You can ask our staff questions online — about everything from home canning to energy efficiency — by using our Ask an Expert portal. Submit your pest, plant or plant disease for identification online with our Citizen Science portal.

Your Extension Office in Fairbanks is open!

Greetings! The Tanana District is one of the largest Cooperative Extension districts geographically in the United States, covering an area of more than 120,000 square miles with a current population of approximately 100,000 distributed in 64 Native villages and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Much of the district is inaccessible by road. The Tanana District clientele is very diverse including 4-H leaders, youth groups, homeowners, homemaker clubs, private and commercial agriculture, local government, military personnel, subsistence families, cooperating agencies and the general public. We have agents here to assist you in areas of agriculture and horticulture; health, home and family development; and 4-H and youth development.

LOCATION: UAF University Park Building, 1000 University Ave., Room 109, Fairbanks, AK 99709 Map it!

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 758155, Fairbanks, AK 99775-8155

NEW OFFICE HOURS: Effective July 1, 2021, we are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.  Appointments outside regular office hours may be made by calling 907-474-1530.

PHONE: Still have questions? Please call us at 907-474-1530 — we are happy to help!

CESTD LISTSERV: Be one of the first to hear about events at the Tanana District office! Send an email to to be placed on the CESTD listserv.


  • Ronda Boswell, administrative assistant, 907-474-2450,
  • Dario Canelon, agriculture/horticulture/food systems agent, 907-474-2423,
  • Marla Lowder, 4-H and youth development agent, 907-474-2427,
  • Gooseberry Peter, agriculture and integrated pest management program assistant, 907-474-6829,
  • Leslie Shallcross, health, home and family development agent, 907-474-2426,

MORE HELPFUL RESOURCES: Please feel free to contact one of the following experts for additional assistance:

  • Master Gardener Course:
  • Online course: Please visit  for details. If you still have questions, contact Heidi Rader, tribes Extension educator in Fairbanks, at
  • In-person or Zoom course: To be placed on a class interest list for an announcement of a future course, contact Ronda Boswell, administrative assistant at the Tanana District office, at 907-474-2450 or
  • Other pest questions (insects, diseases, dead or dying plants):
  • Gooseberry Peter, agriculture and IPM program assistant, Fairbanks, 907-474-6829,
  • Joey Slowik, IPM tech, Palmer, 907-746-9489,
  • PSEP training, pesticides:
  • Phil Kaspari, ag agent, Delta Junction, 907-895-4215,, or Katie Rubin, IPM/PSEP, Delta, 907-895-4215,
  • Soil testing:
  • Extension offers two helpful publications for obtaining a soil test; please review Soil Sampling (FGV-00044) and Factors to Consider in Selecting a Soil Testing Laboratory (FGV-00045). Pease note, there are fees associated with the soil laboratories listed. If  you prefer to get your soil test done locally, for a reasonable fee, contact  Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District. Aleya Brinkman is in charge of the soils program and can be reached at 479-1213 Ext. 108 or via email at 






District Highlights

Cooperative Extension offers 12-month diabetes prevention program

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is offering a yearlong program to help people at risk of developing diabetes lose weight and improve their health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the program. It is geared to individuals who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, one in three Americans has prediabetes, and excess weight is a key risk factor.

Fairbanks Extension agent Leslie Shallcross said participants will be encouraged to lose 5% to 10% of their current weight to reduce the risk. She described the program as a lifestyle change program in which participants get ideas and support from other participants and trained Extension lifestyle coaches. Participants will meet weekly for about 16 weeks and at least once monthly after that.

Cooperative Extension staff in Fairbanks and Southcentral Alaska will offer the course remotely, but participants are encouraged to sign up for the session closest to where they live. One-hour sessions will meet:

  • Noon Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 21 in Southcentral Alaska.
  • 6 p.m. Thursdays, starting Sept. 22 in Fairbanks and Interior Alaska.

Registration is available at Prior to registering, potential participants must contact instructors to determine eligibility and discuss the program.

