Newsletter | Vol. 9
In this edition
- 4-H National Youth Science Day is a 'Game Changer'
- Extension's Stephanie McAfee shares expertise on communicating about climate
- Featured Faculty | 2019 Foundation Professor Marjorie Matocq
- Registered dietitian uses health care experience to educate students
- Photo Gallery | Nevada Field Day 2019
- Sale finalized for 104-acre parcel at University's Main Station Farm
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
4-H National Youth Science Day is a 'Game Changer'
Students learn computer science concepts through creating games
On Oct. 18, 122 fourth-grade students and future 4-H members at Judith D. Steele Elementary School in Las Vegas took part in 4-H National Youth Science Day. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, took the students through three sessions devoted to computer science. First, students learned what a public service announcement was before creating their own using Scratch, a programming language that is easy for youth to use. Second, students designed their own game board, Hack Your Harvest, to learn the basics of computer coding. Lastly, students created an active tag game, Program Your Playground, by using the concepts or conditionals, pattern recognition, etc. Students ended their sessions with smiles and some 4-H buttons, pencils and stickers. Many students called the day “the best day ever” and look forward to the upcoming year, during which they will be working on a coding and robotics project.
The 2019 National Youth Science Day challenge was designed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service to teach youth ages 8-14 how to use computer science to create games, solve problems and engage with topics they’re passionate about. This year’s experiment used physical activity and puzzles to teach kids important computer science concepts and problem-solving skills, creating real-world connections between computer science and civic engagement, healthy living and agriculture.
Extension's Stephanie McAfee shares expertise on communicating about climate
Panel of experts discuss 'Communicating Science in a Divided Society'
The Reynolds School of Journalism launched the new Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science with the “Communicating Science in a Divided Society” panel on Oct. 21. The Hitchcock Project was funded in 2018 as an initiative to prepare students, professionals and scientists to present science in visual and creative forms.
Expert panelists Vanessa Serrao, creative director of storytelling for National Geographic; Peter Laufer, author, journalist and professor at the University of Oregon; and Stephanie McAfee, climatologist and associate professor with University of Nevada, Reno Extension and the College of Science, discussed issues that come with communicating scientific findings as part of the launch of the Hitchcock Project.
2019 Foundation Professor Marjorie Matocq
Marjorie Matocq, professor of natural resources and environmental science, grew up in the Lake Tahoe area and has always been interested in western landscapes and the biodiversity of this region. She accepted the position with the University because she knew this would be a prime location for her research.
Matocq’s work focuses on identifying the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. She combines intensive fieldwork with cutting-edge genomic analyses to identify how animals are adapted to the range of environmental variation they experience in the wild.
Registered dietitian uses health care experience to educate students
Jolyn Wirshing helps nutrition students discover their own areas of study
Since 2017, registered dietitian Jolyn Wirshing has worked with students in the Department of Nutrition in the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.
Wirshing has studied weight loss and sports nutrition throughout her extensive career. She completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and became a registered dietitian in 2001. In 2006, she was recognized by the Nevada Dietetic Association as the Young Dietitian of the Year. She has worked as a clinical dietitian at ManorCare Health Services and as a pediatric dietitian.
Wirshing decided to pursue a career in teaching at the University so she could use her experience to help educate students in the nutrition field. As a lecturer, she teaches nutrition courses for nonscience majors, among other courses in the nutrition department.
“I love working with undergraduates,” Wirshing said. “They have so much excitement for their future, and since most of the students I work with want to be dietitians or health care professionals, I can really help them with my experience in the field.”
In addition to teaching, Wirshing wants to help students develop their own research studies. She plans to work with nutrition majors to increase awareness of the importance of the nutrition program for the future of the health care field, and she aims to provide a good stepping stone for future and continuing students for their careers.
“Jolyn Wirshing has been a wonderful addition to the Nutrition faculty,” said Jamie Benedict, chair of the College’s Department of Nutrition. “In addition to her knowledge, students greatly appreciate her energy, enthusiasm and passion for nutrition and dietetics.”
Photo Gallery | Nevada Field Day 2019
University experts showcase research, activities and programs at fall festival
At Nevada Field Day on Oct. 19, visitors were treated to a variety of free activities and giveaways, and even some tasty food samples, courtesy of the University of Nevada, Reno and its Col˚lege of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.
The event featured hands-on activities and information focusing on the latest advancements in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. It is a collaborative project of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources; and its research and outreach units, the Experiment Station and University of Nevada, Reno Extension.
Sale finalized for 104-acre parcel at University's Main Station Farm
Escrow closed on deal for parcel that borders McCarran Boulevard north of Pembroke
- develop research capabilities at the J Dow Experiment Station wetlands,
- build ADA-compliant classrooms at Main Station Field Lab,
- construct the Eureka Agriculture Center for Range and Sheep Improvement,
- develop the International Center of Dryland Agriculture,
- create an endowed professorship for indoor/urban agriculture in Clark County, and
- renovate critical laboratory facilities on the University’s main campus for the benefit of all students, research faculty and staff.
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 the 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.