March 30, 2021
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. The Family Engagement Program at Pima Extension
  3. Pima County Round-Up Newsletter
  4. Sustainable Southwest Beef - Precision Ranching Technologies
  5. MANRRS: Reclaiming Our Time, Territory, and Triumph
  6. 43rd Annual UT/AZ Range Livestock Workshop and Tour 
  7. 4-H Associate in Extension Candidate Seminars
  8. Data Science Institute Workshop
  9. New Publication
  10. Biochar Opportunities in the Southwest: Extension Workshop
  11. The Treasure after Wine-Making
  12. Arizona Gives Day - April 6
  13. Save the Date: Arizona Fire Adapted Communities Webinar

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

We currently find ourselves in an interesting situation with respect to COVID-19 cases in Arizona and the phase transition management for the University of Arizona (UA) Cooperative Extension System (CES).  The COVID-19 cases in Arizona continue to decline and, on 25 March, Governor Ducey released Executive Order 2021-16 (EO), which basically removes any previous restrictions on citizens and business in terms of COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The Governor’s EO does lift state restrictions, yet it also encourages businesses and other entities “to continue to take actions recommended by the CDC, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)” and the Arizona Department of Health Services “to limit and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”  The EO further clarifies that institutions, such as the University of Arizona, have the right to maintain and enforce their existing mitigation policies, including those requiring face coverings.

At the same time, COVID-19 strain B.1.1.7, which is more easily transmissible and commonly more severe in case symptoms, has been identified in many cases in Arizona. 

The UA is moving up to Stage 3 level of campus operations this week and the CES is also advancing phase transition stages in most counties.

As a result, it is important to understand that we must continue to adhere to the guidelines specified in our CES phase transition plan and the current phase status for each county.

We appreciate your continued vigilance and cooperation with the CES phase transition process.  For reference to the status of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Phased Operational Plan and brief phase management descriptions, please refer to the following link:

The Family Engagement Program at Pima Extension

The Family Engagement Program at Pima Extension was recently recognized by First Things First for its programming in the State Prison in Tucson (before the pandemic): Programs aim to create stable environment for children of incarcerated parents. Normally the recidivism rate for ex-offenders after one year is 26.6%. Of the 87 inmates who completed an average of four child behavior management classes with the Family Engagement Program, only 6 recidivated after on year – for a recidivism rate of just 7%. Studies show that prisoners with greater contact with family have more positive post-release outcomes (Glaser, 1964; Hairston, 2002a; Holt and Miller, 1972; Klein et al., 2002; Ohlin, 1954). Debbie Curley is currently working with prison officials to obtain permission to deliver classes via Zoom.  

Pima County Cooperative Extension Round-Up Newsletter

The March 2021 PCCE Round-UP e-newsletter is out!
Learn about our 4-H plans for this year’s County Fair, tips for stress management, and how to make delicious baked churros right in your kitchen. From the gardening arena, we shared some spring gardening tips and also information about grant-funded work to explore how native and desert-adapted foods can help us achieve a food-resilient future. 

Sustainable Southwest Beef - Precision Ranching Technologies

Sustainable Southwest Beef - Precision Ranching Technologies - April 13th, 1:00 pm MDT Register here (

Learn about cutting edge technologies for precision livestock ranching in extensive rangeland systems. Dr. Shelemia Nyamuryekung’e will discuss the precision ranching technologies under evaluation by the Sustainable Southwest Beef Project, including cattle movement sensors and virtual fencing. Asombro Institute for Science Education will present on related education materials suitable for classroom use and/or youth programming. Dr. Michael Crimmins, Professor & Extension Specialist in Climate Science at the University of Arizona will present on My RAINge Log (, a tool specifically designed around the type of infrequent, cumulative precipitation observations often collected at remote, rangeland sites.

MANRRS: Reclaiming Our Time, Territory, and Triumph

Do you know about MANRRS? Their mission is “to promote academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.” They will be holding a virtual Annual Career Fair and Training Conference April 6 to 10, 2021. See

For questions, please contact Angela Kaczowka at

Posted by Ursula Schuch, Angela Kaczowka, and Melissa Curran on behalf of the ALVSCE D&I Council.

