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Kimberly A.M. Philp and Mark H. Brand

The growth of the ornamental plant industry has rapidly increased over the past several years, creating a strong demand for well-trained graduates and industry workers. It is vital for a person entering this industry to have a solid and broad plant material background. The best ways to learn, sell, and teach plants are through visual materials. Currently, there are few cost-effective resources that provide a person with all the visual information needed to learn plants. To better serve the students and industry workers, the Univ. of Connecticut has developed a free multimedia ornamental plant database on the World Wide Web. The plant database focuses on plants for the New England area (USDA zone 6 and lower). This website brings detailed textual information, thousands of pictures, and audio pronunciations together in one complete package. Plant characteristic information (textual and pictorial) consists of habitat, habit and form, summer foliage, autumn foliage, flowers, fruit, bark, culture, landscape uses, liabilities, ID features, propagation, and cultivar/variety. The major factors and decision processes involved in developing an educational Web site, with emphasis on usability and accessibility are considered. The target audience for this Web site is students as well as the nursery and landscape industry workers, agricultural consultants, extension personnel, landscape architects, and the gardening public.

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David Hannaway

To demonstrate current electronic communication capabilities, an on-line demonstration of the Forage Information System ( is planned. This will include accessing various forage and grassland web sites and exploring available information resources, thereby demonstrating existing global connectivity and cooperatively developed projects. What does the future hold for electronic communications? We've seen some of the tremendous progress that has been made over the course of the last 100 years. Even the changes of the last decade have been astounding. Since 1969 (the year of the manned moon landing), the number of networked servers has grown from 4 to 13 million! How can we even pretend to forecast the future of development? It's probably sheer folly.

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Chris Watkins* and William B. Miller

The discovery and subsequent commercialization of 1-MCP has resulted in intense research interest around the world. A web site ( has been developed which provides a summary of the effects of 1-MCP on climacteric (18 species) and non-climacteric (6) fruits, vegetables (13), fresh cut produce (5), cut flowers and pot plants (more than 50 species has been created. The site is updated on a regular basis. For edible crops, most citations are available for apple (32 citations) and banana (21 citations). The ornamental literature is much less concentrated, and most crops are represented by a single citation. For all commodities, the majority of research has been focused on quality responses of the various products to 1-MCP, although increasingly 1-MCP is being used to investigate physiological and biochemical events associated with development, ripening and/or senescence.

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Mary L. Flint and Joyce F. Strand

Over the past decade, the University of California Statewide IPM Project has been extending pest management information electronically to farmers, pest management consultants, landscapers, and home gardeners. During this session we will demonstrate the Project's web site ( and a CD-ROM developed to assist horticulture advisors, Master Gardeners, retail nursery personnel, and others who help gardeners manage pest problems. We will discuss considerations in using these programs for extending information, keeping the programs up-to-date, and integrating them into educational programs. The CD-ROM covers 40 vegetables and tree fruits, allowing users to specify visual symptoms, describe a situation, or look at color photos, video images, or line drawings to help identify the problem. Twenty-five to 35 different pests are included for each crop, with thousands of photo images. An ornamentals module will be added in 1998. Once the problem is identified, the system provides screens to confirm pest identity, learn about biology and damage, and choose management practices. For instance, users can view several common natural enemies for a pest, look up the relative toxicity of pesticides, or get details on how to prune to avoid stressing a tree. Choices focus on methods to reduce pesticide use. The program is being developed with cooperators at Oregon State University and Washington State University, and with guidance of end users. The UC IPM web site includes information on biology and management of hundreds of insect, pathogen, weed, and nematode pests on 35 crops and in landscapes and gardens with thousands of color photos linked through hypertext. Other databases on the site include weather databases, pesticide use data, and phenology databases for pests.

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Edward F. Gilman and James L. Green

Electronic information systems provide efficient information management—development, updating, storage, retrieval, and delivery. No more stockpiling of printed, going-out-of-date information when specific, concise, up-to-date information can be obtained just in time from the Internet. Authoring for electronic media is different than authoring for the printed page. To use unique characteristics of electronic information systems, information is presented in chunks, small units of information that can combine text, video, or sound to present one concept or to answer one question. A chunk may be linked to other chunks to provide definitions and further elaboration of terms or ideas. A chunk may be linked to related chunks to provide comprehensive information inquiry-driven by and tailored to the inquirer's interests and understanding. A chunk may be linked to other chunks to provide definitions and further elaboration of terms or ideas. Collaboration is facilitated by the World Wide Web (Web). Shared development reduces redundant efforts and costs and results in better products than can be produced by autonomous efforts. Continual, shared development and updating keep the individual chunks and the linked chunks (URLs) up-to-date and dynamic. Educators can thread (link) selected web modules or chunks (URLs) together into dynamic study assignments or dynamic textbooks for courses of study. To obtain the best of both media, CD-ROM software can be designed to interact with a Web site. The ways that CD-ROM and online are interacting are varied and evolving. Graphics-rich databases such as color photographs of plants or pests and related text that do not require continual updating are well suited to CD-ROM. Web links from the CD-ROM to additional, dynamic information and updates at the Web site keep the CD-ROM live and current. ASHS members are uniquely qualified to generate continually updated, peer-reviewed horticultural information on the web for continuous access by the interested learner whose pathway on the web will be inquiry-driven.

