School Gardens Grow Healthy Active Students

Cutting lovage down in fall can be a fun school garden chore for adults and children alike. Photo by Ashley Andrews.
Cutting lovage down in fall can be a fun school garden chore for adults and children alike. Photo by Ashley Andrews.


Lovage is an herb. It can grow 6 feet tall, at least. When it does, someone has to cut down its collapsed stems in late-fall. This year in the Mariposa Academy school garden, that someone was Pamela Van Hoozer, a certified master gardener volunteer with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She had help, though.

Alejandro, a 5-year-old prekindergarten student was her garden shadow that day. She put him to work. They talked about lovage as they labored. They built finger claws and swords out of the herb’s trimmings. read more

Winter Reading Grows Healthy Soils, Plants and Minds

Here are just a few examples of gardening books you can curl up with this winter. Photo by Ashley Andrews.


Gardeners collect. We collect seeds and seed catalogs, gloves, aprons and tools. We collect plants, and we collect books too. Here are a few gardening books that adorn the shelves of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension staff and volunteer spaces. These books, and others, help us to grow healthy soils, plants and minds. They can help you too.

A good book to get started with as a new gardener is the Sunset Western Garden Book edited by Kathleen Norris Brenzel. We have many different editions and variations of this title in the office and use them all. Another good book to begin with is Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities: A Guide to Methods, Tools, and Plants by Janeen R. Adil. This text will help you get your garden off of the ground throughout all stages and phases of life and ensure family and friends will feel right at home on your grounds as well. read more

Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees Create Memories, Improve Forest Health


Cutting a fresh Christmas tree is an incredible experience. It fosters a love of the outdoors. It strengthens the relationships among those on the outing, and it creates memories that last for years to come. To ensure the experience and the memories it fosters are as picture-perfect as possible, cut your holiday tree responsibly.

The first step in responsibly taking a Christmas tree is to purchase a permit. A permit allows tree-seekers to thin selected overstocked areas, improving forest health. Permitted cutting helps manage ladder fuels and reduce wildfire danger. Several local agencies offer Christmas tree permits. read more

Turn Golden Fall Leaves into Garden Gold with Composting


Fall garden clean-up is underway, but before you kick yard waste to the curb, consider composting. Composting breaks down living matter under controlled conditions. When the process is complete, compost can be added to garden soil. Soil amended with composted organic matter holds water and nutrients better. This helps your plants.

When cleaning up your yard this fall, consider composting carbon-rich leaves instead of throwing them out. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet.
When cleaning up your yard this fall, consider composting carbon-rich leaves instead of throwing them out. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet.

Interested? Try hot composting. It’s efficient and safe. Its high temperatures speed up life cycles of compost decomposers, converting compost to soil more quickly. The process also discourages disease-harboring molds. read more

Local Gardening Volunteer Grows Beyond Spinal Injury

Joan Anglin is a Master Gardener Volunteer with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She is an avid gardener who loves to make others smile. Joan has a spinal injury, but that does not stop her. Learn how she is an integral part of the world around her, including the Reno community whom she helps through her volunteer efforts.

Joan’s story is an #ourtownreno story, one of a local #renohero who helps #keeprenorad.

Reno-Sparks Pagan Pride Day Fosters Community, Volunteerism


Reno-Sparks Pagan Pride Day is an annual celebration held to bring people together as a community. All are welcome to attend and be at peace there with one another. Parts of the event, including ceremonies, drumming, belly dancing and workshops, were peaceful. Other moments were far from it.


The Pirates of Reno invaded. They culled wanted criminals with outstanding warrants from the crowd and threw the miscreants into the stocks to be tortured.

wet-dancer-by-ashley-andrews read more

Nevada Gardeners Tame Desert, Grow Beauty and Delight


More than 170 years ago, a woman named Gertrude Jeckyll was born in Mayfair, London. Eighty-nine years later, she died. Gertrude filled the years in between to the brim. She created a line of flower vases, and she documented fading facets of 19th century life. Gertrude published more than 300 photos. She wrote more than 15 books and 1,000 articles. Gertrude was a painter.

She also created more than 400 gardens. Most of Gertrude’s gardens were in Europe; a few were in North America. She was among the first in her field to consider the color, texture and experience of gardens in her designs. read more

Teaching How to Grow Healthy Food in Reno’s Food Desert


Northern Nevadans live in the high desert and a food desert. In many parts of Reno and Sparks, it is much easier to find drugs and alcohol than healthy fruits and vegetables. As Ashley Andrews reports for Our Town Reno with archive photos by Master Gardener Volunteers Shelley DeDauw and Bill Kositzky, one way to have access to fresh, healthy food is to grow it yourself. In this report, Andrews showcases two University of Nevada Cooperative Extension programs. Grow Your Own, Nevada! offers classes about sustainable, local ways to grow and preserve healthy food. Grow Yourself Healthy works with Mariposa Academy in Reno to teach students  to grow, harvest and enjoy healthy foods. read more

Experience Field Day


For botanists, a stem is a plant part. It provides structural support for buds and leaves, and it transports water, minerals and sugars. Plant stems can be long or short. They can be aboveground or below. But for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s 4-H After School club, STEM takes on a whole new meaning.

It refers to science, technology, engineering and math, and After School club members will show us what it is all about. They will lead a hands-on STEM demonstration constructing mini lava lamps to take home. The activity is for all ages. It will take place at Nevada Field Day, held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 24 at 5895 Clean Water Way in Reno. read more

Garlic Growers Find Flavors, Friendship

Nearly thirty local gardeners gathered in a Reno classroom Thursday night to learn from one of their own about growing heirloom garlic in the high desert. They were joined via interactive video by gardeners from around the state.

