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  • Author or Editor: Richard Craig x
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Pelargoniums represent a major floricultural crop in international markets. Intellectual property protection in the form of U.S. plant patents (200 since 1980) and European breeders' rights have been used for asexually propagated Pelargoniun. In addition, the hundreds of F', hybrid seed-reproduced cultivars are protected as trade secrets. International protection through the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the use of utility patents will accelerate breeding efforts; however, issues such as “essentially derived” and the farmer and research exemptions still must be resolved.

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A variety of cooperative activities are part of the plant systematics course at The Pennsylvania State University: a learning fair hosted by the students enrolled in the course for elementary school students, applied laboratory examinations, and applied laboratory exercises. Each activity was constructed to engage students in the learning process as well as to aid in developing useful skills for future employment. A survey administered to students enrolled in the course from 2003 to 2005 revealed that most students “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they liked working in cooperative groups and learned from other group members. Student participation in the lecture portion of the course increased as cooperative activities were completed. Organization and planning were vital to using these activities, as were small groups and adequate incentives for completing activities.

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Undergraduate students teach laboratory sessions in the plant systematics course at The Pennsylvania State University. To assess student-taught laboratory sessions, surveys were administered to student instructors and students enrolled in the course. Benefits to student instructors included increased technical knowledge, new perspectives on teaching methodologies, and acquiring a positive item to add to résumés. Student instructors also practiced leadership skills. Enrolled students generally assessed the laboratory sessions favorably. Organization and planning were vital to the success of this teaching method. This teaching method also required increased departmental funding relative to other courses.

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