Byers2012 nacaa poster


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Byers2012 nacaa poster

  1. 1. Building A Master Gardener-Driven Pest Diagnostic Clinic Patrick L. Byers1 and Lisa S. Bakerink2 1. Regional Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, Springfield, MO 65809 2. Hotline Coordinator, Master Gardeners of Greene County, Springfield, MO 65809 AbstractThe Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri, staff an outreach education service, the Hotline, for the public, which annually addressesover 2,000 inquiries. Many of these inquiries focus on pest identification and management. An ongoing project to develop an effectivevolunteer-driven diagnostic clinic to meet the needs of the Hotline in a timely fashion was initiated in 2010. The project goals include developinga Hotline diagnostic clinic, building the skills and confidence of present Hotline volunteers, attracting additional volunteers to Hotline service,and developing a sense of community among present and future Hotline volunteers. Introduction Outfitting a Diagnostic Clinic • Dissecting microscope • Petri dishes • Plant press, mountingThe Master Gardeners of Greene County Hotline is an integral part of • Hand lens, 10x power • Insect vials suppliesMU Extension horticultural programming. The Hotline is volunteer- • Refrigerator • Plastic sample bags • Insect collection suppliesdriven, and an informal survey of Master Gardeners in 2010 indicated • Dissecting tools • Mailing supplies • Alcohol for preservationthat perceived lack of knowledge was a major concern among presentand potential Hotline volunteers. The majority of the contacts that the Impacts and DiscussionHotline addresses annually are focused on problem diagnosis, andaccuracy and timeliness are critical. The operations of the Hotline have markedly improved since the project was implemented. Informal review of client contact sheets indicates a high degree of accuracy among the diagnoses, and the Hotline Diagnostic Clinic Procedure volume of samples referred to the regional horticulture specialist has Initial contact with client; Volunteer performs Sample submitted to Client contact sheet is declined. Hotline volunteers were surveyed in 2011 and 2012 to client contact sheet diagnostic investigation university clinic if filed and entered into completed; sample needed; diagnosis database; sample is assess the impact of the project. In 2012 100% of volunteers logged and prepared, complete, client preserved if needed reported a good to excellent level of satisfaction with the Hotline sample stored if needed contacted with diagnosis and experience, up from 89% in 2011. Similarly, in 2012 100% of recommendations volunteers reported a good to excellent level of satisfaction with the Sample referral to diagnostic training program, up from 82% in 2011. In 2011 77.2% of horticulture specialist If needed volunteers reported a Hotline activities confidence level of moderate to considerable, which was improved in 2012 to 96.8%. Finally, knowledge gain, which was measured on a 1-4 Likert scale, showed Developing the Diagnostic Clinic an improvement of 0.962 in 2011 and 1.359 in 2012. The number of Hotline volunteers has increased from 32 in 2010 to 40 in 2012.Funding was secured in 2010 from the University of Missouri IPMDemonstration program to purchase equipment, supplies andreferences for a basic diagnostic clinic. The Hotline client contactsheet was revised to more accurately collect information needed fordiagnostic work. A sample-handling procedure was instituted. Adatabase was developed to systematically organize information ondiagnostic samples, and 4 years of contact information are availablefor reference. A monthly newsletter was initiated in 2011, designed toprovide timely pest diagnostic information and to build Hotlinecommunity. Monthly training sessions further develop the diagnosticskills of Hotline volunteers. A white board was installed in the Hotlineroom to highlight current pest issues. Diagnostic activity (left) and Hotline white board