43rd Annual UT/AZ Range Livestock Workshop and Tour

43rd Annual UT/AZ Range Livestock Workshop and Tour will be “in-person” this year on March 30 – Hurricane, March 31 – Orderville and April 1 – Tour David Johnson Ranch!!! 

Masks and social distancing will be the norm, and expect the same high quality educational program, a great lunch and a chance to win a ton of door prizes including a rifle.

New this year we will attempt to livestream on March 31, 2021 for those that are unable to attend in person. Please register for the livestream at the following link, and hope for the best that we are able to pull off this experiment!  

Topics Include:
      Low-cost water monitoring technology
    •  BOV-IQ app livestock record-keeping
    •  Grazing during drought/impacts
    •  Cattle Market Economics
    •  Diversification of Ag
    •  Game camera issue/address hunting/ranching industry. Base water transferring/water rights.
    •  Old cow DNA
    •  Rancher Spotlight

Please register and get your FREE ticket for the workshop using the Eventbrite link below so we can plan lunches as best we can.

Ranch and industry sponsors can also register and pay through the Eventbrite link.

For more information, please visit:

4-H Associate in Extension Candidate Seminars

The Search and Screen committee for the new state 4-H office position Associate in Extension, 4-H Curriculum Development ( invites you to candidate Seminars. The position is a strategically important role for the Arizona 4-H Youth Development program. This role will liaise with Cooperative Extension Specialists, and faculty across the University to ensure 4-H volunteers and youth have the curricula resources necessary to ensure 4-H youth turn sparks into thriving in all of Arizona 4-H’s great eight pathways to participation. All Cooperative Extension faculty and staff are invited to participate, especially those who currently conduct or aspire to offer youth programming. This position has been made possible by generous donors to the Arizona 4-H Youth Foundation. Candidate seminars are:

Laura Robertson, March 30th at 1pm (

If you missed Natalie Shepp's Seminar.  And please send in your feedback.

Data Science Institute Workshop

DIAG Workshop Wednesday: Getting started with NEON data - comprehensive ecological data in the public domain

Hi all! The DIAG group, part of the Data Science Institute at the University of Arizona, is offering monthly workshops on topics of interest to anyone in a CALS department.

The ecological community has been waiting for over a decade for this moment. Now that NEON data is available, the next step is enabling researchers to access and use it to answer new research questions.

This workshop will introduce the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the data being collected, and how to access it using R. In the first hour participants will learn how to search and access available data using both the NEON Data Portal and using the neonstore R package. This will be followed by a half hour for Q&A and additional hands on work afterwards.

The workshop will be held March 31, 2021 9:30am - 11:00am AZ time.

Register here:

If you have questions, feel free to email us at Also reach out if there is a topic of particular interest you’d like to see taught in the near future!

New Publication

The Evaluation Skill-a-Thon: Evaluation Model for Meaningful Youth Engagement
Elizabeth Sparks, Michelle Molina, Natalie Shepp, Fiona Davey

  Active engagement of youth participants in the evaluation process is an increasingly sought out method, but the field can still benefit from new methods that ease youth participatory evaluation implementation. Meaningful youth engagement in the evaluation process is particularly advantageous under the 4-H thriving model because of its potential to contribute to positive youth development, foster relationship building, enhance evaluation capacity, and improve program quality through improved evaluations. This program sought to facilitate actively engaging youth in the evaluation process by breaking it up into clear and manageable steps including evaluation design, data collection, data interpretation and analysis, reporting results, and outlining programmatic change. To achieve this aim, program staff designed the Evaluation Skill-a-Thon, a set of self-paced, experiential evaluation activities at various stations through which youth participants rotate. Actively involving youth participants in the evaluation process using the Skill-a-Thon model resulted in youth being able to identify and design programmatic changes, increased participation and response rates in other evaluations, and several youth participants’ gaining an interest in evaluation and working to design evaluations in later years. The Evaluation Skill-a-Thon holds promise for actively engaging youth participants in the entire evaluation process, easy implementation, and increasing evaluation capacity.

Biochar Opportunities in the Southwest: Extension Workshop
Free interactive virtual workshop about ecosystem services and entrepreneurial opportunities using forest biochar in the Four Corner States. 

