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radius ISSUE ONE / 2016




Volunteers Who Make New Hampshire Strong

contents 2 An Investment Pays Off 5 Paying it Forward for STEM 6

Ocean Views

9 Chasing Champions 10 Conserving Nature Becomes Second Nature 12 Head Over Eels 14 Speaking for Wildlife 15 Space To Grow 18 True Commitment to True Leaders 20 Prep School 22 Crystal Clear Volunteers 25 How Not To Thaw a Turkey 27 The Everlasting Year 28 Lifetime Dedication 30 In Their Own Words

moving forward, giving back Welcome to the first edition of Radius, a publication highlighting UNH Cooperative Extension’s work across the Granite State. We chose the name Radius because it evokes our 360° approach to outreach that is statewide, comprehensive and fueled at its core by research and expertise from the University of New Hampshire. Our programs in natural resources, agriculture, youth and family and community and economic development are offered in all 10 New Hampshire counties and serve as direct conduits of knowledge that help people and communities live and work better. In this inaugural issue, we have chosen to focus on the work of our volunteers. In 2015, 4,270 people collectively spent 148,089 hours in classrooms and meeting spaces, in fields, gardens and forests and on boats and beaches—learning, sharing what they know, giving back and having fun. Because of their dedicated efforts, Cooperative Extension’s radius stretches farther, encompasses more people, delivers more information and develops even stronger connections between UNH and the state’s citizens and communities. Whether planting community gardens, creating wildlife habitats, leading 4-H clubs, digging up invasive plants, measuring the water quality of our lakes, monitoring conservation land or educating students about marine life, Cooperative Extension volunteers amplify our ability to serve New Hampshire and make life in our state great.

On the cover: Extension volunteers, recruited through the Stewardship Network: New England, collect field data and water samples at the Beach Blitz citizen science day, co-sponsored by NH EPSCoR. Photo by Evelyn Jones.

While it isn’t possible to include all of the outstanding work of our volunteers in this edition, we are proud to share with our readers some examples of their achievements that are especially impactful and inspiring. The time spent putting together this publication has underscored our abiding belief that Cooperative Extension’s success is rooted in our volunteers and staff. This energetic, connected and innovative team gives us the capacity to build upon our 102-year history in meaningful and productive ways and allows us to continue to meet the evolving needs of our state. To all our volunteers, I offer the most sincere thank you. Together, we are promoting and building a stronger New Hampshire.

Kenneth J. La Valley, Ph.D. Dean and Director UNH Cooperative Extension


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension



The hustle and bustle of a college

town fades away as the peace and quiet of nature takes over. You’ve found College Woods on the UNH campus in Durham, where trails meander through white pines, beech trees and hemlocks. Used by students, faculty and staff and community members, the area provides a spot for outdoor recreation. It is also the location of the Stewardship Network: New England’s Buckthorn Blitz, an annual invasive plant-pulling event targeting glossy buckthorn, a non-native shrub overrunning the forest. That’s where Mark Glowacky ’17 found himself recently.

“Hands-on volunteer work can transcend and communicate a lot easier than pure words, because you get people invested.” —MARK GLOWACKY ’17

A commuter student, Glowacky got involved with the Buckthorn Blitz in 2015 as a way to connect with the UNH campus. The experience also increased Glowacky’s interest in environmentalism, and he’s gone on to help with volunteer projects through the Stewardship Network across the state. For example, a trail construction and design workshop offered by the Monadnock Conservancy and Student Conservation Association provided a fresh perspective on a task he grew up doing. “I used to make tons of trails as a kid in my backyard,” he says. “Now I know there’s a science behind trailmaking that can vastly improve trails and make them more accessible for people.”



This past summer, Glowacky’s efforts brought him to new heights—literally. Through the Stewardship Network, he found the White Mountain National Forest in need of wilderness monitors, and thinking that it sounded like fun, he put on his hiking boots. “It was a three-mile hike to the bluff and there was this giant rock that I set up with a chair on top so you could see this perfect view of the entire northern Presidentials and a lot of trails going by,” he says. More recently, Glowacky attended a training that teaches volunteers how to lead their own nature walk at the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, New Hampshire. Glowacky said he would have never known about the center and the conserved land around it if the

Stewardship Network hadn’t held a training seminar there. At the workshop, volunteers learned some how-tos from UNH Cooperative Extension staff in the Nature Learning Center before heading out to the Rockwell Sanctuary. Through volunteering, Glowacky has found a way to connect himself to bigger issues that would otherwise not have gotten his attention: “I think a lot of the handson volunteer work can transcend and communicate a lot easier than pure words, because you get people invested.”  r



1,940  Network Members 164 Organizations Contributing to Volunteer Events & Training

575  Workdays & Events NET WORK


Network volunteers are people who want to get outside, explore New Hampshire and give back to their communities. They are students, educators, citizen-scientists, professionals, hikers, paddlers, nature-lovers, conservation commissioners, trail club members and more.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension


paying it forward for

STEM What did Bill Gates,

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jane Goodall all have at least once during their successful careers? Inspiration. Fostering inspiration in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among New Hampshire’s youth is a goal of the new UNH Cooperative Extension STEM Docents program. Cooperative Extension’s science education and outreach specialist, Lara Gengarelly, is leading the effort that seeks to train and coordinate teams of volunteers to inspire New Hampshire youth. “The program aligns

with Governor Hassan’s Task Force on K–12 STEM Education report, which recommends more hands-on learning opportunities for youth to strengthen STEM foundations in order to meet the expected workforce needs in the state,” says Gengarelly. The first STEM docents are expected to be in classrooms and out-of-school programs beginning in Fall 2016.

