Vol. 15, No. 11
UF/IFAS International Programs Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
From the director
Distance ed is cost-effective
for international students
By Roger Natzke .
Each year as the
university raises the --' ,
tuition it makes a *
very positive impact '
on the budgets at UF. Il
As in many cases
the positives are often countered with
some equally important negatives.
That is certainly true %with the impact
that the increased, out-of-state tuition
has on students from other countries
who would like to obtain University
of Florida degrees.
Coupling that negative impact with
the decrease in value of the local cur-
rency compared to the U.S. dollar and
the increased recruiting that our Euro-
pean colleagues are engaged in places
UF in jeopardy in attracting interna-
tional students. If we wish to attain
our goal of being a global university
we simply can't afford to see a de-
cline in the enrollment of highly qual-
ified international students in our aca-
Prior to his departure Vice Presi-
dent Martin challenged us to seek out
new innovative ways to make it possi-
ble to confer UF degrees on students
from other countries in a cost-effec-
tive way. A possible solution would
be to offer degrees that utilize dis-
tance education technology. Fortu-
nately. two of our departments, soil
and %water science, and entomology,
See Distance education, p. 2
Extension agents share hurricane
experiences in international forum
UF/IFAS in conjunction with the
Uni\ersitN of the Virgin Islands Coop-
erati\e Extension Ser ice conducted a '
cross-cultural program on the impacts"
of the devastating 2004 hurricane sea-
son on Florida. several Caribbean "
countries and the island-nation of f
Two UF/IFAS Counts Extension -
agents. Diana Con\erse. Hillsborough '
county family and consumer sciences. '
and Ken Gioeli. St. Lucie County Nat-
ural Resources, represented Florida
and the United States during this inter- .
national extension program focusing Diana Converse and Ken Gioeli visit a
on hurricanes, cocoa plantation in Grenada and ob-
See Extension agents, p. 2 serve fruit damaged by a hurricane.
Brazilian Cochran Fellows tour Florida citrus sites
LrF/IFAS hosted 10 USDA Cochran
Fellows from Brazil in No ember. in
citrus training ses-
sions that focused on The training inc
crop management, sions about the
citrus diseases and international mi
international market- by the emerging
ing issues. from countries s
The I 1/2 week
training session "Citrus Partnership
Development." hosted by Tom Spreen
and Ron NMuraro in food and resource
economics. wkas designed to improve
understanding between citrus growers
from Brazil and the United States
about topics such as the role of tech-
nology. high-density planting, me-
chanical harvesting and other crop
ided discus- The training also fo-
rallenges to caused on the threat of
keting posed diseases such as sud-
ompetition den death, citrus \ar-
ch as China. iegated chlorosis and
The training included discussions
See Cochran Fellows, p. 2
1_. I DIVERSITY OF
Telephone: 352 392-1965 FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http://international.ifas.ufl.edu
Distance education, from p. 1
have developed graduate level cours-
es that are available via distance edu-
cation. In fact, students can earn a
UF degree without stepping foot on
Through our partnership with
CIAT (International Center for Trop-
ical Agriculture) our office has been
engaged in dialogue with people in
other international research centers
and donor organizations who also
recognize the need for cost effective
graduate le\el degrees.
A high priority for them is to make
it feasible for their employees to ob-
tain advanced degrees while on the
job and v without leaving home. US-
AID has awarded our partnership a
grant to carry out a pilot study of a
distance education program. CALS
offers distance-learning courses, off
book, at a fee that is less than the
standard out-of-state tuition rate.
As we put the details together for
an international distance-education
program we anticipate including fac-
ulty members from the host interna-
tional institution as mentors for stu-
dents. The cooperation between UF
graduate committee members, men-
tors from the students' home institu-
tions and cooperating international
research centers should lead to great-
er interaction between faculty mem-
bers from the two countries.
We view this as just the beginning
of exploring new designs for interna-
tional graduate degree programs and
institutional capacity building.
More innovative ideas are needed
as UF endeavors to create opportuni-
ties to link international students to
distance education degree programs
Any and all suggestions are wel-
Roger Natzke is senior associate dean
and director of International Programs
C Roger Natzke. 1
Extension agents study
From p. 1
This program was conducted the
week of No\. 15 in St. Georges.
