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Land-grant Universities: Research, Extension, and Local Leadership to Improve TMDLs. Jane Frankenberger Associate Professor Ag. and Biol. Engineering Purdue University and Michael D. Smolen Professor Biosystems and Ag. Engineering Oklahoma State University.

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land grant universities research extension and local leadership to improve tmdls

Land-grant Universities: Research, Extension, and Local Leadership to Improve TMDLs

Jane Frankenberger

Associate Professor

Ag. and Biol. Engineering

Purdue University

and

Michael D. Smolen

Professor

Biosystems and Ag. Engineering

Oklahoma State University

acknowledgements
USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES)

EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW)

EPA - Assessment and Watershed Protection Division (AWPD)

Land grant universities TMDL Committee members:

Art Gold

Chris Obropta

Charlie Abdallah

David Radcliffe

Dan Devlin

Reagan Waskom

Nancy Mesner

Richard Hawkins

Laosheng Wu

Ron Miner

Mike Smolen

Jane Frankenberger

Acknowledgements
needs of the tmdl program
Needs of the TMDL program

Extension

  • Public participation – acceptance and assistance in implementing voluntary goals
  • Outreach to the agricultural community – seek buy-in instead of opposition
  • Education of local government officials
  • Research on BMP effectiveness
  • Improved watershed modeling methods and validation of models
  • Education of scientists and engineers to do the TMDLs over the next 15 years

Research

Education

land grant universities
Land grant universities
  • Extension – public education links university research with the public (~15,000 campus-based and county-based educators)
  • Research – basic and applied research in agriculture, forestry, and other environmental sciences (~15,000 researchers)
  • Formaleducation of hundreds of thousands of students on campuses in every state
extension links the university to the people of the state
University

research

People of the state

Extension links the university to the people of the state

County

Educators or faculty

Two-way Communication

so what are land grant universities doing
So what are land-grant universities doing?
  • In winter 2002-03 JF assembled a team of LGU researchers and extension specialists from each EPA region.
  • Conducted a survey of state LGU-water quality coordinators to identify TMDL-related activities in the states.
  • Received responses from 34 coordinators.
the survey found
The survey found…

Every state contributes to one or another facet of the TMDL program, but

Attitudes and approaches vary widely.

We found three basic attitudes…

attitude 1 stay above the fray
Attitude 1: “Stay above the fray”

“TMDL development involves discussions that have strong political overtones and may lead to a perception of bias or alliance attributed to participants. The university works hard to avoid such perceptions.”

approach 2 do science only
Approach 2: “Do science only”

“Scientists should contribute to the process technically, but not engage in political debates.”

approach 3 get in the thick of it
Approach 3: “Get in the thick of it”

“If there is an important question that needs to be answered, it is better that scientists answer it rather than leaving it to people who may not base the decision on science.”

“Extension responds to the needs of a community, and if TMDLs are being done, we should be actively involved.”

land grant university contributions to the tmdl process identified from the survey
Land grant university contributions to the TMDL process – Identified from the survey
  • Educating students, professionals and the public
  • Providing guidance to state programs
  • Enhancing public participation
  • Monitoring waters and contributing data
  • Modeling watersheds and developing TMDLs
  • Researching the science behind watershed management
  • Researching and demonstrating BMP effectiveness
1 educating students professionals and the public about tmdls
1. Educating students, professionals, and the public about TMDLs
  • On campus: in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Watershed Science, Forestry, and Agronomy
  • Workshops and short courses
  • Institutes and centers
  • Extension programs: family, community, youth, and Agricultural producer programs
colorado state university tmdl class project

Example

Colorado State University TMDL class project
  • Agency staff explained issues to class.
  • Class developed TMDLs - load allocations, evaluated monitoring data, and identified reduction targets.
  • Students presented result to state agency and received feedback.
  • State adopted some of student work.

One student obtained employment with state agency as a result.

educating the public about tmdls
Educating the public about TMDLs:
  • 3000 county extension offices -- on-the-ground contact with the public
  • Agricultural organization
  • Rural community organizations
  • Regular clients throughout the agricultural industry and rural communities
  • Newsletters, websites, newspaper columns
educating the public
Educating the public
  • Agricultural producers (crops and animals)
    • Field days, public meetings and conferences
    • Courses (credit and non-credit)
  • Watershed academies - Watershed alliances, community organizers, watershed managers, public officials
  • Youth and families through 4-H and FCS
  • County commissioners through Rural Development programs
public talk real choices in delaware

Example

“Public Talk, Real Choices” in Delaware
  • Univ. of Delaware developed an “issue book” and a series of articles on a proposed TMDL in the local paper.
  • 80 people showed up to help develop recommendations
  • The recommendations are being used in the TMDL implementation plan.
  • Extension Educator Leading public issues discussion.
educating agricultural producers and professionals
Educating Agricultural Producers and Professionals
  • NRCS field personnel and service providers
  • Agricultural crop advisors and chemical dealers
  • Engineering consultants
  • Municipal officials and staffs
  • Septic tank installers
  • Builders and developers
  • Lawn care companies
2 providing scientific guidance to the state s tmdl process
2. Providing scientific guidance to the state’s TMDL process
  • 50% of responding states participate in state TMDL advisory committees.
  • Several universities provide technical assistance to TMDL agencies.

