Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

eXtension Begins New Chapter: Christine Geith Chief Executive Officer

Headshot 2015 left

The ‘New eXtension’ begins an exciting phase of its development and growth with the hiring of its new leader. The eXtension Foundation Board of Directors has named Christine Geith PhD as its Chief Executive Officer effective July 1, 2015.

“Having served as an advisor in some of the early strategic thinking and planning for the new framework, it is a privilege to serve as Chief Executive Officer for the eXtension Foundation. Together, the Cooperative Extension System and eXtension are essential hubs for community innovation on a national scale,” said Geith.

Geith is currently Assistant Provost and Executive Director of MSU Global at Michigan State University. She brings 25 years of leadership experience creating entrepreneurial, technology-based ventures at both a technical regional university, Rochester Institute of Technology, and a top-ranked land-grant university, Michigan State University. She has provided leadership for innovative digital strategies for programs, research, Extension, outreach and corporate engagement. She has also worked with new organizations and served on a number of boards, pioneering new business models and technologies to generate significant value for clients and stakeholders.

“I believe the time is now for eXtension to form even deeper partnerships with Cooperative Extension directors and administrators, and with a variety of organizations, to enhance the Cooperative Extension mission and accelerate its local impact. The new eXtension Foundation is well positioned to lead an expanded vision and enable the adoption of new ways of serving local communities for Cooperative Extension nationwide,” she said.

“We are very excited that Christine Geith will lead the eXtension Foundation and help us to develop both the future of eXtension and the future of Cooperative Extension, “ said Dennis Calvin, chair of the eXtension Foundation Board of Directors and Penn State University Cooperate Extension System director.
For more information contact: Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Communications & Marketing, 760-641-9354 or

About the eXtension Foundation

The eXtension Foundation is an innovation network of the national Cooperative Extension System, the nation’s largest non-formal educational organization. A member-based, non-profit organization, eXtension amplifies local Cooperative Extension impact by catalyzing innovation and exceptional professional development for the nation’s 15,000 Extension educators. The Cooperative Extension System has been extending knowledge and transforming lives for over 100 years. See more at


2015 National Extension Tourism Conference: Coast to Coast Tourism Matters


The National Extension Tourism (NET) design team invites you to the 2015 National Extension Tourism Conference: Coast to Coast Tourism Matters in Galveston, Texas at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, October 27 – 29, 2015.

At the conference you will hear from top professionals, participate in interactive tourism presentations and learn about current tourism development best practices. Keynote speakers are adventure tourism author and consultant Carol Patterson, President of Kalahari Management, Inc., and Kelly de Schaun, Executive Director of the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees. Also included are featured speakers Mary Mulvey, CEO of EcoTourism Ireland, and Dr. Will Brown, Director of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at Texas A&M University.

Session topics also include: Rural Tourism Development; Community and Regional Planning; AgriTourism; Heritage and Cultural Tourism, Nature-based Tourism; Tourism Research; and more.

You will meet people from across the nation and learn what extension is doing for local communities and businesses. Field experience tours of local tourism destinations are included. Registration for the conference is open.

For more information visit the NET 2015 Conference website:


Ed Tech Learning Network Seeks Guiding Committee Members

Interested in educational technology? Engaged with the #EdTechLN and want to get more involved? Contact Jamie Seger if you’re interested in serving on the Learning Network’s Guiding Committee. This group meets every other month (on average) virtually and also in person twice per year to discuss upcoming themes and strategies for the #EdTechLN.


NeXC2016: San Antonio, March 22-25. Be There!!


The 2016 National eXtension Conference (NeXC2016) will be held March 22-25, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Conference Co-chairs Beth Raney and Terry Meisenbach are currently building the conference committee. Details on the conference will be announced as they happen via Twitter (@nexconf) and Facebook.


eXtension Awards Nine Innovation Grants; 49 Proposals Submitted


The eXtension Foundation has identified nine projects that will be funded as part of its 2015 Innovation Request for Proposals. Funding ranges from $29,000 to $150,000. Forty-nine proposals were submitted. The granting period runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Grantees will be required to provide quarterly written reports along with face-to-face meetings with the eXtension Foundation to gauge impact, conduct at least one professional development session on the project and list it in Learn, and make a presentation at the 2016 National eXtension Conference next March. Awardees [project title, lead institution and principal investigator] are:

Building Personalized Learning Experiences for Adult Learners through Adaptive Learning Techniques, Michigan State University, Ellen Darnell. This project will evaluate and pilot adaptive learning tools for future Cooperative Extension programming. The team of experts will research several existing adaptive learning tools and consult with experts in the field of online learning who are currently implementing adaptive learning into their programming. They will design and deliver adaptive learning activities within existing online courses through several selected pilot projects.

