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  • Author or Editor: R. Daniel Lineberger x
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Studies by academic, extension, and private foundation think tanks have reaffirmed the land-grant philosophy as an important component of American society in the twenty-first century. Successful land-grant systems will have more closely integrated educational, research, and extension programs characterized as more accessible, affordable, and accountable than current models. The World Wide Web (Web) will play a key role in this transformation. Web technology is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous and rapid adaptation by information providers (Lineberger, 1996a, 1996b; Rhodus and Hoskins, 1996). The availability of low-cost, user-friendly Web access through home TVs promises to upset the existing paradigms of extension information delivery through county offices and undergraduate instruction exclusively in the campus classroom. Some land-grant professionals have adopted Web technology as a tool to deliver educational programs and coursework; however, most have not, citing as justification the very steep learning curve and time involved in formatting materials for electronic delivery. We have emphasized the need for lifelong learning to our clientele and students; we must heed our own advice. Faculty must develop the ability to integrate appropriate technology into their own programs, since it is clear that land-grant systems of the future will not provide them with the support personnel to do it for them.

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Abstract

Actively growing shoot tips of Prunus × ‘Hally Jolivette’ proliferated in vitro on a Murashige and Skoog medium containing 0.1 mg/liter naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and 1.0 mg/liter benzylamino purine (BA). A 500-fold increase in shoot tips was achieved after 25 weeks in culture. Cultured shoot tips exposed to different levels of NAA and BA (0, 0.1, 1.0, 2.5, and 5.0 mg/liter of each in all combinations) formed roots, shoots, or basal callus depending on the concentrations of added growth regulators. Microcuttings rooted in vitro in the presence or absence of 0.1 mg/liter NAA and under nonsterile conditions in a sphagnum peatmoss:perlite medium. Rooted microcuttings were successfully acclimated and grown under greenhouse conditions.

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Recent studies by academic, extension, and private foundation “think tanks” have reaffirmed the land-grant philosophy as an important component of American society in the 21st century. According to Bill Campbell's dictum, successful land-grant systems will have more closely integrated educational, research, and extension programs characterized as more ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, and ACCOUNTABLE than current models. The World Wide Web affords the land-grant professional an information delivery/teaching system that conforms to Campbell's three As. Web technology is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous and rapid adaptation by information providers. The availability of low-cost, user-friendly Web access through home TVs promises to upset the existing paradigms of extension information delivery through county offices and undergraduate instruction exclusively in the campus classroom. Some land-grant professionals have adopted Web technology as a tool to deliver educational programs and coursework; however, the vast majority have not. Most faculty continue to distribute information in a printed form, citing as justification the very steep learning curve and time involved in formatting materials for electronic delivery. We have emphasized the need for life-long learning to our clientele and students; we must heed our own advice. The transition from a paper-based, county-centered extension delivery system and campus classroom-oriented undergraduate educational system is being facilitated by satellite and compressed video conferencing, and Web server networks. Faculty must develop the ability to integrate appropriate technology into their own programs, since it is clear that the “efficient” land-grant systems of the future will not provide them with the support personnel to do it for them.

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Cooperative Extension has relied heavily on the distribution of printed materials to accomplish its mission of providing research-based educational materials to agricultural producers and consumers. As the costs of print media have escalated and budgets have been reduced, Extension has continually sought more efficient and effective alternatives. World Wide Web information servers are central to this task, since they are relatively inexpensive to set up and operate, and can deliver high-quality materials for on-screen viewing or printing on demand. Recent developments (specifically the WebTV network) indicate the Web to be the medium of choice for Extension delivery systems. In addition to providing electronic versions of publications, slide shows, and video clips, most Web browsers also support e-mail and interactive forms for obtaining information from the client. Analysis of Web server logs and guest registers can be used to determine client use patterns to address issues of access and accountability. The current and next generations of most word processing, page layout, and presentation software offer Web-ready layout as one saving option.

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The World Wide Web is the most rapidly growing communication tool in use today. The Web links networked computers of all sizes and types through use of a hypermedia application known as a “browser.” Hypermedia technology allows research-based information related to plant tissue culture to be disseminated world-wide rapidly and cheaply, and to audiences that previously had difficulty accessing the information through scholarly journals (practitioners, secondary school students, consumers). The Plant Tissue Culture Information Exchange resides on the Aggie Horticulture homepage (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu). Present contents include information on suppliers of tissue culture equipment and media, research reports on micropropagation of several ornamental species, and links to tissue culture related material at other universities. Hardware, software, and network requirements to access the Information Exchange and the construction of hypertext documents for inclusion in the Information Exchange will be presented.

