WASILLA — The UAF Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center is hosting a virtual health and wellness series, offering free one hour classes starting Jan. 14.
Experts from across the state will be teaching the classes, including UAF Experimental Farm Agriculture and Horticulture Professor Stephen Brown, according to extension communications director, Debbie Carter.
Carter said the online format may have its drawbacks, like not being able to have hands on instruction, but one of the best perks is their ability to reach a wider range of people from across the world.
“We’re able to reach people in places we weren’t able to reach before,” Carter said.
Most of our classes are offered for free… The Extension’s role is to provide outreach. So we’re— especially during the pandemic— trying to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” Carter said.
Carter explained that the Extension has offered distance learning opportunities in the past, but they had to move all their classes to an online model as a result of the pandemic. She said they’ve had a lot of participation well beyond the Valley in recent series like the ones they held on food preservation and emergency preparedness during power outages.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” Carter said. “It’s just a way to keep information in front of people.”
Looking forward, Cater said the Extension will likely retain a fair amount of virtual learning opportunities while bringing back the in person classes.
“I think agents miss the face to face contact with people. I’m sure the Extension will go back to that, but… It will definitely be more of a mix, I think,: Carter said.
Agents and UAF staff around the state will offer weekly Zoom classes each Thursday at 6 p.m. through March 18.
Registration and a link to class details are located at http://bit.ly/RRRreg2021. For more information, contact Gina Dionne at email@example.com. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made five business days in advance to Gina Dionne at 907-786-6313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com
Health and wellness class topics and schedule:
Jan. 14, Community gardens and health
Jan. 21, Diabetes prevention
Jan. 28, Healthy homes
Feb. 4, Indoor air quality and health
Feb. 11, Stress and you
Feb. 18, Suicide prevention
Feb. 25, Ways to move with Essentrics
March 4, Nutrition, foods and habits to boost the immune system
March 11, Veggie slam
March 18, Rhodiola, the beneficial adaptogen