UACES Facebook Extension offering continuing education for Arkansas media and Conservation Districts

Extension offering continuing education for Arkansas media and Conservation Districts

By Kristin Higgins
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Joint program includes hands-on water quality sampling activity
  • Meet sources for future water quality stories

LITTLE ROCK — Reporters working in watersheds impaired by nonpoint source pollution have an opportunity in October to brush up on their understanding of environmental science at two water quality seminars hosted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. 

The Nonpoint Source Pollution Media & Communications Seminar will be a chance for reporters and editors to learn about information resources in the state for water quality data and how waterways become impaired. 

Participants will collect water quality samples alongside Conservation District employees who will spend the day with Extension faculty learning communication strategies. The joint program will also include a morning panel discussion about media and conservation practices. 

Takeaways from the seminar include: 

  • Sources for future water quality stories
  • Better understanding of how water samples are collected and analyzed
  • Ideas for local stories on water quality 

Registration is now open at This professional development program is free to attend and lunch is included. The deadline to register for the Oct. 1 seminar in Monticello is Friday, Sept. 25.v The deadline to register for the Oct. 15 seminar in Jonesboro is Friday, Oct. 9. 

The seminar will be offered on two different dates, with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending by 4:30 p.m.:

  • Oct. 1, 2015 – Monticello – University of Arkansas at Monticello, University Center
  • Oct. 15, 2015 – Jonesboro – Arkansas State University, Alumni Center 

The goal of the educational program, sponsored by a grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, is to help media representatives and local Conservation Districts form relationships that support better communications of water quality issues. 

Participants should bring their own laptop, and boots that can get wet. For more information about the program, contact Kristin Higgins at 501-671-2160 or e-mail

The Arkansas Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Arkansas Press Women have helped spread the word about this program. Check out photos from the September seminar on our Facebook page –

With stakeholder input and water quality data, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission has identified 10 priority watersheds impaired by nonpoint source pollution. These watersheds receive priority consideration for education and restoration or prevention efforts. The map below shows the location and breadth of these impaired watersheds.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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