Impact of a Short-term Study Abroad: Student Reflections on Sustainable International Extension Education

By Tim Durham, Lori Unruh Snyder and Danielle Brewer.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Agricultural educators often assume baseline student knowledge of how extension programs are structured within the US. From a curricular standpoint, however, students generally have had minimal exposure. This is acutely evident in the international domain. As both applied and social scientists, agricultural and extension educators need to continually reevaluate methods to successfully market and increase student participation in study abroad programs. Short-term programs are especially attractive because they operate within well defined financial and schedule constraints. Here we outline the ramifications of a short-term study abroad experience in international extension education. Students were given the opportunity to engage with local communities and record the deliverables and overall sustainable impacts of local extension services. To enhance the global outlook and capabilities of agricultural students, educators can successfully integrate international extension education and service learning within a short-term study abroad framework.

Keywords: Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship, Extension Education, International Agriculture, Honduras, Non-profit Organizations, Study Abroad, Sustainable Harvest International

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.105-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 793.421KB).

Dr. Tim Durham

Instructor, Office of Curriculum and Instruction, University Colloquium Library, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, USA

Tim is a lifelong agriculturalist. His family operates Deer Run Farm – a 30 acre “truck” farm on Long Island, New York. Deer Run grows a variety of leafy greens, including spinach, cabbage, and ethnic lettuce for wholesale in New York City. As one of a handful of farms in the area, it faces unique challenges, especially those associated with urban-edge agriculture. Tim has a keen interest in the interplay between science, sustainability, and policymaking. After graduating from Cornell University in 2001 with a B.S. in Plant Science, he worked in various levels of state and federal government while continuing to work seasonally at the farm. In 2004, Tim was awarded a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for study at Lincoln University, New Zealand. Upon his return, he enrolled in the University of Florida’s Plant Medicine Program, a professional doctorate designed to parallel a D.V.M or M.D. The Department of Homeland Security awarded Tim a graduate fellowship in 2005. In the summer of 2006, he was a visiting fellow at Los Alamos National Lab, working with tunable diode laser spectroscopy and crop biosecurity. In 2007, Tim was awarded an NSF sponsored travel grant to participate in the Rice: Research to Production Course at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. Tim graduated from UF in 2008. He is currently a sustainability colloquium instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University and visiting assistant professor at Nicholls State University.

Dr. Lori Unruh Snyder

Assistant Professor, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Danielle Brewer

Law Graduate Student, Walter F. George School of Law, Macon, GA, USA


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