In this edition
- New lab opens to support agricultural research at the University
- Extension provides safe celebrations in October for National 4-H Week, Halloween
- Workshops offered to celebrate fall gardening, support Nevada's workforce
- New tutoring program helps middle and high schoolers, grows future teachers
- What's all the buzz? Strategies in understanding stimulants
About our College
A founding college of the University, we have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and engagement programs that benefit the health and economic vitality of Nevada. We offer programs in:
- agriculture, horticulture, rangeland & veterinary sciences
- biochemistry & molecular biology
- children, youth & families
- community & economic development
- health & nutrition
- natural resources & environmental science
New lab opens to support agricultural research at the University
The Core Analytical Laboratory offers services to University researchers and the general public
Our College's Experiment Station has opened a new lab in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Located at the University's Knudtsen Resource Center, the new Core Analytical Lab provides agriculture-focused analytical services to support faculty- and student-led University research. It also offers analytical services for a fee to the general public, including property owners and homeowners, who may need to have their soil or water samples analyzed. Training of students and faculty who want to conduct these analyses on their own is also available.
"Although we just opened," Lab Director Sarrah Dunham-Cheatham said, "we have several students using the lab to process soil samples for their own research, and we’ve seen a lot of interest in using the facility for water quality research."
The lab is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offers scheduling services for anyone needing to send in a sample, as well as various fee-based analytical services. The fees are based on what service is needed. For more information, contact the lab at 775-682-6486 or submit a contact form.
Growing healthy crops and improving soil and water quality
"Our College and its Extension and Experiment Station units receive many calls about soil and water analyses for garden soils and wells. It’s exciting to now be able to offer this much-needed service to Nevada residents." -Experiment Station Director & Associate Dean for Research Chris Pritsos
Extension provides safe celebrations in October for National 4-H Week, Halloween
Extension celebrates positive impact on Nevada communities, hosts educational and community events
Claudene Wharton & Ashley Andrews
Extension and its 4-H Youth Development Program joined the rest of the nation to celebrate National 4-H week, October 4-10. This year’s theme, "Opportunity4All," was aimed at rallying support for the program and identifying solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million youth across America.
"This year for 4-H Week, we asked everyone to pledge to help eliminate inequities for kids," Carrie Stark, Nevada 4-H director, said. "It's not too late. People can still go online to join the national pledge. They can also still donate to the FOURWARD Fund to help ensure every child in Nevada has the support and educational resources they need."
National 4-H Week
Nevada 4-H youth, their families and volunteers celebrated National 4-H Week by sharing on social media about the meaning of opportunity, sharing their 4-H stories, wearing green or the 4-H Clover, participating in the annual 4-H STEAM challenge, and more. Here's a roundup of some of the celebrations.
"4-H gave me the opportunity to get involved in public service projects, learn about better health, make new friends and gain an even greater appreciation for the importance of agriculture in Nevada. I love 4-H!"
Laura's 4-H story...
"I joined 4-H in 1988. I had to stand up and say my name and my projects. I was so shy I cried! Now I can say my name in public without tears, thank you 4-H! I still sew and I’ve entered items in the fair every year."
Liz' 4-H story...
"Joining 4-H allowed me to find a voice I never knew I had and make friends that I never would have met. My 4-H experience inspired me to make many of the decisions I made later in life and throughout my career."
-Nevada 4-H's Elizabeth Barry
Extension and its 4-H Youth Development Program also marked in October All Hallows' Eve through safe community events, art projects, and scavenger hunts designed to be fun, educational and to promote teamwork. Here's a round up of some of the Halloween happenings.
Trunk or treating
Growing leadership, citizenship and life skills
4-H is a community of young people across America. Members learn life skills, make new friends, enhance self-esteem, achieve personal goals, develop positive relationships with peers and volunteers, and have fun learning and sharing as a family and a club.
Workshops offered to celebrate fall gardening, support Nevada's workforce
Extension hosts tours and classes for residents and professionals
Hannah Alfaro & Ashley Andrews
Extension is holding a garden tour, as well as a variety of workshops through the end of the year. Classes cover growing fruit at home, using native plants to create a flower wash and irrigation systems.
- Botanic Gardens Tour- Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 8050 Paradise Road in Las Vegas. A Master Gardener docent will guide the tour of the gated "secret garden," featuring well-marked paths, fruit trees, berry bushes, vegetable and herb plants, and native and native-adapted plants. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a face covering. Registration is by donation to the garden.
- Gardening in Small Places: Growing Fruit at Home - Nov. 14, 9 to 11:30 a.m., via Zoom. This class will review growing fruit trees and berries at home in southern Nevada. Master Gardener Program Coordinator Angela O’Callaghan will discuss what attributes to look for when planning a home orchard. Registration is $10.
