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Improving Diagnostic Skills through Regional Training Sessions 2000

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Principal Investigator: Karen L. Snover, Director, Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic, Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Objectives of the Project:

  1. Improve disease diagnostic skills of Cooperative Extension Educators, Master Gardeners, and community members by conducting regional educational workshops.
  2. Continue improving our web site and expand the fact sheet database.


With the help of a Community IPM grant in 1999, we were able to conduct four regional training sessions that brought diagnostic skill development to approximately 350 participants. In 2000, three training session were/will be conducted at SUNY Cobleskill, in Dutchess county, and at a yet to be determined site. These sessions are performed during the off season due to the down time available to the audience we hope to attract. At SUNY Cobleskill, students about to enter the world of industry were the audience for a discussion of determining when a problem may have a plant pathogen involvement. These students showed enthusiasm and participated in the discussion. Faculty advisors present commented on the value of this presentation for these students. The presentation in Dutchess County will be directed at employees of garden centers that interact and are questioned by many homeowners on problems they find in their surroundings. Outcomes of these yet to be performed presentations will be forwarded to you at their completion.

The expected outcome of this project was to improve disease diagnostic skills for Cooperative Extension Educators, Master Gardeners, community and industry members. Improved diagnostic skills enables these individuals to make better decisions about the proper course of action to combat a pest problem. Our goal was to provide useful information that will allow individuals to make well-educated decisions when first determining what has caused a problem and then the best method of management of the problem. I believe this outreach program meets these goals.