The Internet has become a tool used in business, education, and leisure pursuits. Extension has used the Internet in a variety of ways including the training of extension staff and volunteers and the dissemination of information. In 2001, a survey was developed to determine the comfort level, familiarity, and use of computers and the Internet by active Oregon Master Gardeners (MGs). Basic demographic data was also collected. We found that 85% of respondents use computers and are very comfortable with computers and the Internet. This extensive use and comfort level suggests that the Internet may be an acceptable alternative to the traditional face-to-face training method for some Oregon MGs.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden and Erika Kirsch
Elizabeth J. Phibbs and Diane Relf
Results of research on youth gardening programs indicate a variety of benefits; however, most studies to date have encountered difficulties in separating treatment effect from confounding variables. A survey of those recently involved in this type of research was conducted to identify common problems and generate suggestions for improving future research efforts. Problems reported as most frequently encountered include difficulty with timing and logistics, lack of funding, and finding and keeping sufficient numbers of participants. Suggestions for obtaining stronger results include: allowing plenty of time for planning, establishing good communication with collaborators, choosing topics relevant to funding agencies and policy makers, and creating interdisciplinary studies that are longitudinal or large-scale collaborative efforts.
Michael A. Arnold, Tim D. Davis and David W. Reed
Surveys were sent to 53 North American universities offering horticulture curricula to characterize the types of degrees offered, student demographics, participation in distance education, remuneration and assistance available for graduate students, and faculty rank and salary distributions. Twenty-five institutions responded. This represented 10 PhD, 14 MS, and 12 M. Agr. or MS non-thesis professional degree programs in horticulture and 13 PhD, 13 MS, 12 M. Agr. or M. non-thesis degree programs in plant sciences or a closely related area. On average, graduate students were predominantly Caucasian (70.7%), followed by Asian (16.1%), Black (3.2%), Hispanic (2.6%), and Native American (0.2%). Most were supported by research assistantships (56.3%), with the second largest group being self-supported (13.8%). Teaching assistantships were a small source of support (4.6%). Stipends (12-month equivalent) where variable among fellowships ($2000 to $30,000), teaching ($6600 to $25,000), research ($2000 to $25,239), extension ($12,000 to $17,000), or combination assistantships ($900 to $26,000). Most assistantships included a stipend plus in-state and out-of-state tuition waivers: about half included medical insurance. Mean full-time in-state tuition and fees was $6,535, while out-of-state was $13,876. Participation in distance courses was greatest for non-degree students (18.3%), and low for all others (9.2% to 6.4%). The average academic unit had 15.1 professors, 8.9 associate professors, 6.8 assistant professors, 0.3 senior lecturers, and 1.6 lecturers with mean reported average salaries of $85,142; $70,132; $58,918; $55,608; and $37,887, respectively.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Linda R. McMahan, Neil Bell, Paul Ries, Patty Williams and Aimee McAuliffe
A collaborative project between the Oregon State University Extension Service, and the green industry and allied professional organizations resulted in an educational seminar series for landscape professionals. In 2003 and 2004, the seminar series consisted of seven 3.5-hour sessions covering a range of horticultural topics and capitalized on expertise of extension personnel and green industry professionals. After the 2004 series, a survey was sent to all participants to determine attendance, overall evaluation, usefulness and applicability of information, participant learning, and behavior change as a result of the seminars. The response rate was 31%. Overall, participants gave the seminars a positive rating. A majority (83%) of respondents reported they had applied information learned at the seminar(s), and showed a significant increase in understanding of a subject as a result of participating in the seminar(s). Further, 98% of those who applied this information reported making multiple changes to their practices or recommendations to clients in the 6 months following the seminars.
