Tag Archives: luke reese

Deadline for SERV proposals extended

The SERV (Sharing Extension Resources Virtually) program is intended to extend the professional development opportunities that traditionally have been concentrated at Fall Extension Conference to other times of the year, making use of online technology. The SERV Team has extended the deadline to submit proposals for the first round of online workshops. You’ll now have till Jan. 25 to come up with creative session ideas for the March 18 event. See my previous Spotlight article for details on the three types of sessions you can choose from to present.

If you have questions, visit the SERV website or contact any member of the SERV team: Doug Brahee, Megghan Honke, Cheryl Peters, Luke Reese, Matt Shane or Lela Vandenberg.

 Submit your request for proposals on the SERV website.

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Filed under professional development

Extension connects on ballot issues

In an article in last week’s Spotlight, I drew your attention to Bulletin GE 49, written by Michigan State University Extension specialist Claire Layman. The bulletin supplies non-partisan objective information allowing Michigan residents to make informed decisions on the six proposals appearing on the ballot Nov. 6.

Besides writing the bulletin, Claire was busy using technology to educate further about the proposals. With help from ANR Communications multimedia production team leader Steve Evans, Claire led two Adobe Connect sessions on campus with leading experts on the ballot issues. On Oct. 22, the group hosted fora, reaching out to four locations: Harrisville, Lawrence, Sault Ste. Marie and Wayne. On Oct. 24, the fora involved five locations: Clinton Township, Flint, Hastings, Houghton and Traverse City.

Attendees read over the bulletin and watched three pre-recorded video interviews with policy experts who covered both sides of the proposal issues. Afterward, they asked questions of the experts through Adobe Connect.

Experts included MSU Extension specialist and professor of economics Eric Scorsone, professor in the MSU School of Human Resources and Labor Relations Peter Berg, marketing economist in the MSU Product Center Bill Knudson and senior associate director of the Land Policy Institute Mark Wyckoff.

A total of 149 people participated in the fora with the most attending at Harrisville in Alcona County with 53 participants.

Extension educators hosting the forums included Darren Bagley, Ann Chastain, Terry Gibb, Ginger Hentz, Brad Neumann, Julie Pioch, Bethany Prykucki, Mike Schira, Bonnie Witchner-Zoia and Richard Wooten. Terry Gibb helped write Bulletin GE 49 and helped to organize the overall registration.

In addition, Extension specialist Georgia Peterson helped out by wrangling questions as they came in one evening from the four live sites. She quickly figured out the best method to do so within Adobe Connect.

Organizations that partnered with us in this endeavor included the League of Women Voters, the Lake Superior State University Political Science Club, the Northwest Council of Michigan Governments and the District 13 Extension Council. Partner organizations served to recruit and market the forums, and served as table facilitators at small group discussions.

Claire reports that all evaluations have not been tabulated yet but those that have come in so far have been generally very positive. In Alcona County, 82 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Because of tonight’s event, I am better informed to make decisions on Michigan’s proposals in the upcoming election.” One hundred percent of Alcona County respondents agreed or strongly agreed that events such as the fora are valuable for our democracy, and 79 percent of them agreed or strongly agreed that they’d like to be a part of similar events.

Associate professor Luke Reese has been instrumental in leading us in the use of Adobe Connect technology. He continues to offer monthly online workshops and is largely responsible for our organizational competency in Adobe Connect meetings and webinars.

Thanks to Claire for making innovative use of technology and to Luke and Steve for continuing to teach, lead and support us in technology efforts. And thanks to our Extension educators for hosting and our partners for their contribution to the events.

We have further signs that people look to us when they want to make informed decisions based on expert opinion. As of Oct. 31, we had more than 400 page views for the forum event listings and nearly 1,400 page views on Extension educator Terry Gibb’s article “November Ballot Issues Could Mean Changes for Michigan Residents.”

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Filed under Technology

Thanks for a great Fall Extension Conference!

Michigan State University Fall Extension Conference 2011 has come and gone. Integrating both the in-person and the virtual portions proved to be an exciting opportunity for all to gather and learn. As we attended educational sessions, institute sessions, association meetings, work team meetings and yes, even some individual meetings with colleagues we hadn’t seen in a while, we learned from the presenters and we learned from each other.

 The able and consistent effort of the Fall Extension Conference Team created a successful event. This year, those participating as members of the planning team were Betty Blase, Doug Brahee, Betsy Braid, Molly Frendo, Megghan Honke, Dave Ivan, Shannon Lindquist, Cheryl Peters, Alan Pilkenton, Luke Reese, Michelle Rodgers and Lela Vandenberg. Each contributed in his or her own way, from serving as MC of our lively events to providing support and logistics for our hosts and presenters to working behind the scenes to bring you a conference full of opportunity. A gigantic MSU Extension Sparty thank-you to all of them for their effort and creativity!

 Thanks to Julie Pioch, our MC for the important and meaningful Key Partner Awards Banquet. We appreciate and applaud the many others who made the entire conference run so smoothly. In addition, a special thank-you to the Organizational Development Team who reviewed all of the applications for individual educational sessions, selected those that would be presented and worked directly with the presenters in preparation for delivery as needed. It was an immense task as they reviewed nearly 100 applications.

 Thanks for a job well done! Go right through….

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MSUE contributes to the award-winning Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT)

The Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT) recently won two national awards. The application won the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2010 from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation. It also was one of four innovations to receive the State Program Innovation Award from the Environmental Council of States.

