University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers several educational programs for commercial landscape and nursery professionals. Green Industry Training, Green Industry Continuing Education Series (GICES), Weed Warriors, Nevada Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training program and Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certification and Training program are all available for industry professionals.
Green Industry Training has morphed over the years, but is currently offered for landscape and nursery professionals. Classes are held early in the year for individuals looking for education before gaining employment in the landscape and nursery industry. Students will attend classes covering a variety of topics for successful landscaping in Nevada and have the opportunity to take an exam to receive the Nursery Worker Certification.
As a continuing education component of Green Industry Training, Green Industry Continuing Education series is offered almost every month to provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Pesticide Applicators and International Society of Arboriculture to busy industry professionals. Classes are usually one hour during lunch so professionals can receive quick and easy education. Class topics are based on industry interest and CEU opportunities.
Weed Warriors is currently offered yearly for industry professionals interested in learning to identify and control common nuisance weeds and noxious weeds. This program is a partnership with Cooperative Extension and Nevada Department of Agriculture. Students learn through lectures as well as hands-on activities. Weed Warriors can be video-conferenced to other Nevada sites where attendance and staffing is available.
Nevada Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training is a partnership with Nevada Department of Agriculture and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Training is provided for pesticide applicators for certification as a Licensed Pesticide Applicator. “State and federal laws require that only certified applicators apply or supervise the application of Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUP).”
Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training and certification is coming to northern Nevada in fall of 2018. QWEL began in California in 2007 by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership. The training was designed to provide an affordable, proactive and local approach to reducing landscape water demands as well as share the knowledge of water efficient and sustainable landscape principles. This program is EPA certified through the WaterSense program. The training will provide participants with local water, soil and plant information, basic and advanced irrigation principles and hands-on water audit skills they can use in the field. Participants can take the 20 hour training course just for the knowledge, or they can also take the exam to obtain a certification. Upon certification, professionals will need to continue their education with at least 2 continuing education units per year to uphold their certification. With the continued need to reduce water use and create a more sustainable landscape, certified professionals will be making progressive strides to earn the knowledge and practical skills to meet this need.