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Medicinal & Edible Herbs

Gardening Events - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 6:40am
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Learn how to grow medicianal and edible herbs in the home garden with Master Gardener Sue Sierralupe.

Season Extension Tips & Techniques

Gardening Events - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 6:40am
Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Learn about the wide variety of options to extend the vegetable growing season in fall and winter.   We will discuss leafy greens and other plants suited to cool-season growing.  There will be a hands-on demonstration of bending conduit to produce a mini-hoop cover for rows or raised beds. 

Portland Metro Area Extension - Healthrun event

4-H Events - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:00pm
Thursday, August 28, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Oregon State University Portland Metro Area Extension office will hold a celebration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, to welcome brothers and health activists Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby to the Portland area.

The Godby brothers are students at Oregon State University are running 1,675 miles around Oregon this summer to inspire Oregonians to live a healthier lifestyle.

The “Health Extension Run 2014,” was also designed to educate community residents about the role the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences and OSU Extension Service offices in each county play in building healthy communities. The run coincides with the recent accreditation of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

The Godbys, who are from the Portland area, departed Corvallis in early July and are scheduled to run from Multnomah Falls to the Portland area on Aug. 28.

The Metro Area Extension office open house and welcome celebration will include prizes and giveaways; opportunities to ride the “milling bike,” a stationary bicycle designed by OSU engineering students to grind grain; and taste-test couscous salad and bulgur pilaf recipes; and other family activities.

Bob’s Red Mill is co-hosting the event and company founder Bob Moore and members of the company’s leadership team also will attend. The extension office is also the site of OSU’s Moore Family Center Outreach Office and the new location of Portland Metro Area 4-H.

Oregon State University alumni, Portland area 4-H members and their families and members of the public are invited to attend. Members of the media are welcome.

Interviews with the Godbys may be arranged directly with the Godby brothers. Their contact information and additional background about the run are available online.

To learn more about the Godbys’ run, visit the run website.

The extension office is located at 5444-B SE International Way, Portland. The media contact for the Portland event is Renee Carr, renee.carr@oregonstate.edu, 503-657-7385 

Portland Metro Area Extension - Healthrun event

Health & Wellness Events - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:00pm
Thursday, August 28, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Oregon State University Portland Metro Area Extension office will hold a celebration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, to welcome brothers and health activists Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby to the Portland area.

The Godby brothers are students at Oregon State University are running 1,675 miles around Oregon this summer to inspire Oregonians to live a healthier lifestyle.

The “Health Extension Run 2014,” was also designed to educate community residents about the role the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences and OSU Extension Service offices in each county play in building healthy communities. The run coincides with the recent accreditation of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

The Godbys, who are from the Portland area, departed Corvallis in early July and are scheduled to run from Multnomah Falls to the Portland area on Aug. 28.

The Metro Area Extension office open house and welcome celebration will include prizes and giveaways; opportunities to ride the “milling bike,” a stationary bicycle designed by OSU engineering students to grind grain; and taste-test couscous salad and bulgur pilaf recipes; and other family activities.

Bob’s Red Mill is co-hosting the event and company founder Bob Moore and members of the company’s leadership team also will attend. The extension office is also the site of OSU’s Moore Family Center Outreach Office and the new location of Portland Metro Area 4-H.

Oregon State University alumni, Portland area 4-H members and their families and members of the public are invited to attend. Members of the media are welcome.

Interviews with the Godbys may be arranged directly with the Godby brothers. Their contact information and additional background about the run are available online.

To learn more about the Godbys’ run, visit the run website.

The extension office is located at 5444-B SE International Way, Portland. The media contact for the Portland event is Renee Carr, renee.carr@oregonstate.edu, 503-657-7385 

New Videos: Derelict Fishing Gear: Oregon fishermen interviews

Breaking Waves - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:20am

Extended interviews are now online with two Oregon fishermen, Al Pazar and Nick Furman, who reflect on derelict gear programs with the Dungeness crab fleet in which they were directly involved.

The interviews are in high definition at the Oregon Sea Grant Vimeo channel:

Al Pazar, former chairman, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

Nick Furman, former Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission exec. director

The videos were produced by Oregon Sea Grant in cooperation with NOAA West, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, and the Sea Grant programs of Washington, California, and the University of Southern California.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New Video: Responding to the Risks of Marine Debris: Derelict Fishing Gear

Breaking Waves - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:26am

Marine debris – trash, refuse, stuff lost at sea — can often seem like a problem that’s difficult to make headway against. New short videos produced by Oregon Sea Grant can change that impression.