“I’m interested in the program for both business and personal reasons,” says Aucella. “At work, we are finding it very difficult to find local skilled workers to grow our business.” He takes a moment to reflect. “My father was an auto mechanic and my mother was an appliance repair person and an electrical engineering student. I had that support, and I want to offer that to others.”  r

Gengarelly is quick to point out that a STEM docent can be anyone with a desire to inspire youth in STEM. Case in point: Nate Aucella, project manager for Aucella Heating and Cooling in Strafford.






Ocean Discovery Day

SeaTrek Programs

At UNH’s annual Ocean Discovery Day, marine docents help bring marine science and ocean engineering to life with hands-on fun and education for families and would-be ocean scientists.

Marine docents support and strengthen marine education with in-school educational programs. The programs, which feature handson activities that encourage students to think and learn new concepts, are developed and taught by marine docents and available to schools and organizations in New Hampshire.

“It’s like a marine science trade show for the general public. My octopus team gave a two-minute presentation on octopi—how amazing they are at camouflage, able to change color, shape and texture in an instant.” —STEPHANIE STEWART

“I like going into a classroom filled with young kids eager to learn and touch the live creatures or other items we have with us. I hope to impart a sense of wonder and inspire a child to do her or his part in caring for our world for themselves and future generations.” —NINFA YONG


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Marine docents reached 1,200 students at the 2015 Ocean Discovery Day.

Coastal Floating Lab Marine docents take learning and engagement out to sea on the Coastal Floating Lab. The unique program offers students a hands-on, exploratory experience at five stations where they measure and test water, investigate marine creatures, catch and study plankton, identify fish and navigate charts and bearings.

“We have engaged more than 500 middle and high school students by teaching programs on the UNH pier and on boats. There is enormous satisfaction when you watch the faces light up, hear the questions the students ask and know that marine science may well be part of their futures.” —SALLY GAYER

Summer Cruises to Appledore Island, Great Bay and Celia Thaxter’s Garden Marine docents lead public trips to Appledore Island to explore the cultural and natural history of the Isles of Shoals. Cruises include tours of Celia Thaxter’s garden and readings of her poetry and stories about life at the Isles of Shoals. Docents also teach at stations aboard the UNH research vessel R/V Gulf Challenger during a trip up the Piscataqua River all the way to Great Bay.

“During the Appledore Island tours, the UNH marine docents discuss the lives of the resident seabirds, the plants brought here by the early colonists and the island’s amazing geology. Along with the natural history, we present 400 years of cultural history from the early fishing era, the grand hotel/resort period and right up to the current Cornell/UNH marine lab facility. Our guests leave the island with the knowledge and awareness of just how special it is to us all.” —ARNIE SILVERSTONE



Family Boat Building Every year, 15 to 18 marine docents work with six families during a three-day boatbuilding workshop.

“Family Boat Building is designed to enrich a family’s relationship with the marine environment and each other. Even with little or no woodworking skills, they complete a challenge that seems impossible. They build a boat that will be a source of pride and provide family fun for years to come.” —RAY BELLES  



What motivates you to share what you know about marine science?




Teaching style: Interactive

Teaching style: FUN!

Teaching style: Eclectic

“I am concerned about the lack of basic science knowledge, climate change, sea level rise and protecting our planet. The docent programs emphasize important principles that may produce involved global citizens. I am grateful for what I have learned from being a docent.”

“We all need to share what we know about marine science as much as possible, as it is a critical area for future generations.”

“My motivation is the delight I see on the faces of children when they experience something for the first time. There is nothing compared to the look on a child’s face when you drop a sea urchin onto their palm!”


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension


chasing champions “I am very proud of the hard work and dedication given by all members of the Big Tree team. I feel honored to be able to work sideby-side with some very knowledgeable people. Together we make a difference.” —MARY JANE SHELDON

“I have met many members in the Big Tree Program who have taught me the skills to measure trees and to appreciate the importance of trees in their environment. It is a pleasure to know others who respect nature and are dedicated to the preservation of a single aspect of the ecosystem— big trees.” —MICHAEL CALLAGHAN

The New Hampshire Big Tree Program was started in 1950 to find, record and achieve recognition for New Hampshire’s magnificent trees.

Fifty-four dedicated volunteers search the state for the largest examples of individual tree species that grow in New Hampshire, from the “William Whipple” horse chestnut in Portsmouth to a black spruce bog in the North Country.

More than 900 trees have been measured and recorded since the start of the program.




C O N S E RV I N G   For years, Andy Powell had

been commuting from New Hampshire to Massachusetts and thinking about a piece of land to call his own—a place with some water where he and his wife could sit back, relax and not listen to traffic. In 1993, he found that land in Danbury. Two years later, he joined the first New Hampshire Coverts Project class. “I had no idea what it was all about,” says Powell. But more than 20 years later, he’s still an active volunteer. NH COVERTS


23,040 Volunteer Hours 6,300 +  Acres of Land Conserved 15,500 +  People Reached


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

The NH Coverts Project trains volunteers, known as cooperators, to promote wildlife habitat conservation and forest stewardship throughout the state. Many volunteers work on conservation commissions and land trusts. Others, like Powell, are landowners seeking to learn more. Betsy Hardwick was already on the Francestown Conservation Commission when she joined in 2002. Her commission was working on a timber harvest with the help of UNH Cooperative Extension’s Matt Tarr and Jon Nute. Becoming a cooperator is a commitment. After an intensive three-day training retreat, volunteers pledge to give 40 hours of time back to their communities over the next year. How they go about doing this is up to them. Hardwick continued to volunteer with the conservation commission. She says her training “both inspired and helped me work with the conservation commission and town to acquire another 1,200 acres of conservation land.”



