100 Years of Connecting People with Nature

Whenever someone asks me “So what do you do?” in reference to my job, I usually end up saying, “I do environmental education for the public.” Sometimes this description works and sometimes it doesn’t, but in reality, my role as a Natural Resources Agent for UF/IFAS Extension in Pinellas County involves much more than environmental education.

me with caesar weed

Your local Natural Resources Agent, Lara Miller

If I were to share my job description with you, it would read something like this:

The Natural Resource Agent is responsible for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating unbiased, research-based natural resource and environmental education programs for natural resource managers, general citizens and visitors, including age-appropriate programming for 8 to 18 year-old-youth in Pinellas County.  The agent is responsible for promoting environmental awareness while fostering an appreciation of the interconnectedness and dependence of human actions with natural resources.  Agent must communicate effectively with residents and community leaders on key natural resource issues that arise. The establishment of partnerships with local extension agent colleagues, county and city natural resources departments, and relevant community-based organizations is expected.

So as we celebrate 100 years of the Cooperative Extension Service this year, I want to share with you all that I have to offer:

  • A webpage where I share relevant Natural Resource information
  • A  facebook and twitter account where you can stay up to date on relevant natural resource happenings
  • A list of environmental education programs happening in the county
  • The Traveling Tree Walk, an educational tool you can use in your community to educate citizens about the importance and value of ecosystem services or nature’s benefits.
  • An Earthcache at Brooker Creek Preserve
  • Native plant and animal identification services, email me at lara317@ufl.edu
  • Presentations upon request on topics including: wildlife, water, invasive species, ecosystems, backyard habitat, and fire.
  • Everyday Nature Newspaper articles in the Tarpon Springs Beacon
  • A bi-monthly newsletter on local happenings and natural resources, sign up here.
  • Natural resource related blogs, sign up here
  • Exploring Environmental Education Curriculum (ECO) Teacher Training Summer Camp – an annual, week-long workshop for current and aspiring elementary and ESE teachers to learn how to incorporate environmental education in the classroom.
  • A 4-H club dedicated to environmental education, the 4-H Brooker Creek Explorers
  • Coming soon – A Master Watershed Stewards Program, to be piloted in the Tampa Bay area in 2015

I am here to serve you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the natural resources in Pinellas County, please let me know; my contact information is below:

Lara Miller
Natural Resources Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County

Phone (727) 453-6905

lara317@ufl.edu

The Cooperative Extension System was established by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, and allows us all to benefit from the research and education of each state’s land-grant universities. In Florida, Extension has helped millions by tapping the latest information from the research engines of the University of Florida and Florida A&M University and converting it into practical knowledge we use every day. At the end of your blog, include your contact information in the following format: