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March 11-14, 2003 Highlights

Forest Service and Utah State Celebrate Collaboration

Regional forester Jack Troyer presents plaque to College of Natural Resources Dean Fee Busby and Program Director Michael ButkusTwenty-five years ago the first spam message was sent out via the "Arpanet," Corvettes were the hottest thing on wheels, Frank Zappa toured the country, Christopher Reeves flew in a Superman getup, women wore red, knee-high boots and albums went from seven inches to 12 inches.

And some people actually got something done.

It was twenty-five years ago, in 1979, that Utah State University's College of Natural Resources partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, offering training courses for Forest Service managers and decision makers. Forest Service officials were in town March 3 to celebrate the quarter-century partnership with natural resources faculty.

Almost 700 recreation managers from the Forest Service and other federal land management agencies have been trained in managing the wildland/urban interface; managing wilderness areas, cultural resources and archeology sites; aligning recreation programs with public demand; recreation conflict and management; rural tourism development; ecosystem approaches to visitor management; and other topics.

Michael Butkus, program director for 15 years, brings in expertise from around the country to conduct the training seminars and workshops, which range in length from one week to three weeks.

"Given the popularity of outdoor recreation as a use of our public lands, training and educating federal recreation managers in order to help them do their jobs better is a very important outreach function for our College of Natural Resources," Butkus said.


Utah State Extension in Morgan County: Making an Impact in Schools

Milan Mechan is a 27-year veteran of the elementary school classroomMilan Mechan is a 27-year veteran of the elementary school classroom and a third generation 4-H'er. He says Extension has been invaluable, providing educational programs concerning water conservation and agriculture for use in the classroom. The all-day Agricultural Day, as part of "Ag in the Classroom," and the local Mountain Man Day have been two of his students' favorites.

"There is always a tremendous amount of community support for Extension and 4-H," Mechan said.

The Ag Day provides 160 students with 12 stations that focus not just on production, but the science of water and soils.

Ralph Pomeroy, principal of Morgan Elementary, echoed Mechan's support. "We have a great partnership with the schools, community and newspaper in supporting Extension's 'Character Counts' program through grade school, junior high and high school for the last five years."

We have monthly assemblies that focus on a different character trait each time, Pomeroy says. Each month the high school honors both a student and someone from the community, and the newspaper helps out by featuring the winners. Extension has been one of the best resources for bringing character development programs to our schools, he added. It helps build community and improve relationships among the students.

The students like it so much that they have formed a drama club to put on character education plays.

To find out more about Morgan County, click here. For more about Extension in other counties take the Extension tour of Utah.


Pamela J. Riley Honored as Women and Gender Research Institute Distinguished Professor

Pamela J. RileyDr. Pamela J. Riley has been nominated as the Women and Gender Research Institute's (WGRI) Distinguished Professor. Professor Riley has made exceptional contributions to Utah State University and to her profession in the areas of teaching, research and service during her 25-plus-year career at Utah State University. Her research focuses on women in international development and, domestically, on gender, work and family. Her latest research efforts are directed toward targeting Latino families in Cache Valley to learn more about their experiences with work, family and community.

The purpose of the WGRI Distinguished Professor Award is to recognize the outstanding leadership of women professors in their scholarly or creative disciplines and to recognize men or women professors who conduct research on gender issues.

A reception honoring Riley is planned for Wednesday, March 19, in the Eccles Conference Center on the Utah State University campus. Riley will speak at 3 p.m. and a reception will follow at 4 p.m.

The WGRI was formed in 1984 to foster research by women, to assist departments in recruiting and retaining women faculty, and to encourage research on gender issues by men and women.


Utah State University Extension Forestry Specialist Presents at Congressional Reception

Mike KuhnsMike Kuhns, Utah State University Extension Forestry Specialist and associate professor of forestry, recently presented an exhibit at a Washington, D.C., congressional reception highlighting the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. His exhibit was one of 36 Extension and Ag Experiment Station projects chosen to be presented to members of Congress, their staff and agency representatives. Several hundred attended.

"Mike has been a great asset to Extension and the state of Utah," said Jack Payne, vice president for Extension. "If you limit your travel to I-15, you may not realize that about 30 percent (16 million acres) of Utah is forest land. Forested lands are an important natural resource in Utah, and carefully managed forest lands provide substantial benefits not only to the private landowner, but to communities as well."

"It was an honor to be part of this reception," said Kuhns. "They highlighted advancements being made at the nation's land grant universities in agricultural and natural resources research and Extension."

Kuhns's exhibit highlighted Utah State's Forest Landowner Education
Program and its effort to provide current, unbiased information to Utah's private forest landowners and others interested in managing forest lands in Utah. The exhibit also highlighted community and wildland-urban interface forestry with a display explaining various aspects of USU Extension forestry.

This year's Congressional reception theme was "The Land-Grant System: Science and Education Working for and Serving America." This is the sixth year the event has been held.

Kuhns has worked at Utah State since 1992.


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