S E C O N D   N AT U R E ISOBEL PARKE Volunteer & Donor Isobel Parke believes in Cooperative Extension. In 2012, Parke became a member of the Rockingham County Advisory Council; two years later, she trained as a NH Coverts Project volunteer. Since then, Parke has supported the work of the Speaking for Wildlife program with a critical donation that provided lending laptops to volunteer presenters across the state. Parke has lived in Epping since 1963 and manages her 200-acre property with sustainable forestry, wildlife habitat and recreation in mind.

Powell joined his local conservation commission for similar reasons. His work helped secure funding to purchase more than 400 acres of land for protection. This is a common experience for cooperators. Since the project’s founding, volunteers have helped permanently conserve close to 300,000 acres of land in the state. Just this past year 6,300 acres were conserved. Yet, this volunteer work isn’t necessarily easy. “Managing a piece of land can be a complicated thing,” Powell says. “But I learned there are an awful lot of people out there willing to help.” And that’s the key to the NH Coverts Project—it’s a network of folks across the Granite State all working toward stewarding land and wildlife habitats. And all of them are willing to help. With a simple phone call or email, a cooperator can tap into this comprehensive knowledge network.

As Powell explains of his latest project: “I wanted to create a meadow to benefit pollinators. So I called Haley (Andreozzi, Cooperative Extension wildlife program outreach coordinator) and she got me in contact with a person and now I’m in the middle of putting together a wildflower meadow.”  r

There are currently 405 active coverts cooperators working in more than 180 New Hampshire communities.





eels OVER

Dedicated citizen scientists monitor American eels in New Hampshire’s coastal rivers

The volunteers gather around

Shea Flanagan, 2013 New Hampshire Sea Grant Doyle Fellow, to inspect the muscle movement inside the tiny, transparent American eel on the palm of her hand. Flanagan gently places the eel on a measuring board and demonstrates how to estimate the creature’s length. These eel encounters are part of a collaborative volunteer effort between N.H. Sea Grant and NH Fish and Game to collect data on the eels moving up the state’s coastal rivers and improve understanding of the population’s health. In 2015, 45 volunteers spent a total of 117 hours collecting data on 5,266 juvenile eels in the Oyster River in Durham. To date, data from more than 30,000 eels have been collected.

A successful collaboration Although the state has been monitoring eel populations on the Lamprey River for the last decade, limited resources prevent NH Fish and Game from sampling other tidal rivers to compare eels between sites over time.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Alyson Eberhardt, N.H. Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension coastal ecosystems specialist, heard about NH Fish and Game’s eel monitoring in 2013. As the coordinator for the Coastal Research Volunteer Program, Eberhardt immediately saw how the volunteers could help. “Eel monitoring is an exceptional opportunity,” says volunteer Dave Hoyler. “Through this work I am able to do ‘real science’ in helping to gather quantitative data about eel migration and ecology. Through my own training as a field researcher, I understand the crucial role of comprehensive data-collection. I am delighted to be a part of this effort with the eel studies.”

A stop on an epic migration American eels spawn and lay eggs in the Sargasso Sea, an area in the middle of the North Atlantic just east of Bermuda. After the larvae hatch, they float along ocean currents carrying them anywhere from the northern part of South America up to Iceland. As they approach coastal waters, they metamorphose

“It’s amazing to have such a motivated group of volunteers actively contributing to what we know about eels and about how the decisions we make affect the larger ecosystem.” —A LYSON EBERHARDT

into the tiny clear glass eels. The glass eels migrate up rivers, growing and changing into elvers and then sexually mature silver eels. After spending up to 40 years in freshwater, the eels swim back downstream and make the long journey back to the Sargasso Sea. Five days a week during the 12-week eel migration along the Oyster River in Durham, volunteers spend about two hours each day collecting the tiny, transparent glass eels and counting them, measuring their lengths and evaluating their pigmentation stage. The glass eels moving up the Oyster River average two to four inches in length and are quite slippery, making the task of measuring them a challenge. “There’s a bit of an ‘ick factor’ associated with them,” Eberhardt admits. “But I think a lot of the appeal for the volunteers is that they get to interact with and touch a creature that they might not otherwise see or even know is in our rivers.”

Learning about our impacts on a diverse but connected habitat Collecting eel data has value beyond yielding information about the eels themselves—it also casts light on the connectivity of different environments. “Eels rely on habitats from the open ocean to estuaries to large rivers to little streams and ponds, so they are a good illustration of how a change in one place can have far-reaching effects,” explains Eberhardt. “It’s amazing to have such a motivated group of volunteers actively contributing to what we know about eels and about how the decisions we make affect the larger ecosystem.” The volunteers are equally grateful for the opportunity to help. “I have been fascinated by eels since childhood,” says Carden Welsh. “As a retired businessman with a lifelong interest in the environment, this has been a wonderful opportunity to work with the professionals at UNH and the state, and learn more about these amazing eels.”  r




speaking for


Since 2010...


90 walks




people reached



volunteer hours

New Hampshire communities involved


Speaking for Wildlife volunteers trained

SFW volunteers give 6 different presentations 1 NHBugs: The Big Three 2 A Garden for Wildlife: Natural Landscaping for a Better Backyard 3 New Hampshire’s Wild History: 350 Years of NH Wildlife

4 Birds, Bats & Butterflies: Keeping Common Wildlife Common 5 The Nature of New Hampshire: Natural Communities in the Granite State 6 New Hampshire’s Bats and White Nose Syndrome


“Last winter I led a moonlit snowshoe hike that was especially memorable—the night was still, the moon shadows of the trees in the woods were especially striking, and even though I couldn’t see the faces of those who came along, I’m sure they were as exhilarated as I.”

