extension
Libbie Johnson, UF IFAS Extension
Farmers' input creates successful programs and opportunities in soil health and water quality improvement
Presenter: Michelle Probst, University of Wisconsin-Madison
To address water quality issues in Wisconsin, Regional Natural Resource Educators with UW-Madison Division of Extension (Extension) are promoting conservation practices on farmland that improve soil health and protect water quality. Ensuring that these programs are successful involves input from farmers. Extension has been working with a Producer-led group in Dodge county, WI and network of farmers in Jefferson county, WI to help guide programming around soil health and water quality in the Rock River Basin. In 2019, Extension was involved in 8 outreach events across the Rock River Basin that focused on soil health and water quality and all events were planned with significant farmer input and leadership. The attendance combined at these events was over 500, and 75% of the audience consisted of farmers and agriculture industry professionals. The high attendance at these events can be attributed to the fact that farmers are providing significant input on program content. Even with great interest in these events, but it can be very difficult to understand the impact of a program. Based off post-program surveys from two of the events, collectively, the attendees farm about 80,000 acres, and when asked how many acres had cover crops planted, about 35% of the total acres had cover crops planted. Programs in the end of 2019 and 2020 will ask this question again on post-program surveys to better understand the impact of these programs across the Rock River Basin.
Michelle Probst, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
Georgia’s first CISMA: diverse partnerships and unique approaches for tackling regional invasive species issues
Presenter: Jessica Warren, University of Georgia
Coastal Georgia contains ecologically rare and valuable habitat along 100 miles of coastline. It includes habitats such as maritime and pine forests as well as estuarine and freshwater habitats. Invasive species have had an impact in the coastal area for many decades and significant effort has been exerted to manage them and eradicate if possible. In March of 2012, the Coastal Georgia Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CoGA CISMA) was established to work across Federal, State, Local, and private lands for invasive species management. The CISMA covers 11 counties and includes approximately 3,900,000 acres. This area also contains two major ports with close proximity to a third in Florida. By focusing on the ecologically significant coastal landscape, this CISMA strives to manage invasive species more effectively and increase early detection and rapid response efforts through diverse partnerships and innovative outreach efforts. Our innovative projects such as invasive species playing cards, billboards, and film festivals have reached nontraditional audiences. Several creative partnerships have also allowed us the benefit from the intern labor force to help us with intensive treatment methods such as the hack-and-squirt treatment of trees and by increasing our education and outreach efforts. These factors as well as our status as one of four states in the nation without a noxious weed list, make invasive species a chronic and pressing issue. While growing and learning, this CISMA is working to affect positive change in invasive species management to protect our valuable and sensitive coastal ecology.
Jessica Warren, University of Georgia Extension
Suzanne VanParreren, Sapelo Island NERR
Growing an invasive species army - examples illustrating that everyone has a connection to invasive species and how we are working to engage even the non-interested in this important topic
Presenter: Amy Stone, Ohio State University Extension
As Extension professionals, the broad topic of invasive species has become a reoccurring theme in our careers. Many of us have become fully engaged, and have identified audiences that are involved, interested and want to stay updated on the latest information about these non-native pests. These individuals include green industry professionals, park employees, foresters, Extension volunteers and naturalists who attend programs, seek out information and are truly engaged in the educational process.
While they make our jobs easier, there is another audience that is not as engaged, either by choice or the topic is just "not their thing." It is this audience that we may need to be extra creative to reach, educate and encourage. We will use examples of unique venues, messaging, vehicles to communicate the messages and programming to illustrate how to engage this new audience about invasive species and ultimately Extension.
We need an army to help us when it comes to invasive species. Every new person we can engage and empower in these battles can help in our county, region or state.
