Center News

  • Andrew Koeser recognized with second international award from ISA
  • Rescheduled In-Service Training (IST) Courses of Interest
  • Dukes elected Fellow American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
  • Researchers Answer How "Green" Are Urban Trees?
  • Chris Marble awarded UF/IFAS equipment grant
  • Michael Dukes elected Fellow Environmental and Water Resources Institute
  • Dukes paper on residential irrigation demand wins award
  • UF helps residents save at least 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation annually
  • Center's Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program major part of new landmark water study
  • Gail Hansen and Esen Momol lead design for new garden at Florida hospital
  • Adam Dale and Basil Iannone awarded seed funding

Rescheduled Upcoming In-Service Training (IST) Courses of Interest

Due to Hurricane Irma, both of these trainings were rescheduled.  The below information reflects the new dates for each training. 

Two ISTs of possible interest have been announced. The first is "When and How to Utilize the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Research and Extension" (PDEC IST# 31394), being held on November 1, 9am-4:30pm, in Gainesville. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) review all research involving human subjects to ensure that their welfare and rights are protected as mandated by federal regulations. Faculty, staff, and students at UF may not conduct any human research without prior IRB approval. Effective sustainable agriculture program evaluation and outreach relies on human subject feedback, namely farmers and service providers. The objective of this IST is to provide participants with an understanding of how the IRB submission process works, when it is necessary, and how to submit an IRB successfully.

The second is "Changing Communities Using a Theory of Change," (PDEC IST# 31263), being held on November 2, 9am–4:30pm, in Gainesville. Faculty are under increasing demand in Extension to demonstrate their programs create community-level change. Donors and government agencies want to see that Extension programs go beyond creating change at the individual level—they want to see significant movement in critical indicators for entire communities, for the county, and ultimately for the state. Examples of community-level indicators might be things like reduced average water use in municipalities, increased tax revenues from agriculturally based businesses at the county level, or decreased incidence of obesity among youth in specific communities. They also want Extension to address complex issues that involve both individual attitudes and behaviors and structural barriers. It is true that individuals have to change their behaviors to get community level change, but that is just one component of community-level change. Programs that will achieve these kinds of broad-based, systemic changes require concerted efforts to increase resources and opportunities and reduce barriers at a broader, community scale. As a result, those in Extension have to be strategic in their programming, which requires a theory of change—a path of related events that must occur at multiple scales and with multiple actors for change to occur. It also typically requires developing strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with other agencies and organizations. This training gives participants an opportunity to develop their own strategic theory of change to access a complex problem that is critical to their work in Extension.

Those with questions should contact Kaylene Sattanno for more information. Visit the PDEC site to register for any of the trainings.


Michael Dukes elected Fellow American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes was elected to the grade of Fellow by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in 2017. An ASABE Fellow is defined as a member with at least 20 years membership and that has unusual professional qualities with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to the field of agricultural, food, or biological systems engineering. It is ASABE's highest honor. Dukes will be officially named during ASABE’s annual meeting on July 17 in Spokane, Washington. Read the full IFAS news story, "Renowned UF professor named a Fellow by national organization."


Researchers Answer How "Green" Are Urban Trees?

A group of researchers from the University of Illinois, University of Florida, and University of Kentucky, take a look at urban tree carbon sequestration and tree maintenance practices. Researchers led by Dr. Dewayne Ingram, University of Kentucky, set out to determine at what point urban trees sequester as much carbon as is emitted during maintenance practices over their lifespan. Another way to phrase this is: at what point do urban trees become carbon neutral?

"Our research shows the importance of selecting good quality trees that are suited for the planting site and doing what we can to enhance their longevity,” Dr. Andrew Koeser, University of Florida, says. “Failed plantings and premature tree death can end up causing environmental disservice."

Read the full article online at Alliance for Community Trees, an Arbor Day Foundation program.