- Growing Under the Stars: Creating a Native Flower Wash - Nov. 18, 6 to 7:30 p.m., via Zoom. This class will focus on creating a native flower wash for southern Nevada yards. Master Gardener Gail Brandys will share show how to create a native flower wash in your yard with dozens of pictures and step-by-step instructions. Registration is free.
- Green Industry Continuing Education Series: Irrigation System Refresher- Dec. 9, noon to 1 p.m., via Zoom. Leon Villegas will review must-know information about irrigation systems for green industry professionals, including landscapers and tree care professionals. Continuing Education Units for Qualified Water-efficient Landscapers are available for this class. Registration is free.
Participants should watch their emails for class updates. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should let events organizers know at least three days prior to the scheduled event.
Sharing the science of gardening, even from small places
"There's no place like our botanic gardens. There really isn't. There are botanic gardens in many places. There are educational facilities all over, but this is different because it's got such diversity in a very small area." -Horticulture Specialist Angela O'Callaghan
New tutoring program helps middle and high schoolers, grows future teachers
University NevadaTeach students provide youth free help in math and science
To boost middle and high school students' online learning, our NevadaTeach Program is facilitating opportunities for future educators who are enrolled at the University to provide youth free virtual help in math and science.
"Supporting the learning of math and science is at the foundation of our work, and it is exciting to explore new ways in which we can reach students while supporting future science and math educators," NevadaTeach Master Teacher Mandi Collins said.
Typically, our soon-to-be educators apply what they learn in their University coursework at area middle and high schools through a for-credit instruction class. During the pandemic, those classes are difficult or impossible to provide. The tutoring program addresses this problem, benefitting both University as well as middle and high school students.
"Virtual tutoring seemed to us like a way to not only help our students meet the goals of NevadaTeach, but also help learners in our communities," Collins said.
The virtual tutoring is available at no cost to schools or families due to the generous support of NevadaTeach Program donors. For more information on how to support NevadaTeach students, contact Mitch Klaich.
The NevadaTeach Program is a collaboration among several colleges at the University, including ours and the College of Education & Human Development. NevadaTeach students earn two degrees upon graduation. One is in secondary education and the other is a STEM degree. For students in our College, that second degree is in either agricultural or environmental science.
Program graduates meet the requirements to apply for a teaching license in Nevada at the middle or high school level.
Serving and strengthening Nevada's future
"Our NevadaTeach STEM outreach and tutoring services program has incredible strength in a time when our community needs us the most, during the pandemic. I’m very excited to see this program serving our community and the value it adds to our sixth to12th grade students is immeasurable." -College of Education & Human Development Dean Donald Easton-Brooks
What's all the buzz?
Strategies in understanding stimulants
Opioid has become a buzz word in America. While opioid addiction is a big problem, there is another longer-standing buzz, especially in Nevada. Stimulants.
Stimulants are a class of drugs that include not only more widely known substances such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, but also ADHD prescription drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin. Nevada led the nation in overdose deaths from stimulant use in 2018. While it would be nice to see Nevada at the top of one of America’s health-related lists, this isn’t one of them, and this is no laughing matter.
So, why are these drugs so popular? According to researchers, the top two reasons for using stimulants are energy (for men and women) and weight loss (especially for women). And those not reaching for methamphetamine or prescription ADHD drugs are likely settling on super-coffee, energy drinks and other energy products as alternatives.
Sadly, these are not the safe alternatives you might think they are. Not considered a food or drug, alternatives such as energy drinks, energy products, dietary supplements and many others contain hidden, high-potency caffeine additives not subject to FDA regulations or premarket safety and effectiveness testing. They contain many ingredients with questionable safety.
Because of the stimulant effects of these products, they have been described as a gateway for drug dependence.
Boosting Nevadans' health and fitness
"If a boost of energy is what you need, try to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, manage stress, drink water and eat a balanced diet." -Public Health & Exercise Science Specialist Anne Lindsay
Growing a stronger Nevada
Our programs work together to make an impact
Our teaching, research and engagement programs are intertwined and complement one another. Faculty who teach on campus also conduct research as part of our Experiment Station, allowing students to learn about and participate in research. Extension faculty engaging with communities identify research needs, as well as join Experiment Station faculty to conduct research. Faculty on campus help to develop Extension programs in communities.
Want to help grow Nevada?
Consider making a contribution in support of classroom, lab or office space; graduate assistantships; student scholarships; or upgrades to the Nevada 4-H Camp. To learn more, please contact Mitch Klaich '02, director of development, at 775-682-6490.