1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
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.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
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.
3. Progress Report
The goal of this project is to develop a curriculum for university students and land managers that align with the major components of Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) which contributes directly to Subobjectives 1.4 and 1.5 of the Area-wide pest management project for annual grasses in the Great Basin. Objective 1 Develop initial university curriculum. Initial development of the 11 modules listed in last year’s Specific Cooperative Agreement (SCA) Progress Report was not completed by August 2010; development of some modules is still ongoing. Deliver initial university curriculum. Since the initial curriculum was not completed by September 2010, it was not delivered to targeted universities in the Intermountain West. Revise university curriculum (Jun. 2011-Aug. 2011). Modules 1-3 have been revised (internally) and modules 4-6 are currently undergoing revision (internally). Deliver revised university curriculum (Sep. 2011). We are delaying delivery of an internally revised curriculum until January 2012 (spring semester). Objective 2 Conduct focus groups and interviews. The 2 remaining focus groups with 2008/2009 EBIPM Field School participants and non-EBIPM Field School participants in southeastern Oregon were conducted on July 21 and 22, 2010, as proposed in last year’s SCA Progress Report. Individual phone interviews were conducted during August 2010. The types of focus group (and individual interview) questions were listed in last year’s SCA Progress Report. Analyze focus group/interview findings. The focus groups and individual interviews described above were digitally recorded, and notes were taken at each session. In December 2010, responses were coded for key terms and concepts, and a summary of findings was prepared. Develop survey for workshops/field tours. The survey for land manager workshops (e.g., EBIPM Field School) and field tours was developed in August 2010. Administer survey at workshops/field tours. The survey administered on the last day (September 17) of the 2010 EBIPM Field School in Boise, Idaho. Objective 3 Develop initial manager curriculum. The initial manager curriculum is in the preliminary development stage. Deliver initial manager curriculum. Since the curriculum is in the preliminary development stage, it will not be delivered until May 2012. Components of Objectives 1 and 3 have been delayed primarily, because: 1) the graduate student assigned to the project did not have a background in weed ecology and management and has spent considerable time developing this background; and 2) coursework during the graduate student’s first 3 semesters required more time than estimated at the beginning of her graduate program. She has now completed her coursework, and can dedicate her time to curriculum development and delivery until May 2012. Methods of project monitoring included meetings, e-mails, and phone calls.