Amy Stone, Ohio State University Extension
Kathy Smith, Ohio State University Extension
Jim Chatfield, Ohio State University Extension
Marne Titchenell, Ohio State University Extension
Know the land, save the land: place-based apparel design
Presenter: Melissa Hamilton, University of Idaho
Novel approaches were utilized to engage new audiences for UI Extension programming. The Know the Land, Save the Land (KTLSTL) project leveraged collaboration between a county Extension office, apparel design undergraduate students, and faculty to develop an innovative educational product. KTLSTL utilized student experiential learning to increase outreach and awareness of invasive species in Valley County and beyond through apparel design. Nationwide press highlighted the KTLSTL project generating national interest and sales. KTLSTL has achieved goals of using innovative educational materials to establish a fiscally self-sustaining program while supporting experiential student learning and Extension outreach and education.
Melissa Hamilton, University of Idaho
Lori Wahl, University of Idaho
MOBILIZING a trained network: evaluating invasive plant action after academy-based workshops
Presenters: Malin Clyde, University of New Hampshire
Haley Andreozzi, University of New Hampshire
The Natural Resources Team at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension implemented a new model of invasive plant training workshop, hosting the New Invasives Academy in fall 2018 and fall 2019. With funding provided by the US Forest Service and targeting licensed foresters, natural resource professionals, and community decision-makers, the pilot Academy workshops aimed to develop a trained network of participants committed to taking action on invasive plants in the year following the training.
With key messages gathered from a coalition of stakeholders (state and federal government, academic researchers, Extension foresters, non-profit organizations), the Academy model included two full days of instruction, including indoor classroom and outdoor field-based education. We used a selective, application-based process, recruiting from the forestry, conservation, and municipal (e.g. local Conservation Commission) communities. Applications were reviewed and ranked based on readiness and ability to take action on invasive plant management or outreach in the coming year. Applicants agreed to contribute at least 20 hours of volunteer time in the year after the Academy, becoming defacto Extension volunteers.
Our poster will share results of post-workshop surveys that quantify actions taken by Academy participants as a result of the NH Invasives Academy experience. These include efforts to improve stewardship planning, invasive plant management projects, engaging others (e.g. invasive volunteer workdays), sharing information with others, and an assessment of the impact the Academy experience had on participants overall, one year post-workshop.
Malin Clyde, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Haley Andreozzi, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Mobilizing rural communities to create systemic changes to reduce health disparities
Presenter: Amanda Tedrow, University of Georgia
Successful strategies to affect health disparities require multilevel interventions that improve knowledge and influence systems and environmental change. While strong evidence exists regarding urban community solutions, disparities exist between urban and rural communities in health equity, outcomes, and resource access. Rural communities often lack the capacity to implement educational strategies to improve quality of life due to health inadequacies such as lack of access to healthy foods and places to be active. University faculty in the colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Public Health, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Environment and Design are modifying urban strategies to meet rural needs.
Education and action-based programs were initiated to improve awareness and well-being. The ESRI Tapestry Segmentation was utilized to better understand the community's socio-economic characteristics and lifestyle measures. A proximity analysis was conducted of food production areas and population to determine how to connect food production areas with a network of existing activity zones, local and regional trail networks, and to improve overall community walk-ability and county transportation network. Design interventions were created to improve current conditions in the county and prepare for future growth and expansion. Additionally, a demographic analysis of surrounding counties was conducted to determine entrepreneurial and economic development opportunities which might exist for both agricultural and recreational development within the community. Community residents and stakeholders were engaged to determine how to best "close the gap" between suggested optimal development models, current and future conditions and to prepare a visioning master plan.