Grenada. Converse and Gioeli met
with colleagues from other countries
devastated during the 2004 hurricane
The goal of this program was to
pro% ide an opportunity for extension
agents to share their know ledge of
hurricane preparedness and post-hur-
ricane rebuilding that %\ill enable the
extension systems in all participating
countries to better serxe their clien-
Grenada. the program's host
country, was devastated bN Hurricane
Ivan before the hurricane slammed
into the southern U.S. gulf coast.
Reports indicate that nearly 90
percent of the buildings in Grenada
were damaged by the storm.
Several other countries. including
Haiti and Jamaica. experienced
damage during this hurricane season.
Converse shared information about
the aftermath of hurricanes on fami-
lies in a seminar overv iew "'Bouncing
Cochran Fellows tour citrus
From p. 1
about the challenges to international
marketing posed by the emerging
competition from countries such as
Participants. \ ho are from the
state of Sto Paulo. toured a process-
ing plant, citrus growing operations,
and two fresh citrus packinghouse.
They visited the Citrus Research
and Education Center. Lake Alfred.
the largest citrus research center in
the world, "\here they received in-
structions from experts on a wide ar-
ray of issues related to citrus produc-
tion including rootstocks. irrigation.
nutrition and pest control.
In a half-day course on the world
citrus economy, they received up-
dates on major markets for citrus
impact of hurricanes
Back: How to Stay Resilient after a
Disaster." Stress management. water
quality and food safety are examples
of the issues addressed during the
Converse's home is on Florida's
west coast, which %%as damaged by
Hurricane Charlie this hurricane sea-
Gioeli shared information about
the aftermath of the hurricanes on
natural systems and agriculture. He
also discussed St. Lucie County's
Hurricane House a structure de-
signed to teach the public how to
construct homes to %w withstand hurri-
canes. Gioeli's home is on Florida's
east coast. which was damaged by
both hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.
He also assisted %w ith Hurricane
Charlie relief efforts on Florida's
Ken Gioeli, firstname.lastname@example.org;
diconverse @ifas.ufl.edu _
production & research facilities
products, cost of production, logistics
and trade issues.
The training included a \ visit to
Florida Citrus Mutual. the largest
grower organization in Florida. %where
participants gate their perspectives on
citrus in Brazil through a seminar to
the board of directors of the mutual.
The Brazilian participants ex-
pressed great appreciation for the hos-
pitality of Florida growers and of the
frank discussions during their \ isit.
The trip began with orientation by
the USDA in Washington. D.C., No%.
7. followed by the UF/IFAS training
STom Spreen, thspreen @ifas. ufl.edu:\
Ron Muraro, rpmuraro@ifas. ufl. edu
Poucher assists Zamorano in development of e-learning program
amorano University in Honduras,
close collaborator with UF/
IFAS, is developing an e-learning pro-
gram with help from UF/IFAS Market-
ing & Communications Assistant Vice
President Don Poucher.
Poucher, accompanied by Dave
King, executive director of the Indiana
Higher Education Telecommunication
System, presented a workshop at
Zamorano in November on the devel-
opment of an e-learning program.
Poucher and King are directors of the
American Distance Education Consor-
In their work in Zamorano, they
serve as non-paid consultants. Their
travel is funded by Zamorano.
During the three-day visit, the two
worked with faculty and staff of
Zamorano in the second of five
planned workshops. This workshop fo-
cused on needs assessment for e-learn-
ing. Poucher and King conducted
sions on two
needs assess- Don Poucher, right,
ment exercis- and Dave King at
es with mem- Zamorano University.
bers of Zamo-
rano's High Level Design Team, a
group appointed to develop Zamora-
no's e-learning guiding principles.
With the background and skills de-
veloped during this and future work-
shops, Zamorano faculty led by Anto-
nio Flores, former academic dean and
a UF graduate, will begin the develop-
ment of an e-learning program.
The University of Florida and
Zamorano University have a history
of faculty and student exchange, as
well as a productive cooperative
Brathwaite to speak at York Distinguished Lecture
C helston W. D. Brathwaite, sity and a diploma in agricultural de-
director general of Inter-Ameri- velopment with distinction from the
can Institute for Cooperation on Agri- University of London. He is a senior
culture (IICA), is sched- staff member of the IICA, having
uled to deliver the York served most recently as director of the
Distinguished Lecture Management Unit for the Coordina-
Series presentation tion of Regional Operations in San
March 30, 2005. Jose, Costa Rica.