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“Castle in the Clouds requested a field trip leader specifically focused on ferns. On each walk we go over the evolution of ferns, parts of ferns and the reproductive cycle. Then we take off on the trails and identify all the ferns we can.” —JANE WILLIAMSON

“The most popular talk I give teaches people how to live in harmony with wildlife. It’s about how we have to balance the needs of humans and the needs of wildlife.” —ALICIA GEILEN



Gardening is not a typical summer

camp activity. But thanks to master gardener Russ Gaitskill, the campers at Copper Cannon Camp in Bethlehem have a 6,000-square-foot garden, called The Growing Space, where they plant seedlings, tend to them as they grow and experience the unique pleasure of eating food like sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes straight from its source. Gaitskill says the tuition-free camp for underprivileged youth is the “ideal venue and partner” for the garden, which both produces

fresh vegetables for camp meals and provides campers with an opportunity to learn basic gardening skills. “The Growing Space at Copper Cannon has provided the opportunity to give back, support an organization that serves our most deserving youth and build a sustainable outdoor classroom, all while doing something I love—gardening!” Gaitskill says. “That is affirmed every time I have an opportunity to observe one of the campers interacting with our project.”



“The idea is to allow campers to see where their food comes from and experience the garden growing.” —RUSS GAITSKILL

The former CEO of clothing and bedding retailer Garnet Hill, Gaitskill grew up on a tobacco farm in central Kentucky and has been gardening since childhood. “When I retired in 2014, I finally had the time to devote to the master gardener program,” he says, noting that as an experienced gardener, the training has helped him understand the rationale behind the techniques he’s used all his life. He also appreciates the more advanced classes, which have broadened his experience and knowledge base.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

An idea that Gaitskill had been working on for several years, The Growing Space was established in 2015 with help from an $850 grant from the New Hampshire Master Gardener Association (NHMGA) and assistance from Cooperative Extension’s Education Center program coordinator, Jeremy DeLisle. This summer, the garden will include a wide range of herbs and vegetables, and several master gardener interns will lend a hand with planting and maintenance and provide a hands-on experience for the campers.

Master gardeners have connected with more than 20,000 individuals through educational gardening projects.

“The idea is to allow campers to see where their food comes from and experience the garden growing, so we are growing a number of ‘demonstration crops’—things they can pick and pop in their mouths, like snow peas, pole beans, cherry tomatoes, mint for water bottles,” Gaitskill says. “Additionally, we plant fast-maturing crops—lettuces, radishes, spinach—every two weeks so the campers can see ‘growth’ even though they are only there for a week. We are also integrating the produce and herbs into the camp kitchen so kids can harvest and eat what we grow, connecting fresh produce with a healthy diet.”

from American Meadows, Gardener’s Supply and the town of Sugar Hill. Gaitskill and his team plan to further enhance the space with an adjacent pollinator garden and bramble and blueberry bushes. Future dreams, he says, include being able to collect and store enough water to supply all the garden’s needs. Dreams aside, The Growing Space is already a valuable achievement for Gaitskill and the Master Gardener program. “I get a great sense of satisfaction,” he says, “knowing we have created an environment where New Hampshire’s most underserved kids can connect the food they eat—or should eat—with its source.”  r

Along with support from NHMGA, the project received a grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation and donated supplies

GARDENING ANGELS   The New Hampshire Master Gardener Association (NHMGA) was founded in 2003 by UNH Cooperative Extension master gardeners to foster horticultural education and outreach. In 2016, the NHMGA awarded nearly $10,000 for projects throughout the state. Radius



TRUE COMMITMENT True leaders aren’t born, they’re grown.

And growing true leaders requires true volunteer commitment. In one year, adult 4-H volunteers spent 54,815 hours working with thousands of New Hampshire youth—the equivalent of 26 full-time UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H staff. Now add dedication—the ingredient that makes it all come together. Many 4-H volunteers count their service in decades, not years. Van Anderson, a Grafton County 4-H volunteer, was 9 years old when she joined 4-H. At 18, she began volunteering as a 4-H leader in Grafton County, and more than four decades later, she’s too busy to think of stopping.

In 2015, 4-H volunteers led 214 clubs for youth in all 10 New Hampshire counties. 18

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“My mom was a leader. Our family lived it then, we live it now,” she explains. “My life, except for my immediate family, is devoted to 4-H. Whatever I’m doing, I think about what effect it has on the kids.” Anderson keeps her 4-H club busy with a variety of projects ranging from food preparation and straight seam stitching to presentation practices for the National 4-H Congress and county events. “I love it. I love to watch the kids grow, see them become responsible adults, help them learn to lead,” she says. 4-H volunteers like Anderson spend countless hours helping at a variety of events, workshops and conferences throughout the state. Ray Hackett, who volunteered to judge a 4-H horse show, remembers the day a 4-Her with special needs won a blue ribbon for a faultless performance. It was then he realized the full impact of 4-H on a young person’s life.

TO TRUE LEADERS “We need to remember that we can overcome anything with the right loving, determined attitude,” he said on the day of the event. “I’m reminded why I love the ideals 4-H sets forth. 4-H really is always striving ‘to make the best better.’” Carol Pittman became a leader in 2009, when her two young daughters showed an interest in raising animals. She and her family were new to 4-H, and running a club was no easy task. “Without these experiences in 4-H,” she says, “I would never have had the opportunity to see the growth, changes and confidence that both girls have displayed. 4-H is helping them become responsible young adults. I am very grateful that our family has had this opportunity.” Not all 4-H volunteers have decades of work under their belts, but they are dedicated all the same. Emily Gibson is a current 4-Her who volunteers on the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire board. As a member of 4-H for 12 years, she’s seen firsthand how important volunteers are to the program.

