OSU answers public's questions online via virtual 'office'
Extension's Ask an Expert service has answered more than 5,550 questions
For much of the past century, experts with the Oregon State University Extension Service visited farms and homes to offer science-based advice. Or the public would travel to their local Extension office for assistance. But now Extension is also reaching out to Oregonians via the Internet.
Through its online help center known as Ask an Expert, the Extension Service answers the public's pressing questions on topics that include gardening, food preservation, forestry, agriculture, activities for youths, household issues, nutrition, and coastal and watershed issues. Questions have included how to control moles, sanitize birdhouses and make compost.
Questions are answered by 131 Extension faculty and more than 30 Extension-trained Master Gardeners. They answered more than 5,550 questions in the service's first two years. People can access it via Extension's website and the websites of the Extension offices in Oregon's counties. Ask an Expert, which debuted in March 2011, strives to reply within 48 hours.
Source: Jeff Hino, learning and technology leader for OSU's Extension and Experiment Station Communications Department