Written by Ann Marie Murphy for the fall edition of O&E —

Harpist in Hopkins forestThe Hopkins Demonstration Forest is a 140-acre, privately-owned forest and operating tree farm where family woodland owners and the public can learn about forest management. The forest is operated by Forests Forever, Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission “to promote science-based education to enhance understanding of and appreciation for the complexities and benefits of woodland management.”

 

Although the forest is in Oregon City and part of the Portland metropolitan area, it is still a challenge to attract new audiences and a larger cross-section of society to experience and learn from the forest’s example of sustainable forestry.

 

In response, Hopkins Forest of Arts was launched in 2013 as a collaboration between Forests Forever, Inc., Three Rivers Artists Guild, and Oregon State University Extension Service. The event, led by OSU Extension faculty with the help of volunteers from both the arts and forestry communities, brings together music, environmental interests and art that is created from, in or about the forest—all while offering educational experiences about forest management.

 

FoA Forest Hall Gallery 2014In 2014, OSU Extension Forester Glenn Ahrens engaged faculty and students from OSU’s College of Liberal Arts to participate in the Forest of Arts event. The collaboration resulted in a “Creative Forest” program in 2015 that inspired five OSU Liberal Arts faculty and 36 OSU art and music students to think creatively about the forest and its meanings to the communities, families and people who live in and are supported by forests. Results can be seen in this video: https://vimeo.com/146518978.

 

Find out more about the Hopkins Demonstration Forest: www.demonstrationforest.org

Food Preservation_Flckr
Photo: Flickr
Adapted from a news release written by Kym Pokorny, Extension and Experiment Station Communications–

It’s that time of year! The bounty of Oregon’s tempting produce is ripening and interest in food preservation remains strong.

 

OSU’s food preservation and safety hotline has opened for the season. Master Food Preservers, who have completed 40 hours of training, answer question ranging from how to avoid botulism to how to convert grandma’s recipe for pie filling to modern standards.

 

“The most important part of safe and healthy food preservation is finding current, tested instructions, and following them,” said Jeanne Brandt, Extension Master Food Preserver program coordinator. “Food preservation research is an ongoing process, so there are a lot of recent changes in canning recommendations and new equipment and products. Using the most current and research-based instructions will help ensure your products are safe, healthy and delicious.”

 

The toll-free hotline at 800-354-7319 runs until Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. When the hotline is closed, callers can leave a message. Additionally, many Extension offices offer free pressure gauge testing.

 

The hotline gets thousands of questions a year. Most commonly, people ask about preserving salsa, tomatoes and tuna. OSU Extension offers publications on each: Salsa Recipes for Canning, Canning Seafood and Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products.

 

For more information, go to the OSU Extension website on food preservation. OSU Extension’s Ask an Expert service also takes online questions about food preservation.

 

What’s your favorite food to preserve?

Written by Ann Marie Murphy –

 

Ask an Expert logoAsk an Expert, an internet-based service offered through OSU Extension Service, has helped to answer more than 20,000 inquiries.

 

The service was developed by eXtension in 2006 as a national online tool for all of Cooperative Extension and was launched in Oregon in March, 2011. Oregon is one of the top five most active users of the service.

 

Half of all inquiries come from people that are new to OSU Extension Service, making it an excellent tool for community engagement.

 

On average, 77 percent said their Ask an Expert question was very or critically important to them and 78 percent said the answer very much or completely answered their question. Questions range from “Should we eat expired tofu?“ to the more provocative “May I throw rocks at my husband to save our tree?

 

Answers to Ask an Expert questions also have the power to change lives: 65 percent said they changed their behavior as a result of the answer to their question.

 

How does it work? Ask an Expert questions are forwarded to a national databank. The system then automatically assigns the questions to experts in the state from which the question originated based on their listed expertise.

 

“A team of local Oregon Question Monitors jump in to assist in the digital process, putting people-powered networking skills into the loop,” said Jeff Hino, recently retired learning technology leader in Extension and Experiment Station Communications, and coordinator of OSU’s Ask an Expert. Monitors help guide the questions to the best experts, which include a stable of more than 130 OSU faculty experts and more than 30 master gardeners. Their goal is to get the question answered in less than 48 hours, the national service standard. “On average, Oregon is doing better than that,” said Hino.

 

Ask the Expert has a high profile on county Extension websites and a “Question of the Week” is regularly featured on OregonLive, The Oregonian’s online edition, and in the newspaper’s home and gardening section (approximately 60 percent of the questions are garden related).

 

Other interesting and intriguing questions include:

 

 

Thank you to all the experts that respond to Ask the Expert questions! And don’t forget, Ask the Expert is a resource if you need an answer to one of life’s pressing questions.