Elevating of the Role of Spatial Reasoning in Communication and Decision Making in the Cooperative Extension System, University of New Hampshire, Shane Bradt. This project will empower CES staff to create interactive, online maps to collect and share spatial information, as well as, tell compelling stories. It will provide CES staff and administrators with access to relevant spatial data layers (i.e., census, political boundaries, watersheds, natural features) for their geographic region. It will advise Communities of Practice (CoP) and Learning Networks (LN) in the effective use of geospatial technologies in projects and grants.

Extending Reality: Instant Access to Extension Resources Using Augmented Reality Innovations, University of Tennessee, Heather Wallace and Emily Tipton. This project will explore Augmented Reality (AR) to engage consumers in a manner that will revolutionize daily life and transform research-based information access. This project is an innovation incubator to test augmented reality in consumers’ daily lives and will serve as a pilot in development and use of augmented reality software and existing content from eXtension and land grant institutions. While virtual reality “tests” possible scenarios, augmented reality applies solutions in real-time by projecting layers of data onto real world environments, creating deeper and more meaningful experiences for users.

eXtension Geo-Citizens Design Forest Farms, Virginia Tech, John Munsell. This project accelerates Cooperative Extension’s use of virtual high performance GeoDesign computing to improve the precision of farming systems in a changing climate. The project advances Cooperative Extension citizen science 2.0 by bringing programmers, geospatial experts, land management specialists, and citizen scientists together in a customizable, collaborative, and convivial virtual workspace to create a precision agriculture computer application. The project enhances flipped and interactive Cooperative Extension remote training methods over broad geographical regions through novel synthesis of videography and problem solving scenarios. The project strengthens Cooperative Extension inclusivity with a multi-institution, multi-state physiographic data collection and aggregation partnership. The project also demonstrates lasting NEW eXtension partnerships where computer simulation supports land use precision and citizens support computer simulation.

Lighting the Education Fire with Virtual Environments and Oculus Rift Technology, University of Idaho, Joey Peutz, Brian Cleveley and Lori Wahl. This project proposes to extend Cooperative Extensions’ outreach via 24/7 public experiential learning tools using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, web browser-based virtual environment (single and multi-user) and an app accessed through mobile devices supporting 3D virtual worlds. The primary demonstration project is a simulation to learn about home safety when threatened by a wildfire. The project offers the opportunity to experience a wildfire safety experience as an immersive 3D simulation with participants customizing the experience variables. The ability to access the same simulation content across three different platforms is also a new way of delivering knowledge making it more flexible and adaptable to meet the changing needs of Extension and their constituents.

Track that Crop: A Mobile App to Aggregate Crop Variety Data in Alaska and Beyond and to Increase Citizen Engagement with Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska, Heidi Rader. This project will create a mobile app to conduct citizen agriculture research. Alaska Master Gardeners will help test the app followed by recruiting additional citizen scientists statewide and nationally. Extension’s roots are in “extending” research-based information to the public. This project turns this traditional model upside down by asking the public to conduct and share research (also known as citizen science). The project proposes developing a mobile app to aggregate location-based crop variety research conducted by Master Gardeners, gardeners, and farmers.

nEXT Talks: Igniting Innovation in Extending Knowledge, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Chrystal Checketts. This project expands a platform designed to inspire innovation in Cooperative Extension program delivery by quickly connecting educators to material on emerging topics. These “talks” are timely, proactive, interactive and position educators nationwide with information to position them as front line resources in their communities. Using streaming video and social media, nEXT Talks allow audience members to engage with subject matter specialists within and outside the land grant system.

Spark Lab Innovation Center, Ohio State University, Mark Light. This project will instill that inspiration or “spark” that youth and adults need to learn, discover, and grow in a creative environment. This goes beyond just setting up a “makerspace”. It will be an overall center of innovation framed through the education lens of a land grant university system. This project will transform a local Extension office beyond the traditional into the innovative by bringing entrepreneurship, university education opportunities, and a technology and maker space together in a dynamic and still to be explored relationship. The project will connect local businesses, residents, and educators to promote innovation, learning, and creativity in a hands-on space. It will also create a physical space model that can be reproduced by Extension in other states nationwide.

