As another fire season approaches, Anita Azarenko, interim vice provost for the Division of Extension and Engagement, asked Carrie Berger, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension associate program leader and Fire Program manager, to join her for the June First Monday Update.

The Fire Program, a statewide initiative funded by the state legislature, is a cross-disciplinary effort involving Extension programs, colleges and agency and community partners. Find out how the program will be staffed and community priorities will be established.

To learn more about the Extension Fire Program, visit the Extension website or reach out to Carrie Berger.

With the Stay Home, Save Lives executive order on everyone’s minds, Anita Azarenko, Interim Vice Provost for the Division of Extension and Engagement, answers its impact on Extension with four questions:

1. What do we know for sure?
2. What don’t we know?
3. What are the next steps?
4. When will we next meet to discuss where we are?

Embracing virtual Extension has unleashed amazing creativity. So that we continue to learn from each other, Anita asks us to continue to share successes in the comment section of this blog, as Bright Spots in the weekly ConnEXTion newsletter and in the Celebrations and Shoutouts channel in Teams.

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 at OSU, please visit OSU’s COVID-19 Resources and Information website.

As we shift to virtually providing programming and staying connected, Interim Vice Provost Anita Azarenko invited four Extension colleagues to share the creative ways they are using technology to continue their Extension activities.

Brooke Edmunds, assistant professor (practice), community horticulturalist and Master Gardener™ program coordinator for Linn and Benton counties, created Fun Friday Zoom Happy Hours to continue building a sense of community among Master Gardener volunteers, important to program participants. Introducing Zoom conferencing in a fun way has an added benefit as well, which she explains. Look for the Informal Virtual Gathering success story on the Virtual Extension website for more details. 

Lu Seapy, 4-H Youth Development STEM educator in Wasco County, sought to identify programming that would lend itself to online learning. Three courses quickly were introduced. She shares how she approached the online programming and offers these resources and more on the Virtual Extension website. She also offers this advice: Anticipate that online preparation takes more time than prepping for traditional programming.

Kristen Moore and Alice Phillips, 4-H educators in the North Willamette Region, want to keep kids and parents engaged by using a familiar platform: Facebook. Using Facebook Premier allows a combination of recorded video and a live component. They call it “4-H Together on Thursday” focusing on “5 Things You Can Do…” using things around the house. You can tune in, too, to see how they do it. Videos are available for sharing after the premier. Look for the video and multimedia link on Virtual Extension for more details.

Reminder: The Virtual Extension website offers resources for virtual programming, success stories so we all learn from each other and more. Use the “Let’s Talk” button on the site to share ideas, success stories, questions, and resources you’ve found to be helpful.