“Adult volunteers make a big difference,” says Gibson. “Without their support, New Hampshire 4-H youth would not be able to attend the National 4-H Conference and Congress, the Teen Conference wouldn’t be as well-rounded, and many programs would lack advanced opportunities and hands-on experiences. I am grateful for their dedication to the organization, which has been instrumental in helping me narrow my focus, develop my interest in animal science and define my goals.” Gibson will be heading to the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture this fall and plans to major in biomedical science with a focus in veterinary science. “The opportunities offered through 4-H can be life-changing events for young people,” says Todd Hammond, vice chair of the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire. “And they depend so much on the presence and commitment of our volunteers.  r




prep school In 2015, 467 volunteers made it possible for Cooperative Extension to reach 1,221 adults and 7,140 youth in New Hampshire with nutrition education and resources to improve their culinary skills, promote healthy eating and save money.

STEVE LEARNED Cooking Matters® for Adults From an early age, Steve Learned wanted to share his knowledge with others. So when he was asked in 2011 to volunteer for a new series of classes in Colebrook called Cooking Matters, being coordinated in partnership with Helping Hands North, he didn’t hesitate to sign on. A classically trained, second-generation chef, Learned was the executive chef at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch before it closed in 2011 for renovation. Now he’s the regional food service manager for The Abbey Group, overseeing food service in nine schools in New Hampshire and Vermont.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“What keeps amazing me, years after we’ve started, is that people will still stop me on the street and tell me what an impact this small class has had on their life,” Learned says. “And this is sometimes years after they’ve taken the class! To me, there is no better proof that Cooking Matters is having the desired effect.”

“I am lucky to have found a way to be of service and help families make better eating choices and ultimately live healthier lives.” —JOE JESSEMAN

JOE JESSEMAN Cooking Matters for Families with Children With 27 Cooking Matters classes under his belt, Joe Jesseman has helped prepare a lot of meals. He’s also seen firsthand how the class helps the families who attend: They eat at home more often, eat fewer processed foods and make meals a time to connect with each other. One story that stands out, Jesseman says, is that of a young mother of two who attended a class years ago. Unemployed and living with her parents, she didn’t cook and knew very little about healthy eating. Seven months later, he was teaching another Cooking Matters class with a volunteer he thought he’d never met before. “Hi, Joe,” she said, only to be greeted by his blank stare. He didn’t recognize the woman he’d met all those months ago: Now, she was fit and energetic, had found a job and was living on

BRANDON MILLER Cooking Matters Hall of Fame Brandon Miller, a Cooking Matters volunteer since 2007, was recently inducted into the Cooking Matters Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors volunteers who have taught at least 15 six-week cooking courses.

her own. It was her experience with Cooking Matters that set those changes in motion, she told him. “That’s when it dawned on me that what I do really makes a difference,” he says. “Just knowing I had a small part in that is all the reason I need to keep coming back.”

“I had been looking for a way to give back to the community,” Miller says. “I like the way that you can see people change over the six weeks. The class really has a positive effect on people’s lives. I have had so many people approach me— sometimes years later—and say how much the class has helped them.”  r




CRYSTAL CLEAR volunteers

Longtime Lakes Lay Monitoring Program volunteer Paul Richardson passed away in December 2015. His outstanding commitment to the program is commemorated in an article written in 2014 by Jim Graham, manager of leadership communications at UNH Communications and Public Affairs. 22

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Once each week, from spring

“ice-out” until late fall, Paul Richardson fires up his Cobalt powerboat, motors out to the same spot on Alton Bay and performs a check-up on Lake Winnepesaukee’s health. With an array of handheld instruments, Richardson gathers information on water clarity, temperature and local conditions. A few water samples get bottled up, too. All of this gets passed along to UNH faculty and student researchers, who study it for subtle clues that can reveal looming challenges to the lake’s water quality. “We all love this lake and how clean it is, and I just want to do whatever I can to keep it that way,” says Richardson ’62. “So this is a great way for me to get involved and give back to everyone on the lake, and to UNH.” Multiply Richardson by more than 1,200 volunteers who have been trained by UNH’s Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (LLMP) and then multiply that by the thousands of tests performed at more than 100 lakes in New Hampshire—and you have one of the most powerful, vibrant environmental stewardship networks in the nation. Started in the 1970s as a UNH student project on Chocorua Lake, the partnership now brings together UNH research faculty, UNH Cooperative Extension specialists and

students, the UNH Center for Freshwater Biology and local volunteers, lake associations and communities in a program proven critical to safeguarding the state’s famous lakes and valuable freshwater resources. To date, the LLMP has also inspired or assisted similar citizen-scientist partnerships in 24 states and 11 countries. “The Lakes Lay Monitoring Program is a natural component of our Cooperative Extension mission, which is part of the DNA of the University of New Hampshire,” says UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. “We exist in part to serve the entire state of New Hampshire, so the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program is really central to what UNH is and always has been.”

