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Welcome to the Journal of Extension

The Journal of Extension creates opportunities for professionals and students to publish intellectual, creative work; nurtures emerging scholars and new authors for success; encourages professional development; and advances the theory and practice of the Cooperative Extension System.

JOE is a rigorous, peer-reviewed journal that brings the scholarship of university outreach and engagement to educators and practitioners around the world. Feature, Research in Brief, and Ideas at Work submissions undergo double-blind review, and Commentary and Tools of the Trade submissions are reviewed by the editor, Debbie Allen.

The acceptance rate for articles submitted to JOE is currently 25.5%.

For more information about JOE, consult the JOE FAQs. For more information about writing for JOE, consult the JOE Submission Guidelines and Help for JOE Authors.

December 2016 Volume 54 Number 6

Message from the Journal of Extension Editorial Committee

We make the following key points about the direction of the journal:

  1. The future is bright for the Journal of Extension.
  2. Two of our greatest priorities are publishing quality content and helping emerging scholars develop their publication skills.
  3. Transition takes time—we are confident that we are on the right path and ask for patience.
  4. If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear from you.

Checking Math and December JOE

In the opening section of this Editor's Page, "Checking Math," I tell a story about an obsessive youngster and her stickler father as a foundation for requesting that prospective JOE authors refrain from submitting manuscripts containing mathematical errors. In "December JOE," I preview articles that stress the need for Extension to anticipate and prepare for critical changes occurring in our world. I also spotlight articles that offer new approaches to standard tasks and effective responses to organizational change, and I delineate a variety of other topics addressed in the issue.


The Internet of Things and Big Data: A Litmus Test for Extension?
Hill, Paul; Hino, Jeff
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are radically changing the face of human activity, from driving our cars to preparing our food to managing our health. Billions of connections between machines and people will be directly tied to areas of life skills that Extension cares about. Can Extension gauge the impact of IoT and Big Data? How will Extension respond to the challenge of these technologies? What new skills should be included in Extension position descriptions? What organizational policies, support, and infrastructure will be needed? Will Extension proactively develop new organizational skills and programming relevant to digitally connected clients?

Research In Brief

Extension Professionals' Perspectives on Supporting Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Concerns, Challenges, and Opportunities
Townsend, Patricia A.; Haider, Nora M.; Asah, Stanley T.; Zobrist, Kevin W.

Analyzing the Implementation of Nutrient Management Plans by Farmers: Implications for Extension Education
Tao, Haiying; Morris, Thomas F.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris; Meinert, Richard

Southern Foresters' Perceptions of Climate Change: Implications for Educational Program Development
Boby, Leslie; Hubbard, William; Megalos, Mark; Morris, Hilary L. C.

Good Agricultural Practices Certification for Small-Scale Produce Processors: A Case of Food Safety
Vaughan, Barrett; Hooks, Demetrius; Robinson, Miles

YA4-H! Youth Advocates for Health: Impact of a 4-H Teens-as-Teachers Program
Arnold, Mary E.; Flesch, Jeffrey M.; Ashton, Carolyn; Black, Lynette; Brody, Barbara; Hosty, Maureen; Northway, Shanna

Closing the Science Comprehension Achievement Gap Through the Use of an Extension Youth Development Science Comprehension Model
Skelton, Peter; Dormody, Tom; Lewis, Margaret

Opportunity to Improve Public Perceptions of Arthropods and Arthropod-Related Benefits
Harris, Bethany A.; Braman, S. Kristine

Economically Disadvantaged Minority Girls' Knowledge and Perceptions of Science and Engineering and Related Careers
Wang, Hui-Hui; Billington, Barbara L.

Windfall Wealth and Shale Development in Appalachian Ohio: Preliminary Results
Bates, James S.; Loy, Polly Wurster

Ideas at Work

Sharing Resources: A Bistate Extension Specialist Position
Nwadike, Londa; Britt-Rankin, Jo; Peters, Paula

Teaching Multiple Cohorts in the Same Classroom
McMoran, Don

Collaborative Writing as a Scholarship Activity: A Framework for Extension Faculty
Teuteberg, Dan; Martinez, AnaMaria Diaz; Crawford, Jenn; Hrncirik, Lauren; Overath, Renee; Betz, Drew Lenore

The Local Food Grower's Behavior During Planning, Growing, Harvesting, and Selling
Gumirakiza, J. Dominique

Tools of the Trade

Implementing the 40 Gallon Challenge to Increase Water Conservation
Sheffield, Mary Carol; Bauske, Ellen; Pugliese, Paul; Kolich, Heather; Boellstorff, Diane

Online Orientation for 4-H Volunteers
Culp, Ken III; Hance, Ralph; Reynolds, Leslie R.; Bentley, G. Sherrill

Resource for Evaluating the Economic Impact of Local Food System Initiatives
Jablonski, Becca B. R.; O'Hara, Jeffrey K.; Thilmany McFadden, Dawn; Tropp, Debra