Chris Marble awarded UF/IFAS equipment grant

CLCE faculty member Dr. S. Chris Marble was awarded a grant through the UF/IFAS Equipment and Infrastructure Awards Program. The funds will go to the purchase a LI-COR 6800, which measures photosynthesis. This is Li-COR's newest model. Many of the faculty at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center will be using the equipment. They will use it to closely monitor how plants are responding to stress (water, heat, drought, disease, etc.), herbicide applications, nutrition, growing conditions, and other impacts. The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, in partnership with the University of Florida's Office of the Vice President for Research, offer the Equipment and Infrastructure Awards Program with the goal of enhancing infrastructural capacity for research within UF/IFAS, to increase the impacts of our research efforts, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural funding. There were 62 proposals submitted, more than double from the previous year.


Michael Dukes elected Fellow Environmental and Water Resources Institute

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes was elected to the grade of Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) in 2017. An EWRI Fellow is defined as a member with at least 10 years of membership and has demonstrated accomplishments that have contributed significantly to the advancement or application of water resources or environmental engineering, science, and technology.


Michael Dukes paper on residential irrigation demand wins award

CLCE Director Dr. Michael Dukes' paper, "Mining for Water: Using Billing Data to Characterize Residential Irrigation Demand" was recognized by the American Water Works Association Water Conservation Division as Best Paper. His graduate student, Mackenzie Boyer was primary author and coauthors include Dr. Linda Young and Shu Wang. The award will be given at the June 2017 AWWA annual conference in Philadelphia.


UF helps residents save at least 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation annually

Participants in a UF/IFAS program saved 65 million gallons in outdoor irrigation in 2016, enough to supply 15 subdivisions with water for a year, experts with the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology say. "UF/IFAS is making a difference with our limited water resources," said Laura Warner, assistant professor of agricultural education and communication. "Seemingly small drops in the bucket really add up when we look at the big picture across the state and over time." Using less water also saves money: $200,000 a year in tap water utility bills, said CLCE affiliate faculty member Tatiana Borisova, a co-investigator and associate professor of food and resource economics. Their figures come from a sample of Extension agents in 16 Florida counties, so the savings may be greater, the researchers said. Read the full article at UF/IFAS News.


Center's Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program major part of landmark water study

"Water 2070: Mapping Florida's Future - Alternative Patterns of Water Use in 2070" is a report from a joint effort among Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), University of Florida Geoplan Center, and 1000 Friends of Florida. The project's goal was to "explore the impact on water demand of projected population growth and agriculture demand" in the coming years. The report concludes that there are two fundamental options to address future water demand: increase supply or reduce demand. Focusing on the second option, the report recommends using two existing statewide programs, Florida Water Star and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL), a program of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Recommended actions included expanding funding and requiring FFL standards for all new development. The summary report (pdf) is available online at the 1000 Friends of Florida's Water 2070 website.


Gail Hansen and Esen Momol lead design for new garden at Florida hospital

CLCE faculty Dr. Gail Hansen and Dr. Esen Momol recently led a University of Florida design team to create Florida Hospital Fish Memorial's community garden. "We are so thankful for our partnerships with the University of Florida. They so willingly shared their knowledge and expertise, designing this entire space," said Maureen Mercho, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial Foundation executive director. "This is huge for West Volusia and something to celebrate. On this single plot of land, members of our community can grow their own organic food and get exercise while doing it. What could be better?" Read the full article on the Florida Hospital website.


Adam Dale and Basil Iannone awarded seed funding

The IFAS Early Career Scientist Seed Funding program has recognized two CLCE affiliate faculty. Dr. Adam Dale, an assistant professor in turfgrass and ornamental entomology, was awarded $50,000 in research funding for his project, "The effects of turfgrass diversity on arthropod pests and biological control in urban landscapes." Dr. Basil Iannone, an assistant professor with the School of Forest Resources and Conservation was also awarded $50,000 for his proposal "Evaluating the contribution of biotic complexity to pest control in ornamental plant communities." The IFAS Dean for Research office, in partnership with the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Vice President for Research, has once again implemented the funding program to facilitate development of new faculty research, jumpstart their research programs, and to provide a platform for their future success. Out of 25 proposals, 15 were awarded. The scientists will present their preliminary research results at the 2017 IFAS Research Awards Ceremony.


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