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Pat Mulroy Exit Interview: Can a Water Warrior Learn to Cooperate?

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 04 February 2014

For over 20 years, Pat Mulroy has been the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, with responsibility for securing the water supplies for the Las Vegas metropolitan region. Over that time, she earned a reputation as a savvy and tough character in water politics, where she has been involved in many of the biggest issues at the local, state, regional, and federal levels. She is retiring from her position on Thursday, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an interesting exit interview. There are some real gems in this interview, which I think are worth further elaboration.

Why we need to advertise for environmental science and policy

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 09 January 2014

We just had the great opportunity to place an advertisement for the Department of Environmental Science and Policy into my favorite newspaper, High Country News. The picture on this blog is the actual advertisement. Although we made a couple of mistakes getting it together, it was fun to work on a deadline with an organization where getting something done means getting it done, right now!

Integrating Research & Lifestyle: Appreciating the Complexity of Farmer Decision-Making & Sustainability through Farm Stays

By Cory Belden - Posted on 06 January 2014

The uncle of a good friend of mine handed me a large stick at 8:30am on December 21st, as I sat with my cup of coffee and a copy of Kitschelt and Wilkinson’s (2007) Patrons, Policies, and Clientelism: Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition. “This is for you, to club your rabbits with.” It was a nice stick, heavy, the diameter perfectly suited to my palm; about as long as my fingers to my elbow outstretched, smooth, as if it had been sanded with fine paper. He carried on, describing how a perfect swing could instantly take out an unassuming bunny. My mind wandered – has this farmer, being a vegetarian, ever come close to hitting a rabbit? Doubtful.

Why professors should record lectures and encourage students to skip class

By Michael Levy - Posted on 05 December 2013

Most professors don’t post audio recordings of lectures online, despite the technical obstacles and time cost to doing so being near zero. That’s a shame. Listening to recorded lectures has tremendous flexibility that in-person lectures lack and, based on my experience, can significantly boost student efficiency and learning gains. The following is a sample of benefits I’ve noticed while taking an upper-division undergraduate evolutionary biology course entirely through audio recordings and pdf’s of lecture slides.

Benefits of listening to recorded lecturers versus attending class:

  • It’s more efficient. Using Window Media Player’s playback speed slider, I can listen at 1.4 – 1.8x the original speed. This allows me to go through an 80 minute lecture in 55-65 minutes
  • Do it at my convenience

Why professors should record lectures and encourage students to skip class

By Michael Levy - Posted on 04 December 2013

Most professors don’t post audio recordings of lectures online, despite the technical obstacles and time cost to doing so being near zero. That’s a shame. Listening to recorded lectures has tremendous flexibility that in-person lectures lack and, based on my experience, can significantly boost student efficiency and learning gains. The following is a sample of benefits I’ve noticed while taking an upper-division undergraduate evolutionary biology course entirely through audio recordings and pdf’s of lecture slides.

Benefits of listening to recorded lecturers versus attending class:

  • It’s more efficient. Using Window Media Player’s playback speed slider, I can listen at 1.4 – 1.8x the original speed. This allows me to go through an 80 minute lecture in 55-65 minutes

Extension 3.0 is Spreading!

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 21 November 2013

It was great to connect with Bob Bertsch today, from North Dakota State University. He is a communications specialist who runs a podcast called "Working Differently in Extension". We had a conversation about the idea of Extension 3.0, and how it relates to the traditional model of Cooperative Extension. It was very interesting to hear how he is thinking about some of the same ideas, and facing some of the same challenges in forwarding the idea. Click here for a direct link to the podcast.

Policy brief: Why vineyards pursue sustainability certifications

By Michael Levy - Posted on 28 October 2013

What kinds of vineyards are getting certified as sustainable? How do farmers learn about sustainability certifications? And if farmers aren't getting paid more for certified grapes, what are the motivations? All this and more in our latest policy brief on sustainable viticulture.

Policy brief: Why vineyards pursue sustainability certifications

By Michael Levy - Posted on 27 October 2013

What kinds of vineyards are getting certified as sustainable? How do farmers learn about sustainability certifications? And if farmers aren’t getting paid more for certified grapes, what are the motivations? All this and more in our latest policy brief on sustainable viticulture.

Extension 3.0 White Paper: Ag. Extension Should Capitalize on Knowledge Networks

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 14 October 2013

We just completed a paper on Extension 3.0 that will be submitted to the journal Society and Natural Resources. We are officially circulating the pre-publication as a CEPB white paper (see attachment). Here is the abstract:

Three Hard Questions about Network Science

By Mark Lubell - Posted on 20 September 2013

I just returned from a nice junket to beautiful (at least in the fall…) Maine where I gave talks at Bowdoin College and University of Maine. Both institutions were impressive for different reasons, and I met a lot of fun people. The Q&A periods of the talks highlighted three important and hard questions about network science that all of us should think about how to answer.

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