The instructors are Melissa Clampitt in Southcentral Alaska, at 907-745-3551 or, and Shallcross in Fairbanks, at 907-474-2426 or

The fee of $100 includes a digital scale and program materials that will be mailed to participants. Discounts are offered to seniors 60 and older and others who request a scholarship.


FAIRBANKS MASTER GARDENER COURSE is usually scheduled in late fall/early winter so that our gardeners are geared up for spring. While our office is temporarily without an agriculture/horticulture agent, we are currently working out the details of a future class offering.  For general information on the Master Gardener program, visit the MG website. Information about the Master Gardener Online Course can be found here. To be placed on a class interest list, contact Ronda Boswell at 907-474-2450 or

CERTIFIED PESTICIDE SAFETY APPLICATOR TRAINING  is offered as a self study option if a face-to-face class is not currently scheduled or if class dates are not convenient. (Face-to-face classes are typically scheduled during the spring months.) The state requires certification for anyone who purchases, uses or sells restricted-use pesticides. Certification is also required for anyone who acts as a pesticide consultant, engages in the commercial or contract use of pesticides or supervises their use at a public location. For more information about the Pesticide Safety Education Program, visit the PSEP website. Program contact is Phil Kaspari, 907-895-4215, Register for the self study option  here.  (Registration tip:  Be sure to scroll down and select the self study registration option that pertains to you, depending on whether you will need study materials mailed to you or if  you will pick up your study materials at a district Extension office by appointment.)

CERTIFIED FOOD PROTECTION MANAGER TRAINING (ServSafe) is offered as a face-to-face class a few times a year as well as online through the self study option. Please visit the CFPM website to learn more about these training options. Program contact: Julie Cascio, 907-745-3677,

FREE TESTING OF PRESSURE CANNER DIAL GAUGES! Gauges can be tested on or OFF the lid of the canner (no need to haul in the whole canner). If we have someone available to test, it only takes a few minutes while you wait. If not, you may leave your gauge and we will call you when it is ready for pick up (usually within 24 hours). It is important to have your pressure canner dial gauges checked annually to help assure home canned food is safely processed. (Pressure canners that use weighted gauges do not need to be checked.) While visiting our office, be sure to pick up some free food preservation publications! Information contact: Leslie Shallcross, 907-474-2426,

DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAM offers a year-long lifestyle change class that focuses on making small gradual changes in exercise, food, stress management, etc., that have been shown to delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. Contact Leslie Shallcross at 907-474-2426 or to find out if the program is right for you and when the next class will be offered.

FREE PEST IDENTIFICATION! Got a weird insect that is puzzling you? Specimens can be identified through our Citizens Monitoring Portal. To learn more about the Integrated Pest Management program and the Citizen's Monitoring Portal, please visit the  IPM website. (NOTE: Cooperative Extension Service does not identify pests found on the human body. For such cases, please contact your physician or visit the emergency room.) Information contact: Joey Slowik, 907-745-3360,

STRONGWOMEN is a nationally recognized nutrition and moderate intensive physical activity program developed and tested by scientists and exercise physiologists at Tufts University. Staying physically active and being properly nourished is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy for life. Scientific research has demonstrated that exercise with weights (strength training) will increase strength, muscle mass, and bone density in middle aged and older women. Strengthening exercises also reduce the risk of numerous chronic diseases such as diabetes, hearth disease, osteoporosis and arthritis. Strength training has been shown to reduce depression and improve sleep, and it contributes to a sense of well-being among older individuals. To find out about trainings and classes in the Fairbanks area, visit the Fairbanks StrongWomen website. You can also learn more about the program at the national StrongWomen website. Program contact: Leslie Shallcross, 907-474-2426 or

4-H logo made smallerALASKA 4-H PROGRAM is open to all youth in grades K-12 and their families. See what exciting things the program has in store for your youth by visiting the Alaska 4-H website.  Program contact: Marla Lowder, 907-474-2427,