For volunteer, lake connection runs deep It’s easy to be distracted by the lake’s beauty as Richardson motors out from his dock. But Richardson, a retired engineer in the defense industry, is all business once he anchors his boat at the monitoring site. He lowers a black and white metal disk about the size of a dinner plate, called a “Secchi disk,” over the side with a sturdy rope and peers down into the water, carefully recording the depth at the point it disappears from view. The distance gives a measure of water clarity, and an idea of the amount of suspended sediment

“The Lakes Lay Monitoring Program is a natural component of our Cooperative Extension mission, which is part of the DNA of the University of New Hampshire.” —MARK W. HUDDLESTON, UNH PRESIDENT



Lakes Lay Monitoring Program volunteers conducted 980 lake site visits in 2015.

that can cloud the water. On a typical day last summer, he could easily see the disk more than 30 feet below the surface. And that’s a good thing, not simply because clear water is more appealing to the eye, but because suspended particles can be a sign of polluting run-off from any number of sources, from lakeside construction to faulty storm drains to failing septic systems. Water samples are also tested at UNH for levels of dissolved oxygen, algae, chlorophyll, phosphorus, acidity and other factors—and unexpected changes in each can offer telltale signs about water quality threats. “Do you need a biology degree to be a volunteer? Thank goodness, no,” Richardson says. “In fact, what I do is very easy. The big thing that I and the other volunteers do is commit to being out on the water every week to do this.” Jeff Schloss is co-director of the LLMP and a program leader for natural resources at UNH Cooperative Extension. In the simplest terms, he says, New Hampshire could not ever monitor its freshwater quality as well or as extensively without volunteers like Richardson.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“They really take it seriously, and they do great work,” says Schloss, who oversees the volunteers with Robert Craycraft, LLMP program coordinator. “They’re essentially providing quality-assured data that all of our researchers can use to really understand what’s going in lakes all over New Hampshire.” Schloss notes that most lake monitors also become more involved in their communities once they volunteer with LLMP, and their perspectives and water quality data are highly valued in informing local lake protection efforts. “If I had to predict an issue for the rest of this century that will probably dominate discussion not just in America but around the world, it will be water,” Huddleston says. “And the kind of work our Lakes Lay Monitoring Program does here in New Hampshire is an important part of that dialogue, because it’s about protecting a resource that’s about more than just boating and fishing and swimming. It’s about our ability to maintain our very existence on this planet.”  r


how NOT to thaw a turkey and other Education Center information line adventures

What is it like to work at the UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center information line?

For answers, we went to the experts: the volunteer master gardeners who work the phones, respond to the emails and greet the drop-ins. After all, they already devote hours every week to answering questions, so what’s one more?

Not your typical call center Education Center volunteers know something many may not: Answering questions and solving problems for fellow New Hampshire residents is a terrific way to spend time. “Helping someone solve a problem, like how to eliminate Colorado potato beetles in a potato patch, is satisfying and rewarding,” says Ruth Droescher. David White also appreciates the opportunity to share his skills and knowledge with others. “I find that every time the phone rings, I start another adventure,” says White.





1,500 + Volunteers 46,500 +  Volunteer Hours 3,800 Average Number of Questions Received a Year As for the questions, there is no shortage of variety according to Brenda Frye. And if the answer isn’t obvious? “I’ll find it,” says White. “We have fact sheets, websites and knowledgeable staff, in addition to the other master gardeners.”

A work environment brings camaraderie and laughter The Education Center’s supportive working atmosphere is a key to its success. Volunteers, who undergo 13 weeks of training, are offered continuing education through workshops, field trips and refreshers, which keeps them informed, engaged and working well as a team. “I’ve been here for 15 years and every day is different and interesting,” says Information Line coordinator Pam Doherty. “We’ve gotten some crazy questions. My favorite was when someone called to ask if they could defrost a turkey in their toilet. Hey, stuff happens. You may suddenly wake up the day before Thanksgiving in a cold sweat, realizing that your bird is still in the deep freeze. All is not lost, but please do not defrost your turkey in the toilet.” “Every day I work at the Education Center, I learn something new,” says Terry Glazier. “Some of the calls are so humorous, I am left chuckling even after I hang up.”

Serious concerns are no joke Occasionally, volunteers hear from someone with a problem that’s more serious, like a caller who believes he or she has bed bugs or a home invasion of western conifer seed bugs.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“When this happens, I help them figure out if that’s the case and provide them with the knowledge they need to solve the problem,” says Tabby Burak, who received her master gardener training in North Carolina and began volunteering at the Education Center in 2001. Then there was the case of the poisonous berries. “A mom and her young son came in with a plant that had toxic berries on it,” recalls Sam Jamke. “Her son had eaten the berries and had to go to the hospital. We identified the plant for her, and her son said, ‘Don’t eat it!’” And Burak can’t forget about the summer cottage that had electrical wiring coated with strychnine. “The caller was turning her cottage into a yearround home and needed to know if the wiring was poisonous,” she says. “The EPA office in Boston told me that it was and it needed to be treated as hazmat material. That was one of the most unusual questions that I have answered.”

Driven by the desire to help At the end of the day, helping people get the information they need is what motivates volunteers like Jamke, who loves knowing her advice has made a difference. Gwen Kenney sums up volunteering at the Education Center well. “I love the fact that when the phone rings, I never know what question will be on the other end,” she says. “I come away from my time there both humbled by what I have yet to learn and inspired by the passion of the staff and volunteers.”  r

Education Center Information Line 1-877-EXT-GROW (1-877-398-4769)


the everlasting


“OK, I’ll do it for a year.” That was the deal Anna Boudreau made in 2003, when UNH Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Emeritus John Pike asked the longtime Extension volunteer to accept the vice chair position for the State Advisory Council. Fast-forward to today, and Boudreau is still on the council—and leading the meeting as its chair for the eleventh straight year. “What can I say?” she asks with a self-effacing smile. “It’s been an amazing experience.” In the 25 years since she started volunteering for Cooperative Extension, Boudreau has experienced growth, change and, occasionally, challenge. She was a member of the NH Coverts’ first class of volunteers trained to promote wildlife habitat conservation and forest stewardship. She led the effort to conserve the 212-acre Strafford County Farm with Cooperative Extension and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. And, as a member of the Strafford County Advisory Committee, she helped staff and leadership reach out to county delegates after a funding cut led to the county office closure. With her assistance, delegates reinstated funding after just one year.