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A tool with enough power and versatility to communicate the depth and breadth of the art and science of horticulture has emerged with the development of the World Wide Web. First created to meet the rapid communication needs of high-energy particle physicists, the Web has proven to be a powerful information-providing tool enabling communication with all the diverse audiences of horticulture. Web-browsing software is multimedia in nature, and graphically based. Information can be colorful, interactive, commercial, amateur, or arcane, depending on the skill and objectives of the information provider. The target audience can be school children, horticultural producers, home gardeners, or academic researchers. Access to the Web is inexpensive and becoming widely available. These features enable audiences that previously had difficulty accessing the vast stores of horticultural information that reside within the confines of academic and governmental libraries to get that information from their schools or homes. The ever-growing demand for information, the need to integrate Web technology into teaching at all levels, and the adoption of the Web as a resource for distribution of peer-reviewed scholarly work has led to the development of various creative solutions among academic, professional, and avocational horticulturists. Some of these will be examined in detail during the workshop.

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The World Wide Web is regarded widely as an invaluable asset to teaching and extension programs. Data supporting this assertion can be gathered actively or passively and can be analyzed to aid decision makers in matters of personnel evaluation and resource allocation. Most Web server software applications keep a log of connections by time, location, and file size transferred. The server logs of Aggie Horticulture, the Web site of the Texas Horticulture program, are analyzed bi-weekly using WebStat 2.3.4 and the number of logins, file size transferred (total and amount per sub-site), and client domain are tabulated. The number of “hits” increased from 15,000 to 120,000 per month (mid-February to mid-March of 1995 and 1996, respectively) over the last year. The logins came from 61 Internet domains representing 56 different countries. The “net” and “com” domains exhibited the greatest increase. “Active” data acquisition through a guest register at one of the sub-sites indicated that only 9% of the visitors registered. However, the data obtained from the active registrants were useful in determining the distribution of users by state and county within Texas.

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The land-grant system was founded on the principle that education and information make a critical difference in people's lives, and that the government plays an important role in providing education and information by funding teaching, research, and extension programs. This mission was interpreted previously as a charge to establish great educational institutions to provide a low-cost, quality education to everyone who applied, to place extension professionals within every county in the nation, and to build massive research centers to provide a continuous flow of new, science-based information to all at no charge. My thesis is that the World Wide Web and other emerging information technologies represent the only solution to the dilemma faced by the land-grant system for providing research-based, high-quality education and information to a growing clientele at a reasonable cost. Aggie Horticulture (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu), a Web server that is modeled on the land-grant principle, will be used as an example of one approach to land-grant programs of the 21st century.

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The World Wide Web and other emerging information technologies are bringing about a quiet revolution in higher education. Networked computers deliver high-quality educational enhancements to students at little per unit cost to the teacher. Slide presentations, course handouts, on-line color photographs, and interactive modules are accessible from the computer desktop via high-speed Ethernet or modem connections. Aggie Horticulture, the Web server of the Texas Horticulture Program, will be used as a model to demonstrate the impact of Web technology on delivery of enhancements to “traditional” lecture-format courses and its potential for delivery of “nontraditional” courses to large audiences independent of space and time constraints.

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The pinwheel flowering African violet `Silver Summit', a periclinal chimera, has bicolor flowers with violet-blue 93B corolla segment margins and white 155B central stripes. Several off-types were produced during in vitro culture of `Silver Summit', the two of greatest potential value having reversed color patterns with violet-blue stripes and white margins. The off-types varied in color, one with deep violet-blue stripes (DR, dark reverse) and the other with lighter stripes of the same color (LR, light reverse). Unexpanded inflorescences of both off types were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium containing 0.1 mg/L benzyladenine and 0.1 mg/L naphthaleneacetic acid. Plantlets resulting from expansion and multiplication of the dormant buds in the inflorescences were removed, acclimated, and grown on to flowering. Thirteen LR inflorescences produced 55 plants; 51 were true to type and four had solid violet-blue flowers (non-chimeral). Thirteen DR inflorescences produced 64 plants; only eight were true to type, 17 produced solid violet-blue flowers, 38 produced flowers with mixtures of the DR chimeral pattern and solid violet-blue flowers, and one was solid white flowering. To visualize the chimeral arrangement of the meristems of the off-types, flower patterns of all plants were recorded and “fl oral maps” were constructed. Floral maps of LR were constant from plant to plant and varied little as the plants aged, indicating LR to be a stable periclinal chimera. Floral maps of DR were highly variable from plant to plant, and changed considerably over time indicating that the DR meristems were less stable.

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