Amanda Tedrow, University of Georgia
Denise Everson, University of Georgia
Al Parker, University of Georgia
Place-making and place-taking: an analysis of green gentrification in Atlanta, Georgia
Presenter: Aimee Okotie-Oyekan, University of Oregon
Atlanta, Georgia, a city periodically suffering from drought and falling behind the national median of city area dedicated to greenspace, is combatting their water and greenspace deficit with the development of Westside Reservoir Park at Bellwood Quarry. Bellwood Quarry, an abandoned granite quarry situated west of Midtown Atlanta, will be converted into a water reservoir, with the surrounding 300 acres developed into a multiuse recreational greenspace. The park will be the latest addition to the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile corridor of greenspace and a trailblazer in the growing trend of adaptive reuse projects that revitalize and transform abandoned urban infrastructure into purposeful private and public spaces. While some residents welcome the development plans, fears of gentrification and displacement are raised should the density of Atlanta's population move westward as it is drawn to the opportunities presented by the park. Additionally, historical racialized exclusion has played a significant role in determining who has access to coveted environmental amenities such as greenspace. Considering Bellwood Quarry's controversial history as a convict labor camp, I will investigate the extent to which histories of racial exclusion both producing and potentially replicated in the development of Bellwood Quarry result in differential park perceptions and use.
Aimee Okotie-Oyekan, University of Oregon
Kari Norgaard, University of Oregon
Gerardo Sandoval, University of Oregon
Raoul Lievanos, University of Oregon
Preventative and proactive: a fire program for extension
Presenter: Daniel Leavell, Oregon State University
Since the 1970's, after every wildfire or structure fire, we would ask why we couldn't put at least a fraction of the money, time, and energy we spent dealing with the calamity - up front, instead of during and after. The Oregon State Legislature has decided to do just that by funding a College of Forestry Extension, Fire Program Initiative in 2019. Here are some highlights.
Daniel Leavell, Oregon State University
Reducing chainsaw related injuries through education in Alabama
Presenter: Bence Carter, Auburn University
In the United States, over 3 million chainsaws are sold each year to users with a variety of skill and experience levels. This inherently dangerous piece of equipment results in over 36,000 chainsaw related injuries and over $350 million in medical costs annually. In many situations, these injuries could have been averted by the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Climate change is expected to continue to affect storm frequency and intensity in Alabama, therefore, chainsaw users will continue to encounter increasingly dangerous cutting situations. This increased incidence of chainsaw use, often by untrained personnel and emergency responders, has led to more people being injured following storms than during the storm themselves. In order to address this increased potential for chainsaw injury, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System host chainsaw safety programs throughout the state to train municipal, professional, emergency response and homeowners on the safe use of chainsaws, maintenance and personal protective equipment. One-day workshops include classroom and field demonstrations, while two-day workshops include hands-on training where participants practice proper techniques in supervised scenarios. Based on surveyed participants, 10% reported having previously suffered a chainsaw injury and over 31% previously did not use PPE. Fifty-two percent of participants responded that they would be purchasing and 95% of employers would require PPE in the future. In addition to increasing awareness of the potential dangers of chainsaw operations and understanding how to mitigate these dangers, 75% of attendees agreed this type of training contributed to a stronger work-place safety culture.
Bence Carter, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Arnold Brodbeck, Ph.D., Alabama Cooperative Extension System
William Rowe, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Should we call a lawyer? Assessing the need for a legal education program at Maryland Sea Grant
Presenter: Jennifer Dindinger, University of Maryland
In 2019, a partnership between Maryland Sea Grant, UMD Sea Grant Extension, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and UMD Carey School of Law received funding from the National Sea Grant Law Center to determine if there was a need for a MD Sea Grant legal research, outreach, and education program to support stakeholder needs in Maryland. The partners met with directors of other Sea Grant legal programs, conducted a constituent survey, and held a Coastal Law and Policy Roundtable with thought leaders from around the state. The poster will showcase the results of this needs assessment and demonstrate how the partners utilized those results to craft a pilot legal research and outreach program.
