TRAINING LANDSCAPE MANAGERS VIA SATELLITE TELECONFERENCE

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  • 1 Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology, Utah State Univ.
  • | 2 Salt Lake County Extension, Utah State Univ.

The fabled “wide open spaces” of the west make travel an integral, though expensive, part of most extension programs. As an alternative, Utah State Univ. has been successful in targeting a major extension audience for service via satellite teleconferences. The audience we have worked with consists primarily of landscape managers at institutional facilities, such as schools, cities, churches, hospitals, and parks, who do not have formal training in horticulture. The primary impetus and key to the success of this program is a collaboration between the university (provides content material and production) and an outside institution (provides satellite broadcasting and receives employee training). As a result, the program simultaneously reaches three main audiences: employees of the partnering institution, county extension audiences throughout the state, and any private party with a satellite who watches. Keys to the success of this program include a statewide system of satellite dishes at all county extension offices, close collaboration between content and distance-learning specialists, marketing assistance to county agents, endorsement of the program for employee training by employers, a workbook to supplement broadcast material, administrative support, and careful identification of the target audience. Concepts we are struggling with include bridging regional to national audiences and improved marketing.

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