This unit of study will develop knowledge, skills and understanding for engaging effectively with the people whose decisions shape innovation in agricultural production and environmental management. The role of extension in agricultural and environmental management is a crucial aspect of sustainability, as extension agents provide the main conduit between scientists, economists and policymakers and the people who live and work in the landscape. It develops key graduate competencies in communication and soft systems for careers including consulting, agribusiness, agricultural extension, environmental management, policy, participatory research and natural resource management. It covers integrative aspects of extension theory and practice, social learning, sustainable agriculture, knowledge domains, participatory action research, human geography, soft systems thinking and adaptive natural resource management. It is relevant to students pursuing agricultural and environmental streams and majors at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Students will learn to: describe and discuss the theoretical and practical underpinnings of extension; describe and analyse factors influencing the behaviours, attitudes and beliefs of natural resource managers; discuss and design effective extension programs/projects; conduct, analyse and evaluate simple surveys, focus groups and semi-structured interviews; critically evaluate the integration of conservation and production in the landscape; facilitate sustainable change.
One 2-hour lecture per week, one 2-hour tutorial per week, one field trip (three days)
1500wd essay (20%), tutorial/workshop participation (30%), 3000wd problem based learning project (30%), field trip report (20%).
Recommended reading, Jennings, J., Packham R. and Woodside, D.(eds) (2001) Shaping Change APEN; Hay, I (2012) Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences, Oxford