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Robert W. McMahon, Richard K. Lindquist, and Harry A. Hoitink

Student involvement in two research projects at a 2-year agricultural college is described. The students assisted in the process of data collection, tabulation, and the preparation of publications. From participating in these research projects, the students earned academic credit and learned the concepts and processes of scientific methodology. Several student shills, including observation, making judgements, and cooperation among peers, were enhanced through hands-on experience. The research proved to be a very enjoyable learning experience for all of the participants.

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C. B. McKenney and D. L. Auld

84 WORKSHOP 11 Teaching Horticulture in Changing Times

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J. Benton Storey

The Trans Texas Video Conference Network (TTVN) has been linked to all Texas A&M Univ. campuses and most of the Regional Research and Extension Centers. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has funded an aggressive project of establishing TTVN class rooms in many departments across the College Station campus, including The Horticultural Science Dept. in 1997. The first two Hort courses taught were HORT 422 Citrus and Subtropical Fruits in Fall 1996 and HORT 418 Nut Culture in Spring 1997. This extended the class room 400 miles south to Weslaco, 300 miles north to Texarkana and Dallas, and 700 miles west to El Paso. Students at each site had video and audio interaction with the professor and with each other. Advantages included the availability of college credit courses to areas where this subject matter did not previously exist, which helps fulfill the Land-grant University Mission. Quality was maintained through lecture and lab outlines on Aggie Horticulture, the department's Web home page, term papers written to ASHS serial publicationspecifications, and rigorous examinations monitored by site facilitators. Lecture presentations were presented via Power Point, which took about twice as long to prepare than traditional overhead transparencies. Administrative problems remain, but will be solved when the requested Distance Education Registration Category is initiated so that subvention credit can be shared. The lecture portion of the graduate course, HORT 601 Nutrition of Horticultural Plants, will be taught in the fall semester 1997 at eight sites throughout the state.

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Lois Berg Stack

Master Gardener programs were conducted through 10 of Maine's 16 county offices in 1993. In an effort to reduce the number of identical presentations given by the limited number of instructors, 5 of the 10 sessions were conducted via interactive television (ITV), while the remaining 5 sessions were held locally. Participants (n=215) were surveyed about their learning experience in fall 1993. Data compare the local ITV audience vs. 7 distant audiences viewing sessions in real time vs. 2 audiences viewing taped sessions at a later date, on test scores of material presented, and on attitudes about the program. Data also summarize the types of projects on which Master Gardener volunteer hours were applied, and participants' attitudes about how volunteer programs could be made more effective.

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Gregory E. Welbaum

A distance learning homepage at: was created to teach an introductory college-level course on vegetable crops to students at Virginia Tech. The course was created to serve students in the horticulture program at Virginia Beach, Va., students in the Commonwealth who cannot take classes on the Blacksburg campus, and students on the Blacksburg campus who could not schedule the classroom-based course. The course is not selfpaced, but directs students through 44 lessons on various topics including detailed descriptions of 28 different vegetables. The site is primarily in HTML format with archived student projects and old exams in PDF format. Audio clips are used to emphasis key information and to add a personal touch. There are >550 pictures and descriptions of vegetables and vegetable crop production linked to the website. Students can be examined using a computer testing system call Whizquiz that grades and corrects each exam. “Web Forum” software enables online discussion among students and the instructor. Discussion sessions have been successfully conducted between students and guests at distant locations. Links are provided to over 25 other websites with information on vegetable crops. The project was funded by a USDA/CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grant.

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Adrienne Ploss, B. Rosie Lerner, and Michael N. Dana

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public entities to be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities, including public gardens. However, managers of such gardens are not likely to be familiar with the language of ADA or with what steps they must take to be in compliance. This study served to summarize the requirements of ADA as they pertain to a small public garden. In addition, the Purdue Univ. Horticulture Gardens (PUHG) were evaluated to determine the current level of compliance with ADA and to identify areas in need of attention. The result was an action plan, not only useful for PUHG, but one that can be adapted by other public gardens.

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Constance L. Falk, Pauline Pao, and Christopher S. Cramer*

In January 2002, an organic vegetable garden on the New Mexico State Univ. (NMSU) main campus was initiated to expose students to organic production practices and agricultural business management. The project named, OASIS (Organic Agriculture Students Inspiring Sustainability), is funded by a USDA Hispanic Serving Institution Grant and operated as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture. Students enroll in an organic vegetable production class during spring and fall semesters to help manage and work on the project. The CSA model of farming involves the sale of shares to members who receive weekly allotments of the farm's output. The objectives of the project are to provide students with a multi-disciplinary experiential educational opportunity, to investigate the feasibility of small scale organic drip irrigated farming in the Chihuahuan desert, to demonstrate the CSA model to the local community, to trial vegetable varieties, and to provide a site where faculty can conduct research or student laboratory exercises. This is the first organic vegetable garden on the NMSU main campus, the first organic vegetable production class, and the first CSA venture in southern New Mexico. The project has grown about 230 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the first two years of production, and has grossed at total of $32,000 in revenues from both years on 2/3 of an acre of land. In the first year, 32 members purchased 18.5 full share equivalents, and in 2003, 69 members purchased 39.5 full share equivalents.