May 19: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST (2 PM ET)
Presented by Angela Gupta, University of Minnesota – Extension
The University of Minnesota Extension is delighted to offer the newly revised and nationally piloted EmpowerU! Advocating Invasive Species or Natural Resource Management program content for free to institutions interested in delivering this flipped classroom and in-person material. This presentation will outline two new curricula that offer leadership and advocacy skills to Extension volunteer and landowner audiences. EmpowerU is a newly developed curriculum to enable master volunteers, citizen scientists, landowners and others interested in natural resources to effectively engage decision makers at all levels. Do you have passionate program participants who are frustrated with adjacent landowners, township, county or state officials and don’t know how to initiate meaningful policy change? If so, this curriculum might be a great advanced training for your audience.
After one year of revision and pilot implementation in seven states, we know from evaluation data that participants are extremely satisfied and find value in both the online and in-person activities. One participant said it “changed my life,” another felt “much more qualified to build and present a strong case for advocacy around environmental concerns”, and one reported on a later follow-up evaluation that she was able to work across property lines to manage a healthy stand of invasive crown vetch next to a newly-planted prairie after completing the course.
Angela Gupta is a University of Minnesota Extension Professor of Forestry in Rochester, MN. Angela’s been with UMN Extension for 15 years as a traditional forestry education and has focused on invasive species for the last 11 years. She leads the UMN Extension Invasive Species Community of Practice, EmpowerU and the Forest Pest First Detector program. Angela has a BS in Forestry from the University of Kentucky and a MA in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University. Before joining Extension she worked as a District Forester for Louisiana-Pacific in Alpena, Minnesota, and was a US Peace Corps Agroforestry Extensionist in Kenya, East Africa.