ESTABLISHING AN INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH TEAM TO ADDRESS HUMAN ISSUES IN HORTICULTURE

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  • 1 Dept. Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Developing the Interdisciplinary Research Team of the Office of Consumer Horticulture has proven to be very effective at Virginia Tech. Established with the support of the Director of the Agricultural Research Station and the Dean of Research, the initial team was gathered based on their diverse fields and a common “interest” in plants. This core group consisted of three horticulturists, a landscape architect, a psychologist, a sociologist, and an Extension administrator. A campus-wide promotional mailing brought several new members. Members were also invited to join based on their human-factors research activities as reported in campus media. There are currently 19 members; they have actively pursued cooperative research projects to keep costs at a minimum. Members have conducted a 100-participant campus workshop as well as the national symposium, “The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development,” and are currently working on ten research projects which will help develop methods and data valuable for learning about the effects of horticulture on human life quality.

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