Jennifer Dindinger, University of Maryland
Fredrika Moser, Maryland Sea Grant
Sarah Everhart, UMD Carey School of Law
Nicole Cook, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Eva May, Maryland Sea Grant
State Cost-Share Programs for Forest Landowners in the Southern United States: A Review
Presenter: Stephanie Chizmar, North Carolina State University
The largest concentration of state-level forest cost-share programs in the United States can be found in the southern states. Since the inception of the first programs in the 1970s, the state-level forest cost-share programs in the US South have acted as models for the rest of the country. Cost-share programs compensate landowners through direct reimbursements to address barriers such as limited owner capital and cash flow in the initial years of investment. Through a review of the literature and progress reports from southern state forestry agencies, we qualitatively assessed state-level cost-share programs and their status in the southern states. We identified the common themes in the literature related to cost-share programs: market, nonmarket, and landowners’ perceptions and knowledge. Many of the programs enacted between the 1970s and 1980s aimed to ensure a sustainable timber supply, a market good, from private forestlands. A few of the programs enacted more recently compensate landowners for nonmarket benefits such as forest health or soil and water conservation. Two of the nine available programs are practically inactive in recent years because of a lack of funding. We discuss current prospects regarding funding, partnerships, and broadening the focus of incentives to cover forest-based ecosystem services.
Stephanie Chizmar, North Carolina State University
Rajan Parajuli, North Carolina State University
Robert Bardon, North Carolina State University
Fred Cubbage, North Carolina State University
STEAM in stormwater education
Presenter: Katie Altman, Clemson University
Stormwater education may come in a variety of forms as it targets a highly variable audience and a range of pollutants of concern. While technical trainings may be appropriate for some pollutants and audiences, a more creative approach may be beneficial for general audiences and pollutants such as FOG (fats, oil, and grease), pet waste, litter, and home practices designed to improve water quality or quantity issues. We will review primary literature related to the effectiveness of using art as a tool in environmental education. We will also provide examples of local stormwater education programs that utilize art in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, including temporary storm drain art and rain barrel art contests. Temporary storm drain art has been used during festivals in downtown Sumter, SC to draw attention to pollution that is transported through stormwater conveyances. According to evaluation data, this artwork effectively conveys basic messages about how storm drains function and contribute to water pollution. Rain barrel art contests have been held in Florence, Darlington, and Sumter counties for several years. Competing community groups, school clubs, and K-12 classes decorate pre-constructed rain barrels. These barrels are displayed for county residents to vote for their favorite design, while learning about the practice of rainwater harvesting.
Katie Altman, Clemson University Cooperative Extension
Sarah Rogers, NC Department of Environmental Quality
Strengthening RREA through enhanced connections: a web-based conference series
Presenter: Mark Thorne, University of Hawaii
The Renewable Resource Extension Act (RREA) increases the capacity of land-grant institutions and disciplines (forestry and range) to transfer knowledge, skills, technology and programmatic methods. Yet, the potential of RREA is unrealized due to limited funding and collaboration between RREA supported programs. This project will provide a series of webinars focused on nine cross-cutting issues from the 2012-2016/2018-2022 RREA strategic plans. The goal is to provide renewable resource extension educators opportunities to share ideas, gain knowledge, acquire new skills, learn about new technology, and develop collaborations with colleagues thereby increasing their capacity to serve their stakeholders and strengthen the RREA program as a whole. The expected outcomes of this project are that participants will engage in the webinars and online forums, gain knowledge, learn new skills, and acquire new abilities in extension program development, use of technology, and extension education methods. This will increase their capacity to provide technically proficient, research-based renewable resource extension education programs to stakeholders. The mid-term outcomes include increased number of stakeholders impacted, landowners and managers who adopt new practices or management strategies, private forest and range acres directly affected, and communities gaining economic benefits. In the long-term, improvements in renewable resource extension programing will increase the capacity of RREA to meet established and emerging needs of private forests and rangelands that impact economic, ecologic, and social sustainability.
Mark Thorne, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Barbara Hutchinson, University of Arizona
Kris Tiles, Universtity of Wisconsin
Retta Bruegger, Colorado State University
Adam Downing, Virginia Tech.
