As the current president of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), Sue Donaldson will be presiding over the organization’s national conference in Madison, WI, from May 19-23. ANREP is the national professional organization for Extension faculty specializing in natural resources. Donaldson is a water quality education specialist for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, specializing in domestic well water quality, nonpoint source water pollution, small acreage management, and invasive weed species education and management.
Following the theme of “Leopold’s Legacy: The Land Ethic at Work Today,” the conference will focus on how Extension professionals can help people in their communities deal with changes that result from issues such as global warming. The conference will be held at the Monona Terrace Conference Center, the first LEED-EB certified conference facility in the United States.
“We want to model sustainability in our conference venue,” said Donaldson, “Participants will learn more about bringing sustainability and conservation education to communities.”
The conference committee chose to honor Aldo Leopold, an ecologist, forester and University of Wisconsin professor who lived in Madison and wrote about nature. His land ethic recognizes that each individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts, including the interdependence humans have with the land and the need for conservation education.
Held every two years, the ANREP national conference is a chance for Extension professionals in the natural resources area to get together and share ideas on a variety of topics. Aside from land changes and sustainability, the conference will also focus on working with community members and how to reach out and market Extension’s resources.
Donaldson attended her first ANREP conference in 1998, which was also the first year the national conference was held for the organization. After experiencing the first conference, she knew that the organization was the one for her and continued to attend every conference.
“Before ANREP was created, we fell into agriculture, which is not the same as natural resources. This organization really addresses the needs of natural resource professionals and the needs of community members,” said Donaldson.