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Utah Master Naturalist Program Wins 2017 ANROSP Program of the Year Award

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

Mark Larese-Casanova and Michelle Prysby

Mark Larese-Casanova (right) accepted the 2017 Program of the Year Award from ANROSP President Michelle Prysby (left) on behalf of the Utah Master Naturalist Program, Utah State University Extension. (photo credit: Michele Richards)

Utah State University Extension’s Utah Master Naturalist Program and its director, Mark Larese-Casanova, were recently honored with the Program of the Year Award at the 2017 Alliance of Natural Research Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) national conference. ANROSP is a national network of programs which provides leadership, information and resources to its member programs, promoting active stewardship by supporting science-based outreach and service programs in the field of natural resources.

Larese-Casanova, Extension assistant professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences, directs the Utah Master Naturalist (UMN) Program, which has been running since 2007. The program teaches and certifies master naturalist volunteers and professionals by providing education, outreach and service to promote stewardship of Utah’s natural resources within their local communities. UMN consists of three field courses that focus on Utah’s major natural environments:  Watershed Investigations, Desert Explorations and Mountain Adventures. Courses are taught throughout Utah with the cooperation of many federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations.

“This award recognizes an especially innovative ANROSP member program, including their set of educational materials and events aimed at a specified audience, for its unique, cutting edge, risk-taking educational programs that succeed in meeting the program’s objectives,” writes ANROSP Vice-President Mary Pearl Meuth.

The Utah Master Naturalist program was recognized, in part, for responding to audience feedback and being continually adaptive to meeting those needs. For example, the UMN program realized how challenging it is for most people to be able to attend a week-long field course, so they are developing a series of three online courses to help reach a broader audience, thereby making a greater stewardship impact in Utah.

“ANROSP provides member programs an opportunity to share their best work in the areas of Outstanding Educational Materials, Outstanding Volunteer Project, Outstanding Team, Outstanding Program Evaluation and Program of the Year,” said Michelle Prysby, ANROSP president and Virginia Master Naturalist Program director. “Each year ANROSP is proud to highlight programs from across the United States in each of these categories.”

Related links:
Utah State University Extension Utah Master Naturalist Program
Utah State University Department of Watershed Sciences
Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs
S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources 

Contacts: Mark Larese-Casanova,
Writer: Tracy L. Jones,

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