Their two-hour class presented information on soil preparation, garlic selection and proper planting, and it included taste tests. Various varieties of heirloom garlic prepared in many different ways were sampled alone and with breads and cheeses. The discussion of selecting heirloom garlic for flavor was important to local foodies. read more

Finding Food in the Desert

Northern Nevadans know they live in the high desert, but many are surprised to find they also live in a food desert. One way to find fresh, healthy food where it can be scarce is to grow it yourself. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch says that is why her Grow Your Own, Nevada! program exists.

“Because people care about growing their own food here,– and Cooperative Extension is all based on the needs of the community– and the community has said loud and clear, ‘we need to know how to grow our own food here in Nevada,’ so that’s why we’re doing it,” said Kratsch. read more

Good Food Can Be Hard to Find


When I step onto my back patio, I find strawberries, tomatoes and onions. I can see the nearest grocery store from my front porch. It is three blocks away. I have access to fresh, healthy foods, but not everyone does. According to the USDA, 40 of our state’s census tracts are food deserts. Within those tracts live nearly 200,000 Nevadans, most of them in urban areas.

The USDA defines food deserts as communities that are both low-income and low-access. Low-access urban areas are those where more than one third of residents live more than one mile from a supermarket. For rural areas, the distance increases to ten miles. read more

Food Safety in the Edible Garden


As a child, I squirreled away unpopped kernels from the bottom of a bag of microwave popcorn. I hid them in the pockets of my summer dress until I could plant them under the swing set. I hoped they would grow into a fairytale secret garden. They did not.

As an adult, I had another well-intentioned but failed garden experience. I was gifted my first vegetable plant. A reluctant and novice gardener then, I took the bit of unwanted greenery and placed it inside on a table near a window. Then I wondered why it did not grow even a solitary cherry tomato. read more

Master of Arts in Media Innovation from University of Nevada, Reno

Master of Arts in Media Innovation with an emphasis in Strategic Communication
Reynolds School of Journalism at University of Nevada, Reno
December 2017 Anticipated

Acceptance Letter

Coursework and Grades

2016 Fall

  • JOUR 707- Storytelling I: Writing- A
  • JOUR 720- The Future of Journalism- A
  • JOUR 756- Storytelling II: Multimedia- A

2017 Spring

  • BADM 726- Personal Branding- A
  • JOUR 691B- Special Topics: Journalism Lab (Data Visualization)- A
  • JOUR 703- Innovation- A
  • JOUR 755- Engagement- A
  • read more

    Use LinkedIn. Make Connections. Win!

    With Alice Heiman

    June 23, 2016 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

    Are you using LinkedIn to it’s full potential? Probably not. (Who is?)

    AliceLinkedIn has a multitude of features that can help you grow a strong network, but navigating them can be like trying to crack a secret code. Now YOU can be a LinkedIn Wizard!

    Alice Heiman, nationally-renowned speaker, coach and LinkedIn pro, is offering a 2-hour, hands-on workshop to help us make the most of this powerful tool. She’ll share her five very best secrets for using LinkedIn effectively. Bring your laptop or tablet and work as you go to learn and improve your networking ability. read more

    Plants Getting Sticky?


    Spring is here! The sun is shining, skies are blue and plants are… sticky? One cause of sticky plants, especially sticky roses and fruit and ash trees, is a sweet substance known as honeydew. Honeydew is excreted by small, soft-bodied insects called aphids. Aphids may be winged or wingless, and they come in many colors, including pink, yellow, green, dark blue, gray and black. Many aphids overwinter as eggs. They hatch in spring and begin to give birth to live young in one to two weeks. read more

    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing from University of Nevada, Reno

    Coursework and grades (3.965 GPA):


    • MKT 312- Buyer Behavior- A
    • MKT 316- Intermediate Marketing Management- A
    • MKT 380- Principles of Internet Marketing- A-
    • MKT 400- Marketing Research- A
    • MKT 422- Integrated Marketing Communication- A
    • MKT 456- International Marketing- A
    • MKT 492- Advanced Seminar in Marketing (Brand Management)- A
    • MKT 495- Advanced Marketing Management- A


  • SCM 352- Operations Management- A
  • MGT 321- Effective Business Writing- A
  • MGT 323- Organizational & Interpersonal Behavior- A
  • MGT 325- Legal Environment- A
  • MGT 462- Changing Environments- A-
  • MGT 496- Strategic Management/Policy- A
  • read more

    The Sushi Rule


    Top: YPN Annual Party photo booth picture and name badge. Bottom middle: Group YPN Annual Party “Network with purpose” scavenger hunt Instagram submission. Bottom left and right: Outstanding Senior Award.
    Top: YPN Annual Party photo booth picture and name badge. Bottom middle: Group YPN Annual Party “Network with purpose” scavenger hunt Instagram submission. Bottom left and right: Outstanding Senior Award.

    I never understood networking or sushi until I received a scholarship to Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network from United Federal Credit Union. The celebratory YPN/UFCU dinner at Hiroba Sushi taught me to be brave when meeting new people and trying new foods. With this lesson in hand, I had a blast at YPN’s Annual Party, something I could not have done before. And, when I was invited to the microphone to accept the Most Outstanding Senior Award from University of Nevada Reno’s College of Business, I knew I could do that too. No matter what life brings, YPN and UFCU have given me a tool to respond: the sushi rule. Go for it; it cannot be as scary as eating raw fish with strangers, and that turned out wonderfully! read more