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  • Author or Editor: Roger Kjelgren x
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I investigated perceptions of Agricultural Experiment Station (AES)-supported faculty and administrators regarding faculty involvement in placing AES-supported research on the World Wide Web (Web). Four populations were surveyed with a Web-based survey: all AES-supported faculty at Utah State University; AES-supported faculty in distinct horticulture departments at land-grant universities; AES state directors; and department heads/chairs in AES-supported horticulture departments. The survey queried the merits of placing research results on the Web and the degree of institutional support and actual faculty involvement in this process. All four groups agreed that placing AES-supported research results online was important and that faculty will need to become more conversant with the Web to do so. Overall, department heads were the least supportive of faculty involvement with placing research findings on the Web, and faculty were ambivalent regarding whether it interfered with other work. Most respondents reported little in the way of institutional support, policies, and mechanisms to help faculty get research online. About one-third of both faculty groups were able to balance an online AES-supported research presence with existing duties, and interest in doing so was high in the rest. Developing an online research presence is an opportunity for AES-supported faculty to make more of their agricultural research findings available in new and interpretive way to a broader constituency, both traditional and new. Doing so will likely require leadership from state AES directors in terms of policies and technical support.

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Computer technology allows horticultural educators to convey information more flexibly and visually to a greater audience. However, accessing and making use of technological teaching tools is as much a hurdle as it is an opportunity. HortBase provides the framework for educators in horticulture to easily access and contribute to quality chunks of horticultural educational by computer. Engaging computer-based instruction such as HortBase in distance or on-campus teaching is a three-step process. First, before assembling the teaching material, the educator must decide on who the target audience is and what information to convey. Audiences on campus often have higher expectations of how they want to learn, being accustomed to face-to-face instruction and guidance, but may not have a clear idea of what they want to learn. Off-campus audiences may have lower expectations but generally are more focused on the information they want. Second, the educator then must decide on how much of the information to bring into digital form oneself and what to draw from elsewhere. Chunks of digitized information can be created by scanning existing images into the computer or created on computer with drawing programs. Once digitized, images can be manipulated to achieve a desired look. This is laborious, so much effort can be saved by taking created chunks from HortBase. Finally, choose a medium for dissemination. Course content can be presented with slide-show software that incorporates digitized slides, drawing, animations, and video footage with text. Lectures can then be output to videotape or broadcast via an analog network. Alternatively, the digitized information can be incorporated into interactive packages for CD-ROM or the World Wide Web.

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Nursery crops have traditionally been grown in the field and harvested as balled and burlapped or bareroot plants or grown in above-ground containers. A relatively recent product, the in-ground fabric container, has allowed producers to combine advantages of field production with those of container production. The effect of these containers on plant growth, transplant establishment, plant chemical composition, and water relations appears to be species and site specific.

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The potential of bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) as a small, water-conserving landscape tree for the western United States is limited by the selection of superior accessions from a morphologically diverse gene pool and the ability to propagate wild plants in a nursery environment. Superior accessions were selected based primarily on red fall color. Aerial digital images taken during peak fall color in 2007 and 2008 were synchronized with flight global positioning system (GPS) track files using digital image editor software and visually compared with corresponding satellite images to determine the exact latitude and longitude of selected trees on the ground. Trees were physically located using GPS technology then visually evaluated for initial selection. Criteria included fall color, habitat, relative disease and insect resistance, bud quality, and plant form. From 56 observed trees of interest, six were selected for propagation. Through time-course experiments using multistemmed, bigtooth maple seedling rootstocks in a coppiced stoolbed, the optimum time for chip budding scions of wild accessions in northern Utah was determined to be July through mid-August. Further evaluation of accessions for use in the landscape industry is required.

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