University and Community College faculty play an important role in the preparation of the next generation of leaders in the Green Industry. We take the responsibility of training Green Industry managers seriously, and PLANET is our partner. When faculty members get together at the Green Industry Conference (GIC) or at Student Career Days, a common topic is the need to keep faculty engaged in PLANET operations and how to stay engaged with practitioners in our field. Conversation with industry helps us to keep our programs relevant. Beyond our teaching responsibilities, many faculty are also responsible for conducting research, much of which is directly applicable to our students and to the companies that they work for. The Green Industry Conference presents an opportunity for faculty to communicate the results of their research to PLANET members, as well as receive feedback on the results and discuss future research topics.
What is the role of PLANET faculty?
Obviously, we teach the future workers and managers of our industry, but we can also inform students and the industry through our research. Examples of research topics investigated by PLANET faculty include industry management needs, comparisons of teaching methods, status of college programs, green roof management, stormwater management, and the benefits of interior plantscapes. At the 2008 PLANET Green Industry Conference, some of these topics and results were presented at the Breakfast with Champions. This was our first attempt to increase the visibility of faculty research at GIC, and we feel that there is significant potential for growth. The bottom line is: discussing research at GIC is good for both faculty and PLANET members.
How do I get involved?
Attend the 2009 GIC and present your research at Breakfast with Champions! While you are there, you will have the opportunity to discuss Student Career Days, accreditation, and PLANET certification by attending committee meetings dedicated to those and other topics. At the GIC Faculty Forum, we are able to discuss enrollment, recruiting, curriculum, and budgeting with educators from across the country. The Green Industry Exposition (GIE) runs concurrently with GIC, and is a fantastic opportunity to stay abreast of current technology and equipment, as well as to discuss partnerships for your programs with representatives from the companies that provide the software, materials and equipment that we depend on.
What is the presentation format?
Presenting research at Breakfast with Champions is different from other meeting formats. It is informal, as you present and discuss your research over breakfast. You will typically take about fifteen minutes to lay out your methods and results, and then serve as moderator for a round-table discussion. Handouts summarizing your research are provided for each of the people at your table. You can present for one day or for up to three days. I have found that it is a great way to get into the swing of the conference, and it has also been a very beneficial networking opportunity. Feedback on the applicability of your research is given, and new topics of research are discussed. If you are interested in presenting please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow this link: http://www.lalc.msstate.edu/research/gic/
I hope that PLANET faculty will take advantage of this presentation opportunity. I also hope that faculty will help us to increase the visibility of research at GIC. This is the first step towards creating a wider forum for our research.