Elevated Skills Training Update

If you are an Oregon Master Gardener volunteer, and haven’t already checked out the 2021 Elevated Skills Trainings for Master Gardener volunteers, now is the time to do so. Altogether, the 14 classes that are being offered have over 3,000 combined enrollments! Seven classes have already opened, and the other seven will open over the coming weeks.

Although the courses, themselves, will remain open for self-paced learning that you can complete at your own pace, and when it is most convenient to you ~ the discussions boards will only be monitored, and instructors will only be available to comment on your assignment submission, through the end of April.

Early reviews for the courses include this note about the Woody Plant ID course: “Plant ID has been my nemesis for my 12 years as a Master Gardener. I pushed through. When we got to the plant ID tool I felt like a whole new and wonderful world opened up for me. I honestly am excited about identifying plants with this tool as a guide. This has me stoked and I have never been “stoked” in my life.

The 2021 Elevated Skills Training offers Oregon’s Master Gardener volunteers a chance to expand and grow their skillset in ways that include plant and insect ID using technological tools, databases to support Plant Clinic work, and more. (Video created by Elizabeth Records, OSU Extension)

Please Note: We have changed the original guidance on CEUs for the Elevated Skills Training. Instead of one hour per course taken, you can count and report your actual time in each class, as your number of CEUs. In other words, if a class took you two hours, you can count two CEUs. If a class took you three hours, you can count three CEUs.

I am also working with MG coordinators to see if any part of course participation (such as time spent on the hands-on assignments and practical application of knowledge) can count towards required volunteer service hours. Stay tuned.

Want to sign up for classes? Visit THIS LINK for a full list of courses with enrollment links.

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8 Replies to “Elevated Skills Training Update”

  1. Gail: Thanks very much for encouraging us to try iNaturalist. It’s a fascinating tool that’s also extremely helpful. I have one question. Though I joined Oregon’s Garden Biodiversity, I don’t see any of my submissions. I submitted four photos. They are listed in Observations on my profile. What am I doing wrong? I appreciate your advice!

    1. Hi Valerie,

      In cases where your observations are not automatically uploaded to our project page, it is because the observation doesn’t match the criteria set up for a project. If you have NO identification attached to an observation, it won’t get uploaded into the project. The other reason why observations are not automatically uploaded to a project page, is because you have not ‘joined’ that project. I took a quick look at the folks who had joined, and I didn’t see an obvious name that suggested it was you. Please make sure to join the project page, and any observations of plants and animals you took from February 1st, onward, will be automatically pulled into the project (once you are a member). https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/oregon-s-garden-biodiversity Reach out to me, directly, if you need additional help.

      1. Hi Gail. I’m so sorry to bother you with this but I do need a little more help. I have succeeded in joining Oregon’s Garden Biodiversity. My handle, valerie378, is now on the list of members. I have made four observations, three of which have been classified as Research Grade. Is there any way you can look me up and see why none of my observations are part of Oregon’s Garden Biodiversity? Many thanks! Valerie

        1. Hi Valerie,

          Your observations weren’t showing up, because the observations themselves occurred before the ‘start’ date that I set for the project (2.1.2021). Even though you ‘added’ your observations in February, the observations themselves are marked with dates that predate the February 1st start date of the project. Others have had this issues, so I opened up the criteria to include ‘all’ dates . . . and have changed the name of the project to be ‘Observations by Oregon’s MG Volunteers’, because the change was drawing in lots of non-garden observations.

          I hope that our group might be able to do a weekend bioblitz of our gardens, sometime this summer! I would love to see more garden-specific biodiversity on iNat!

          Beautiful and cool observations, by the way!

  2. Yay! You did it. Thanks so much, Gail.
    My observations are showing up. Love your idea about a bioblitz. Please keep us posted (literally). Valerie 🌸

  3. Hello,

    Is there any possibility of getting a refresher course on how to enter our coursework volunteer hours into the system. Those of us in the trainee class of 2020 may need a review. I have looked through my notes from classes but am still having trouble.

    Thank you,

    1. Sure thing. Please email me and let me know what county you are in. Portland Metro uses a different system than the rest of the state. I don’t know the Portland Metro system, but can help with the VRS. Marcia would be the point of contact for help with the Cervis (the Portland Metro system). My email is gail dot langellotto at oregonstate.edu

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