Responding to the Risks of Marine Debris: Derelict Fishing Gear, highlights the dramatic success that the Washington-based Northwest Straits Foundation has had in removing lost commercial fishing nets in the Puget Sound vicinity.

The six-minute documentary-style video is online at the Oregon Sea Grant YouTube channel (where closed captioning is also available):

Oregon Sea Grant Presents: Derelict Fishing Gear

. . . and in  high definition on Vimeo:  Derelict Fishing Gear (Vimeo HD version)

The documentary was produced by Oregon Sea Grant in cooperation with NOAA West, the NOAA Marine Debris program, and the Sea Grant programs of Washington, California, and the University of Southern California.

Stay tuned for additional videos in coming days.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Propagating native shrubs from seed or cuttings

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:50pm

By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties, and Paul Wilson & Linda Farris, Columbia County Master Woodland Managers

Flowering currant seedlings awaiting transplant. Photo: Paul Wilson

When Paul Wilson and Linda Farris bought their small property about 10 years ago, it was a reforestation failure. But they have succeeded in beating back immense Scotch broom and other invasives and have planted a diverse mix of trees. Not stopping there, they continue adding diversity by releasing native shrubs that don’t get in the way of their planted trees, and by planting more native shrubs and herbaceous plants to occupy gaps where the invasives used to be.

Paul and Linda propagate most of their own plants from seed and cuttings, having learned over time what methods work for different species. They shared their experience on a recent Twilight Tour, and afterwards agreed to write up and share their propagation tips (in the rest of this article). Thank you Paul and Linda. If you want to try your hand at this, fall is a good time to start.

How to take cuttings (adapted from Washington Native Plant Society guidelines):

We use a very low-tech approach to propagate dormant deciduous native shrubs which come readily from cuttings.  By taking cuttings after the leaves have fallen, the cuttings focus on developing roots and require little care.

Use sharp pruning shears.  Clean shears with rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water).

Select young straight shoots about the diameter of a pencil (except trailing snowberry, which can be thinner). Collect long branches– you will be dividing them into individual cuttings later.  Cut just above a leaf node.  As you collect, put the cuttings in a plastic bag or the ends in a bucket of water, and keep them cool, moist, and out of direct sunlight.

To prepare individual cuttings from the long branches, clean your shears again.  Cut the branches into pieces long enough to have at least three or four leaf nodes (for most species, cuttings will be about six inches long). The end of the cutting closest to the roots (the “bottom”) should be cut at a 45° angle just below a node.  To not confuse the bottom with the top of the cutting (essential), cut the top at a right angle (straight across) slightly above a node.

While not essential, for some species success is improved by dipping the bottom (angled) end of the cutting in rooting hormone (Rootone, Hormex and similar), tapping off the excess.

Fill a pot (we use 1 gal. pots or treepots depending on the length of the cutting) with an unfertilized fast-draining soil mix (and in many cases perlite, sharp sand or vermiculite alone will work but cuttings need soil after rooting).  Poke holes in the soil with a stick a bit larger than the cutting diameter, insert cuttings with at least 2 nodes in soil and 1 or 2 nodes above soil level, tamp soil and water in.  We put 5 cuttings of most species in a gallon pot.

Leave out all winter, protecting from slugs and deer in the spring.  Wait until leaf growth unfurls and gently check for substantial root development.  If you have leaves or roots but not the other reinsert the cutting and wait.  Cuttings can be transplanted to a soil mix in a larger container, or transplanted into native soil.  During a dry spring keep the rooting medium moist. During the following summer, supplemental water will improve survival and development.

Paul and Linda’s plant nursery. Woody plants under the wire frame and herbaceous perennials in the foreground. Photo: Paul Wilson

Propagation tips for individual species

Among these shrubs, red-osier dogwood, Nootka rose, cascara, snowberry, hazel, oceanspray and tall Oregon grape (in order from generally wetter to drier habitat) are ‘restoration superstars’ – they tolerate moisture fluctuations and disturbance and generally provide a higher success rate after planting. These brief propagation guidelines are adapted from Robson, Richter and Filbert, Encyclopedia of Northwest Native Plants for Gardens and Landscapes (2008).

Red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Easiest from hardwood cuttings taken late fall to late winter, no hormone required.  Can also be grown from ripe fruit collected in the fall, fleshy part need not be removed unless seeds are being stored.  Plant outside to stratify over winter.

Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana)
Easiest from seed removed from hips just as they ripen, planted out for winter stratification to germinate the following spring.  Lower success from hardwood cuttings mid to late fall, treated with hormones and set to root over winter.

Oceanspray in September. Photo: OSU Dept. of Horticulture

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)
Easiest: hardwood cuttings in late fall or early winter, dip in rooting hormone and root in pumice or other medium.  Seeds have a low germination rate: plant thickly in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.

Beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Easiest from seed; harvest slightly green before the squirrels get them; plant in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.

Indian plum/Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis)
Easy from seed: Collect fruit in early summer, dry the fruits, plant in fall; need cold and moisture to break dormancy and germinate the following spring.  Or, take hardwood cuttings in late winter, treat with hormone.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Collect and clean seed, plant seed in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.

Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)/Trailing snowberry (Symphoricarpos mollis)
Hardwood cuttings late fall/early winter; treat with hormone and put in soil to root.  Seed requires 2 winters to germinate.

Dwarf Oregon-grape (Berberis nervosa)/Tall Oregon-grape (Berberis aquifolium)
Collect ripe berries in summer; remove some of the pulp and plant seed soon after harvest; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.  Hard to grow from cuttings.

Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Hardwood cuttings mid-fall to early winter, treat with hormone and root in pumice or other medium.  Or, collect seed in late summer or fall, remove some of the pulp and plant seed soon after harvest; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring

Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata)
Collect seed in late summer or fall, remove some of the pulp and plant seed in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.  Difficult to grow from cuttings.

Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)
Collect ripe fruit in the fall; remove some of the pulp and plant seed in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.  Expect 2-3 seeds in each fruit.

Red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum)
Collect berries and remove seeds; plant seeds in flats of potting soil in fall; need cold and moisture to germinate the following spring.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Dark Horse releases new comic about earthquake preparedness

Breaking Waves - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 9:40am

Dark Horse Comics, the Oregon-based publisher of such iconic titles as Star Wars, Sin City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has teamed with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Cascadia Region Earthquake  Group to produce a new, free comic about earthquake preparedness.

Without Warning tells the story of a girl who lives on the Oregon Coast and is trying to reunite with her family after a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The digital version of the 16-page, full-color comic, written for audiences age 12 and up, can be downloaded free from Dark Horse; free printed copies are available from the Office of Emergency Management.

Oregon is located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600 hundred mile earthquake fault stretching from offshore Northern California to Southern British Columbia. Experts predict a large 9.0 or higher earthquake could strike Oregon at any time. Oregon Sea Grant, through its coastal natural hazards program, works to help coastal towns and residents prepare for the Big One. Learn more:
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Rural Living Field Day

Forestry Events - Sat, 08/23/2014 - 4:33pm
Saturday, August 23, 2014 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Rural Living Field Day is a fun event for rural landowners.

The event features speakers addressing a wide variety of issues that face rural homeowners, farmers, and land managers every day.

Topics include wildlife, forests, pollinators, invasive weeds, orchards, crops and health soil, horse health and manure composting.

The event is organized by our local Soil & Water Conservation Districts. To register, just visit the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District website at www.wmswcd.org and click on “Events.” The cost is only $15 per person or $20 for families.

Morning beverages and snacks will be served as well as a fully catered lunch.

In-Field Tractor Maintenance & Troubleshooting Workshop

Small Farms Events - Sat, 08/23/2014 - 4:33pm
Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This interactive, hands-on workshop will focus on tractor safety, routine maintenance, and troubleshooting common issues.  Topics covered will include:  routine lubrication, easy methods to hook up equipment, maintenance checklists, winterizing tasks, and more.  The workshops will include a substantial Q&A discussion with our instructor, Jack Williams.  Participants are encouraged to bring questions.

Pre-registration is required, by calling Jared Pruch at (541) 359-8987 or online at:

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/cascadepacific/event/185303/

Cost is $10

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oregon preserves water quality with pump and dump stations

Breaking Waves - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 8:05am

The Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) has enlisted the help of Oregon Sea Grant to help publicize floating restrooms and waste dumping stations across the state in an effort to protect water quality.

Boaters that are on the water for long periods of time accumulate sewage that they inevitably have to dispose of. In some areas, that waste has found its way back into the environment and caused a decline in water quality.