O&E First Monday Update July 2016

New marketing initiatives are underway in the Division. Hear about them in this month’s First Monday—which actually is being released on Tuesday—video. Benny the Beaver will be appearing at 31 county fairs to create awareness of OSU and support OSU Extension community engagement efforts. Benny, who is a very engaging beaver, met with Vice Provost Scott Reed and Lindsey Shirley, Associate Provost and Associate Director of OSU Extension.

Use the blog’s comment section to share your ideas on how we can reach more Oregonians through OSU Extension.

Thanks to Steven Ward and Lynn Ketchum from EESC who did this month’s video under the direction of Jill Wells. Promotional videos are being produced for use by each Extension office where Benny will appear (also Jill’s idea!).

Stay tuned for information about the recent changes in the Division.

In the meantime, learn more about the Division and its work and people with this month’s O&E Blog posts.

Adapted from a story written by Oregon Sea Grant, which will appear in the Fall 2016 edition of O&E—

 

Working Waterfronts map
Map of Coos Bay’s working waterfront

Are you heading to the Oregon Coast this summer? Have you driven the coast highway wondering where you can find fresh seafood, or want to know where the seafood came from, or even if it is in season? We might have just the thing for you!

 

Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension Service developed two apps for smartphones and tablets to appeal to tourists and seafood lovers. The goal is to bolster the state’s coastal economies.

 

The first app, Oregon’s Catch, identifies locations along the entire Oregon coast where people can buy fresh and frozen seafood caught by Oregon fishermen.

 

The second app, Oregon’s Working Waterfronts, offers a self-guided tour of waterfronts in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. Through video clips and photos, users get a behind-the-scenes look at local industries and infrastructure—including a lumber mill, seafood processor, Coast Guard cutter, shipyard and tuna troller—and the people who work in and on them.

 

“For tourists, I hope they learn something, stay a little longer, and have a greater appreciation for the Coos Bay area,” says Jamie Doyle, an Oregon Sea Grant specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service who was involved with development of the apps along with Mark Farley, Cyber Lab manager at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Oregon's Catch app cover

 

In addition to the app, Oregon Sea Grant produced a fold-out map of the same “stops.” The map will be available at local businesses and other attractions. The developers plan to add tours of other waterfronts in the future.

 

Both apps are free and available for Android and Apple devices. Search for Oregon’s Working Waterfronts and Oregon’s Catch (available at the end of July 2016).

 

Even if you’re not planning a trip to the south coast any time soon, Oregon Sea Grant produced a series of working waterfront videos: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/oregons-working-waterfront-tour-series-online-videos

Reprint of Corvallis Gazette-Times article by James Day, June 22, 2016
Lindsey Shirley_Corvallis Gazette-Times_Anibal Ortiz
Photo of Lindsey Shirley by Anibal Ortiz, Corvallis Gazette-Times

Editor’s Note: Lindsey Shirley, new University Outreach and Engagement associate provost and associate director of OSU Extension Service received some front page attention in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The article provides some insights into Lindsey’s way of thinking so I thought the article is worth sharing in its entirety.

Lindsey Shirley has perhaps one of the most far-reaching positions at Oregon State University.

As associate provost and associate director of the OSU Extension Service, Shirley runs the day-to-day operations of the service and works with outposts in all 36 Oregon counties. She succeeds Deborah Maddy, who retired this year.

One of her first orders of business since assuming the position June 1 is to visit all 36 counties. She will start with visits to the Portland metro area, Eastern Oregon and Central Oregon. She doesn’t have a sense yet of how long it will take, and it sounds like one of those enterprises that could turn into a bit of an adventure.

“The extension service is the front door of the university,” Shirley said. “It’s really important for me to spread the word about the benefits of the extension service. We have diverse offerings and programs and ways to communicate that information.”

Shirley also notes that she has to have a dual focus: understanding the breadth of the service’s programs and accomplishing group goals.

“I need to be combining information gathering with task-oriented advocacy on things that can be implemented,” she said. “I don’t want to take my first 100 days just information gathering.”

When you think OSU Extension Service, 4-H and other agricultural programs wind up top of the mind, but Shirley emphasizes that the service is much more than that and tailors its programs to the needs of people in those 36 counties. Shirley also noted that 4-H has a presence in all Oregon counties.

She offered a handout that identified the activities the [Extension] service is involved in, including energy, poverty, economic development, urban issues and human health.

“What activities are appropriate? What gets you the outputs and outcomes you want?” she said. “It could be a change of behavior that could help fight obesity — for adults and children.

“We need to look at the people in each county. What are the needs for this region?”

That’s why the visits are so critical. Although Shirley knows that some spots on the Extension Service map are much more conveniently reached by air, “you could also see it as a road trip, a way to see all the dots and what’s between the dots.”

