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Western Center Projects

In Development – New Project Areas

Wildland-Urban Interface, Wildfires, and Urban Smoke

America’s forests are burning at unprecedented rates. Long-term efforts will require transdisciplinary solutions that are customized for unique characteristics of communities and ecosystems. The project team developed a brief for the ECOP Climate Coalition, requesting endorsement for a significant planning process to define priorities for Cooperative Extension’s role in addressing the nation’s increasing frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires. Read more…

Urban, Indoor, and Emerging Agriculture

During May 2020, the WCMER, in conjunction with the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) and several urban Farm Bureau county organizations, responded to a request for stakeholder input from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) about the Urban, Indoor and other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education and Extension Initiative. Read more…

Applied Research Fellows

City housing

Suburban Housing Affordability

Suburban communities across the United States have all experienced a steady rise in median housing prices. Lower housing affordability has a host of negative consequences including increased homelessness, poor health outcomes, unaddressed racial housing inequality, and lower disposable incomes.

five panelists speaking on stage

Career Progression for Urban Extension Professionals

Extension faculty and staff must manage their careers within traditionally structured academic systems that often lack the flexibility to incorporate new ways to accomplish the land grant mission. This creates a dilemma for Extension professionals who want to work in urban areas and advance in their careers as well.

Hand with magnifine glass over words" Competence, responsibility, flexibility, etc

Urban Extension Professional Development

WCMER is working in partnership with National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL), Extension Foundation, and the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) to address professional development for urban Extension personnel.

Colorado skyline

Urban Green Infrastructure

WCMER is developing a research network to enhance cooperation among researchers, state agencies, and stormwater practitioners.

Previous Projects

sustainable urban systems

Sustainable Urban Systems

Funded by the National Science Foundation, this 2019 by-invitation only workshop brought together a select group of 40 experts across an array of disciplines, sectors, and locations to help key challenges facing natural spaces as a result of urbanization. Read more…

Urban Professional Summit

The launch activity for applied research fellowship and Deep Dive, led by Dr. Julie Fox (Ohio State University), built upon the National Urban Extension framework and implementation plan and helped initiate a process of Extension organizations working to addressing professional development priorities related to the growing urban influence in our country and urban-suburban-rural interdependencies. Read more…

National Urban Extension Conference 2019

The only national gathering of Extension professionals who serve our cities. The conference, highlighted strong urban programming and Extension’s opportunity to support the university-level mission of our land-grant universities in our metropolitan regions. With urban focused sessions, mobile tours, networking opportunities, social events, and exhibits the conference both educated and inspired. Read more…

Well Connected Communities

National 4-H Council, in partnership with the groundbreaking health initiatives of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System (CES) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is helping to drive transformational change to create a Culture of Health across 1,000 communities in America. Read more…