“Oregon is being proactive,” said Megan Kleibacker, watershed education coordinator for Oregon Sea Grant. “This money was available federally, we applied for it, and we are able to bring a heightened level of awareness to boaters before it became an issue.”

The pump and dump stations sit together like a washer and dryer set. These waste systems are helping protect the water quality of lakes and rivers throughout Oregon (Photo by Jeffrey Basinger).

Pump stations provide a way for boats with onboard holding tanks to drain their waste into sewers rather than the environment. Dump stations, on the other hand, are for boaters with a porta-potty setup that can be emptied. Together, Kleibacker says the pump and dump machines look like a washer and dryer next to the water.

OSMB was awarded money through the Clean Vessel Act to install these pump and dump stations along with floating restrooms for various bodies of water across the state. Following a successful invasive species partnership with Oregon Sea Grant, OSMB recruited the agency to help publicize the underutilized services.

The campaign is using short, clever videos produced by OSG to make boaters aware of the problem without pointing fingers. Each video is less than one minute, and features a sailor’s voice using entertaining phrases such as, “any skipper worth his salt.”

“What we’ve found is that boaters want to be a steward of clean water,” said Kleibacker. “They love boating and they want their water and their experience out there to be as clean and as nice as possible.”

Kleibacker and her team found that the most effective communication was the simplest: signage. Through focus groups, interviews, and conversations, they have developed effective signs and informational materials that are now placed around the sites.

Sea Grant has shared the results with both OSMB and other states involved in the grant funding. Three of those states have adopted the signage developed here, which Kleibacker says makes her feel like she is making a difference.

“We don’t have a lot of programs that are currently reaching out to recreational boaters, and I think that is such a heavy use group along the Oregon coast that it is a really important relationship for Sea Grant to have,” Kleibacker said.

Next summer, Kleibacker hopes to hire interns to help maintain that relationship. These students would spend the summer visiting the coastal sites to check on the facilities and talk with boaters and marine operators and staff about the program.

The pump and dump and floating restroom videos will soon be displayed on both the Oregon Sea Grant and OSMB websites. Until then, watch them – and share – on YouTube:

You can find a map of where to find pump and dump stations, along with floating restrooms at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/pages/access/access.aspx#Where_to_Launch_in_Oregon

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Comments on Oregon Sea Grant sought

Breaking Waves - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 8:54am

Oregon Sea Grant will be reviewed on Sept. 23-24, 2014 by a Site Review Team convened by the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. Those associated or familiar with Oregon Sea Grant are invited to provide the review team with comments on any aspect of the program or its work up to one week prior to the review (no later than Sept. 16). You may submit written comments to oar.sg.feedback@noaa.gov

Additional information on the Oregon Sea Grant program can be found at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Master Naturalist blogs about coast, nature and the environment

Sea Grant - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:58pm

Jane Wilson is a licensed K-8 teacher, an outdoor enthusiast, and a graduate of Oregon State University’s Oregon Master Naturalist certification program who blogs her thoughts and photographs – about coastal Oregon and the North Coast in particular.

In the introduction to her blog, Wilson writes:

“My commitment to learning how to better observe, interpret, and share information about the natural sciences associated with dynamic earth is heart-felt. Inspiration comes from eagerness to nurture a sense of wonder about the natural world. I’d like to be an advocate who supports others in defining their own connections with nature, understanding why those connections are important, and … in the process, becoming nature literate.”

Check out her observations, adventures and photographs about nature and our place in it at Just Another Nature Enthusiast.

Learn more:
  • OSU’s Oregon Master Naturalist program, a collaborative training program presented by OSU Extension with funding from Oregon Sea Grant Extension, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension and Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Extension, and by participants’ enrollment fees.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Taking a stand

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:02pm

Recently I came across some old note of mine, from some meeting several years ago. I though it would be useful in my writing so I saved it; actually there were two notes that were similar in content. They both relate to blogging, although at the time I didn’t know I would be blogging.

I lump them all under the title of taking a stand, although stance would probably be more descriptive.

The notes are these:

  • Know your audience.
  • Be proactive to anticipate needs.
  • Be reactive to meet needs.
  • Be authentic.
  • Be direct.
  • Be unapologetic.

What you do with them affects you in your dealings, even your evaluation dealings.

