Utah State University's Extension specialists, educators and county agents cover a wide range of natural resource issues of critical importance to citizens in the state and the region.  Important issues include the management of public and private lands and the challenges associated with rapid growth in Utah.

Programs and Contacts     


Forestry: Extension programs include urban forestry and arboriculture (including care of trees and woodlands in cities and towns), rural forestry (including work with forest landowners and the forest products industry and including forest health), and forestry in the wildland-urban interface (including firewise landscaping and appropriate development). 

Mike Kuhns:  Extension Specialist

Darren McAvoy:  Extension Program Associate

Megan Dettenmaier: Extension Educator  


Range: Extension programs include improved grazing and fire management on rangelands to increase yield and to protect soils and water.  Extension is also fully involved in the statewide Grazing Initiative Program, which promotes integrated management of private lands for multiple benefits. 

Eric Thacker:  Extension Specialist

Fee Busby:   Extension Specialist

Beth Burritt:  Research Associate


Recreation and Tourism: Programs include training future managers of park lands, promotion of the tourism industry, and managing recreation and tourism in a way that protects park lands and open lands.

Steve Burr:  Extension Specialist 


Sustainability Council: The main focus of the USU Sustainability Council is to achieve the goals outlined in the President's Climate Commitment, most specifically to reduce global warming by achieving climate neutrality.

Sustainable Communities:  Our Extension program in sustainability focuses on sustainable communities, pro-environmental behavior change and non-formal teaching techniques.   

           Roslynn Brain: Extension Specialist


Water Quality: Programs include Utah Water Watch (citizen science), Streamside Science (K-12 water related lessons and educator training), watershed restoration and management, water quality impacts from different land uses, best management practices to protect our waters, effective monitoring to understand impacts of restoration efforts; and water conservation.

Nancy Mesner:  Extension Specialist

Brian Greene:  Utah Water Watch Coordinator

Ellen Bailey:  Extension Educator


Wildlife:  Wildlife extension activities include identification, implementation, and evaluation of conservation strategies, technologies, and partnerships that achieve sustainability of natural resources and maintain agricultural productivity, and enhance the socio-economics of stakeholders and communities. Specific programs are designed to promote reevaluation of contemporary natural resource management policies and paradigms regarding the contributions local communities and private landowners to natural resource conservation. Specialists are actively working with stakeholders to better manage human-wildlife conflicts, sensitive conservation, and increase public access to wildlife recreational opportunities

Terry Messmer:  Extension Specialist

David Dahlgren: Community-Based Conservation Specialist

Shandra Nicole Frey:  Extension Assistant Professor

Lorien Belton: Community-Based Conservation Specialist


Master Naturalist Program: The Master Naturalist program teaches volunteers and professionals about natural resources in Utah and trains them to pass this information on to others.  Modules include Aquatic and Wetland Systems, Arid Lands (starting 2008), and Alpine and Montane Systems (starting 2000). 

Mark Larese-Casanova:  Statewide Extension Educator


More information about Natural Resources Extension at USU