University of Nevada, Reno Extension welcomes Chad Morris as program officer for the Commercial Landscape Horticulture Program.
In this role, Morris assists professional landscapers with continuing education, which may be required for professionals to maintain their certifications, as well as have the knowledge to perform various services safely and efficiently. Starting his position during health lockdowns and restrictions, Morris has had to extend a lot of creativity in order to alter programming so that it would continue to be offered to the public.
Morris helps direct landscapers to classes such as the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) series, which is held semi-annually and provides participants with local water, soil and plant information; basic and advanced irrigation principles; and hands-on water audit skills. Once participants have completed the courses, they receive QWEL certification to help them market their qualifications. Along with the QWEL classes, which will begin at the end of September, Morris is also focusing on a continuing education series that offers various industry Continuing Education Units.
Morris began his career in horticulture working for a local nursery in 2000, where he was able to experience different aspects of the commercial horticulture industry, such as consultations, off-site planting and purchasing landscape plants. The work encouraged him to become a certified nursery worker and arborist, and he received these certifications from the same programs he’s overseeing now.
“I love the outreach programs that Extension offers,” Morris said. “Helping to educate our community and equip our industry is our mission, and being a part of that means a lot to me. As a UNR graduate and longtime Northern Nevada local, I am excited about getting to add value in a field that I love, within an institution I respect, to the community I’m proud to be a part of.”
Morris is looking forward to continuing Extension programs, including the Grow Your Own, Nevada! series next spring. Grow Your Own, Nevada! is an outreach program that helps Nevadans get on a path to more sustainable, local and healthy living by growing and preserving their own food. After receiving positive feedback from having this year’s series online, Morris is planning to develop other programs into an online format to be able to reach even more landscape professionals.