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Cynthia B. McKenney

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs are viewed as a plausible solution to poor student communication skills. These programs are further justified on the premise that writing fosters and reinforces learning in any discipline.

WAC programs integrate easily into horticulture. Traditional writing opportunities frequently utilized in horticulture include essays, papers, presentation critiques, lab reports, field trip summaries, business proposals, and cropping schedules. New opportunities might include microthemes and target audience writings.

WAC programs have their own share of pitfalls: increased grading time, reduced course content, ill-equipped faculty to teach language arts, and unrecognized objectives. Ultimately, the success or failure of a WAC program hinges on the commitment of faculty in the discipline who should have the best understanding of the language and style needed to communicate effectively in their field.

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Cynthia B. McKenney and Ellen B. Peffley

Proponents of distance education encourage the migration of courses and entire degree programs onto the web. To this end, vast amounts of time, energy, and funds are directed to the development of new courses as well as the enhancement of traditionally taught courses. The question now begs to be asked, “Are we getting what we truly want from distance education?” Using a web platform provides a framework with excellent options to develop audio and visually rich courses. Distance programs also provide access to students not able to participate in traditional on-campus degree plans, providing the potential for a boost in enrollment. However, there are serious considerations that need to be balanced, including student satisfaction/dissatisfaction, enrollment management, faculty time commitment, and technical support. In this presentation, some of the benefits and liabilities of web courses will be discussed and program management suggestions will be explored.

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Cynthia B. McKenney and Ellen B. Peffley

Teaching at a distance has many rewards and challenges inherent in its delivery. Interactive video conferencing has the advantages of having audio and visual contact with students during a set class period while having the disadvantages of scheduling multiple locations and keeping the equipment functioning at peak performance. Likewise, using a web platform such as WebCT provides a framework with excellent options to develop a course that is both audio and visually rich. This solution also presents its own difficulties as required textbooks change and the platform version may be upgraded. In this presentation, the advantages and disadvantages of both formats will be reviewed. In addition, helpful hints for blending these two teaching methods together to create a custom course will be discussed.

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Cynthia B. McKenney and Marihelen Kamp-Glass

The effectiveness of antitranspirant type and concentration on the leaf water relations of Saliva splendens F. `Firebird and Petunia × hybrida Juss. `Comanche'. Two film-forming antitranspirants, Cloud Cover and Folicote, were tested at three different concentrations in two different environments. The leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, and relative water content were evaluated. Transpiration per unit vapor pressure deficit and stomatal conductance for both crops decrease slightly but there was no trend with respect to the film type, environment or concentration rate. The leaf water potentials and relative water content did not show significant difference after antitranspirant application. In order for antitranspirant application to be of benefit to the growth of herbaceous plants, a more durable coating that remains semipermeable would have to be utilized.

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Peter A. Dotray and Cynthia B. McKenney

Experiments were conducted to evaluate established and seeded buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] tolerance to herbicides applied preemergence at labeled use rates. Established buffalograss tolerated benefin, benefin plus oryzalin, benefin plus trifluralin, DCPA, dithiopyr, isoxaben, oryzalin, pendimethalin, and prodiamine. For established buffalograss treated with atrazine, diuron, or metolachlor, the injury rating was 27% to 71% at 6 weeks after treatment (WAT) and 22% to 84% at 15 WAT. Buffalograss tolerated cyanazine, metsulfuron, propazine, and pyrithiobac applied in the seedbed. Seeded buffalograss stands were reduced by alachlor, atrazine, dicamba, linuron, metolachlor, metribuzin, oryzalin, pendimethalin, and quinclorac. Stand reductions by dicamba (a preplant and postemergence herbicide), up to 100% at 4 WAT and up to 85% at 16 WAT, were those most severe. Seeded and established buffalograss showed excellent tolerance to a few preemergence herbicides that could be used effectively and safely to control weeds during establishment and maintenance of buffalograss. Chemical names used: 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl) acetamide (alachlor); 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (atrazine); N-butyl-N-ethyl-2,6-dinitro-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzenamine (benefin); 2-[[4-chloro-6-(ethylamino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]amino]-2-methylpropanenitrile (cyanazine); dimethyl 2,3,5,6-tetrachloro-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (DCPA); 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba); S,S-dimethyl 2-(difluoromethyl)-4-(2-methylpropyl)-6-(trifluoromethyl)-3,5-pyridinedicarbothioate (dithiopyr); N′-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N,N-dimethylurea (diuron); N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-5-isoxazolyl]-2,6-dimethoxybenzamide (isoxaben); N′-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N-methoxy-N-methylurea (linuron); 2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide (metolachlor); 4-amino-6-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-3-(methylthio)-1,2,4-triazin-5(4H)-one (metribuzin); 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoic acid (metsulfuron); 4-(dipropylamino)-3,5-dinitrobenzenesulfonamide (oryzalin); N-(1-ethylpropyl)-3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitrobenzenamine (pendimethalin); N 3,N 3-di-n-propyl-2,4-dinitro-6-(trifluoromethyl)-m-phenylenediamine (prodiamine); 6-chloro-N,N′-bis(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (propazine); 2-chloro-6-[(4,6-dimethoxy-2-pyrimidinyl) thio]benzoic acid (pyrithiobac); 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac); Team™ [premix of 1.33% benefin and 0.67% 2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzenamine] (trifluralin).