Brathwaite's lecture, His book on diagnosis of plant dis-
entitled "Agriculture and Brathwaite ease, has been translated into Spanish
Rural Life in the Americas in the 21st and used in colleges and universities
Century," will be held in the Reitz in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Union Rion Ballroom at 7 p.m. Contact
Brathwaite holds a doctorate in Don Poucher, email@example.com
plant pathology from Cornell Univer- _____
Internationalizing extension conference is Jan. 18-20
Tihne Second National Conference to
Internationalize Extension is
scheduled for Jan. 18-20, 2005, in Or-
The Global Perspective II confer-
ence is hosted by UF/IFAS with help
from Michigan State University and
More information is available at the
Pete Vergot, firstname.lastname@example.org 3
agreement. An e-learning program at
Zamorano would enhance opportuni-
ties for cooperation for students and
faculty at UF/IFAS, Poucher said.
"One of the main reasons that I am
involved is that we've had a long and
productive relationship with Zamora-
no," Poucher said. "We want to in-
crease the cooperation."
An e-learning program would help
Zamorano University collaborate with
other universities and enhance its out-
Zamorano President Ken Hoadley
has appointed a committee to study
the development of an e-learning pro-
gram. Eventually production teams
will train faculty in developing e-
learning teaching modules, student
service programs, outreach modules
and other applications.
( Don Poucher, email@example.com i
Munoz-Carpena invited speaker
Dafael Mufioz-Carpena, assistant
X professor at the Tropical Research
and Education Center in Homestead,
was an invited speaker at the VI Inter-
national Congress of the Latin-Ameri-
can and Caribbean Society of Agricul-
ture Engineers in San Jose.
Mufioz-Carpena was invited by
EARTH University to the internation-
al meeting Nov. 22-24, where he
opened sessions on soil and water en-
gineering. His presentation "Hydrolo-
gy, water quality and agriculture: The
case of South Florida" discussed how
hydrology is a building stone in resto-
ration around the Everglades.
This topic is of special interest to
colleagues in Latin America because it
deals with the interaction between ag-
riculture and the environment under
tropical and subtropical conditions.
S Rafael Mufoz-Carpena,
November 2004 3
Office of International Programs
University of Florida
Office of the Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources
P.O. Box 110282
Gainesville, FL 32611-0282
MS DALE B CANELAS
UNI LIBRA & DIR
PO BOX 117001
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7001
Czarnecka-Verner seeks broad exchange with Polish university
Assistant research scientist Eva Czar-
necka-Verner, graduate faculty, pre-
sented a seminar at the University of
Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Poland,
on the use of plants to detect explo-
sives contaminating ground water and
She presented the seminar "Engi-
neering of sentinel plants that can de-7-.
tect TNT" during her visit Nov. 8-23.
Her preliminary research has focused
on genetic engineering of plants so
that they exhibit a change in plant
phenotype such as variation in color
when explosive compounds are ab-
sorbed through the plant root system.
The color change could be detected by
aerial satellite photography, eliminat-
ing the need to walk through danger-
ous areas to gather results.
Her research is sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Defense.
The use of plants to detect explo-
sives could be useful in developing
countries where large quantities Rp
of land mines remain in the
ground many years after mili-
tary conflicts have ended.
Czarnecka-Verner seeks a
broad exchange of information
and students from University of
Adam Mickiewicz, one of Po-
land's oldest and largest univer-
sities. She is developing a series Eva
of lectures during the next year with
entitled "Heat stress response in ofb
plants," which she plans to de- tute
liver in about a year at the Uni- both
versity of Adam Mickiewicz as
an intensive course.
She also is working on an exchange
program so that graduate students at
both universities could take courses
on the exchange campus and enroll in
Heat stress in plants is the center-
piece of Czarnecka-Verner's lifelong
research, and the University of Adam
Czarnecka-Vemer, UF/IFAS, left, meets
Dean professor Andrzej Lesicki, faculty
ology, center, and professor Zofia
'eykowska-Kulinska, director of the Insti-
of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology,
from Adam Mickiewicz University.
Mickiewicz is considering awarding
her a professorship in biological sci-
ences, a nomination that would recog-
nize her accomplishments and also
enhance the link between UF/IFAS
and the Polish university.
( Eva Czarnecka-Verner,