November 10, 2020
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. Growing Community Science in Natural Resource Extension
  3. Southwest Vegetation Management Association Annual Meeting
  4. Diabetes Prevention Program
  5. New Extension Publications
  6. Now Accepting Nominations: 2020/2021 Leadership Fellows Program for Staff & Appointed Professionals
  7. Southwestern Navajo Rural Water Appraisal Study -  WRRC Brown Bag Webinar
  8. Third Annual Cobre Valley Water Forum: Healthy Forests, Healthy Watershed  
  9. Yellow Bluestem: An Encroaching Invasive Grass Webinar

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

Good progress has been realized in the transition phases across the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension System (CES) in the past few months.  However, with the rising number of cases in most parts of Arizona and surrounding states, we are holding on our current phase positions.

The current phase transition status for CES county units can be referenced at the following site:

We have the continuing challenge of using science-based information and employing our best public health management practices in the face of resistance from some sectors of our communities. 

Our educational and management challenges are compounded by the tremendous level of misinformation that confronts our society.  Sometimes, it seems like the air is so full of lies that the truth can hardly breathe.  Nevertheless, it is important that we continue to study the facts and operate with the best science-based information possible.

I appreciate the continued good work of Extension professionals across the CES who continue to deliver strong programs in a safe and practical manner and maintain good science-based education programs.

Thank you for all that you are doing every day!

Growing Community Science in Natural Resource Extension

Please join us for our sixth (in a series of nine) webinar!
November 19 at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

This webinar is open to all!  Speakers listed and register here
Webinar Summary:

How can community science projects support meaningful engagement among researchers, community members, and other stakeholders to achieve community benefits? The presentations in this webinar will draw on lessons learned from a variety of projects and initiatives on diverse natural resources topics, but with commonalities for employing community-based participatory approaches to gain positive social impacts and ecological outcomes.

Join us as our speakers share their experiences for engaging stakeholders through community science programming. There will be time for questions! 

You will be sent a Zoom link for the webinar after your registration has been submitted. You will also receive reminders for the webinar. All webinars are recorded and posted on our website. If you have questions about this webinar please contact: Barbara Hutchinson (, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona.

Southwest Vegetation Management Association Annual Meeting

Join the 2020 SWVMA conference on Invasive Plant Species in Response to Urban and Wildland Fire. It will be a virtual conference from 9 am – 4 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. More information can be found here

November 17th, 2020 Topic: Invasive Plant Species in Response to Urban and Wildland Fire

Online CEU credit options available

Diabetes Prevention Program

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension is recruiting now for the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) that will begin on Tuesday, November 17th at 6:00 p.m. The DPP is FREE and is a lifestyle change program that helps reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.  The Cooperative Extension Diabetes Prevention Program has obtained full recognition status from the CDC.  

The main goals of the program are to help you lose weight and increase your physical activity. There are 26 classes over 12 months, at first weekly, then every other week, and then once a month. Each meeting lasts 1 hr. These classes will be held remotely via Zoom on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. Find out if you are at risk by taking the CDC risk test. The DPP is part of the State’s Health Impact Program, and employees can accrue 200 HIP points for participating. For more information on the program, go to If you are interested in joining the upcoming class, contact Mary Gonzales (

New Extension Publications

Needs Assessment for Commercial Horticulture and Small Acreage in North Central Arizona
Isaac K. Mpanga, Ursula K. Schuch, Jeff Schalau

Understanding the needs of stakeholders is crucial for extension and outreach programs, especially in developing new programs. From January to April 2020, a needs assessment was conducted in Yavapai and Coconino Counties for the newly created Commercial Horticulture and Small Acreage (CHSA) program. The information from the needs assessment is important to extension agents, farmers (existing and potential future farmers), researches, policymakers, and private organizations interested in CHSA farming in the region. This needs assessment helped to identify the stakeholders in north central Arizona for the CHSA program and has established the needed connections for fruitful collaboration.

Jiahuai Hu

Vinifera grapes have become economically important crop in Arizona, as wine tourism contributed $56.2 million to the state economy in 2017. The acreage of vinifera grapes in Arizona grew from 950 to more than 1,300 acres between 2013 and 2016. In 2019, Arizona grape acreage has grown to approximately 2,000. Pierce’s disease (PD) is endemic to the Southern U.S. and is a threat to vine production in Arizona, especially in regions where winters are warm.

