eXtension Welcomes Six New Communities of Practice

eXtension is pleased to announce the formation of six new communities of practice. Five of the new CoPs come to eXtension based upon a State Needs-Based Communities process in which each of the five Extension regions identified top priorities. These are:

1890 Region – Teen Leadership
This will be a preventive‐based, experiential, interactive, and community-oriented youth development Community of Practice focused on improving self‐esteem, promoting wellness, enhancing cultural awareness, improving leadership and life skills, and developing teamwork and social skills.

Northeast Region – Invasive Species
Throughout the United States and Canada, non-native invasive species have become an overwhelming problem resulting in impacts to the natural environment and managed landscapes. This CoP would enhance and coordinate among states and institutions an intense public education program to eliminate or control invasive species.

Southern Region – Community Health Extension (Primary Health Extension)
This Community of Practice will be a collaboration of Extension professionals and others who have expertise and interest in areas related to good health prevention behaviors and primary care education. Primary health care is a people‐centered strategy with emphasis on prevention and multispectral action designed to encourage health‐enhancing lifestyles. It addresses the root causes of poor health in all sectors and seeks to decrease the threats to health. A public health care approach empowers citizens with decision‐making information and power to positively influence their own health.

North Central Region – Animal Welfare
This Community of Practice in animal welfare will focus on developing multidisciplinary approaches to addressing animal welfare “…the viewpoint that it is morally acceptable for humans to use nonhuman animals for food, in animal research, as clothing, and in entertainment, so long as unnecessary suffering is avoided”. Most of these topics cover Land Grant Institutions and many of their clientele.

Western Region – Sustainable Living
This Community of Practice will work to achieve long-term stability through the use of a triad of social, environmental, and economic education. Sustainable living is defined as taking a thoughtful approach to leading a fulfilling, productive and environmentally responsible life that is economically, culturally and environmentally responsible. To accomplish this requires an ongoing learning process based on our individual definitions of quality of life.

A sixth Community of Practice has also been established through funding from the National Forest Service and the Renewable Resources Extension Act, USDA. The Forestry and Climate Change Community of Practice lead by Dr. Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension Service has a mission that involves five areas:
*Assessing the current state of climate change knowledge and research for forests and their management in the U.S.;
*Assisting with the complex dissemination of forest climate change research results and practical applications;
*Creating and maintaining the primary system that will continuously track new advancements and information;
* Supporting the needs of individuals as well as local, state, regional and national resource planning professionals;
*And, continuously improve the Community of Practice. All of these will help our nation meet demands placed on forests while maintaining or improving the sustainability of our forest resource in light of changing climate.