Biochar Opportunities in the Southwest:  Extension Workshop Overview 

APRIL 7, 2021, 4:00pm - 5:30pm MDT*: Special Keynote Presentation Tom Miles, United States Biochar Initiative, Executive Director Title: Overview on Biochar in the United States and Southwest

APRIL 8, 2021 9:00am - 12:30pm MDT*: Environmental, Social and Technical Focus on Biochar. Keynote and invited speakers: Dr Deborah Page-Dumroese, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station; Mike Lester, State Forester and Director, Colorado State Forest Service; Darren McAvoy, Extension Assistant Professor of Forestry, Utah State University; and Dr Catherine Brewer, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University.

APRIL 8, 2021 4:00pm - 5:30pm MDT*: Virtual field trip and informal “social” session to network and talk shop.

APRIL 9, 2021 9:00am - 12:30pm MDT*: Economics and Entrepreneurial Focus on Biochar. Keynote and panel speakers: Dr Nathaniel Anderson, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station; Laura Wolf, USFS Region 2, Biomass Coordinator; Forest Product Businesses: Tyson Nicoll, AZ Log & Timberworks; Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar (OR); Gordon West, Troll Works (NM); John Webster, Go Biochar (UT); and Eva Stricker, Carbon Ranch (NM). Panel discussion and breakout sessions to discuss barriers and opportunities to make biochar an economically viable forest product.

* All start times are one hour earlier in Arizona: at 3:00pm or at 8:00am

     Raise awareness about biochar ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration; forest
    management and forest health concerns; wildfire/WUI risk and smoke impacts on public health.
   •  Raise awareness for entrepreneurs regarding economies of scale, including micro-scale opportunities; entrepreneurial clusters; markets and supply chains.

   •  Collect and refine stakeholder input on barriers and opportunities to develop biochar as an economically viable forest product.

Biochar Workshop Agenda 

Cost: Free
Online event registration link:

The Treasure After Wine-Making

Do not forget to join the discussion on TREASURE AFTER WINEMAKING. We will look at three different alternatives to turn waste (grape pomace) from wineries into a soil health and fertility resource for farmers. The talk will focus on how the grape pomace potentially alters the soil pH, fertility, microbiome, plant-available nutrients and uptake in maize and wheat, and labile carbon of semi-arid Arizonan soil.

March 31, 10:00 a.m.

Arizona Gives Day (April 6)

Arizona Gives Day (April 6) is nearly upon us and we invite you to help us spread the word.

Arizona Gives Day is one of the biggest fundraising appeals of the year and allows all levels of donors to commit to the collective goal of the Arizona 4-H Youth Foundation.

Over the next week we will be publishing stories that highlight each of the Arizona 4-H Great 8 Pathways.

   Agriculture                       STEM
   Healthy Living                  Civic Engagement
   Camp                               Cultural Understanding
   Community Service          Leadership

We are asking you to commit to two simple actions to help expand the network of supporters who make positive youth development opportunities available to 4-H youth across the state.

   1.  Be sure to follow
   2.  Share the most relevant posts with your social media networks and add a note in your share.

The schedule of themed posts follows;

   3/29       Arizona Gives Day (April 6) introduction post
   3/30       Agriculture
   3/31       Healthy Living and Cultural Understanding
   4/1         Science Technology Engineering and Math
   4/2         Leadership
   4/3         Community Service
   4/4         Camp
   4/5         Civic Engagement
   4/6         Arizona Gives Day is here!

When you review our posts we hope you are inspired to donate so we can continue creating more stories of youth excellence. Any amount you give will help us achieve our goal of $10,000 this Arizona Gives Day.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Save the Date: Arizona Fire Adapted Communities Webinar - May 5

The Arizona Fire Adapted Communities ( is announcing an upcoming webinar for those who are working on fire adaptation issues and projects across the state of Arizona. As a member of AZFAC, you will meet others who are doing the same work, form relationships, and support each other’s work to reduce the risk of severe wildfires and increase the likelihood that your community will endure the next wildfire. The webinar is scheduled for Wed., May 5th 1:00 – 2:30. Catrina Jenkins, Navajo County Emergency Manager, is the keynote speaker.

In addition, AZFAC is opening a new “Podio” online communication platform for its members. In the near future, we will send you an invitation to join AZFAC’s Podio space, which we will discuss during the webinar. This shared communication platform will augment interactions with others who are working on solutions to the challenges of mitigating severe wildfire effects to communities across the state. Meanwhile, feel free to sign up as a member at


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