In one way or another, the extreme weather has affected all of us this past year. In particular, tree fruit growers lost more than 90 percent of their crop.
To help farmers cope with climate variability, a team of Michigan State University Extension specialists and educators has received funding from the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA). Extension specialists Wayne Beyea, Julie E. Doll and Claire Layman, professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Mark Skidmore and senior Extension educator Dean Solomon will collaborate with GLISA researchers, relevant decision makers and stakeholders in two Michigan local governments units.
They’ll work to incorporate climate variability and change adaption strategies into local land use master plans and policies. They’ll also create an assessment tool that can be used by other communities throughout Michigan.
Read about this project in more detail in this MSU Extension News article.
Several Michigan State University Extension educational materials received awards at the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) biennial conference in Hendersonville, N.C., May 20–23.
The publication Certified Natural Shoreline Professional Training Manual: Principles of Natural Landscaping and Erosion Control on Inland Lakes (MSUE Bulletin E3109) received a 2012 Gold Award in the category of Long Publications. Jane Herbert, senior Extension educator, served as the lead author and coordinating editor. Bob Schutzki, associate professor, and Mary Bohling, Extension educator, were contributing authors along with several members of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The manual was produced by ANR Communications.
This attractive 140-page manual is used to train landscape professionals in how to design, construct and maintain environmentally sound inland lake landscapes. It’s a great example of how MSUE professionals work with their colleagues in the public and private sectors to address needs. This manual, and the certification training program in which it is used, are equipping landscape professionals to expand business services to include more lake-friendly tools and techniques to protect the quality of Michigan’s inland lakes.
The Journal of Extension article “Conservation Education for Advancing Natural Resources Knowledge and Building Capacity for Volunteerism” received a 2011 Gold Award for a Refereed Journal Article. Co-authors were Shari Dann, associate professor in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies; Shawn Riley, associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; and Heather Van Den Berg. Heather, a graduate assistant, was lead author.
Senior Extension educator Dean Solomon’s conference poster “Public Deliberation Tools for Natural Resources Extension Professionals: A Case Study” received a 2012 Honorable Mention award.
Within one week, two of our colleagues in northern lower Michigan were recognized for the work they do as Michigan State University Extension employees and as valued citizens in their communities. Dean Solomon, senior educator in the Greening Michigan Institute, received Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership from the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA). NLEA is a collaborative organization, which provides resources that help entrepreneurs and communities to create and retain jobs in the counties of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet. Dean was recognized for his service on the NLEA Board and his assistance with multiple NLEA projects. NLEA noted that Dean’s facilitation skills have been especially helpful in navigating often contentious issues related to natural resource based enterprises. His New Economy programs have equipped decision makers to work towards a balance between “place” and “jobs” that is so critical to Michigan’s emerging economy of the future.
Dean was surprised to learn of his award at the annual NLEA luncheon held on May 4 at Boyne Mountain resort. Other than Dean’s recognition, my second favorite part of the NLEA luncheon was the opening. The Petoskey High School Marching Band had all 500 participants on their feet. And what I especially liked about the band was their steel drum corps. I’ve only seen one other high school band with steel drums and it was in the Caribbean. The eight Petoskey drummers transported me to memories of warm breezes and flowered shirts.
Ranae McCauley, Extension program instructor in Kalkaska County, was recognized a week earlier by Athena Grand Traverse. She received the Athena award, which is based on efforts to advance women in leadership roles, along with professional excellence and community service. Ranae currently serves on several projects in MSUE including development efforts for the local food system along with Extension educator Rob Sirrine and the leading of two-county human services collaborative through our Kalkaska County office. Her tireless efforts in contributing to the Traverse Bay Area Poverty Reduction Initiative were highlighted in her nomination for the Athena award. She was described as “a cheerleader and challenger to the community for all things related to children, families and schools.” That is a GREAT honor for anyone, and we are fortunate to have Ranae representing MSUE in her efforts. You can read more about Ranae’s award at http://record-eagle.com/local/x1537355958/McCauley-tabbed-for-Athena-Award.
Congratulations to both Dean and Ranae for their recognitions and thanks to both for devoting so much of their efforts to people and communities in northern Michigan. We’re proud to call you colleagues and proud to have MSUE affiliated with your achievements. Thanks!
In last week’s Spotlight, I mentioned that the oil and natural gas boom in northern Michigan has created both opportunity and concern for landowners. Michigan State University Extension educators have been instructing landowners about their leasing options in face-to-face seminars. Extension educators Dean Solomon, Curtis Talley and Stan Moore are also currently aiding folks online by receiving and answering questions through an Ask an Expert widget on the MSUE Oil and Gas Information site at http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/default.cfm?pageset_id=580675. (Scroll down to the bottom right to view the widget.)
According to Lela Vandenberg, Extension specialist, the trio is the first MSUE group to pioneer the Ask an Expert widget in this topic-focused way. (See her comment on my blog.) She encourages other groups to follow their lead. If you’d like more information about using an Ask an Expert widget on your program area Web page, contact Lela at firstname.lastname@example.org, Liz Wells at email@example.com or Dean Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also feel free to add comments to any story on my blog as Lela and others have done.