Elise Gornish, University of Arizona
Sheila Merrigan, University of Arizona
Martha Monroe, University of Florida
Leslie Roche, University of California-Davis
The nexus of fire, water, and carbon: big box biochar kilns for hazardous fuel reduction, water retention, and carbon sequestration
Presenter: Darren McAvoy, Utah State University
Hazardous fuels are a major problem on wildlands throughout the West. Foresters traditionally pile and burn material from fuels reduction projects, but air quality restrictions and longer fire seasons have made open pile burning much more difficult over the past 30 years. As a result, high value watersheds may go unburned for years, resulting in large quantities of fuel (Hessburg et al., 2007) and potential soil damage when burning does happen. A better alternative is to pyrolyze the material (Busse et al., 2013).
Big Box kilns are an innovative approach to hazardous fuel reduction. This approach is based on technology used by charcoal makers for centuries, but with a modern, mechanized approach. Charcoal in the soil has desirable properties including improved nutrient and moisture holding capacity (DeLuca and Aplet 2008).
Containing fuel inside a metal box can allow treatment under restricted smoke dispersal conditions. It also allows burning in relatively close proximity to heavy fuels, structures, and within Stream Management Zones. Burning in containers minimizes soil damage, and soil conditions can improve by using the biochar produced on-site. Biomass input conversion to biochar rates using this approach are upward of 30%, which is comparable to more sophisticated and expensive approaches. This carbon input to native soils is an accessible and durable approach to carbon sequestration.
Darren McAvoy, Utah State University Extension
The OSU land steward training: a new hybrid version brings this powerful tool to new areas
Presenter: Rachel Werling, Oregon State University
Landowners in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) have a significant collective influence on natural resources issues ranging from wildfire to invasive weeds, yet many WUI owners are new and inexperienced. The award-winning Land Steward (LS) training stimulates WUI owners to adopt best management practices by teaching them about land management in a holistic, multi-disciplinary way and guiding them through a planning and technical assistance process. A new instructor-led hybrid version of the course puts this teaching tool into the hands of Natural Resource Extension professionals of any specialty. The training introduces landowners to best management practices for woodlands, wildlife habitat, riparian systems, fire hazard reduction, pastures, soil health, rural water systems and more. It bridges the divide of many natural resource fields with a multi-disciplinary approach to the complex management realities of land ownership. This approach has broad appeal for landowners who often do not see themselves as specialists (such as woodland managers). The hybrid training consists of 9 online self-paced modules. The instructor coordinates an introduction to the course and two field days which summarize the information of the modules. Topic experts from local agencies and organizations are brought in for the field days to help deliver content and make connections with landowners. The online modules guide participants create a management plan for their property. The place-based model is adaptable to any region. The Land Steward program has reached some 380 landowners representing more than 11,000 acres. The new hybrid format is spreading the program to new counties.
Rachel Werling, Oregon State University Extension
Max Bennett, Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension
UF/IFAS Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program’s Green Industries Best Management Practices Training Promotes Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Presenter: Tom Wichman, University of Florida
With 13,500 kilometers of coastline and 14.5 million of its 21-million-person population living in coastal counties, Florida faces significant current and future challenges in watershed and coastal resource sustainability. Nutrients, including those directly linked to residential fertilizer use, are driving widespread riverine and estuarine algal blooms that are increasing in both frequency and duration. Further, Florida's population is projected to grow an additional 25 percent in the next 20 years, putting even more pressure on water resources. Landscaping and lawn care are major businesses in Florida, employing tens of thousands of green industry professionals. To help minimize potential nonpoint source loading from inappropriate landscaping practices, the UF/IFAS Extension Florida-Friendly Landscaping(TM) Program, in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), trains thousands of landscaping professionals statewide through the Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) Program. State of Florida statutes require this training for all landscaping professionals who apply fertilizers. The training program has four main goals: reducing off-site transport of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides to surface water or groundwater; promoting appropriate site design and plant selection; using appropriate rates and methods for irrigation and fertilizer application; and promoting integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Six learning modules cover efficient water and fertilizer use, integrated pest management, fertilizer application, and pollution-minimizing landscaping practices. Those persons successfully completing the training and a written exam receive formal GI-BMP certification. Since the program's start in 2006 (and through 2018), over 59,364 persons received training, with 50,440 of these trainees receiving their GI-BMP certification.