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Samuel C. Hill* and Cynthia B. McKenney

Given the regularity of periods of drought in the southwestern U.S., concern over an ample supply of high quality water is always an issue. With a diminishing water supply, higher quality water will likely be diverted to higher priority uses; therefore, concern arises over the availability and quality of water for landscape use. This project was designed to screen representative cultivars from several of the major garden rose categories (China, Tea, Polyantha, Hybrid Tea, and Found Roses) for tolerance to saline irrigation water. Roses were placed in a completely randomized design with four replications in a container holding area. Salinity treatments were designed to be a 2:1 molar ratio of NaCl:CaCl2. The treatments consisted of 0, 6.25, 12.5, 25, and 50 mmol NaCl. The volume of solution applied to each treatment was adjusted at every irrigation event to meet ET and produce a 30% leaching-fraction. At the conclusion of the study, the China rose retained the best foliage while one of the hybrid tea roses maintained flowering throughout the study at all treatment levels. It appears that the roses with the smallest leaflets were able to tolerate salinity better than those with larger leaflets. Results of the tissue sample, leachate, spad and media analyses will also be presented.

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Cynthia B. McKenney, Ellen B. Peffley and Igino Teolis

Increasingly more collegiate courses are offered through a variety of distance formats. Course management platforms have reduced the faculty time required to create and deliver distance courses while enhancing asynchronous communication. In this study, the transactional distance theory was used to evaluate the different communication levels found between faculty and students in web-facilitated, online, and interactive video courses. A comparison of the online course sections to the web-facilitated course sections determined that there were significantly more asynchronous contacts with the online sections than with the web-facilitated sections. In addition, the total instructor time invested to administer the online course sections was significantly less than for the web-facilitated course sections. The interactive video conferencing sections could not be compared directly to the other teaching modes because the course content differed; however, mean time intervals for teaching and administrative activities are provided.

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Raul I. Cabrera, James A. Reinert and Cynthia B. McKenney

Field (choice) and laboratory (no choice) studies were conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of 12 crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia) cultivars, representing two species and their interspecific hybrids, to feeding damage by the flea beetle (Altica litigata Fall). The results indicate that as a group, the L. indica L. cultivars were more susceptible to attack and significant herbivory damage by Altica beetles, whereas all the L. fauriei Koehne cultivars and most of the interspecific L. indica × fauriei hybrids were resistant. Significant differences in feeding damage were observed between the new and older leaves in the susceptible hybrid ‘Biloxi’ and L. indica ‘Whit IV’, but not in the rest of the cultivars. Mineral nutrient content differences were observed between species with L. indica cultivars having a significantly contrasting nutrient status profile compared with the L. fauriei and interspecific hybrid cultivar groups. The results indicate that the factors influencing Altica flea beetle-feeding preferences and damage are inherited and therefore will allow the implementation of pest management practices that minimize damage and optimize chemical control strategies. In addition, opportunities may exist for breeding and selection efforts that could lead to superior cultivars with insect resistance.

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Cynthia B. McKenney, Sandra A. Balch and Dick L. Auld

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Ashley R. Basinger, Cynthia B. McKenney and Dick Auld

A competency-based curriculum involves defining set knowledge, skills, and values for a particular education. Many technical undergraduate majors have developed a list of competencies for evaluation, assessment, and improvement of higher education curriculum. This national Delphi study is the first concise list of competencies described for a horticulture curriculum. A sample of horticulture educators within the United States (n = 22) were selected as experts in horticulture education and curriculum improvement through an e-mail requirement letter sent to university chairs. Information on age, teaching position, and bachelor's degree earned by panel member and department size was collected and it was determined these factors did not impact the panel members' decision on ranking competencies. The three-round Delphi study results provide a list of competencies considered to be important or not important in the general horticulture education field. The final compilation of competencies describes a total of 108 specific learning outcomes, with 41 horticulture technical competencies, 34 life science technical competencies, and 33 professional competencies. Overall, this competency skills list may be useful for future assessment and development of horticulture curricula.