Romina Flores Diaz, a political science student at UConn Hartford, and Mayra Rodríguez González, our urban and community forestry assistant extension educator, advanced UConn CAHNR’s strategic vision through their collaborative research on Resilient Cities, Racism, and Equity. At the Undergraduate Research Conference in Storrs, Romina presented an evidence-based approach to achieve environmental and climate justice in communities.
Achieving environmental and climate justice requires innovative strategies. What is the best approach?
UConn CAHNR is committed to improving quality of life and creating a sustainable future. Through scientific discovery, innovation, education, and community engagement the College has been working to achieve the set strategic initiatives:
Ensuring a Vibrant and Sustainable Agricultural Industry and Food Supply
Enhancing Health and Well-Being Locally, Nationally, and Globally
Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Advancing Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate
Fostering Sustainable Landscapes at the Urban-Rural Interface
Extension educator Thomas Worthley says, “The UConn Forest has a long history of human intervention.”
On this week’s #AskUConnExtension Showcase, we show how Forest Managers preserve the natural landscapes and beauty of the UConn Forest as a key educational resource for students.
Learn more about CT Forestry at s.uconn.edu/forestry
Text: The UConn Forest, located around the UConn campus, comprises several parcels of land stretching over hundreds of acres through Mansfield, Willington, and Coventry. Its natural beauty, though open to the public, is a core educational facet of the Forestry program at UConn. The Forest has been carefully designed to model ideal land-use patterns for environments in Connecticut. Stretching across the Fenton River watershed, its tree diversity keeps students informed.
Text: Extension educator Thomas Worthley says, “The UConn Forest has a long history of human intervention.” Managers of the UConn Forest plant trees that are desirable, and remove trees that threaten habitats. When these trees are removed with chainsaws, it’s important to make a lot of noise so the operator hears!
Do you want to create an environment that supports all residents so that they can benefit from urban agriculture and its positive impacts on health, social, economic and environmental?
Apply to the Urban Agriculture Community Advisory Council and help create a community-led vision and a plan for urban agriculture in New Haven! To learn more and to apply, visit: bit.ly/nhvagcab. High or official experience in urban agriculture and food systems are not required to participate!
In a time of extraordinary circumstances, UConn has adapted by seeking new opportunities and new ways to keep UConn Nation connected in a socially distant world. Through all the change and uncertainty, there has been one constant—our commitment to providing an exceptional education to our program participants. During this year’sUConn Gives, a 36-hour giving initiative, you can celebrate this commitment to excellence through giving. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, March 23rd and Wednesday, March 24th in supporting one or more of our initiatives:
Extension programs cover the full spectrum of topics aligned with CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:
Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate
Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
Our educators faced the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and pivoted programs to offer life transformative education despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of the 169 municipalities across the state.
Land-grant universities have provided communities, organizations, farmers and individuals with practical knowledge rooted in research through the Cooperative Extension System since the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. Over the last 107 years a lot has changed with our Extension systems. The program has expanded beyond its agricultural production origin to encompass a wide variety of resources ranging from nutrition to environmental issues and technology.
UConn Extension is no exception to this evolution that the Cooperative Extension System has seen. However, one thing has not changed, in more than a century of working with Connecticut residents, producers, and communities; UConn Extension has always been about connection. Across the board, UConn Extension educators and programs strike at the very core of our 169 cities and towns to make each one of them a better place. Connecting Connecticut, our new podcast, showcases each of our programs through the eyes of those impacted by them.
Connecting Connecticut teaches individuals throughout our state about the programs in their communities. By talking to extension educators, volunteers, researchers, and community members each episode dives into the goals and impacts our programs have here in Connecticut. From learning about coastal resilience and the Connecticut Sea Grant program, looking into the impact 4-H has on the state’s youth and communities, to discussing the importance of volunteers across the Constitution State it is our goal to share the work of UConn Extension, and ultimately our impact on Connecticut.
Join us as we hop from Salisbury to Stonington, visit all eight counties, and talk to all of the wonderful people in between that truly make this state great. Our goal to reach every community, people from all walks of life, and strive for a better tomorrow and we have been fulfilling that mission since 1914. We are chronicling that journey and the people who make it
possible everyday. It is only fitting that in telling our story we do so by Connecting Connecticut.
Are you interested in the Coordinated Dietetics Master’s Program in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources? Learn more about what is involved in the program.
Hi everyone! My name is Kirsten Krause and this year I am the Tolland County 4-H summer program intern! I am currently a junior attending UConn Storrs as an Animal Science major on the pre-veterinary track, with hopes to attend veterinary school after completing my undergraduate degree. At UConn, I am heavily involved in many livestock clubs, including Block and Bridle, the Poultry Science Club, and the Dairy Club, which I will be serving as the president of for the 2020-2021 school year. I am also involved on campus as a student ambassador for CAHNR, a herdsman for the animal science department “Little I” livestock show, and as a volunteer student worker in various livestock research studies.
This internship is very near and dear to my heart, as I grew up as a 4-H youth in Tolland County and have spent the last 11 years immersing myself in county, state, and national 4-H activities. I have served on the county fairboard as a youth director for 5 years, 2 of which I held the position of president and 1 year as a junior advisor. At the state level, I have participated in various leadership forums and have been a member of the Teen Leadership Planning Committee. At the national level, I have attended 3 national 4-H trips, as well as being selected as a CT 4-H youth representative to attend the 4-H CS Pathways grant training in Utah last spring. Additionally, I was the Tolland County 4-H program intern last year, and in previous years I have worked closely with the past program intern through my fairboard committee, which is what prepared and inspired me to pursue the position as the program intern.
This summer, I have been working extensively on developing a virtual platform for Tolland County 4-H youth to exhibit their projects in place of a live, in-person fair. I work closely with other members of the county fairboard, prospective judges, as well as other 4-H counties’ youth and interns to compile appropriate resources for 4-H youth to have the same opportunity to participate in a fair this year, despite the transition to being entirely virtual. Additionally, I have served as the primary contact for virtual 4-H fair related inquiries. I am thankful that although the fair will be very different this year, I am still able to contribute to positive youth development and network with other students, 4-Hers, and interns through my position.
The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL) at UConn is reporting the identification of the Asian longhorned tick. This is the first time that CVMDL has identified this tick species. The ticks were submitted to CVMDL for identification and testing from the State of New York. Our laboratory notified New York State Animal and Public Health officials of the findings. This information was also reported to the USDA per regulations.
Ticks are disease-carrying arachnids that reside in moist areas, such as long grass and the leaf litter, and will latch onto humans and animals alike. Although there are many different species of ticks, people generally think of one tick species in particular when worrying about illness: the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). While the Deer tick is predominantly known for transmitting the agent that causes Lyme disease (the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi), it can also carry other disease-causing agents. A single tick can transmit more than one infectious agent.
Identification of the Asian longhorned tick at CVMDL is significant because it means their population is increasing and that presents another public health concern. Asian longhorned ticks are not traditionally found in the Western Hemisphere but were first identified here in 2017.
Although Asian longhorned ticks are not as attracted to humans as pets and livestock, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and scientists at UConn’s CVMDL encourage people to take precautions against the tick. We are still uncertain of the diseases the Asian longhorned tick carries and spreads. The CDC offers guidelines to help people prevent tick bites.
Zach Duda, a UConn CAHNR student and a summer intern with Extension’s Litchfield County 4-H program walks us through the haymaking process. We often see cattle, horses, sheep, and goats consuming hay, but if you ever wondered how it was made, Zach has the answers for you.