For everything Boudreau has given to Cooperative Extension, she has gained as much in return, including a love and appreciation of the state’s natural resources, which still surprises her. “We didn’t have ‘nature’ where I grew up,” she says, recalling her childhood in Chicago’s inner city. “What I found amazing in New Hampshire was all of the trees.” So many trees, in fact, it made her claustrophobic. “I guess I got over it, because now I cannot imagine living anywhere else.” As State Advisory Council chair, Anna doesn’t see her longstanding relationship with Cooperative Extension ending any time soon. “I am a donor and I will always volunteer in some way, because I get so much out of this. And it does make a difference.”  r





“You give back.” That simple statement by Marlene Hammond sums up the value she and her husband, Todd, place on New Hampshire’s 4-H program. They met at a 4-H teen conference when Marlene was 15 and Todd was 17. “It changed my life,” Marlene says. Both went to UNH. Todd attended the Thompson School of Applied Science, and Marlene attended the College of Liberal Arts. Today, they are involved with UNH Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program as volunteers and donors. Todd serves on the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire as vice chair, the state 4-H Association and the Merrimack County 4-H Leaders Association.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Marlene serves on the Merrimack County 4-H Foundation, the Merrimack County Advisory Council, and as an advisor to the Merrimack County 4-H Teen Leaders. As they looked carefully at who or what they would donate to, 4-H was a natural choice. “First and foremost, being a part of 4-H, you just learn to give back, whether it’s time or money,” Marlene says. She and Todd felt it important to give back to something they were both passionate about. “4-H is a program where you see actual results,” Todd says. “You realize you’re changing people’s lives.”

From 4-H members to 4-H volunteers to 4-H donors, these leaders exemplify the spirit and core values of the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire

dedication A Quilt of Love At the Tom Fairchild Friend of 4-H golf tournament, one of the most sought-after items at the silent auction was a quilt created in memory of Ruth Kimball by her daughters, Carolyn Davis, Elaine Cannon and Corine Miller, and daughter-in-law Rose Kimball. Ruth Kimball celebrated 67 years as a New Hampshire 4-H organization leader before passing away in 2009. Affectionately known as “Gram” to both adults and children, Kimball had a very deep commitment to 4-H, exemplified in her motto, “I’ll be glad to.” In 1990, the Ruth Kimball Endowment Fund of the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire was established as a lasting legacy to her dedication to the 4-H program.

It was a dedication that she also passed along to her children. “My sisters and I were born into 4-H,” says Miller. “I have been a volunteer leader for 57 years, Carolyn 52 years, Elaine 20 years. We finally talked Rose into becoming a leader seven years ago, although she’d been volunteering for at least 15 years prior to that.” Miller estimates the quilt took at least 25 hours to complete. “It was a fun family affair in memory of our mother and a tribute to our love for 4-H.”  r




in their own words

Volunteers reflect on their work protecting the Granite State’s natural resources

KEN LAQUIRE A dedication with deep roots

ANNE KRANTZ A mysterious leaf leads to new knowledge In the 1990s, I attended Mary Tebo Davis’s Tree Stewards (now Natural Resources Stewards) class about tree identification to find out the name of a tree with unusual leaves near my home in Amherst. I ended up taking the entire series of stewards training classes. The natural world all around me became more fascinating and intriguing and my life changed forever! It’s been more than 20 years since I became a volunteer for Extension. I am still busy. An avid gardener, I’ve completed the Master Gardener training program. Last year, I worked with the Stewardship Network to organize a garlic mustard pull in my town. I am the Hillsborough County chair of the NH Big Tree program and a member of my town’s conservation commission. Through Extension’s high-quality volunteer training programs, every town in New Hampshire is a university town. Oh—the leaf that originally brought me to the Tree Steward’s class stumped everyone! Turned out it was a black tupelo tree leaf, a rare find in my suburban neighborhood.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Community gardens are my passion. They give people who have no land of their own a place to grow food. They bring people from different backgrounds together who may not have met otherwise. They give people a chance to stick their hands in the dirt and create something of value. They are refuges within crowded cities. They are safe places to share knowledge, exchange ideas and make friends. As a community garden volunteer, and now as a Natural Resources Steward, I spend much of my time—more than 650 hours so far this year—helping establish, maintain and improve these important spaces in New Hampshire. It is work that keeps me going. In 2015, a woman who grows vegetables at one of the Rooting for Families gardens in Manchester was in a car accident. Friends from the garden visited her in the hospital, provided rides while her car was being repaired, and cared for her vegetables while she was unable. When she left the hospital her first stop was the garden, because she wanted to see what she had missed most. To me, this shows the true value of the gardens. Through these important community spaces, we connect with the land, with our food and with each other.

PEGGY BARTER Continuing a life’s work

LESLIE STEVENS A focus on education brings rewards (and an award) As a part of my volunteer work, I teach a summer program at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover called Anyone Can Grow Food, which is designed to help children and their families learn about all aspects of growing their own food, from starting seeds to harvesting. The program is now in its sixth year and has been generously funded by Stonyfield Yogurt for the last two. I also teach gardening workshops through the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Meetup and the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, where I currently work. In 2014, I won the New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition’s Outdoor Champion award for my work with kids at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. The Natural Resources Stewards course changed my life. It opened my eyes to the importance of looking at our surroundings as a system and valuing and understanding the role of each part of that system.

