106 POSTER SESSION (Abstr. 493–497) Education
182 POSTER SESSION 30 Education & Extension
More than 500 Master Gardeners in Indiana and Illinois were taught alternatives to the use of insecticides in workshops that focused on biological control of insect pests in home gardens. Gardeners also learned to conduct experiments in their backyards and were encouraged to participate in a summer research program that tested specific control methods. Workshop participants were surveyed before the workshop, and in two successive growing seasons to measure changes in their pest management practices. Overall, a significant percentage of gardeners stopped applying insecticides for up to two consecutive growing seasons after attending workshops. In addition, the adoption of biological control by participants appeared to be linked to their insecticide use and willingness to participate in the research process. A significant increase in the adoption of biological control was noted among garden researchers who did not use insecticides before the workshop or had reduced insecticide use following the workshop. No such change was noted for gardeners that did not conduct research. The relative contributions of workshop participation and hands-on research experience in pesticide reduction and biological control adoption are discussed.
Although genetically modified (GM) ornamental cut flowers are now available commercially, we have no knowledge of consumer perception about GM ornamental plants for landscape use and must make inferences from models drawn for GM foods. If we misjudge the customer, and consumers object to GM ornamental plant products for moral reasons, governmental or scientific mistrust, or limited understanding about GM technology, the market for GM ornamental plant commodities will fail. A survey of Master Gardener volunteers was conducted in 2004 to address this gap. Although Master Gardener perceptions likely differ from those of general U.S. consumers, responses are expected provide insight about beliefs applicable to the gardening public. Results from 607 Tennessee respondents revealed that concerns about GM ornamental plants parallel those expressed in the United States about GM foods. On average, Master Gardeners anticipate slight benefits to both the environment and human health should GM ornamental plants be introduced into the landscape. Male respondents chose perennials to provide the most environmental benefits, whereas females indicated grasses and turf. Genetically modified ornamental plants are also expected to be about the same or less invasive in the landscape than non-GM plants. Of respondents who anticipated more potential for GM ornamental plant invasiveness, women were more likely than men to predict plant escape. Men and women differed in relative acceptance of genes added from different organisms as a method of achieving genetic transformations in plants. This result suggests that outreach and marketing to promote new GM plant products should emphasize attributes of benefit rather than processes used to accomplish the goal. Regardless, although ≈73% of TN Master Gardener respondents reported interest in buying GM ornamental plants if sold commercially, participants advocated a requirement that GM plant products be clearly labeled at point-of-sale.
Research Philosophy and Methodology (RPM) is a core course designed for postgraduate students studying horticulture at the University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury. This course has two aims. First, RPM introduces the different paradigms found within science to students, and develops their understanding of different approaches to problem solving and extending knowledge. Second, RPM encourages an exploration of different forms of expression used within science and provides students with opportunities to practice communicating their ideas through written and oral presentations. It is intended that students will complete this course with a deeper understanding of how science is conducted and communicated.
In their efforts to provide better land stewardship and management, landscape architects are increasingly addressing site ecology in a wide variety of project types. From urban developments to rural properties, designers are using more sustainable design and management techniques, which include the expanded use of regional native plants. This survey study explores the use of native plants by landscape architects in the southeastern United States. Survey results show that southeastern United States designers are using a significant proportion of regional native plant species in their project specifications. Rather than using native plants strictly for conservation measures, landscape architects have found local species to be better suited to difficult or unique site conditions. The findings show that there is potential for expansion in the production and marketing of plant species indigenous to the southeastern United States.
Plants and horticulture play an integral role in the cultural heritage of eastern societies. Plants are deemed as important in many ways besides being a source of food and shelter. The present study summarizes information on research and trends in the value and application of horticulture collected from professionals in Asian countries, focusing on the work in human-horticulture relationships in Korea and Japan.
Meeting the needs of changing clientele can be achieved by modifying current extension programs such as the Master Gardener program. In Oregon 90% of the nursery industry workforce is comprised of Hispanics who speak Spanish and have a limited understanding of English. Translating the content of selected chapters from the Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook into Spanish creates a new training tool that can be used throughout the industry. By providing technical training in the basics of plant science, nursery employees will have a better understanding of the work they are doing and gain job satisfaction.