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Wayne L. Schrader, Ronald E. Voss, and Kent J. Bradford

Agricultural producers in the United States require timely and accurate information on critical issues, environmental crises, and best management practices to make effective production decisions and to remain competitive in a global economy. Sources of information (university departments, extension, industry, consultants, scientific and trade publications) often take a single discipline approach that makes it difficult for growers to process and utilize information effectively. The high cost of printed publications make frequent updates impractical, while rapidly changing technologies and issues demand continual publication changes and updates. The rapid development and peer review of multi-discipline, research based information is possible through computer information transfer technology. The Univ. of California's Vegetable Crops Research and Information Center (VRIC) has developed a new World Wide Web site to disseminate peer-reviewed fact sheets, research results, updated publications, and multi-media educational resources relating to critical issues, best management practices, postharvest handling, and marketing of vegetable crops. The website disseminates multi-discipline information originating from the Univ. of California, the USDA, and cooperating agencies and universities. The VRIC website proactively sends peer-reviewed critical issue fact sheets to selected news media, government, industry, and academic contacts. These fact sheets help personnel frequently contacted by the media during crises to answer questions effectively. The website directs visitors to additional agricultural information resources and contains information on careers and educational opportunities available in the field of vegetable crops.

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Kimberly A. Williams and Ellen T. Paparozzi

A model for the creation of shared synchronous courses between universities has been developed based on our experiences during the development and delivery of an upper-level undergraduate/graduate course in Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Management offered by Kansas State Univ. and the Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln. The course was conducted during the Spring 1999 semester using two-way compressed video so that instructors and students at both sites could see and hear each other in live time. Our model is set up as a flow-chart and currently has 10 steps that include areas such as “Identifying the Need,” “University Must-Do's,” “Distance Class Technology Requirements,” and “Advertising the Course.” Each step details procedures to follow, offers ideas and suggestions, and includes examples taken from our course. Also included is information about web site development and chat room use. The model is easily adapted for use with distance technologies similar to two-way compressed video such as Internet 2. An electronic version of the model can be accessed at

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Jim Ballington

The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium (SRSFC) was established in 1999 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives from NC State University, Clemson University and the University of Georgia.

The mission of the SRSFC is to promote the small fruit industry in the south through education, research and outreach by regional collaboration utilizing the expertise of the member institutions. The University of Tennessee joined the SRSFC in 2002. Annual dues for membership in the consortium are $35,000. The SRSFC is governed by a steering committee comprised of university and industry personnel from the four member states. The SRSFC has sponsored 10 agent trainings since 1999 on various small fruit topics involving a total of 233 agents from the member states and adjacent states. From 2001 to 2004, the SRSFC awarded $221,300 to research and outreach projects in the member states. A web site has been established ( to provide information on small fruits. The site averaged 2,059 hits per day for 2004.Challenges facing the SRSFC are renewal of the MOU in 2007; equal distribution of research and outreach funds in the member states; continuity of leadership; and recruitment of new members.

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Richard E. Durham and Winston C. Dunwell developed from a need, identified by a survey of Kentucky county Extension agents, for a database resource to assist in answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) from home gardeners and consumers. A team, consisting of representatives from both the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University and made up of an administrator, horticul-ture specialists, county Extension agents, and agricultural communication specialists, worked together to create Development of the database of FAQs in consumer or home horticulture began in 2004 and all content is peer reviewed by Kentucky Extension specialists before making answers publicly available. An interactive prototype program was launched for use by county Extension agents in February 2005. Following a positive response was made publicly available in Summer 2005. Clients are asked their electronic mail address and Kentucky county in order to enter the web site and to become a repeat user of Once they have conducted a search of available FAQs, clients may submit a question to to be answered by Kentucky Extension personnel. From recent data (December 2005 and January 2006) the self-service rate for the site is greater than 95%, indicating that most visitors are content to search existing FAQs rather than ask a new question. As new questions are submitted, they are answered by Extension personnel, reviewed and added to the growing database of FAQs.

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Kristian E. Holmstrom, Marilyn G. Hughes, Wesley L. Kline, Sarah D. Walker, and Joseph Ingerson-Mahar

In 1998, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) and the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) at Rutgers University began a joint program to use global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) technologies to map the spatial distribution of corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae)) and European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)). In 1999 the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Vegetable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program operated a network of 81 blacklight insect survey traps in New Jersey. These 15 W blacklight traps were used to monitor adult populations of vegetable crop pests including corn earworm and European corn borer. All blacklight trap sites were mapped using a hand held GPS unit. Average daily corn borer population data were imported into a GIS software package, and then linked to corresponding mapped locations throughout New Jersey. State wide spatial distributions of adult corn earworm and European corn borer population data were imported into a GIS software package, and then linked to corresponding mapped locations throughout New Jersey. State wide spatial distributions of adult corn earworm and European corn borer populations were produced weekly, and distributed via extension newsletters and web sites to augment the current RCE IPM outreach program.