When I retired from teaching, I looked for a way to continue learning, doing environmental work and teaching. In 1998, I received training for the Natural Resources Stewards, when it was known as the Tree Stewards, and it has fulfilled that need for 18 years. I have participated in a wide variety of projects. The largest was a committee I assembled in Amherst to create a town-wide education program to help voters understand the value of increasing buffers around the town’s many valuable wetlands. As a result, Amherst did adopt better buffer protection of its wetlands in a town vote on zoning regulations. Other volunteer projects included removing invasive bittersweet from the banks of the Piscataquog River, shrub pruning at the Zimmerman House, community gardening in Manchester and Nashua, working with single mothers to use plantings to beautify their public housing, restoring wild lupine to support the Karner blue butterfly habitat in Manchester and participating in the Adopt-a-Salmon program by giving watershed presentations in schools and tours of the fish hatchery in Nashua. With each project, I learned much and met amazing people who collaborate to make a difference.  r



2015 VOLUNTEER IMPACT Each year, volunteers donate their time to extend the work of UNH Cooperative Extension and help make New Hampshire’s individuals and communities more successful, and its natural resources healthy and productive.



Extension Volunteers

Volunteer Hours

Where They Live and Give Their Time

Estimated Value of Volunteer Time

COOS 234 Volunteers 13,011 Hours

GRAFTON 289 Volunteers 13,065 Hours

CARROLL 321 Volunteers 5,839 Hours BELKNAP 229 Volunteers 7,629 Hours

SULLIVAN 179 Volunteers 6,943 Hours

STRAFFORD 658 Volunteers 17,815 Hours

MERRIMACK 487 Volunteers 21,407 Hours CHESHIRE 143 Volunteers 6,843 Hours

3.4 million

HILLSBOROUGH 633 Volunteers 28,244 Hours

ROCKINGHAM 796 Volunteers 24,837 Hours

Visit for a list of all our 2015 volunteers.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension


4-H Foundation of New Hampshire

Natural Resources Stewards

Contact: Jim Doyle, The 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire provides the state’s 4-H youth programs with financial resources through annual appeals and fundraising events.

Contact: Mary Tebo Davis, Natural Resources stewards learn about natural resources and the environment and share their knowledge through volunteer projects.

4-H Volunteers

Contact: Mary Tebo Davis, NH Big Tree Program volunteers find and record the state’s largest trees.

Contact: Kate Guerdat, 4-H volunteers help 4-H members develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills through experiential learning and positive youth development.

Advisory Councils Contact: Dan Reidy, Advisory Councils are the vital link between UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire’s 10 counties. Council members help identify and prioritize programs that best meet local needs.

Coastal Research Volunteers Contact: Alyson Eberhardt, Coastal Research Volunteers support local coastal research, address coastal problems and help New Hampshire communities through citizen science and stewardship activities.

Lakes Lay Monitoring Program Contact: Robert (Bob) Craycraft, Lakes Lay Monitoring Program volunteers monitor impacts to water quality in New Hampshire lakes and provide unbiased data for watershed management decisions.

Marine Docents Contact: Dari Ward, Marine docents learn about coastal and marine environments and share their knowledge through a variety of educational programs for youth and adults.

NH Big Tree Program

NH Coverts Project Contact: Haley Andreozzi, NH Coverts Project volunteers, called coverts cooperators, learn about and promote wildlife habitat conservation and forest stewardship.

Nutrition Connections’ Cooking Matters Contact: Debbie Luppold, Cooking Matters volunteers assist with recruitment, prepare class materials and provide valuable instruction for six-week cooking and nutrition classes.

Speaking for Wildlife Contact: Haley Andreozzi, Speaking for Wildlife volunteers provide education about natural resources and wildlife through presentations and field walks.

The Stewardship Network: New England Contact: Malin Clyde, The Stewardship Network connects volunteers to stewardship and citizen science volunteer opportunities and training through an online events calendar, social media and in-person workshops.

STEM Docents Contact: Megan Glenn, STEM docents receive in-depth training on how to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math and develop STEM-related curriculum for classrooms, after school and out-of-school programs.

Master Gardener Program & the Education Center Information Line Contact: Marcy Stanton, Master gardeners extend the outreach and education of UNH Cooperative Extension through community horticultural projects. They also answer the toll-free information line at UNH Cooperative Extension’s Education Center.

Visit to learn more.

(603) 862-1520

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Durham, N.H. Permit No. 2

Taylor Hall 59 College Road Durham, NH 03824

“Through Extension’s high-quality volunteer training programs, every town in New Hampshire is a university town.” —ANNE KRANTZ

Visit to support the volunteer programs and other UNH Cooperative Extension efforts.

UNH Cooperative Extension strengthens people and communities in New Hampshire by providing trusted knowledge, practical education and cooperative solutions. P R O D U C T I O N E D I TO R Sarah Schaier CO N T R I B U TO R S Haley Andreozzi Kyle Belmont Tracey Bentley Malin Clyde Pam Doherty Kristin Duisberg Alyson Eberhardt Jim Graham Dave Kellam Emily Lord Sarah Schaier China Wong Holly Young Rebecca Zeiber DESIGN Five Line Creative The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer. University of New Hampshire, U.S. Department of Agriculture and N.H. counties cooperating. © 2016 University of New Hampshire All rights reserved. #UNHEXT

UNH Cooperative Extension Radius 2016