Now Accepting Nominations: 2020/2021 Leadership Fellows Program for Staff and Appointed Professionals

The Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual distinguished leadership development program for exceptional university staff and classified staff.  Given that two-thirds of the employees in CALS are non-faculty, it is conspicuous that, until its induction in 2017, there had been no formal program to support the transformational leadership and professional development of rising star staff.  
This program requires a significant commitment from both the nominee and the mentor to develop future higher education leaders through stretch experiences, transformational professional development, and tailored mentoring.
Eligibility and submission packet materials can be found here.  Completed applications are due December 18, 2020.  Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.  Nominees and mentors will be notified in writing in early February 2021.
Example Scenario: Wilma Wildcat desires to be a vital student advisor and leader in CALS and at the UA.  She identifies a mentor in Nancy Rodriguez-Lorta.  Together, they develop a detailed development plan including stretch projects where Wilma leads change efforts in advising within CALS.  The plan also identifies the need for Wilma to become a certified advisor, which requires $2,000 in course work and testing.  Nancy actively mentors Wilma in the achievement of her goal.  As an alumna of this program, Wilma will be expected to continue to give back to CALS through service on future Fellowship selection committees, leading future initiatives, consultation with senior leaders of the division, etc.

Southwestern Navajo Rural Water Appraisal Study - WRRC Brown Bag Webinar

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Kevin Black, Sr., Planning Program Manager, US Bureau of Reclamation - Phoenix Area Office

The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Navajo Department of Water Resources, completed a regional water resource investigation in the southwestern Chapters of the Navajo Nation. Federal partners, local Chapter representatives, private contractors, and a health care steering committee collaborated over two years to complete a comprehensive plan to develop water to meet domestic and commercial demands. This presentation will include the qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection used and highlight the public/Tribal/private partnership organized to complete a report of findings.

Kevin Black has been with the US Bureau of Reclamation for the past 36 years. He was Chief Surveyor during the construction of the Central Arizona Project canal and Plan 6 Safety of Dams project. Kevin Black also worked as the Navajo Program Manager (1996-2012) and for the Navajo Generating Station Post (2012-2018). He has served as Planning Program Manager for the Program Development Division since 2018.

Webinar Attendance Information:
The WRRC hosts its Brown Bag Webinars using Zoom. To register for and join this webinar, visit
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


Third Annual Cobre Valley Water Forum: Healthy Forests, Healthy Watershed

The Water Resources Research Center and Gila County Cooperative Extension are excited to host the Third Annual Cobre Valley Water Forum: Healthy Forests, Healthy Watershed. The event will be held virtually on November 12-13 from 9am to noon both days. This free event is open to the public. View the agenda and register at 

Looking at a collage of green, yellow, and orange on Arizona’s wildfire threat map, the Cobre Valley is shaded mostly in red. Some people might be surprised to find out that 90% of the land surrounding Globe-Miami falls into categories of high or extreme wildfire threat. Wildfire threat refers to the likelihood of a fire starting and spreading through an area. According to Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, areas with high wildfire threat only occupy about eight percent of the state, which includes most of the Cobre Valley in southern Gila County. A high threat is 12 times greater than a moderate threat level or 53 times greater than the low threat level. 

Wildfire threat is just one signal of how forests and watershed health are connected in the Cobre Valley region. We joined forces with the Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership to bring together local and regional experts to discuss the impact of forests and uplands on the watershed, wildland urban interface, and water resources.  

Yellow Bluestem: An Encroaching Invasive Grass Webinar

November 19, 2020 11:00 a.m. to 12:00:00 p.m.

Ashley Hall received her B.Sc. in Rangeland Ecology and Management with a minor in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Arizona (UA) in 2009 and a M.Sc. 2011.  After finishing her M.S., Ashley began working for UA Cooperative Extension as a team member of the Cooperative Rangeland Monitoring Program assisting the Bureau of Land Management in establishing a vegetation monitoring protocol.  Ashley worked for US Fish and Wildlife Service as the Invasive Species Coordinator for Arizona Refuges. She currently works for Gila County Cooperative Extension, focusing on Rangeland Management and Animal Science.

Presentation Description: Non-native species, like Yellow Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) negatively affect the habitats they invade in many ways including economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically. Yellow Bluestem is a perennial grass introduced to the United States from Europe and Asia in the early 1900s as a way to control erosion and as a forage species. In the past several years, this species has become an emerging invasive in Arizona. Yellow Bluestem has been shown to alter soil function and biota, suppressing the growth of native vegetation. It out-competes native species because it can grow much taller than most native grasses, and creates a sod thick formation by reproducing through underground stems.  While this species was introduced in some parts of the U.S. to provide additional forage for grazing species, Yellow Bluestem is less palatable than natives and is not preferred by cattle, equine, or wildlife. Eradication of this species may require intense management efforts if a new population is not eliminated quickly.

Extension Zoom Link: Please log in up to 10 minutes prior to the webinar.
Cost: Free
Registration: Not required

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