Purdue Extension’s “Don’t Be a Zombie” exhibit is traveling the country to illustrate the need to prepare for emergencies. Photo by Abby Hostetler
In this guest blog, Abby Hostetler urges people to prepare for emergencies and describes an innovative display that Purdue Extension used at the Indiana State Fair to drive home that point. Because September is National Preparedness Month, it is a good time to think about emergency planning. Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make an Emergency Communication Plan for you and your family because you just don’t know when disasters will impact your community.
By Abby Hostetler, EDEN Disaster Communications Specialist, Purdue University
Nearly 60,000 visitors to this year’s Indiana State Fair encountered zombies lurking around in the corners. Actually, they saw cartoon zombies that were part of an interactive exhibit, Don’t Be a Zombie – Be Prepared. The exhibit consists of a walk-though maze and interactive video game designed to simulate a zombie apocalypse.
The goal is to help families learn about disaster preparedness in a fun way. In 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their Zombie Preparedness campaign to much acclaim and success. The CDC campaign was a gory take on zombies and aimed at a teenage demographic. Once the Extension Disaster Emergency Network (EDEN) got permission from the CDC to adapt the materials into an interactive display, Purdue Extension used third grade classrooms to help tie into the rise of the zombie fad in pop culture while still keeping the materials friendly to all ages. Read more »
Victoria LeBeaux, national program leader with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Photo by Carlos Harris
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to career development and, according to one of the nation’s new leaders in agriculture, the course one steers toward a profession in agriculture can be as varied and diverse as the population itself.
“I’m not a big fan of the term ‘pipeline’ because it implies that there is only one way in and only one direction you can go,” said Dr. Victoria LeBeaux, a national program leader (NPL) with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). “If that were true I certainly wouldn’t be here, since I had no intention of studying agriculture.” Read more »
Dr. Ramana Gosukonda, left, associate professor of agricultural sciences at Fort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, prepares to work with students in the university’s new bioinformatics program. Photo credit: Dr. Ramana Gosukonda
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
At Fort Valley State University (FVSU) the next generation of leaders in agricultural and life sciences are coming face-to-face with technology that will help them solve the toughest challenges of the future.
“Bioinformatics is ‘biology in silico,’ or ‘digital biology,’ and it is transforming biological research into an informational science,” said Dr. Ramana Gosukonda, associate professor of agricultural sciences at FVSU’s College of Agriculture. Read more »
About 5 million Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year. (iStock photo)
Today’s guest blog features the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE- Norovirus Collaborative for Outreach, Research, and Education), a food safety initiative with the ultimate goal to reduce the burden of foodborne disease associated with viruses, particularly noroviruses. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States accounting for around 5 million of the 21 million annual cases associated with contaminated foods. Cost of illness is estimated to be billions of dollars per year.
By Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw, NoroCORE extension associate, and Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, NoroCORE scientific director
Even if you have not experienced a norovirus infection personally (consider yourself fortunate!), you probably know someone who has or have heard of an outbreak of the “stomach flu.” Most people know norovirus by its symptoms: a couple of memorable days of vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with a fever and a headache. Read more »
4-H’ers participate in Ujima, an Iowa 4-H program that reflects the positive cultural knowledge that many of the youth possess. Photo credit: Chaisson-Cardenas
In this guest blog, Iowa State 4-H Youth Development program leader John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas takes a look at several ways 4-H is embracing the cultural diversity of its participating youth to make sure youth of color feel welcome as the U.S. student population grows more diverse.
By John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, Iowa State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader
While the foundational elements of 4-H—experiential learning, positive youth development, et al.—are well-suited for cross-cultural and multicultural contexts, some of the language and traditions of 4-H may not be as culturally relevant to many youth.
In 2014, Iowa 4-H began to intentionally move beyond inclusion to belonging. We expanded on the previous work of our national partner, 4-H National Headquarters, to redevelop programs that reflect the positive cultural knowledge that many of our youth already have. 4-H National Headquarters is part of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides funding and national program leadership to 4-H. Read more »
UAF Extension Agent Heidi Rader is developing an innovative app to help gardeners in Alaska and across North America become citizen scientists.
The following guest blog from University of Alaska Fairbanks highlights the professionalism and dedication of educators in the Cooperative Extension System.
By Debbie Carter, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension
Heidi Rader planned to become a farmer when she graduated from college.
During high school and college, she worked a succession of jobs at greenhouses and farms that seemed to be leading to an agricultural career. For her master’s degree, she grew snap beans and lettuce, and studied high-tunnel production at University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Natural Resources and Extension Fairbanks Experiment Farm. Read more »