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2019 National Sustainability Summit &

National Extension Energy Summit


This joint conference will bring leading sustainability and energy educators and practitioners together to showcase land grant university Extension and research program successes, share challenges, and identify opportunities to strengthen our collective impacts. Participants will hear from dynamic plenary speakers with expertise in sustainability and energy issues, enhance their professional knowledge and skills through pre-conference educational tours and/or mobile workshops, attend inspiring abstract presentations and networking sessions, and learn from local exhibitors and sponsors. Extension professionals from all national associations will benefit from the cross-disciplinary and process-oriented structure of the joint Summits. 

Extension Sustainability Summit 2016: Portland, OR


2016 Extension Sustainability Summit offered attendees several field tour options. This photo is of the group who toured Portland on bikes./B. Elrod.

National Extension Energy Summit 2017: Knoxville, TN



First held in 2013, the Extension Sustainability Summit was developed by
Utah State University’s Sustainability Extension Specialist Roslynn Brain McCann
in collaboration with the Western Rural Development Center’s Betsy Newman,
and a dedicated planning committee comprised of Mark Apel, Gregg Garfin, 
Milton Geiger, Rose Hayden-Smith, and Bob Simmons. 


The success of and interest generated from the inaugural summit inspired the planning committee to forge ahead in developing the 2016 summit. Based on participant feedback, the summit is held every other year, and thanks to an increased national interest, the summit will expand from a western-focused event to one with a national focus. This shift in focus caught the attention of new collaborators and partners including the Western Rural Development Center’s sister centers, collectively known as the Regional Rural Development Centers, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the National Network for Sustainable Living Education, an initiative of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. Using the Extension Sustainability Summit as a springboard, these entities are now working together to host future summits and develop a national strategic initiative for
Extension Sustainability Outreach and Education.

Three publications were produced as a result of these first two Extension Sustainability Summits:
Extension Sustainability Summit: Outcomes and Impacts of the 2013 Summit
Extension’s Role in Sustainability - a special issue of Rural Connections
"ESS 2016 Impact Evaluation and Lightning Sessions Summaries"


Biennial national summits organized by the National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI) and hosted by Colorado State University in 2013 (Fort Collins, CO), Washington State University in 2015 (Seattle, WA), and the University of Tennessee in 2017 (Knoxville, TN)

Planning Committee

Conference Chair

Jennison Kipp Searcy, University of Florida:

Conference Co-Chairs
National Sustainability Summit (NSS)

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, University of Florida: 

Linda Seals, University of Florida:

National Extension Energy Summit (NEES)

Craig Miller, University of Florida:

Dave Ripplinger, North Dakota State University:

Community Partners

Michelle Jenkins, Environmental Protection Commission Hillsborough County

Sheila McNamara, Hillsborough County Government

National Planning Team & Partners

Mark Apel, University of Arizona

Brent Elrod, USDA-NIFA

Chris Geith, eXtension Foundation

Merrill (Charles) Gould, Michigan State University

Teresa Hogue, eXtension Foundation

John Ignosh, Virginia Tech

Lesly Jerome, University of Florida

Randi Johnson, USDA-NIFA

Chris Jones, University of Arizona

David Kay, Cornell University

Roslynn Brain McCann, Utah State University

Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Foundation

Betsy Newman, Utah State University

Lissa Pawlisch, University of Minnesota

Eric Romich, The Ohio State University

Katherine Spiering, Mississippi State University

Jennifer Taylor, Florida A&M University

Patricia Townsend, Washington State University

Steve Turner, Mississippi State University

Aaron Weibe, eXtension Foundation

Cary Weiner, Colorado State University

Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural Development Center​

NSS+NEES 2019 was hosted by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) 
and organized by the National Network for Sustainable Living Education (NNSLE), National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI),
Climate Science Initiative (CSI), and Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) in partnership with USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Hillsborough County, and the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County.
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