Shirley came to OSU from Utah State University, where she initiated a bachelor’s program in outdoor product design.

“There are more than 1,000 companies in Utah that are involved in outdoor products,” she said, “and no career path. We worked on everything from materials to manufacturing, snowboard gear and apparel.”

Shirley grew up in Iowa, with two of her degrees being awarded from Iowa State University in her hometown of Ames. The strong extension programs and agricultural resources in the state definitely influenced her “life path,” she said.

And the life path of her family as well. Her parents have moved from Iowa to Portland, and her brother also left Iowa and is now working for the University of Oregon. Shirley previously had only brief experience traveling through Oregon but she felt “Oregon was a great place to live and work and this position gets me connected with people in Oregon.

“We continue to be pioneers.”

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Mayra Senator Merkley
Senator Jeff Merkley with YA4-H! Malheur County teen teacher, Myra.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was impressed. So impressed, he bestowed an award on the Malheur County Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) program.

 

Recognizing its impact, Senator Jeff Merkley selected and recognized the Malheur County YA4-H! Teens as Teachers program and presented them with a Community Commendation Flag at the town hall in Ontario, Ore., for their work in Malheur County.

 

YA4-H! is a statewide teen health ambassador program that began in Oregon in the fall of 2011 with the ultimate goal of leading positive health-related change in their communities. In the process, the teen ambassadors also learn healthy eating and active lifestyle behaviors.

 

Here’s a sample of the project’s contribution to Malheur county:

 

  • Since 2013, the teens have helped plan, plant, and harvest over 6,482 pounds of produce in partnership with the Four Rivers Community Garden for the Next Chapter Food Pantry. In 2015 the teens held ten education field trips for youth in the community garden.
  • They reached 500 youth in kindergarten through sixth grade with five hours of direct education related to physical activity, nutrition, plant science, and healthy living.
  • They worked with community partners such as Alameda Elementary School to host a Food Hero booth at a Fun Run.

 

“This project is an exceptional example of a true community partnership and the importance Extension plays in the community,” noted Barbara Brody, Family & Community Health and 4-H Youth Development, OSU Extension Service Malheur County. “Partners include: Ontario School District; Adult Volunteers/Advisors; Four Rivers Community Garden; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church; 4-H Alumni; and the teens who are currently enrolled.”

 

The teens participating in the project have proof of their success: Evaluations show that over 90% of the youth that participated in the program delivered by the teens said they would stop drinking sugary drinks. They also tried new foods and learned how to grow their own foods. Another teen participant commented, “I have become more aware of my health by teaching the kids about nutrition and physical activity. I no longer drink soda!” Now that’s a result with the potential for lifelong impact.

 

Teens as teachers YA4H training 028
Studying to be a YA4-H! teen teacher.

To qualify as a YA4-H! teen teacher, teens make a substantial commitment in time – at least 10 hours of training is recommended as a minimum, but 30-40 hours of training is preferred – and  must be:

 

  • Between the ages of 15 – 17;
  • Motivated to learn about healthy eating and the benefits of an active lifestyle; and
  • Able to communicate the value of healthy eating and increased physical activity, and to help others make healthy choices.

 

YA4-H logoLearn more about the program here.

 

Sources: YA4-H! Youth Advocates for Health website, Mary Arnold on YA4-H!

Elevating Equity within the Division of University Outreach and Engagement is the topic of this month’s First Monday Video. Listen in as State 4-H Outreach Specialist and Associate Professor Mario Magana joins Vice Provost Scott Reed for a three minute conversation. Mario’s recommendations provide insight into how to move from an equality mindset to one focusing on equity.

 

[Please note: The sound in this month’s video makes it challenging to hear all Mario’s important recommendations. Please take advantage of the video transcript for all of the details.  Transcript First Monday Video]

 

Did you miss this quarter’s Quarterly Conversation about new teaching and learning tools featuring the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 degree video, 3-D printing, and more? Here’s the link to the recorded conversation and a few other links for you to enjoy:

 

 

Share your perspective on how the Division can increase its focus on equity by posting a comment.

Excerpts from the Spring/Summer 2016 Confluence, an Oregon Sea Grant publication –
drought map May 2015_National Drought Mitigation Center
May 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor Map, National Drought Mitigation Center

Editor’s note: Climate change is perhaps the toughest problem facing our world today. This week’s blog features excerpts from the most recent issue of Confluence, a publication produced by Oregon Sea Grant (OSG). OSG works on issues related to freshwater and marine waterways and climate change is dramatically impacting both.

Oregon Sea Grant has an interesting history and is an integral part of OSU’s community outreach and engagement model. Housed on the OSU campus, OSG is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funds research conducted at OSU and other universities. Climate change, tsunami preparedness, and wave energy are three areas of research priority.

