23641 Designing and Implementing Multi-dimensional Outreach Activities

Thursday, August 11, 2016: 10:30 AM
Savannah 2/3 Room (Sheraton Hotel Atlanta)
Chris Benedict , Washington State University, Bellingham, WA
Carol A. Miles , Washington State University, NWREC, Mount Vernon, WA
The Extension arm of the Land Grant University system was created in 1914 to provide scientists an avenue to disseminate information generated from research activities directly to grower and industry stakeholders. This presentation will discuss outreach activities associated with a recently funded USDA-NIFA SCRI project evaluating biodegradable mulches for vegetable production. Our SCRI team is comprised of 29 researchers and Extension personnel from three Universities, and is organized into six different working groups. From the outset of the project, we integrated outreach activities into each working group so that extension activities are prioritized and performed by research scientists throughout the course of the project rather than just occurring at project completion. Additionally, we assigned outreach activities into three major categories: 1.) Introductory – legacy materials that are principle-based and provide an introduction to basic, fundamental concepts; 2.) Intermediate – materials that provide mechanisms for application; and 3.) Advanced – topic-specific materials. Within each category, outreach materials include website development, on-line videos (short segments, mobile-accessible) and training modules, webinars, Extension fact sheets, and peer-reviewed journal articles in applied science journals to disseminate new applied information. Within the first year of our SCRI project we created a new website www.biodegradablemulch.org where we can post new project information. Within the second year of the project we have written (and posted on-line) five factsheets, one short introductory video (Performance and Adoptability of Biodegradable Plastic Mulch for Sustainable Specialty Crop Production: Project Introduction), and one PowerPoint slide presentation which includes preliminary results from our first year of field research. We will discuss the process that was utilized to develop the outreach portion of this project and the innovative outreach methods so that attendees can incorporate these ideas into their current research programs.