May 12, 2020
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. Extension in the News
  3. FY19 AZ Health Zone Evaluation Report
  4. Vacancy Announcement for Pima County CED
  5. New Extension Publication
  6. Family Engagement Program Update
  7. Vegetation Management Video Series
  8. Funding Opportunity
  9. Associate Director, Ag & Natural Resources Opening
  10. Educational Communication - Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

In the continuing process of managing with the University of Arizona (UA) remote operations, discussions are on-going in relation to transition plans back to on-site operations.  No specific date or plan has been developed.

The UA is focused on preparations to conduct classes on campus in the fall semester of 2020.  It has also been determined that in-person classes would not be conducted during summer sessions but that classes would instead be on-line. 

In an 8 May message to the UA community, President Robbins stated “Regardless of any state order or amendment, the University’s in-person operations will NOT reopen to students, faculty and staff on May 15th and no employee should return from a work-from-home arrangement until directed to do so by their manager.”

We have developed a draft transition plan for the Cooperative Extension System (CES) with input from all County Extension Directors.  This CES plan is pending the development and release of a university-wide plan. 

We do know that the UA transition plan will specifically address eight segments of the university, including the CES.  Dr. Jeremy Elliott-Engel is representing the CES on this UA committee and we are forming a working group in the CES to assist in this process. 

The UA administration will be communicating transition and reopening guidelines and the CES will respond accordingly.  In the CES we need to develop Extension guidelines in accordance with the broad UA plan and provide flexibility for unit-specific implementation.

Some of the questions regarding reopening that we are receiving are associated with the antibody testing program for all UA faculty, students, and staff that President Robbins has discussed on numerous occasions, including the ALVSCE town hall session last week.  The UA website for the antibody testing program can be referenced through the following link:

Our primary concerns continue to be:

  1.         Ensure the health, safety, and welfare of every single Extension family member.  
  2.         Support our continued delivery of research-based content and program delivery through
              virtual means, safely in areas of Cooperative Extension operations.

After eight weeks of remote operations, the management of your life/work balance is very important.  Please continue to take care of yourselves, your family, and colleagues. 

Keep up the great work! 

COVID-19: Employee Resources 
FAQ - Follow the questions we are getting at Knowledgebase  
Please enter any questions, comments, concerns, or additions you'd like to see on this space in the comments section on the FAQ page!

Extension in the News

With COVID-19 School Closures, are Children With Developmental Delays Falling Through the Cracks?

 A University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Program seeks to fill an assessment gap with virtual developmental screenings in rural and tribal communities.

Firebreaks a possibility for the Gila River bed

If all goes as hoped, the Gila River bed will soon have man-made firebreaks that will protect bridges and electrical lines and cut down on the amount of manpower used to bring wild fires under control.

The Graham County Board of Supervisors amended the county’s wild land fire protection plan Monday so they could pursue a $200,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management that would pay for the fire breaks.

Bill Brandau created the Gila River Corridor Fire Mitigation Plan over the course of four years and will have the opportunity to implement it if the county receives the grant funds. Brandau is the Graham County extension director and area associate agent for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and has been involved with firefighting since 1976.

FY19 AZ Health Zone Evaluation Report 

Authors                                         Contributors  
Laurel Jacobs, DrPH, MPH          Angela Dybas

Theresa LeGros, MA                    Gregory Goodman, MS
Kathryn Orzech, PhD                   Julie Kennedy

The AZ Health Zone SNAP-Ed program coordinates statewide activities with Local Implementing Agencies to reduce health disparities in communities where economic resources are limited. A primary goal is to increase the likelihood that individuals and families will engage in healthful behaviors through a combination of policy, systems, and environment approaches and educational outreach. This report describes results from the fourth year of the AZ Health Zone’s five-year program cycle.

Vacancy Announcement for Pima County CED

“If you like the smell of fresh popcorn, taking walks with MGs
If you’re into smart irrigation and taking 4-Hers to camp
If you like teaching adults how to care for kids, and cooking healthy food
If its the place where you want to be, consider being our CED"
                                              – Sung to the tune of Rupert Holmes, “Escape.”

In all seriousness, Pima County Cooperative Extension is excited to announce that we are searching for a dynamic leader to serve as our County Extension Director! We anticipate the position announcement will be available on the HR Site by the end of this month. This position is open to UA Employees only, see posting for the closing date. The Pima County CED Position is a 100% Administrative appointment located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. The Pima County office is a great place to work, and is actively seeking a great CED! Any questions can be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Rick Gibson at

New Extension Publication

The grass-like purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) is a problem weed in agricultural crops, residential and commercial landscapes, and in turfgrasses on golf courses, sports fields, and home lawns. Both purple and yellow (C. esculentus) nutsedges occur in Arizona’s low desert region, but purple is more prevalent and more difficult to control. Yellow nutsedge is more readily found at the higher elevation regions of Arizona where cool-season turfgrasses are grown year around. Both perennial sedges look like grasses with dark green, glossy and hairless leaves but they have stems that are solid and triangular in cross-section compared to rounded or folded and hollow grass stems.

Family Engagement Program Update

The Family Engagement Program is currently offering three different virtual class series live on Zoom. Cassie Burruel is teaching Garden Discovery Days. During this interactive class kids and their parents explore science and nature through gardening activities. Special guests on Zoom include their chickens and pet tortoise! Frances Holguin is offering the Triple P Child Behavior Management class series through zoom to parents all over the state. She is also holding a weekly an Autism Support Group in Spanish.

60 Second Vegetation Management Video Series

Watch vegetation management tips hosted by  Elise S. Gornish, Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration.  The videos are relevant to dryland gardening and restoration.

Funding Opportunity

FCHS Extension Development funds are available for Professional Development. The objective of the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Development Fund is to provide support and enhance FCHS programs where regular annual university budget allocations are unavailable. Funds are to be utilized by or through FCHS Extension programs to enhance county or statewide Extension educational program efforts.

Up to $1,000 total will be made available to fund at least one person’s professional development. 

Eligibility: FCHS agent, FCHS specialist, full-time
FCHS program staff; program staff must have their supervisor approve their application).

Funds must be expended between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (details regarding access to funds will be sent to those funded). In the event that the professional development opportunity is cancelled or altered, recipient(s) will be asked to submit a revised proposal and budget.

The deadline for submitting proposals is May 29, 2020 at 5pm. Apply for these funds through the following link:

An announcement of the winning proposals will be made after June 26, 2020 in

For more information please contact Kate Speirs (

Associate Director, Ag & Natural Resources Opening

Agriculture and Natural Resources Associate Director position has been posted.  Please check and pass along to those internal candidates that might be interested.

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Educational Communication: Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel 

In the "digital age" - with the quest for information, but shorter attention spans - educational organizations are communicating more and more via social media, websites, and using digital communications, like Zoom.

Arizona Cooperative Extension is working to be at the forefront of this trend, in communicating with short, to-the-point videos.

                           Check out the Arizona Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel:

Please make sure you're helping us advance the Cooperative Extension message.  Please like, share and link through your social media channels, and help us do all we can to share with all stakeholders and communities.

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