According to the OSG website, “congress created the NOAA Sea Grant program in 1968 in an effort to bring the kind of national attention and resources to ocean and coastal issues that the USDA’s Extension Service had brought to rural agricultural communities since the early 20th century. In 1971, Oregon was designated one of the nation’s first four Sea Grant states, along with Washington, Texas and Rhode Island. Today Sea Grant programs are found in every coastal state; and Oregon’s is still widely considered one of the very top programs.

Drought map intensity key
Drought intensity

“With resident Extension faculty stationed up and down the coast, a core of marine educators and aquarists at the (now Hatfield) Marine Science Center, and capable scientists, communicators and administrators on the OSU campus, Sea Grant has become an important part of OSU’s research and public engagement portfolio.”

Drought map May 2016_National Drought Mitigation Center
May 2016 U.S. Drought Monitor Map, National Drought Mitigation Center

Four new videos produced by Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) show how certain business practices, farming techniques, and riparian management strategies are better poised to tolerate droughts in Oregon. The videos, produced by OSG videographer Vanessa Ciccone in collaboration with John Stevenson, a climate specialist with OSG Extension at OSU, can be found on the OSG YouTube Channel along with other fascinating videos.

 

The short videos form a series called Documenting the Drought: Mitigating the Effects in Oregon. OSG created them in response to the state’s 2015 drought, said Stevenson. “We found that the people and places that did better during the drought were the ones where investment had been made in water conservation and restoration efforts over the past decade.”

 

The conditions that led up to the 2015 drought is described in one video. Another features Frank Burris, the county leader of the OSU Extension Service in Curry County and OSG’s watershed health specialist for the southern Oregon coast, describing riparian restoration projects along Pea and Gallagher Creeks. The projects were prompted by concern over the effects of rising stream temperatures and reduced stream flow on salmon, a mainstay of the region’s recreational fishing economy.

 

If you’ve skied in Ashland, one of the videos may be of particular interest to you. Mt. Ashland Ski Area adapted to sparse winter snowfall by relocating snow and was able to open for 38 days in 2014-15 versus none in the prior ski season. During the summer months, you’re likely to be able to enjoy ziplining, a bungee trampoline, disc golf and concerts, all of which will supplement declining ski-season income.

 

In another video, Bill Buhrig, a crops specialist with OSU Extension in Malheur County talks about planting faster maturing plants as a success strategy for farmers where a full season of water is no longer available. Strategies to conserve water through buried pipelines and gravity systems are described and extend the irrigation season by two to three weeks.

Written by Ann Marie Murphy —
Master Gardener
Get your gardening questions answered by OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers like Judi Sanders. Photo by Lynn Ketchum.

How often do you find exceptional, customized advice for free?

If you, family members, or friends have a gardening question, there are two ways to get free, reliable advice. No, it’s not an Internet search! Email a question to Ask and Expert, or pick up the phone and call a Master Gardener. Both resources are courtesy of OSU Extension Service.

Kym Pokorny, news writer for OSU Extension and part of the Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) news team, recently wrote an article about Master Gardeners. Below are a few highlights of the article; the full article can be found here.

Twenty-eight county Extension offices host Master Gardeners. Novice or experienced gardeners with questions are encouraged to bring samples or send photos of the plant or insect into the local Extension office. Then let the Master Gardener go to work to comprehensively research your question.

It takes almost 70 hours of intensive training to become a Master Gardener, then every year thereafter additional training for recertification is required. After certification, Master Gardeners are asked to donate 70 hours of their time for community service. (In my experience, quite a few volunteer many times that amount of time!) Manning the phones and having office hours in an Extension office are ways to fulfill their volunteer commitment. Master gardeners also work directly with the public at farmer’s markets, plant sales, garden shows, county fairs, demonstration gardens, schools, and correctional facilities. Most counties offer a seasonal slate of classes, too.

MG_OrangeBlack_Logo-102x106Gail Langellotto, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, College of Agricultural Sciences, is the statewide master gardener coordinator, a program that encompasses more than 3,000 active volunteers. Training is essential. “A lot of times people call wanting verification of something they’ve looked up on the Internet,” Langellotto said. “We use that as a jumping off point for a conversation. We make sure a person knows the questions to ask to get the answers they need.” And that’s why scientific advice, customized to situations in Oregon are so important.

You may also want to check out OSU Extension’s Gardening Community Page for information on a variety of gardening topics. The site includes gardening tips, videos, podcasts, monthly calendars of outdoor chores, how-to publications, and information about the Master Gardener program.

OSU also has several publications, of specific interest to home gardeners, available online on the OSU Extension Publication Catalog.