eLearn Urban Forestry Course for Extension Master Gardeners Available Through eXtension


eLearn Urban Forestry is a new online course now available for Extension Master Gardeners and others interested in learning more about urban forestry.

As most of us know, healthy urban forests require a strong investment, and not just from the individuals and communities who benefit directly from these forests, but also from volunteers and professionals providing the expertise and care to support them. As an Extension Master Gardener volunteer, you might find yourself interested in knowing more about what it takes to select, plant, and maintain trees in urban areas to ensure their maximum benefit.

Well, now you can with eLearn Urban Forestry, a state-of-the-art online learning opportunity designed specifically for those working or volunteering in urban forestry situations, but not classically trained in urban forestry. eLearn Urban Forestry in part of the new Trees for Energy Conservation resource area on eXtension, and is led by urban forestry team members from across the U.S

Complete eLearn Urban Forestry Course to Earn Credits/Certificate

The eLearn Urban Forestry Course is available for volunteer credit/certification, but individual modules can also be viewed at anytime, in any order, as a training resource.

Check with your local Master Gardener coordinator to see if you can earn volunteer credit and/or apply your certificate of completion to your local program training requirements. (Note: If you found this blog posts and are looking for professional credits to apply to your work, you can access the site for credit from the International Society of Arboriculture and Society of American Foresters, by visiting cfegroup.org. You can also review modules for free by visiting elearn.sref.info.)

Access the training for Extension Master Gardeners by visiting campus.extension.org (see how to enroll below).  This eLearn Urban Forestry course is made up of 10 modules, each module being about 1 hour each. The modules are interactive and self-paced and the whole program can take around 10-15 hours to complete.

Module topics include:
  • Module 1: Costs and Benefits of the Urban Forest
  • Module 2: Tree Growth and Development
  • Module 3: Urban Soils
  • Module 4: Site, Tree Selection, and Planting
  • Module 5: Arboriculture
  • Module 6: Assessing and Managing Tree Risk
  • Module 7: Tree Disorder, Diagnosis, and Management
  • Module 8: Trees and Construction
  • Module 9: Public Policy and Urban Forestry
  • Module 10: Urban Forest Management
eLearn Urban Forestry EMG
eLearn Urban Forestry for Extension Master Gardener through eXtension

How To Enroll in eLearn Urban Forestry for Extension Master Gardeners

1)Visit the eXtension website, http://campus.extension.org

2) Set up an eXtension Campus (Moodle) account:

  • “Create an account” link (top, left side of the page) via the secure connection.
  • Once you have that account created, you will receive an e-mail with a confirmation and a password. Follow the instructions in the email to complete your account set-up.
  • Remember your login and password so you can access this or other future courses.
Create an eXtension Campus Account
Create an eXtension Campus Account (click to enlarge image)

3)Login to the course

  • After you create an account, log into eXtension Campus (Moodle) ( http://campus.extension.org/ ) . Find the log in entry at the top, left side of page, where you first created the account.
  • Scroll through the available course categories and select Master Gardener (under Yard and Garden).
Find eLearn Urban Forestry for Extension Master Gardeners under 'Yard and Garden'
Find eLearn Urban Forestry for Extension Master Gardeners under ‘Yard and Garden’ (click to enlarge image)

4) View the course and get started

For more information, see: http://www.extension.org/pages/67932/elearn-urban-forestry:-online-training-in-urban-forestry

Online IPM Modules for Master Gardeners- A New Educational Tool

Basil plant heavily infected with basil downy mildew (Picture by Bruce Watt, University of Maine, Bugwood.org)
Basil plant heavily infected with
basil downy mildew (Picture by Bruce Watt,
University of Maine, Bugwood.org)

Need to brush up on your pests to answer client garden questions?

Learn about newly emerging or persistent plant diseases and insect problems in the home landscape with the NEW University of Illinois Extension Online IPM modules. These modules are designed for Extension Master Gardeners but can be used by home gardeners and green industry professionals.

Eight Self-paced Online IPM Modules

Eight online IPM modules are currently available, covering landscape pest and problems such as:

  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
  • Thousand Canker Disease
  • Spruce Problems
  • Downy Mildew on Impatiens,  and more.
  • Bacterial Leaf Scorch
  • Sudden Oak Death
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Bur Oak Blight

Module Quick-Facts

Each module is self-paced and contains information and pictures about the pest or pathogen, host plants, symptoms, diagnosis, management and much more. Here we answer a few common questions you may have:

  • Can I earn continuing ed (CE) credits for each module? Each module provides about  1/2  hour of continuing education for Illinois Master Gardeners.
  • Will the CE credit apply in my state? Check with your local coordinator to be sure these modules fulfill the educational requirements in your county and state. (As mentioned, the modules are also a great resource to answer client questions in the office.)
  • How will I get a certificate of completion? After completion of the module content, a short quiz should be completed. Participants must receive a perfect score on the quiz before completing a brief evaluation and then printing a certificate of completion.
  • Is there a charge? The course is free of charge, but participants must register and create a login and password.

The modules were written by University of Illinois plant pathologists and entomologists and more modules are currently under construction. Evaluations show that Master Gardeners value this new easy tool for completing educational hours while staying abreast of current landscape pests and pathogens.

Want to see what a module looks like? View the brown marmorated stink bug example below or directly access these Online IPM modules at  http://mg.cropsci.illinois.edu/index.php

Example of IPM Online Module
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, University of Illinois IPM Module Example

– Monica David, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Coordinator

EAB Monitoring and Management Online Course

A few weeks ago, we learned about EAB University hosting live and recorded webinars available to Extension Master Gardeners and the public so they can stay current with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and other invasive forest pests. Now we have learned of an online course available to Extension Master Gardeners who want to know more about monitoring and managing EAB.

This free online course,  Emerald Ash Borer Monitoring & Management, is hosted by the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), and provides an overview of EAB ecology; empowering learners to effectively detect and manage EAB in their communities.  The entire course takes about 90 minutes to complete and consists of 6 modules which users can take at their own pace.

The course was developed by Virginia Tech’s  Eric Wiseman, Sarah Gugercin, Dave Close, and Heather Boyd, funded by the USDA Forest Service (Forest Health Protection),  and reviewed by Jodie Ellis (Purdue University). When I talked with Sarah Gugercin about how this would be different than the EAB University webinars we blogged about several weeks ago,   Sarah explained that the EAB Monitoring and Management online course is meant to serve as an introduction to EAB, and allows users to interact with the content through quizzes and other interactive course features. The EAB University webinars complement this introductory course because they go into detail about specific issues, and in fact, those that take the online course are referred to EAB University webinars if they are interested in learning more advanced EAB topics.

Virginia Cooperative Extension has approved 1.5 continuing education credits for (Virginia) Extension Master Gardeners taking this course (check the Virginia Tech EAB Online Course website for other organizations that can receive continuing education credits) .   Note to Extension Master Gardeners in other states: You’ll want to be sure to check with your local coordinator to see if this course may apply for continuing education in your state, region, or county.

To learn more about taking this free course, visit the  Virginia Tech EAB Online Course website: or download the CourseAnnouncement flyer.