June 2011 -- From Jerry Miller
A year ago this month I had the opportunity to introduce myself to you as the Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach. It has been a great year and I extend my sincere thanks to each of you for your support and commitment to Iowa State University Extension.
Our mission is to build partnerships and provide research-based learning opportunities to improve the quality of life in Iowa. During the past year,
- We have focused on enhancing existing partnerships and building new relationships.
- We asked for your input through a statewide needs assessment and multiple focus groups.
- We have worked to better understand who our clients are and their educational program needs.
- We have worked to become more efficient in program planning and delivery by forming multi-program, integrated teams that focus on issues that Iowans told us are important to them. We understand that we need to take educational programs to where clients are, not where we want them to be.
- And we have enhanced the marketing of ISU Extension through the “It Starts with Extension” campaign.
A lot has been accomplished. However, there is more work to do. As ISU Extension transitions to new leadership in July, I ask that you continue to support and reaffirm your commitment to ISU Extension.
Thanks for all that you do!
ISU Extension has a number of resources available to help Iowans cope as they deal with flooding and its aftermath. Check Recovering from Disasters for practical and timely guidance on dealing with flood damage and cleanup, or contact your ISU Extension county office for access to resources and assistance.
Call ISU Extension’s Answer Line, 800-262-3804, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m for answers to home and family related questions. Answer Line’s professional family and consumer scientists offer research-based advice on everything from dealing with refrigerated food after a power outage to salvaging belongings or cleaning up mold in a flood damaged home.
If you need to talk one-on-one with someone about your situation, contact the ISU Extension Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985. You can talk with stress counselors, seek out legal education or ask for a referral to appropriate resources.
Iowans who are interested in aquaculture as a business, have concerns about their ponds or want to know more about Iowa’s waterways or fish can contact Allen Pattillo, ISU Extension’s new aquaculture and fisheries specialist.
Pattillo, who has degrees from University of Georgia and Auburn University, is interested in hearing from Iowans, getting to know the issues they are facing and connecting them with university resources and agency personnel. “I learn a bit more about Iowa with every question I get,” he said.
For the second year in a row, Iowa State’s training in a nationally recognized financial literacy curriculum is sold out. Seventy-five Iowa middle and high school educators will be trained in the Family Economics and Financial Education (FEFE) curriculum during a July workshop at Iowa State.
“There is a demand for financial literacy training among teachers, counselors and community educators,” said Professor and ISU Extension Specialist Cynthia Needles Fletcher. The Iowa 21st Century Skills Core Curriculum requires that Iowa schools teach financial literacy skills to K-12 students, beginning with grades 9-12 by the 2012-13 school year. The FEFE curriculum helps teachers meet that challenge.
Iowa 4-H’ers are using geographic information systems (GIS) on iPhones to map a bur oak savannah in the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. They’re identifying the locations of bur oaks, hickories and other species so that next winter the refuge staff can do maintenance, removing dead, diseased or non-fire tolerant trees. The effort is funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
4-H Tech Team member David Runneals said, “What’s cool about this project is we actually get to use technology and we also get out in the field to get experience.”
Last July rising floodwaters collapsed the Lake Delhi Dam. But efforts of Iowa State students, faculty and extension specialists are engaging local stakeholders in examining alternatives for recovery. A fall 2010 design studio class gathered stakeholder perspectives and local data to develop scenarios of potential development decisions. Preliminary information from the studio was provided to the Lake Delhi Recover and Rebuild Task Force.
“It was fascinating for me to learn how you try to get stakeholder groups to discuss options and find solutions that work for everyone, whether at the top or bottom of the watershed,” said fifth-year student Cody LeClaire. “This project has emphasized that design is about working with people and solving problems that affect them in their daily lives.”