• UAF Cooperative Extension Service to offer statewide online Alaska Master Gardener class


Are you interested in earning an Alaska Master Gardener certification? The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is offering a statewide spring online Master Gardener class from Feb. 17 through May 18.

The Alaska Master Gardener online course is an intensive, sustainable gardening class specific to Alaska growing conditions. This is a non-credit, self-paced, online course offered through UAF eLearning using Blackboard Learn. The course fee is $375. Register here for the Spring 2015 Alaska Master Gardener online course (Course Number: CEPD F001-UX1).

This curriculum for this online course includes lessons on botany, starting plants, soil, composting, season extension, greenhouses, landscaping, house plants, entomology, pest management, plant disease diagnostics and sustainable gardening. The course also covers growing vegetables, fruits, berries and flowers. The text for the course is Sustainable Gardening: Alaska Master Gardener Manual, which can be purchased for $50 a copy from this link.

Students complete 12 self-paced lessons and quizzes, a book report, participate in ongoing discussions, and complete a final exam. On average, the course takes students approximately three hours per week to complete. The course is pass/fail and the spring course is not for credit.

In addition to the coursework, students also pledge to volunteer at least 40 hours teaching what they’ve learned in their communities. Examples of how students can volunteer include helping with local school garden programs or 4H clubs, working with local foods groups, writing gardening blogs, and more.

The classroom-based Alaska Master Gardener course hasn’t been offered in Sitka for nearly two years, so the statewide online course is the only way Sitka gardeners can obtain the training until a new Cooperative Extension Service agent is hired in Sitka. Gardeners from Sitka can contact Jasmine Shaw at the Sitka District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service (jdshaw2@alaska.edu or 747-9440) to see if there will be a local classroom at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus for the online course.

For more information about the statewide online Alaska Master Gardener course, contact instructor Heidi Rader or teaching assistant Glenna Gannon in Fairbanks at 907-452-8251, Ext. 3281, or by email at master.gardener@alaska.edu