Kathleen Dobbs, Diane Relf and Alan McDaniel
To determine if and how plant materials were used in Virginia elementary school curricula, a survey was conducted on horticulture or gardening in elementary [Kindergarten-sixth grade (K-6)] education. To do this, 10 questionnaires and cover letters were sent to each of 100 randomly chosen elementary schools throughout Virginia. Based on a 34% response rate from a self-selected group of K-6 teachers, there was a relatively high level of interest (88%) regarding using horticulture or gardening in the classroom. A major goal of this survey was to determine what would encourage or facilitate incorporating horticulture or gardening into the curriculum.
Dustin P. Meador, Paul R. Fisher, Philip F. Harmon, Natalia A. Peres, Max Teplitski and Charles L. Guy
). Surveys have been conducted to assess chemical water quality ( Argo et al., 1997 ) and pathogen presence in ornamental greenhouses and nurseries ( Hong and Moorman, 2005 ). Water quality information is lacking on whether levels of water contaminants such
Mark H. Brand and Robert L. Leonard
Survey data from 788 single-family residences from New England were analyzed to evaluate purchasing preferences and gardening habits. Particular attention was focused on plant attributes and choices of independent garden centers vs. mass merchandisers. Independent garden centers, magazines, and friends were the most important sources of gardening information, while mass merchandisers were relatively unimportant information sources. While consumers trusted information received at independent garden centers, they did not trust mass merchandiser information as much. The most important product and service attributes of retail establishments were well-maintained plants, informative signage, knowledgeable staff, and a wide selection of plant material. Gardening chemicals and fertilizers were purchased at mass merchandisers due to price. Consumers preferred to purchase high-value, long-lived plants (trees and shrubs) at independent garden centers due to higher plant quality and access to knowledgeable staff. When making plant purchases, plant appearance was the most important consideration regardless of whether the plant was an annual, perennial, or woody plant. The presence of flowers on plants was not ranked as influential in making purchase selections, but evidence of new growth, the presence of dark green foliage, and knowledge of a northern-grown source were important. For trees and shrubs, the significance of a plant guarantee and knowledge of a northern-grown source increased in importance in comparison to annuals and perennials.
Bridget K. Behe, Benjamin L. Campbell, Charles R. Hall, Hayk Khachatryan, Jennifer H. Dennis and Chengyan Yue
% of consumers in their survey indicated they would be willing to visit an Internet web site that provides more information on how to care for and maintain a container garden. Furthermore, Behe et al. (2008) conducted the first investigations of
Bridget K. Behe, Rachel M. Walden, Marcus W. Duck, Bert M. Cregg, Kathleen M. Kelley and R.D. Lineberger
An aging American population may be less willing than a younger population to install and remove a live, fresh-cut evergreen tree in their home for Christmas celebrations. An alternative to using traditional, large, fresh-cut or potted Christmas trees could be forcing these evergreen species in a small (≈1-L) container that could be displayed on a tabletop. We initiated this study to determine consumer preferences and marketability for six evergreen tree species produced for tabletop display and used three decoration themes and three price points. We constructed a web-based survey in which 331 participants were compensated with a $5 e-coupon for viewing 27 photographs of tabletop trees and providing preference and use information. The conjoint model accounted for 91.2% of the variance and showed that consumers valued tree species as the most important attribute (61% of the tree value), with decoration color/theme the second most important feature (27%) and, last, price (12%). Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca var. densata (Moench) Voss) was the most preferred species overall, and red was the most preferred decoration theme. Logically, the lowest price point was the most preferred. However, price was the most important attribute for participants younger than 25 years. The importance of price decreased as participant age increased until age 60, when price became a more important component. With a cost of production of $5.45 and decoration and shipping estimated at an additional $4.00, the product could be a profit generator priced at any of the tested price points ($14.95 and above).
Michael T. Martin Jr., Geoffrey M. Weaver, Matthew R. Chappell and Jerry Davis
increased in the basal stems. Foliar N, Fe, and Mo concentrations declined over the course of the study, suggesting that Fe and Mo may have been translocated from the leaves to lower stems. This study was conducted to survey changes in nutrient