Tom Wichman, University of Florida
Esen Momol, University of Florida
Laurie Trenholm, University of Florida
CJ Bain, University of Florida
Mike Scheinkman, Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection
Using photomapping to assess the environmental supports and barriers to physical activity and eating healthfully in rural communities
Presenter: Kathee Tifft, University of Idaho
Extension Educators in Idaho partnered with Oregon State University to conduct the GROW Healthy Kids and Communities (GROW HKC) project. This project enabled rural residents to have a voice in addressing the relationship between their region's environmental characteristics and the health status of their community. Participatory action research (PAR) was used to document the readiness of multiple rural Idaho communities to improve and implement healthful eating and physical activity policy, system, and environmental supports. GROW investigators developed Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS), a PAR technology for identifying, mapping and assessing relevant environmental factors.
This project is an innovative and effective strategy for assessing and encouraging community readiness as it includes residents in participatory photomapping and sharing stories of the environmental supports for and barriers to eating healthfully and being physically active. Specifically, the Educators used GROW's HEAL MAPPS program to (a) train community volunteers to individually photograph and map the community features they perceived as either supports for or barriers to eating healthfully and being physically active most every day, (b) discuss and record residents’ perceptions of these photomaps, (c) report findings to community residents and stakeholders during a community conversation, and (d) follow-up with community-based action plans to improve environmental supports for overall community health.
Kathee Tifft, University of Idaho
Kirstin Jensen, University of Idaho
WRIP Strike Force: Training volunteers to battle invasive plants in northern New Jersey
Presenter: Michele Bakacs, Rutgers University
In the fall of 2018, Rutgers Cooperative Extension partnered with Union County Parks and Recreation and the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team to start the Watchung Reservation Invasive Plant (WRIP) Strike Force.
The Watchung Reservation is a 2000 acre county preserve in a heavily urbanized portion of northern New Jersey where invasive exotic plants have proliferated. County parks has had an active deer management program since 1994. The results of spotlight counts suggest 2018-2019 overwintering densities of 68 deer/mi2 in the Reservation. Forest ecologists recommend densities not exceed 20 deer/mi2 in order to sustain forest health. Union County is actively attempting to bring deer densities down.
Deer preferentially target native plants and avoid the invasive exotic plants they find unpalatable. Twenty-seven (27) WRIP volunteers were trained on identification and eradication techniques. Volunteers self-assessed their knowledge gain on topics including methods of control, legal requirements for applications, safety requirements, and species ID. Average participant knowledge increased from 2.47 to 4.48 (n= 27, likert scale 1-5, 5=high knowledge).
WRIP volunteers worked together during eradication days to remove invasive plants and document their efforts using the NJ Invasives smartphone. Volunteers record the species, location, and population size in order to help monitor the eradication efforts. Plants are then mechanically removed or are cut at the base and then treated with an approved pesticide.
Future plans include continued volunteer eradication days, monitoring eradication sites for successful eradications, and determining if native plants return to these sites.
Michele Bakacs, Rutgers University
Betty Ann Kelly, Union County Parks and Recreation
Michael Van Clef, New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, Ecological Solutions, LLC
Kids keeping manure out of water
Presenter: Jennifer Fetter, Penn State Extension
Looking for new ways to get youth involved in water education? There's a great way to engage your 4-H and FFA families that raise project animals. They all have to deal with it. It's manure! It's becoming more and more important that our 4-H and FFA families are aware of the laws regulating manure management, even if they are only raising a single horse, cow, or pig. There are also lots of small hobby farms popping up around us. Come see the unveiling of our brand-new curriculum full of fun hands-on activities to help make sense of it all (and to help reach more people about protecting local water quality.) This new, free curriculum addresses the basics of manure, the impacts of manure on the environment, slopes and mapping, and more.