The goal of the Southwest States & Pacific Islands (Region 9) Water Program (SSPIWP) is to promote delivery of multi-state and tribal programming to address regional and/or multi-regional water quality concerns. <P>Specific objectives are to: (1) Integrate research, extension, and education efforts to address regional or multi-regional water resources issues; (2) Build capacity within Region 9; (3) Strengthen coordination and communication with our stakeholders (clients, agencies and partners, and members of the National USDA-CSREES Water Program); and (4) Foster and implement outcomes that improve people's lives.<P> Outputs by Objective.<BR> Output 1.1 Conduct mini-grant process. <BR>Output 1.2: Prepare eXtension materials for existing Communities of Practice. <BR>Output 1.3: Incorporate research and extension efforts into curricula for formal and informal education and outreach.<BR> Output 2.1: Promote professional development through survey of needs followed by training revolving around needs. <BR>Output 2.2: Develop student support.<BR> Output 2.3: Develop "How to" grant development support materials for states, tribes, and territories that receive little USDA funding. <BR>Output 3.1: Conduct on-going assessments to identify gaps in essential information and resources and initiate processes for the development and incorporation of new materials and information. <BR>Output 3.2: Link and leverage CSREES-funded projects into regional programs and expand the geographic impact of project successes and investments. <BR>Output 3.3: Employ websites, regional needs assessments or surveys, Regional Advisory Committees, and LOGIC models to improve regional coordination and evaluate the effectiveness of regional programs and approaches. <BR>Output 3.4: Continue to develop and distribute regional publications that articulate our strengths and accomplishments. <BR>Output 3.5: Promote and encourage cross-regional activities.<BR> Output 4: Continue to build upon the strong foundation developed since 2002 to provide education and programming that directly and indirectly improve the quality of life for many within the region.
Non-Technical Summary: This project will deliver multi-state and tribal programming to address regional and/or multi-regional water resource concerns common to the twelve states, Pacific islands, and tribally-controlled community colleges in US EPA Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, America Samoa, Northern Marianas, Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, and Din? College. The geographic area encompassed within the region is tremendously diverse in climate, soil, geography, ecosystems, and ethnicities. While the range of physical and cultural settings presents profound challenges for developing regional water programs, the Southwest States & Pacific Islands Water Program has identified themes and associated activities that collectively focus the strengths of each partner on specific water resources issues common to the region. The objectives are to: (1) Integrate research, extension, and education efforts to address regional or multi-regional water resources issues, (2) Build capacity within Region 9, (3) Strengthen coordination and communication with our stakeholders, and (4) Foster and implement outcomes that improve people's lives. We will build on our previous coordination efforts and activities of the past six years [http://ag.arizona.edu/region9wq] to promote integrated programming efforts to expand the knowledge base and affect behavior change which will lead to the protection of human health and improvement or protection of regional water resources. Expected Results. The education programs conducted will raise awareness, provide skills and demonstrate technologies to change behavior. Surveys are a foundation for program planning, including identifying gaps in educational materials and awareness and understanding of water resources. Integrated research will support best management practices development. Professional Development will increase capacity for the water quality coordinators conduct project activities. The Student Assistant Program will increase student retention in mathematics and science. At the high school level, students will remain enrolled and will be engaged in water quality as a potential career. At the undergraduate level, students will be more inclined to choose mathematics and science majors. At the graduate level, students will become part of the next generation of scientists and managers who work with water quality. In addition, a significant number of students in our region are members of underserved and under-represented populations. Promoting applications for grants and other support is expected to result in an increased number of submissions from staff and faculty at LGIs within the region. The Mini-grant program will empower new faculty and staff to participate in regional partnerships, and encourage increased leveraging of CSREES funding. Identifying regional CSREES research will ensure that the results of projects are made available to the general public, including stakeholders in resource management agencies. Inter-regional collaborations will ensure that regional successes are shared to improve program efficiencies and promote synergistic activities. <P> Approach: The SSPIWP conducted a mini-grant program to provide seed-grants or leverage for concurrent or subsequent grant submissions. Money will be set aside each year to encourage exploratory efforts, specifically targeting groups and individuals who do not receive funds directly from this program currently. We will contribute to the appropriate communities of practice available through extension.org. We will develop curricula, which will be peer-reviewed and made available in a variety of formats, including traditional printed materials and in curricula available using the e-Xtension network. The regional projects also provide practical examples that can be used to illustrate concepts in theoretical, formally offered classes. The Project will also try to coordinate educational outreach activities with the soil and water conservation districts where appropriate (e.g., materials, surveys, conferences, and workshops). The SSPIWP will develop and conduct relevant training for the Team as well as other faculty and staff in their institutions to empower and promote their Team members and build capacity. This project will work with kindergarten through high school students, youth at risk, 4-H youth in out-of-school time programs, and college students using mentors, summer internships, and demonstration projects and explore collaborations with other federal agencies to create joint student internships where field work could be part of a student's science education. The SSPIWP will produce "How to" grant development support materials for county and tribal extension faculty and members of the Team. The assembled packet of materials will be distributed via e-mail, hard copy, and Internet. The SSPIWP will 1) continue maintaining a website with up-to-date information on the SSPIWP, its projects, and selected news and events; 2) produce institutional fact sheets, and regional popular press stories and news releases (and for other NIWQP-funded projects based in the Southwest States and Pacific Island Region) that we post on the website and make available for distribution to stakeholders at trainings and meetings; and 3) communicate results and collect feedback from the regional project team. Project design, planning, assessment, and budgeting will be carried out by developing LOGIC models that focus on stakeholder outcomes. The use of LOGIC models and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Audience-directed, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives drive the project design, assessment, and reporting phases of the process allowing projects to measure their impacts and successes. A Reporting and Assessment Coordinator will provide regional leadership for program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Each year, the Executive Committee will assess progress towards specific performance outcomes from focus area reports based on their reports. In addition, stakeholder priorities, leveraging opportunities, and the extent of regional engagement from individual institutions will be used to reorient individual budgets.