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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Education and technology transfer for ecologically-based invasive plant management of annual grasses in the Great Basin ecosystem

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Project Number: 0500-00044-032-03
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 18, 2009
End Date: Dec 31, 2012

Objective:
Education and technology transfer are central to implementing a long-term, self-sustaining EBIPM program for invasive annual grasses in the Great Basin. The objectives to be met include: 1) develop and deliver a curriculum for university students that aligns with the major components of the EBIPM framework and associated decision-support tools; 2) assess the knowledge and perceptions of land managers to gauge their receptivity to EBIPM and understand how they make management decisions; 3) develop and deliver a curriculum for land managers that aligns with the major components of the EBIPM framework and associated decision-support tools, and accommodates manager knowledge, perceptions, and decision-making; 4) provide ongoing consultation to managers for using the EBIPM decision-support tools; and 5) Policy-makers: Education efforts will focus on regular publications of ecological and economic impacts of annual grasses, general information about EBIPM. Scientists/Researchers: Annual grass symposia that attract scientists from around the world will help researchers collaborate on innovative projects and coordinate priority research objectives. Findings from focus groups, interviews and surveys, concerning land managers' knowledge, perceptions and decision-making strategies, will be reported in a journal article and posted on the EBIPM website. General Public: The EBIPM website will also be used to enhance the awareness of the general public, by providing links to web-based educational resources focusing on invasive annual grass management in the Great Basin. Documents SCA with Utah State University.

Approach:
Objective 1: Develop and deliver a curriculum for university students. We propose to develop a modular curriculum that allows instructors to integrate portions of the EBIPM framework (including decision-support tools) into their existing courses, but also provides material for an entire semester course. The course modules will align with the five major sections of the EBIPM framework. An example of a proposed module involving a decision-support tool is one where weather & climate information are incorporated with seedbed microclimate modeling of plant establishment to determine the success & cost-effectiveness of native plant restoration strategies on annual grass infested rangelands in the Great Basin Objective 2: Assess knowledge and perceptions of land managers. A mixed method approach will be used to assess land managers’ knowledge of invasive annual grass management concepts and practices, their perceptions of invasive annual grass impacts and the constraints limiting effective management, and their approaches to making management decisions on private and public rangelands. Findings will allow EBIPM program personnel to gauge managers’ receptivity to the EBIPM framework and philosophy, and develop and revise education materials and delivery accordingly. Findings from focus groups and interviews will be used to develop a survey for land managers who participate in EBIPM workshops and field tours. Objective 3: Develop & deliver a curriculum for land managers. As with the curriculum for university students, the modules for the land manager curriculum will align with the five major sections of the EBIPM framework (see Objective 1), but in a more condensed format. Managers will also be able to attend field tours, have access to a web-based video archive documenting management procedures & vegetation changes at demonstration areas, & receive a quarterly e-newsletter providing information about the EBIPM program & management strategies. Objective 4: Provide ongoing consultation to land managers. A list-serve of those interested in EBIPM will be created & maintained as a mechanism for on-going communication, where project leaders will provide consultation with respect to their specific area of expertise & the use of associated decision-support tools. Objective 5: Provide education for associated target audiences. Policy-makers: Education efforts will focus on regular publications of ecological & economic impacts of annual grasses, general information about EBIPM, & briefing papers that can be quickly read & easily understood. Upper-level land management agency personnel will require more technical information, which will be provided in a format appropriate for their use. Scientists/Researchers: Annual grass symposia that attract scientists from around the world will help researchers collaborate on innovative projects & coordinate priority research objectives. The first symposium will be co-hosted by the EBIPM program. Findings from focus groups, interviews & surveys, concerning land managers' knowledge, perceptions and decision-making strategies, will be reported in a journal article and posted on the EBIPM.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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