April 2013 Newsletter: Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy

ISHS Secretariat
Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy

Newsletter #10 April 2013

1. Welcome

In January of this year 2013 Australian universities reported a 15 to 20% increase in the number of students studying agricultural and horticultural science. This has been against a backdrop of a 40% decline in the number of students taking agricultural science degrees across the country since 2000. It would be interesting to see if this is the start of a trend in horticultural education at universities, polytechnics, and technical colleges across the globe. If you can cite any trends in your country we would be keen to know of them. It makes sense that if the US has reported a $US33.4 billion in the farm gate value of fruits, nuts and vegetables, and a $US175.26 billion in the US green industry that there needs to be a resurgence in the education and training of university-trained scientists and technologists, and vocationally trained and skilled technical staff in horticulture so as to assist the horticultural industry to recover, expand and progress.
Mention was made in the last newsletter of the ISHS Scripta publication titled "Harvesting the Sun: a Profile of World Horticulture". All members will see the importance of investment in our education and training institutions, schools and community colleges, technical institutes, and universities, not only in providing suitable education and training programs and vocational skills development, but also the significance of research, extension and consultancy and its importance on horticultural productivity, capacity and service. Let's look forward to a productive year for horticultural education, research training and consultancy.
Sincerely - David Aldous and Alan Hunter

2. News and Views
  • 29th International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane, 17-22 August, 2014.
    The theme 'Horticulture - sustaining lives, livelihoods and landscapes' and has been chosen to highlight the value of horticulture and horticultural science in addressing the key issues of modern society - health, wealth and the environment. Horticulture and horticultural science matters to all humankind, whether we are involved in the research, extension, education, consultancy or servicing production or environmental horticulture, be it in developed or developing countries. Look to the IHC2014 website on http://www.ihc2014.org/, get on our e-newsletter list, and plan to attend and contribute to the 29th International Horticultural Congress over 17-24 August, 2014, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For all enquiries please contact: Dr Russ Stephenson on Russ.Stephenson@deedi.qld.gov.au; Tel: +61 7 5453 5900; Fax: +61 7 5453 5901; PO Box 5083 SCMC, Nambour, Qld 4560, Australia or Suellen Holland, Executive Manager, ICMS Australasia Pty. Ltd., 2014IHC Congress Organizers, on suellenh@icmsaust.com.au.
  • Middle East Horticultural Summit
    Some 60 people participated in the Middle East Horticultural Summit which was developed through the Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy, The International Society for Horticultural Science, and the United Arab Emirates University on March 26 2013 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates. Titled "Horticulture in the Middle East: Challenges and Directions for Future Research", the Summit which addressed a range of research areas applicable to the Middle East on topics such as research into quality assurance and postharvest horticulture, challenges to the availability and management of irrigation water in the future, photovoltaic shade houses for the Gulf Region, and research opportunities into horticulture and green open space management. International speakers were invited from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Morocco Detail on the Summit can be obtained from http://www.agramiddleeast.com/en/Flower/MEHS/Agenda/. An Acta Horticulturae will be published on the presentations.

Group discussion at the Middle East Horticultural Summit facilitated by Dr David Aldous (ISHS) and Dr Elke Neumann, Department of Arid land Agriculture, University of the United Arab Emirates.

Figure 1. Group discussion at the Middle East Horticultural Summit facilitated by Dr David Aldous (ISHS) and Dr Elke Neumann, Department of Arid land Agriculture, University of the United Arab Emirates.