Lessons Learned from Conducting Volunteer-Based Urban Forest Inventories on the Gulf Coast
Gordon, Jason S.; Brodbeck, Arnold (Beau); Templeton, Brian

MTurk 101: An Introduction to Amazon Mechanical Turk for Extension Professionals
Dworkin, Jodi; Brar, Pooja; Hessel, Heather; Rudi, Jessie

Leveraging Hispanic/Latino State Commissions to Advance Extension's Diversity Agenda
Rosenbaum, René Pérez

North Carolina Chefs Who Cultivate Restaurant Gardens: A Population with a Hunger for Extension Information
Sommerfeld, Kelsie; Bruce, Jackie; Jayaratne, Jay; Chapman, Ben; Gunter, Chris


Using Importance-Performance Analysis to Guide Extension Needs Assessment
Warner, Laura A.; Kumar Chaudhary, Anil; Lamm, Alexa J.
Importance-performance analysis is a methodology that may allow Extension professionals to prioritize the characteristics of an issue, a resource, or so on that should receive the most attention. Through this approach, high priority is assigned to elements that clients are unsatisfied with but view as highly important. We explored applying the method to the selection of messages on water conservation. Findings are presented in the context of water conservation programming, but implications may apply across Extension. We recommend that Extension professionals consider using this methodology to analyze target audiences and prioritize associated communications.

Climate Change Challenges for Extension Educators: Technical Capacity and Cultural Attitudes
Becerra, Terrie A.; Middendorf, Gerad; Campbell, Amber; Tomlinson, Peter
We surveyed Extension educators in the southern Great Plains about their attitudes and beliefs regarding climate change, their interactions with constituents surrounding climate change, and challenges they face in engaging constituents on the topic of climate change. Production-oriented and sociocultural challenges in meeting constituents' information needs exist. Educators reported (a) lacking capacity for addressing climate change issues and (b) needing information, especially regarding drought and extreme or unseasonable weather events and related management practices. Educators also identified a need for more educational resources, including print materials and online decision aids. Implications are relevant to educators working beyond the study area and in any agricultural production system.

Transforming the Knowledge Gap for Local Planning Officials: Impacts of Continuing Education in a Master Citizen Planner Program
Beyea, Wayne; Menon, Rohit; Crawford, Pat
In an era of increasing complexity, the majority of local land-use decisions in the United States are made by volunteer citizen planners. Often these elected or appointed volunteers enter their positions with a passion for their communities but without appropriate background training. The Michigan Citizen Planner Program was developed to address this gap. The study described in this article investigated the self-assessed impacts on graduates of basic and advanced training. Findings suggest that training conducted as the result of collaboration by university Extension, other state agencies, and nonprofit groups is essential to realizing the positive community development impacts expected by citizens and local officials.

Web-Based Geographic Information Systems: Experience and Perspectives of Planners and the Implications for Extension
Göçmen, Z. Aslıgül
Web-based geographic information system (GIS) technology, or web-based GIS, offers many opportunities for public planners and Extension educators who have limited GIS backgrounds or resources. However, investigation of its use in planning has been limited. The study described here examined the use of web-based GIS by public planning agencies. A 2013 web-based survey of 274 public planning agency staff throughout Wisconsin revealed that use of web-based GIS for planning tasks lags behind use of software-based GIS and that agency use is hampered by a number of barriers. The findings suggest that Extension professionals can help practitioners become more familiar and proficient with web-based GIS applications.

Factors Affecting Stakeholders' Willingness to Pay to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species
Blaine, Thomas W.; Lichtkoppler, Frank R.
Physical separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins has been identified as the most effective method for preventing the transfer of aquatic nuisance species, particularly Asian carp, from the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected Extension to conduct a study of a key stakeholder group, Great Lakes charter captains, as a first step in assessing public opinion on the issue. Results reveal that the charter captains overwhelmingly support basin separation. Expanded educational outreach related to aquatic nuisance species, basin separation, and so forth would improve the ability of clientele to make informed decisions regarding separation of the basins.

Minimizing Disparities and Developing Support by Identifying Differences in Confidence and Knowledge Related to Water Issues
Taylor, Melissa; Lamm, Alexa J.
Extension educators face challenges as they strive to keep up with critical issues in their communities, such as those surrounding water. A growing population and a diminishing water supply necessitate that Florida residents become more knowledgeable about water issues. We conducted research to determine how confident both the general public and decision makers are in Florida's water resources and to assess how aware both groups are of the state's water policies. The results revealed significant statistical differences between the two groups in almost every category analyzed. We propose relevant ways to engage in targeted programming that will bridge the gap between the general public and decision makers.

The Journal of Extension

Debbie Allen
Journal of Extension

Eric Owens
Extension Journal, Inc.

Luann Boyer
Extension Journal, Inc.

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