Sustaining the Future of Navajo Rangelands via Mobile Learning Tools to Promote Enhanced Vegetation Management

Project Overview

EW15-023
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2015: $62,260.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2018
Grant Recipient: New Mexico State University
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Gerald Hawkes
New Mexico State University

Annual Reports

Information Products

Commodities

  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep

Practices

  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - multispecies, range improvement, grazing - rotational, stocking rate
  • Education and Training: extension, youth education
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation, biodiversity, habitat enhancement, indicators, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, wetlands
  • Pest Management: competition, weed ecology

    Abstract:

    New Mexico State University’s range scientists, media development team and the Tri-State Navajo Nation Extension professionals worked together to develop a Navajo/English mobile-accessible tool and agricultural professional support system to help Navajo range managers sustain the future of their Navajo rangelands. This integrated program addresses specific management needs identified by Navajo producers and supports interpretation and documentation of vegetation and range conditions.

    Project objectives:

    The primary objective for this proposal is to provide Navajo agricultural professionals, farmers and ranchers with an easy-to-use, up-to-date mobile-accessible tool that will support efforts to improve rangeland ecology, maximize productivity and encourage sustainability. The project team proposes to do this by:

    1. Developing innovative mobile-accessible tools that allow professionals and producers to access information on effective rangeland management methods while out on the range. The tools include written and spoken Navajo plant names and support interpretation of range conditions and encourages photo documentation of vegetation and range conditions. It will help create a forum for Navajo agricultural professionals, ranchers and farmers to gather and share current data with other agricultural professionals and producers. 

    a. Project team members will confer with Extension rangeland experts in the region and use existing resources to draw content to use in the tool and ensure it provides updated information. 

    b. Navajo Extension professionals will be involved throughout the process to ensure information is correct and effective for their target audience.

    2. Training Navajo agricultural professionals on how to effectively educate Navajo producers about improving rangeland management and sustainability methods through use of the tool.

    3. Implementing the tool in the field, thus increasing agricultural professionals’ knowledge and confidence by providing “any time, anywhere” accessibility of information on mobile devices with specific content related to sustainable rangeland management on the Navajo reservation. 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.