  • 32nd International Vegetable Training Course
    The Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy is pleased to endorse the 32nd International Vegetable Training Course - Vegetables: From Seed to Table and Beyond, which is to held over the 16 September – 6 December 2013, Bangkok, Thailand. Further information: AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, East and Southeast Asia, P.O. Box 1010 (Kasetsart), Bangkok 10903, Thailand, Phone: +66 (0)2 942-8686 / 8687, Fax: +66 (0)2 942-8688, Email: info-eastasia@worldveg.org, Web: www.avrdc.org
  • The 7th International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy, International Horticultural Congress, Brisbane, 17-22 August, 2014
    Abstracts are now invited to attend the 7th International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy, as part of the 29th International Horticultural Congress, which will be held over the 17-22 August, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. The proposed theme is "Horticultural Education, Research Training and Extension in Changing Times" and will involve topics such as innovative approaches to education and training, research training for transitional economies, curriculum, courses and program activities in horticulture and horticultural science, the role of industry in education and training and industry training and extension methodology.
    The co-conveners of the 7th International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy now have their own home page on http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_20.html. Please look on this home page and if have teaching, research, extension or consultancy material suitable for presentation.
    A new component to be included will be the opportunity for participants to profile their horticultural education, research training and extension programs of their country as a paper or poster. Interested parties please contact Vice-Chair Alan Hunter and Chair David Aldous of the Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy on alan.hunter@ucd.ie or dealdous@gmail.com respectively.
  • National and International Commission Partnerships
    The Commissions Urban and Landscape Horticulture and Education, Research Training and Consultancy are proud to be working together on the following conferences/symposiums. Information on these conferences/symposiums can be obtained from their respective web-pages. See also http://www.ishs.org/symposia/CMET
  • 4th International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture: Impact of Landscape Horticulture on Development of Urban Economy with Green Environment, Kolkata (India) - 12-14 September 2013 (home webpage: http://www.icluh.in/)
  • 5th International Symposium on Landscape and Urban Horticulture - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_28.html). The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
  • 3rd International Symposium on Turfgrass Management & Science for Sports Fields - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_29.html. The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
  • Sustainable Management in the Urban Forest - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_33.html). The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
3. Recent Reports, Articles, WebPages and Forums on Horticultural Education

This is a selection on reports and reference sources taken from the web, or contributed by members on horticultural education and sourced for your information.

Campbell, K.R., S.B. Wilson, P. C. Wilson and Z. He (2011). Interactive online tools for teaching plant identification. HortTechnology 21(4):504-508
Summary. Interactive review exercises were developed as an online learning component of an existing native plant landscaping course. The instruments were designed with specific goals for students to 1) test their plant identification knowledge, 2) practice leaf terminology with specific plant examples, and 3) associate landscape performance with native ecosystem characteristics. The plant identification tool was developed within a spreadsheet application using formulas consisting of logic statements. This tool tests the students' ability to identify plants and spell scientific and common names associated with high-resolution plant images. The leaf terminology tool was developed using a multimedia platform. It uses a drag-and-drop interface where students are asked to associate a specific leaf term (i.e., margin, apex, base, texture, arrangement) with a scanned image that best matches the taxonomic term. The ecosystem tool, also developed using a multimedia platform, uses digital images captured for each of Florida's major ecosystems in conjunction with sets of plant combinations and site characteristics. Students select the appropriate choices and submit their answers online, after which they receive immediate feedback. Students reported an improvement in plant recognition after they had access to these identification tools. These interactive learning tools not only benefit students enrolled in this specific course but can be adapted to a variety of online courses nationwide.

Bauerle, T.l. and T.D. Park (2012). Experimental Learning Enhances Student Knowledge Retention in the Plant Sciences. HortTechnology, October 2012 22(5):715-718
Summary. Experiential learning can be an important part of an undergraduate curriculum in the sciences. A new course, The Nature of Plants, was developed to provide students across a broad range of majors with an in-depth study of plant science both basic and applied. The course was enriched by using a local natural area as an informal learning environment. We examined whether experiential learning improved homework scores among students who participated in a field trip by asking if simply attending the field trip increased the homework score or if participation in the tree climbing exercise had any additional benefit. Our results show participating in a field trip experience when coupled with a homework assignment increased student homework scores. Moreover, the tree climbing portion of the field trip increased homework scores particularly for students not in a science major. This research supports experiential learning and the value of field trips within science courses focused on a comprehensive exploration of plants.

