October 6, 2020
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. 10,000th Plant Help Desk Ticket
  3. Native Plant Materials Workshop
  4. WRRC Brown Bag Webinar
  5. Renewable Resource Extension Act - Web-based Conference Series
  6. New Extension Publication
  7. FCHS/SNAP-Ed Associate Director Candidate Zoom Presentation
  8. Certified Professional Food Manager Course
  9. How to Plant a Tree Webinar
  10. Society for Ecological Restoration Southwest Chapter

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) is conducting our conference this week in a virtual format.

This is a new format to experience an Extension conference, but we have all been experiencing many new modes of program delivery and in many successful ways.  We hope this time will be useful, productive, and worthwhile for all parties. 

It is up to all of us to make our annual conference useful, enjoyable, and productive.  I look forward to joining with you all virtually this week and we appreciate your participation.

You can find more information about the conference at extension.arizona.edu/2020conference.

Major Milestone for Maricopa County Cooperative Extension – Master Gardener volunteers record 10,000th Plant Help Desk ticket!

The Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Plant Help Desk succeeds through the contributions of our Master Gardener volunteers, who answer phone calls, email inquiries, and occasional walk-in visitors bearing plant problem and garden questions.  The efforts of 101 Master Gardener volunteers has contributed to providing answers to all manner of plant and garden questions since tracking began in 2016.  Currently, 33 volunteers are active with the Help Desk and four more Master Gardeners are in training toward Help Desk certification.  Extension publications, Extension specialists and agents have also aided in providing the correct answers and diagnoses to the Maricopa County gardening public.  Managing the Help Desk, tracking various information sources and expert referrals from Extension offices, the Maricopa Agricultural Center, and researchers on the UArizona campus amounts to a complicated affair.  Master Gardeners serve in multiple support roles ensuring Help Desk functioning; Leadership, On-Boarding (Interviewers, Trainers, Research Mentors), Learning Labs, and Ticket Management System technical support.

An important capacity of the Plant Help Desk database system allows Master Gardeners to connect remotely and work on tickets while away from the Extension office.  When COVID-19 required the months-long closure of the Maricopa County Extension office, Master Gardeners continued to service public requests without pause.  Volunteers met the challenge of increased inquiries about home gardening during the pandemic, as well as the frustrations created by a record-breaking heat wave and drought in the Phoenix area.

Congratulations to all Master Gardeners, staff, specialists and faculty who have contributed to success of the Help Desk!

Native Plant Materials Workshop

Thank you so much for attending the Native Plant Materials Virtual Workshop and the first of the AZ Cross Watershed Network Lunch and Learn Series. It was a fabulously successful event with 76 participants!

As promised, below are links to the video recordings, notes, chatbox, and a participant list.

Video and audio recording: Video and Audio Recordings-Native Plant Materials
Meeting notes: Meeting Notes- Native Plant Materials
Chatbox and Participant List: Chatbox and Participant List
We will let you know when we schedule the next Lunch Learn event and keep you informed of other happenings with the AZ CrossWatershed Network. 

WRRC Brown Bag Webinar

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Water for Nature
Kristen Wolfe, Coordinator, Sustainable Water Network
Time: 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Kristen Wolfe will be presenting Water for Nature, a talk focusing on environmental water, the forgotten/ignored stakeholder in water policy, management, and law. Leaving water for nature out of water laws and management has had dire consequences for our rivers, streams, and springs. Climate change and unsustainable growth are accelerating river depletion. It is time to find ways to allow for water for nature. Human uses depend on healthy, flowing rivers.

Kristen Wolfe is an online instructor for Connecticut's Quinnipiac University.  Six years ago, she brought her interest in the environment and water to Arizona and became involved in the Sustainable Water Network (formerly the Sustainable Water Workgroup), a coalition of over 30 environmental, conservation, and community organizations working to promote sustainable water policies based on the best available science, including ways to get more water for diminishing rivers.

The WRRC hosts its Brown Bag Webinars using Zoom. To register for and join this webinar, visit https://tinyurl.com/water4nature
Attendees will be able to ask questions using the Zoom chat function.
To request an alternate format of this webinar for disability-related access, please contact us at wrrc@email.arizona.edu

Renewable Resource Extension Act

Web-based Conference Series
Please join us for our fifth (in a series of nine) webinar!
October 22 at 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

The 1890 Land-grant Institutions have a unique responsibility to meet the needs of Black Americans. But they, just like the 1862 institutions, are also interested in serving all the residents of their state. Sometimes this means Extension educators develop programs for audiences who may look different than they do! Join us for this RREA webinar to explore how to attract nontraditional audiences to our Extension programs. How can we design appropriate programs and attract audiences who might be new to our Extension activities? How can we build partnerships with organizations that can support a suite of new programs?

New Extension Publication

Nondormant Alfalfa Varieties for Arizona 2020
Michael J. Ottman

Alfalfa varieties differ in fall dormancy, defined as growth during the fall.   Nondormant alfalfa varieties are usually planted in mild winter areas for their ability to grow in the fall.  However, fall growth of nondormant alfalfa may be undesirable in areas subject to repeated frosts or freezes. Nondormant, very nondormant, and extremely nondormant alfalfa varieties (fall dormancy class 8, 9, and 10) are adapted to elevations below 4000 feet in Arizona.  Other dormancy classes not included in this publication are moderately nondormant varieties (fall dormancy class 7) which may be grown from 3000 to 5000 feet, and semi-dormant and dormant varieties (fall dormancy 6 and below) which are adapted to colder winter areas above 4000 feet.