If you do not know your audience , you cannot write to them; plan an evaluation with them; conduct an evaluation for them; teach them how to do the evaluation later. (That last sounds like you want to work yourself out of a job??? Maybe?) I have identified my audience as people who work for the Extension Service and need/want to know about evaluation (and sometimes other things… ) and other people who have an interest in evaluation in general–there are a lot of evaluators out there…

I listen to what folks are talking about and try to anticipate needs. Sometimes I’m not very good at anticipating needs; sometimes I am. I know that Fair Season is upon us and folks are probably not thinking EVALUATION right now. I think it is important to have evidence regardless of the season. Evaluation is one way to get evidence to support your contention.

When folks ask a question, I try to answer them (I see a question as a need–most of the time–and my knee jerk reaction is to find a solution). It may not be immediately. I look for answers and remember where those answers were. I send the answers (or at least where to find an answer) to whomever asked. No simple task. Fortunately, I’ve a bunch of good resources.

A long time ago, when I was first starting out in this business, I decided that being authentic (read: real) was the way to go. To me, that is the flip side of being direct. If you have to pussy foot around, you are not being real; you are not being direct. That doesn’t mean you have to be rude or insensitive. It does mean that you call a shovel a shovel, not that digging implement (unless you don’t know the name for something…).

At a certain point (probably after two, maybe after 18); there is no need to apologize for standing up for what you believe. You can only be a door mat if you lie down. So when it comes to taking a stand, no need to apologize. (I still find myself apologizing for things over which I have no control…I don’t need to do that). I do offer a caveat, however, letting the listener know this is my take on the issue.

I’m sure you can figure out how this is all evaluative.

My .

molly.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Doing to; doing with; doing as

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 1:01pm

How do you approach evaluation?

Are you the expert?

Do you work in partnership?

Are you one of the group?

To which question did you answer yes?

If you are the expert and know the most (not everything, no one know everything [although teenagers think they do]), you are probably “doing to”. Extension has been “doing to” for most of its existence.

If you work in partnership recognizing that the group with whom you are working has many cumulative years of knowledge and can give back to you, participants are co-equals, you are probably “doing with”.

If you are really one of the group, working daily to understand differences and biases, sharing that information and gathering information, you are probably “doing as”.

How does all this relate to evaluation? There are approaches to inquiry (of which evaluation is only one) that attempt to get the evaluator away from being the expert. David Fetterman has developed a model called empowerment evaluation ( and writes a blog about it here). His idea is basically to give the ability to evaluate away to the people who live the program/project…making them responsible, making them expert. The evaluator still needs to consult (obviously, or what would evaluators do?). Still it is an example of “doing with” that makes a world of difference. Community-based participatory research is another partnership form of inquiry often seen in public health and other outreach activities (read more about it here). Michael Quinn Patton  talks about participatory evaluation in his book, Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Participatory action research is another; I’m sure there are others…

The “doing as” concept comes from the diversity literature and includes information on cognitive bias. I heard it first from an evaluation colleague who is an indigenous person from NZ. And although I find this label compelling in its description, I find little or nothing on the concept in the literature. So let me see if I can describe it to you…when you evaluate from the perspective of “doing as” you evaluate as though you are a member of the community, owning the experience, and sharing what you know. It does include the “doing with” concept, to be sure, and goes further than that; the evaluator wears the hat, clothes, shoes of the group, the target group. It is being culturally aware, culturally competent; it is understanding, even if you cannot truly know, what it is like to be that person.

So, dear Readers. Are you doing to, doing with, or doing as when you evaluate?

We need to work diligently to do  “doing as” when we evaluate.

my.

molly.

 

 

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Shop at the Dock takes mystery out of seafood buying

Sea Grant - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:36pm

NEWPORT – With summer at its peak, so is the craving for fresh, local seafood – but first-time buyers sometimes have questions about purchasing directly from local fishermen.

Enter Oregon Sea Grant’s Fishery Extension Agent, Ruby Moon, who will provide four free, guided “Shop at the Dock” seafood-buying tours this month from the commercial fishing docks in Newport.

Tours start at noon on July 11, 19, 24 and 30 at the entrance of Port Dock 5 on the Newport bayfront. Buyers should bring:

  • An ice chest filled with ice
  • Cash for purchasing seafood
  • Their questions about direct market vessels and choosing and buying fresh seafood.

Learn more:

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Tomorrow is July 4th

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 3:03pm

The US has been a country for 238 years. A long time. Perhaps it is an opportunity to reflect on what are the rights, privileges, and obligations of citizenship. Perhaps it is just another holiday. Perhaps it is just a time for blueberry pie and peach ice cream. Perhaps it is a…fill in the blank.