Basinger, A.R., McKenney, D. Auld (2009). Competencies for a United States Horticulture Undergraduate Major: A National Delphi Study Ashley R. HortTechnology April-June 19(2; 452-458.
Summary. A competency-based curriculum involves defining set knowledge, skills, and values for a particular education. Many technical undergraduate majors have developed a list of competencies for evaluation, assessment, and improvement of higher education curriculum. This national Delphi study is the first concise list of competencies described for a horticulture curriculum. A sample of horticulture educators within the United States (n = 22) were selected as experts in horticulture education and curriculum improvement through an e-mail requirement letter sent to university chairs. Information on age, teaching position, and bachelor's degree earned by panel member and department size was collected and it was determined these factors did not impact the panel members' decision on ranking competencies. The three-round Delphi study results provide a list of competencies considered to
be important or not important in the general horticulture education field. The
final compilation of competencies describes a total of 108 specific learning
outcomes, with 41 horticulture technical competencies, 34 life science technical competencies, and 33 professional competencies. Overall, this competency skills list may be useful for future assessment and development of horticulture curricula.

Davis, T.D. and P. Hariyadi (2013). Horticultural Research and Education Opportunities in Indonesia. HortScience, March 2013 vol. 48 no. 3 292-295.
Abstract. Indonesia is one of the most populated countries in the world and is rich in plant biodiversity. The country's hot humid climate is conducive to the production of many tropical horticultural crops. There are many plant species indigenous to Indonesia that have potential as horticultural crops but which have not been fully evaluated and therefore remain underused. Many of these plants have market potential and may have value for human health and nutrition. Furthermore, horticulture has been identified as one of the priority areas for collaboration between U.S. and Indonesian universities and for Indonesian agricultural development. Accordingly, we are presently working with three Indonesian universities to facilitate agricultural development related to horticulture by: 1) strengthening their curriculum related to plant biodiversity; 2) conducting research aimed at identifying bioactive compounds in underused plants that may have benefit to human health; 3) establishing university-led outreach education programs that lead to a better understanding of plant biodiversity and use; and 4) fostering enterprise based on underused Indonesian plant species. Other untapped agricultural research and development opportunities exist in the postharvest handling of tropical fruits and vegetables. Overall, the climate for collaboration between U.S. and Indonesian academic institutions is quite favorable from both a political and a scientific perspective.

4. Future Activities - see also http://www.ishs.org/symposia/CMET
  • 11-15 June, 2013 - Joint Executive Committee and Council Meeting - Executive Committee, Matera, Italy.
  • 13-15 September, 2013 - IV International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture: Impact of Landscape Horticulture on Development of Urban Economy with Green Environment, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Conveners: Prof. Dr. N. Roy Chaudhuri, Prof. Dr. P.K. Chattopadhyaya and Prof. Dr. S.K. Mitra, Further information E-mail:nilimesh59@rediffmail.com or P.K. Chattopadhyay, Faculty of Horticulture, BCKV, PO Drishiviswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, West Bengal, 741252, India. E-mail: profpkc@memecliffmail.com or Prof. Dr. Sisir Kumar Mitra, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur 741252, West Bengal, India. Phone: (91)3325823017, Fax: (91)3325828460, E-mail: sisirm@vsnl.net. A collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by Landscape and Urban horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August, 2014 - 7th International Symposium on Education, Research Training and Consultancy, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Dr Alan Turner & Prof. Dr David Aldous. Symposium sponsored by the Commission Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 12th International People Plant Symposium: Horticulture and Human Communities IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia.. Conveners: Prof. Dr Candice Shoemaker, Prof. Dr. Gert Groening & Prof. Dr David Aldous. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 3rd International Conference on Turf grass Management & Science for Sports Fields, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Prof. Dr. Panayiotis Nektarios, Mr. Keith McAuliffe, and Prof. Dr David Aldous. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 4th International Conference on Landscape & Urban Horticulture, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Prof. Dr. Gert Groening & Prof. Dr David Aldous. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
5. Future Newsletters

We would appreciate fresh comment and contributions that make for relevant reading to other members of the Commission. If there are other significant horticultural education and training resources that you wish to share with members we can include their source in this newsletter. Please forward to the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Commission for inclusion.
David Aldous, Chairman, Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy), International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). Email: dealdous@gmail.com
and
Alan Hunter, Vice-Chairman, Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy, International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). Email: alan.hunter@ucd.ie

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