FCHS/SNAP-Ed Associate Director Candidate Presentation Zoom Meeting

Friday, October 9
8:00 – 9:15am
Stephanie Grutzmacher

Join Zoom Meeting:  https://arizona.zoom.us/j/99452849432
Password: 069385

Dr. Grutzmacher's CV can be found here and the evaluation survey can be found here.

If you attended the Zoom presentation of Laura Balis, the evaluation survey for Dr. Balis can be found here.
Dr. Balis CV

If you attended the Zoom presentation of Kay Orzech, the evaluation survey for Dr. Orzech can be found here
Dr. Orzech CV

All the candidate presentations will be available to watch and evaluate after the final candidate presents.

Certified Professional Food Manager Course

Certified Professional Food Manager course https://extension.arizona.edu/yavapai-certified-professional-food-manager-training-exam
Yavapai County Extension has been offering the Certified Professional Food Manager course to food industry workers for over a decade. When the pandemic first began, we took steps to adapt our Certified Professional Food Managers program to these unprecedented circumstances, adjusting to create a course that was 100% on-line. Normally, this is a full day course consisting of 6-hour instruction time followed by a 2-hour proctored certification exam for Restaurant Mangers. Transferring the content of a lengthy PowerPoint presentation (256 slides) into an engaging virtual class has been challenging but it has been exciting to see how dedication and innovative drive pushed us to reimagine our program.

We decided to use a hybrid of virtual e-learning and instructor-led learning to reinvent our program with our focus on rethinking the participant experience in a post-COVID world. Here are some of steps we took along the way:  

1. Restructuring versus adopting
We did not blindly adopt the same content flow of our existing course. While most eLearning courses are self-driven, we wanted our course to be trainer-driven. This required us to restructure our course content to be served both in person and on-demand. Restructuring included breaking up our lengthy class into multiple parts and including additional resources and content that can be accessed on-demand.

2. Selecting the delivery method
Utilizing UA Community Learning Portal and learning about the D2L Community site helped make the decision of how the participants will access the synchronous and asynchronous content. This required us to learn the intricacies of online delivery and research how best to engage our remote audience.

3. Reimagining and converting
Conversion is an excellent opportunity to rethink the purpose of all the existing content while reworking existing course materials. We were pleasantly surprised at how this opportunity helped reconfigure existing content to make it more user-friendly and better tailored to eLearning.
· We removed excessive text and descriptive content and converted it into graphics, images, or pictures.
· We considered good instructional design practices such by creating a multi-media course. Knowing better eLearning outcomes are achieved by including a variety of teaching methods. Our course includes live instruction, a self-guided portion with voice-over, text-based content, and links to videos.

The work was not done with the successful transfer of the program online. Our administration team had to rethink several of their administrative processes to accommodate the changes with collecting money and enrolling attendees. Several Cooperative Extension team members from our office volunteered to attend the trial-run of the new program resulting in two of our staff members completing the certification.

It has been devastating to see the effects of COVID-19 on individuals and families, as well as within the restaurant industry. The pandemic was a wakeup call for restaurants, and what we are witnessing right now in foodservice is sanitation being ramped up like never before. Food managers are needing to market their sanitation practices now because everyone has heightened awareness. Our goal with this program is to help the food service industry emerge stronger and more informed than ever. So far, the response we have received from our attendees have been extremely positive and we are encouraged as we look ahead.

How to Plant a Tree Webinar

Event Date: October 08, 2020 11:00am to 12:00pm

University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County presents: Garden and Country Extension Webinar Series. A Zoom webinar (60-minutes or less) featuring a variety of horticultural and natural resource topics relevant to the environmental conditions and residential concerns of Gila County, Arizona.

Jan Groth is the Master Gardener Instructor and Coordinator for Cochise County Cooperative Extension at UArizona Sierra Vista. She is known as one of the most passionate plant lovers in her area. Jan is also the curator for the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista, which is Cochise County's first educational botanical demonstration garden which opened to the public in October, 2017.

Webinar Overview: Fall is the perfect time to plant a tree Arizona: There is time for the roots to get established before winter sets and then the tree can acclimatize over the winter and be ready to grow and spread its roots in spring. Jan Groth will demonstrate best management practices for planting a containerized tree. She will discuss what to look for when buying a containerized plant, how to prepare the hole for planting, how to handle the plant when taking it out of the container and putting it into the ground, and direction for mulch and fertilizer. This webinar is perfect for first timers, new residents and anyone who wants to be confident they are planting the right way. Be sure to stick around for the Q&A!

Webinar Facilitator: Chris Jones, Extension Agent, University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative

Extension Zoom Link: https://arizona.zoom.us/j/96319114961 Please log in up to 10 minutes prior to the webinar.

Society for Ecological Restoration Southwest Chapter

The Society for Ecological Restoration Southwest Chapter is hosting its annual meeting on Zoom. The day and a half meeting will consist of a movie screening, panel discussion and lots of talks by practitioners and researchers zeroing in on how to best do restoration in arid systems. Please join us! Registration for the meeting is only $10 for non students (free registration for students!). Please check out the meeting website here: https://sersw2019.wixsite.com/2020. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who might be interested in joining.

TMN Submittal Process

Please submit your news by 4:00pm Monday to TMN [tmn@cals.arizona.edu].

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