Example: Georgia

www.georgiaconservancy.org/WaterQuality/GA_CON%20QXD.pdf.

scientific input to the state s tmdl process georgia

Example

Scientific input to the state’s TMDL process - Georgia
  • Scientists from University of Georgia with The Georgia Conservancy and others, developing a “Protocol for Establishing Sediment TMDLs in Georgia”
  • Result
    • state now collects different data, and
    • Looks more actively for reference watersheds
3 monitoring waters and contributing data

www.usawaterquality.org/volunteer/

3.Monitoring waters and contributingdata
  • Research monitoring
  • Volunteer monitoring
  • Educating programs
  • Contributing to 303(d) list (11 states)
4 watershed modeling and tmdl development
Researching better ways to incorporate uncertainty in models

Running models that are used in TMDLs, without actually writing the TMDL (7 states)

Developing TMDLs for the state

Virginia Tech has done 22 TMDLs

They emphasize education both in TMDL development and implementation.

4. Watershed modeling and TMDL development
5 improving watershed management
Education programs address watershed planning (almost every university)

Promoting watershed management to implement a TMDL (15 universities)

5. Improving watershed management
6 encouraging bmp implementation
Educating the agricultural community about BMPs (26 universities)

Conducting applied research to assess impact of various BMPs

6. Encouraging BMP implementation
extension staff implement the tmdls in kansas

Example

Extension Staff Implement the TMDLs in Kansas

Kansas State University receives funding for six full-time Extension Watershed Specialists, each assigned to a high priority TMDL watershed.

7 enhancing public participation
7. Enhancing public participation
  • Extension Educators are leaders who can bring people together
  • Thousands are trained in facilitation
  • 1890s (Historically Black Universities) and 1994 (Tribal Colleges) can reach minority communities
public issues education can lead to authentic public participation
Public Issues Education can lead to authentic public participation
  • Extension can lead Public Issues Education processes
  • Encourage local participation
  • Keeping the process fair and even handed - gets genuine and meaningful participation
three reasons to work with land grant universities on tmdls
Three reasons to work with land-grant universities on TMDLs
  • Educational expertise – it’s the mission
  • Understanding of agricultural management issues – both practical and theoretical
  • High level of trust, particularly with rural communities
who do you trust

Example

Who do you trust?
  • Ohio State University researchers did survey in Sugar Creek
  • They asked - How much do you trust the following agencies or organizations working in your community?

0 means no trust; 5 means high trust

slide30

How much do you trust the following agencies or organizations working in your community?

OSU 4.0

Cty Farm Bureau 3.8

Ohio EPA 1.9

US EPA 1.7

working with land grant universities
Working with land-grant universities
  • Universities, approaches, and people vary widely (so one size does not fit all)
  • CSREES is federal partner and has relationships with every land-grant university
  • Water Quality Integrated Program (Section 406) has established a network of projects by EPA Region
the view from outside may not be so positive
The view from outside may not be so positive…
  • Extension faculty and ag. researchers do not understand or promote the objectives of the Clean Water Act or water quality standards.
  • Land-grant universities (particularly Extension) are “on the side of agriculture”, even if it means slowing the pace of water quality improvements.
  • University culture is very different from that of a government agency - tenured professors do not take orders from above, and no one can speak for all disciplines.
basic conflict of university researchers and the tmdl program

TMDLs have to get done – now.

Basic conflict of university researchers and the TMDL program
  • Current research and models are not adequate to do TMDLs “right”.
what is the official policy describing what side extension should be on
“What is the official policy describing what side Extension should be on?

The CSREES national water quality program (authorized by Section 406 AREERA) is helping to give voice to the water quality answer.

we are all accountable for clean water
We are all accountable for clean water
  • Focus on accountability means we all need to build projects that work and that have measurable outcomes
  • Performance-based environmental policies
  • We need the whole team to restore and protect our water quality.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Land-grant universities links the university to the people of every state, through a presence in every county
  • LGU Extension has a long and close relationship with agricultural producers
  • LGU Extension also educates producers, local public officials, homeowners, youth, agency staff, and professionals.
  • Land-grant university research and extension can enhance TMDL implementation.