I’m not feeling particularly patriotic. I am feeling very evaluative. Recently I viewed a map indicating that on a US passport an individual could travel to 172 different countries. The only country passports which were more powerful (i.e., able to visit more countries) were UK, Finland and Sweden. I wonder to where (what country) can’t I travel on my US passport? That question requires evidence. That is evaluative. I value my US passport. My girls and I travel with them even though driver’s license would be easier.  (Being able to fly to Paris at a moment’s notice is important..  ) My passport is one of the privileges that comes with my citizenship. So is voting. So is freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear (FDR’s four freedoms).

What are you doing tomorrow…remembering?

Remember, evaluation is an everyday activity.

Enjoy the holiday.

my .

molly.

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

I want you to tell me…

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:39am

What makes a blog engaging?

We know that blogs and blogging outreach to community members–those who have subscribed as well as those using various search engines to find a topical response.

Do the various forms of accessing the blog make a difference in whether the reader is engaged?

This is not a casual question, dear Readers. I will be presenting a poster at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium in October (which will be held in Edmonton, Alberta). I want to know. I want to be able to present to the various audiences at that meeting what my readers think. I realize that reading evaluation blogs may yield a response that is different from reading blogs related to food, or sustainability, or food sustainability, or climate chaos, or parenthood, or some other topic. There are enough evaluation blogs populating the internet that I think that there is some interest. I think my readers are engaged.

Only you, dear Readers, can tell me.

So are you engaged in reading my blog (even if you don’t comment).

Does the definition of engagement need to be broadened to be more inclusive? (see here for a definition used by the Consortium)

What exactly does collaboration mean in the context of blogs?

An Example:

Chris Lysy in this week’s post talks about the why, what, who, how, and what next of blogging AND the post is peppered with cartoons. Using Chris as an example, I found his post engaging–I’m not sure it is collaborative. That is where I redefine collaborative…without his post, I doubt I would be writing this part of this blog…

So Readers–what DO you think? What makes a blog engaging?

My .

molly.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Unintended? Unanticipated? Un…?

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 4:57pm

A colleague asked, “How do you design an evaluation that can identify unintended consequences?” This was based on a statement about methodologies that “only measure the extent to which intended results have been achieved and are not able to capture unintended outcomes (see AEA365). (The cartoon is attributed to Rob Cottingham.)

Really good question. Unintended consequences are just that–outcomes which are not what you think will happen with the program you are implementing. This is where program theory comes into play. When you model the program, you think of what you want to happen. What you want to happen is usually supported by the literature, not your gut (intuition may be useful for unintended, however). A logic model lists as outcome the “intended” outcomes (consequences). So you run your program and you get something else, not necessarily bad, just not what you expected; the outcome is unintended.

Program theory can advise you that other outcomes could happen. How do you design your evaluation so that you can capture those. Mazmanian in his 1998 study on intention to change had an unintended outcome; one that has applications to any adult learning experience (1). So what method do you use to get at these? A general question, open ended? Perhaps. Many (most?) people won’t respond to open ended questions–takes too much time. OK. I can live with that. So what do you do instead? What does the literature say could happen? Even if you didn’t design the program for that outcome. Ask that question. Along with the questions about what you expect to happen.

How would you represent this in your logic model–by the ubiquitous “other”? Perhaps. Certainly easy that way. Again, look at program theory. What does it say? Then use what is said there. Or use “other”–then you are getting back to the open ended questions and run the risk of not getting a response. If you only model “other”–do you really know what that “other” is?

I know that I won’t be able to get to world peace, so I look for what I can evaluate and since I doubt I’ll have enough money to actually go and observe behaviors (certainly the ideal), I have to ask a question. In your question asking, you want a response right? Then ask the specific question. Ask it in a way that elicits program influence–how confident the respondent is that X happened? How confident the respondent is that they can do X? How confident is the respondent that this outcome could have happened? You could ask if X happened (yes/no) and then ask the confidence questions (confidence questions are also known as self-efficacy). Bandura will be proud. See   OR   OR   (for discussions of self-efficacy and social learning).

my

molly.

1. Mazmanian, P. E., Daffron, S. R., Johnson, R. E., Davis, D. A., Kantrowitz, M. P. (1998). Information about barriers to planned change: A randomized controlled trial involving continuing medical education lectures and commitment to change. Academic Medicine 73(8), 882-886.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs