5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Taryn Sudol
Session Name Poster Session - Policy & Behavior Change
Poster Number 33
Author(s) Taryn Sudol,  UF IFAS Extension Seminole FFL (Presenting Author)
  Comparing Aquascape Education Methods
  I am applying for an Extension Scholarship. In UF IFAS Extension, the need to teach and motivate Florida residents about improving water quality is clear –‘Protecting the Waterfront’ is one of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles and ‘Enhancing and Protecting water quality, quantity, and supply’ is Initiative 2 in the Florida Extension Roadmap. The crux is how to communicate effectively and quantify behavior change. In December 2013, the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE) in Agriculture and Natural Resources shared an online survey of Florida residents’ interest in learning opportunities about water policy issues. Results showed a strong preference for digital communication versus in-person workshops (33% indicated they would watch a video while 14% indicated they would attend a workshop). My objectives as the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent in Seminole County are for residents to reduce nutrient impacts, remove invasive plants, and plant desirable plants on the shoreline. I present this in the typical class format with a pre/posttest and follow-up survey. In class we explore these issues in depth but have poor attendance (typically less than ten participants). I am in the process of creating a 3-minute video covering the same objectives. I expect higher viewership but worry that my message is too brief to motivate change. My intention is to compare attendance to class and viewership of the video as well as behavior change spurred by either format. I realize that evaluating impact of a video is difficult. My plan is to have the video shown on a subdivision’s website and then email the follow-up survey to those residents. These results should be obtained in time for the symposium in February. The results of this comparison would be a tool for water policy education and outreach professionals in deciding how to most effectively direct their time and efforts.