This show is episode one of a two part series that explores what our neighbors in Utah are doing to promote sustainability. To kick off the series, I interview Roslynn Brain – Assistant Professor, Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist with Utah State University. Utah State has taken big steps to institutionalize sustainability, most notably by creating a formal sustainability program within the extension department. University extensions are a feature land grant universities which receive endowment funding from the Morill Act of 1862 and 1890. This act generated funding for Universities from the sale of federally owned lands granted to individual states. The intent was to enable the teaching of “practical curriculum” such as agricultural, science, military science and engineering in addition to traditional liberal arts education. The Hatch act of 1887 and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 expanded the impact of this curriculum by establishing experimental agricultural stations and cooperative extension programs which sent agents of the university into the community to spread the knowledge gained from the agricultural research.
The creation of university extension programs was a huge step forward in our nation as it recognized a large gap in our formal educational system and created a mechanism to bridge the missing link between the relevant knowledge gained by university research and the practitioners in the field. Leveraging this outreach system as a means to spread knowledge about sustainability to the citizens of Utah is another significant leap forward. In doing so, Utah State University has taken historic steps to legitimize the importance of sustainability and the critical need to promote sustainability knowledge to all citizens. Perhaps the Utah State Extension Sustainability website says is best “Extension Sustainability provides credible information and trainings fostering increased awareness and behavior change to improve environmental, social, and economic conditions.”
Hear what’s happening in the Utah State University Extension Sustainability program firsthand in this interview with Assistant Professor, Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist Roslynn Brain. You can also review the Winter 2015 Extension Sustainability Impact report for a detailed look at the programs offered and the impact theses programs have on the community.
Our interview aired on Radio Boise 3-24-2015. You can listen to live shows by tuning in to Radio Boise Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org. To listen to a podcast of this show use the player embedded below.
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