 What’s the WWAT? The WWAT is an application designed to estimate the likely impact of a water withdrawal on nearby streams and rivers. Use of the WWAT is required of anyone proposing to make a new or increased large quantity withdrawal (more than 70 gallons per minute) from Michigan waters, including all groundwater and surface water sources, prior to beginning the withdrawal.

 Why the WWAT? In coordination with the signing of the Great Lakes Compact, Michigan and the other Great Lakes states were charged with the mission of developing a statewide program to manage and regulate new and expanding large water withdrawals. Michigan responded by enacting new laws, several of which called for the development and use of a Water Withdrawal Assessment Process to manage large quantity water withdrawals. Using science as the basis for policy development, a team of scientists and agency personnel developed the process to assist individuals in determining if their proposed large capacity water withdrawal will likely cause an adverse resource impact to a nearby river or stream.

 Who’s responsible for the WWAT? That’s a complex question since so many people and organizations worked together to make the WWAT a reality. A number of individuals were associated with the development and “roll out” of the WWAT including members of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and scientists from the University of Michigan and others. A Legislated Ground Water Advisory Committee worked on this effort for several years. Our own Michigan State University Institute of Water Research (IWR) has played a key role in several steps of the legislation and assessment process. Prior to the legislation on the Water Withdrawal Assessment Process being passed, Jon Bartholic, director of the IWR, provided testimony to the state Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Policy committee and worked with Senator Patty Birkholz’s committee on public hearings throughout the state. Jeremiah Asher, IWR, created the Web-based tool. Following the development of the tool, David Lusch, senior research specialist, MSU Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Science and IWR, and Jeremiah Asher were the two main presenters at a series of workshops throughout the state. Lois Wolfson and Ruth Kline-Robach, Michigan State University Extension state water quality coordinators, organized and evaluated the meetings.

 Lyndon Kelley, MSU Extension, and Steve Miller, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, organized and presented another series of workshops. Dave Hamilton and Frank Ruswick, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Paul Seelbach, Department of Natural Resources, provided outside assistance for these workshops

 In addition, MSU Extension educators were hard at work presenting other educational meetings and programs. Roberta Dow held a meeting on the WWAT as part of the MAEAP Phase I. Lyndon Kelley and Christina Curell presented WWAT information as part of four separate Extension education programs. Others who held meetings on the tool included Terry Gibb and Bindu Bhakta.

Jane Herbert, MSU Extension at Kellogg Biological Station, and Luke Reese, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at MSU, organized a webinar with David Lusch as the speaker.
Paul Seelbach, formerly with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Jane Herbert developed a bulletin of frequently asked questions (Extension Bulletin WQ60) concerning the Water Withdrawal Assessment Process, Considering Aquatic Ecosystems: The Basis for Michigan’s New Water Withdrawal Assessment Process.

So as you can see, it took a considerable team across multiple agencies and with a variety of expertise to make this award-winning process and application possible.

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Filed under natural resources

FEC10 now in progress

As I write this, our Michigan State University Extension first-ever virtual fall conference is still in progress. We have another full day of concurrent sessions waiting for us today. I have received some great feedback about the online format, most of it positive, and all of it constructive. We’ve had record-breaking attendance. We’ve also had some technological glitches, which certainly are frustrating, but also come with the pledge to “learn by doing.” I’ve been overwhelmed by the examples I’ve seen of colleagues simply adapting and moving on with their presentations, just as they would if they were using a slide projector and the bulb blew out during their presentation. We have some pretty cool performers among us!

 Some people have been able to attend who have never before experienced our Fall Extension Conference because they were not able to travel to the conference site.

 There is a wealth of information being shared. I wish I could attend all of the sessions – and fortunately we can attend them “after the fact” by viewing the recorded session. Remember if you watch a recording that you can’t raise your hand or enter a question on the chat. Believe me, I’ve tried.

 District Day gave us a chance to meet and network in person. And the institute directors did a fantastic job yesterday guiding their institute members through some really important discussions about our logic models and their implementation. And don’t forget the fun activities offered up by the Inspiration Committee. Have you shared photos on the Facebook page, looked for Sparty on the Fall Extension Conference site, joined in discussion in the virtual lounge or taken part in the scavenger hunt? I’m still seeking a Twitter coach who specializes in introverts.

 I’m looking forward to Friday when we can view posters and find out who won the fun diversions. Associate director Steve Lovejoy will provide a wrap-up to the week – be prepared to share your reactions during that session AND in the survey that you’ll receive in the days ahead to help us learn what we can improve on as we apply this immersion experience to program planning for stakeholders and for fellow Extension professionals.

 Thanks to the many people who worked behind the scenes to make this virtual conference a success. Earlier this week, Associate director Michelle Rodgers observed that a year ago and even six months ago, we couldn’t have done this. We wouldn’t have had the Information Technology infrastructure nor the skills for so many of our staff to present programs on-line or to participate in on-line sessions. Many have contributed to our preparations, and particularly the FEC10 planning committee, our organizational development team (whom you met in the lead-in to Monday afternoon’s awards session), and particularly our ANR Information Technology staff, led by Erica Ciupak, and represented especially by Luke Reese and our ANR Communications staff, led by Ruth Borger, and represented especially by Megghan Honke, and our professional development staff, Kathy Foerster and Lela Vandenberg. We don’t have our IT infrastructure fully implemented yet, but based on what we’ve experienced so far, I’m really looking forward to what ANR IT has in the plans for us. Thanks to so many for helping to get us ready for this!

 As I said in my opening comments on Monday, borrowing from Jim Collins (Good to Great), we’re not looking for these technological skills and assets to create the changes that we need to implement, but we certainly hope that they can accelerate the changes that we are putting into place!

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Filed under Fall Extension Conference