Virtual Communication Camp, North Dakota State University, Becky Koch and Bob Bertsch. This project will prepare educator teams to focus on key messages and use innovative communication skills to plan a communication strategy to help bring about behavior change. This project moves a traditional face-to-face model to a virtual learning experience especially designed to encourage teams to incorporate new and innovative technologies that meet their target audience’s needs.


Educational Technology Learning Network Wraps Successful Year

The Educational Technology Learning Network (#EdTechLN) is close to wrapping up its first year! Since the creation of the blog in October, 2014, more than 50 posts have been published to the blog by 12 authors in 10 states. Visitors to the site have viewed more than 6,000 total pages and have come from every state except South Dakota!

Forty-eight contributors from 32 different states have participated in the twice-monthly #EdTechLN TweetUps. The average “TweetReach” from each TweetUp is 25,706 overall impressions. The next #EdTechLN TweetUp will be May 21 and will wrap up a month-long focus on digital scholarship. Extension directors and those who serve on promotion and tenure committees in various states will be joining us to offer their insight. Participate by going and use your Twitter credentials.


Agriculture, Forestry & Climate Science Learning Network (CS-LN) Forms Advisory Board

The Climate Science Learning Network Advisory Board is comprised of Cooperative Extension specialists and agriculture and forestry professionals with links to producers and the Land Grant University System (LGUS).

The primary function of the Advisory Board is to provide guidance on the needs of principal CS-LN stakeholders. These stakeholders are numerous and include Climate Hub leadership and staff as well LGUs, and state, county and allied professionals. The Board will guide the overall design of our Learning Network and identify critical needs of Cooperative Extension in climate science to guide the development of eLearning professional development modules by the CS-LN.

Members include: Joel Paz, Mississippi State; Brenda Ortiz, Auburn University; Marck Thomas, Fort Valley State University; Laura Legnick, Warren Wilson College (NC); Jose O. Payero, Clemson University; Luther Smith, American Agronomy Association; Rama Radhakrishna, Penn State University; Heather Darby, University of Vermont; Amy Rowe, Rutgers University; Juliana Barrett, University of Connecticut; Linda Nagel, University of Minnesota.


Program & Staff Development Group Seeks Members


The National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals [NAEPSDP] ( was formed to provide an organized forum for Extension professionals who are engaged in program and staff development to:

–Improve communication & collaboration

–Share resources

–Enhance multi-state efforts

–Sponsor and promote educational training programs and activities that advance program and staff development practices

–Advance the professional status of program and staff development Extension professionals by encouraging continuous improvement

Who Should Join?

–Program developers, designers, evaluators

–Human resources, training, and organizational development professionals

–Information technologists, instructional designers, graphic artists, system administrators, programmers

–Administrators and managers

Why Join?

–Access to professional development webinars

–Reduced rates for annual conference registration

–Opportunities to present at a national conference

–Opportunities to receive national recognition

–Improve communication, networking, and collaboration

–Access to resources and our membership list

Membership Dues

NAEPSDP membership dues are highly affordable, and members who have paid their dues by August 31 receive a discount on registration for the annual conference. There are three categories of membership:

–Active Member – $60

–Student Member – $25

–Life Member – $240

Check out the website at for more information.


‘Safety in Agriculture for Youth’ Needs Game Testers

image for May update 2015

The Safety in Agriculture for Youth project is seeking 4-H groups ages 13-17 to test the prototype of a learning simulation game about farm safety. Your feedback will help to shape the future of the game development.

Each group must be supervised by an adult leader and have access to newer laptop computers and a high speed Internet connection.

The testing will take place in June, and will involve a time commitment of two hours. Participants will try the prototype and give feedback via a short survey and group discussion. Later in the summer the groups will be invited again to see their suggestions as incorporated into the game.

Applications will be accepted until May 29. The form is available here

For more information contact LuAnn Phillips


Meisenbach Named Interim eXtension CEO

Terry Meisenbach

Terry Meisenbach

Elbert Dickey

Elbert Dickey

Effective May 1, Terry Meisenbach is the interim Chief Executive Officer for the eXtension Foundation. Meisenbach follows Elbert Dickey who has served as eXtension Executive Director from January 2014 to April 2015. The eXtension Foundation Board of Directors is in the search process for a permanent CEO. Meisenbach will serve until the new Chief Executive Officer joins eXtension.