Improving Community Health Outcomes with Geo-Caching

What do you get when you combine a leadership program class assignment with a county health outcome ranking of 76 (of 88)? A real-life ‘Pokemon-type’ outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.

geocache-1a-2016-09-29

The Leadership Fayette alumni class of 2015 recently launched the geo-caching project in Washington Court House as a part of the community’s efforts to improve its health, physical and fitness outcomes of residents and visitors. Like a high-tech game of hide and seek, geo-caching appeals to people of all ages.

Anyone can participate at no cost and engage in as much or little physical activity as they desire. Because many approach geo-caching from a group or team perspective, they may make the hunt a race or a relay.

From an educational perspective, many of the caches are hidden at important historical or geographical sites in the community. Uncovering the caches of educational information helps increase awareness of an area’s cultural assets and can help build a sense of team when done with others.

It is too soon to know of the health benefits of this Fayette Leadership alumni class project. But it is clear that the local leageocache-2-2016-09-29dership development program has enabled participants to come together to collaborative in addressing a significant community challenge.

You can learn more about geocaching here.  To learn more about Leadership Fayette, go here.

 

Godwin Apaliyah is a Community Development Extension Educator in Fayette County (Miami Valley EERA).

Ohio Sea Grant and Lake Erie Nature & Science Center continue long-time partnership in Northeast Ohio

What covers nearly 10,000 square miles, many of them comprising parts of eight Ohio counties in northern Ohio? In addition to creating a natural land/water boundary of over 310 miles in length, Lake Erie is a key focus area for Ohio Sea Grant and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (located in Bay Village, Cuyahoga County).

“The partnership between the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and Ohio Sea Grant has been alive and well for nearly 30 years and continues to be an important relationship for a Center so close to Lake Erie,” says Darci Sanders, The Center’s Director of Education. “The expertise of Sea Grant staff is the perfect match to increase the effectiveness and efficacy of programming provided by our own talented staff.”

Lake Erie Day #2 2015-04-16

Photo: Ohio Sea Grant

Ohio Sea Grant’s focus on research, education and outreach for the Lake Erie region is a great fit for the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, which offers high-quality nature, environmental and science experiences through school field trips, preschool, family, scouting and planetarium programs, nature hikes, and a variety of exhibits connected to its expansive wildlife rehabilitation program.

The Center’s staff and Ohio Sea Grant are working on hands-on informal science information sessions for 2015 that will feature experts on a variety of Lake Erie topics. Most recently, they hosted a workshop for faculty from Cleveland and Columbus that provided information, curriculum and supplies for teaching about aquatic invasive species in the classroom.

Family Fishing Day 2015-04-16

Photo: Ohio Sea Grant

On May 17, Family Fishing Day, children ages 6 and up and their families can enjoy a morning learning the basics of how to cast, where to fish and what kind of fish they’ll catch in Lake Erie. May 23 is Lake Erie Day, part of the Year of Clean Water Celebration, where visitors can celebrate all things Lake Erie. Ohio Sea Grant staff will be on hand to offer their expertise and interactive activities on aquatic invasive species, harmful algal blooms, boating and water recreation, beach safety, Lake Erie water snakes and more.

For more information, please contact Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator, Sarah Orlando.

Research informs organizational sustainability

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Why are some organizations able to thrive and grow while others are in a seemingly constant struggle to survive? One reason is an intentional focus on sustainability. Last year OSU Extension Community Development professionals focused efforts on COSI, an organization dedicated to fun, hands-on science exploration since 1964. Of particular interest was the science museum visitors’ “willingness-to-pay” for the products and services offered by the 50-year-old organization.

The project compared COSI’s existing fee structure with other similar organizations taking into account location, visitor profile and museum services. It also analyzed potential changes to the COSI fee structure using survey data from non-member visitors to COSI.

In the end, the effort yielded recommendations to the organization that were informed by research-based data; data of critical importance for informing strategies for continued organizational growth and sustainability. View the “Willingness to Pay Study.”

For more information, please contact Nancy Bowen (Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Community Economics) or David Civittolo (Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Community Economics).

Alber Enterprise Center: Solutions for organizational challenges

At some point, even the most successful teams, organizations, and agencies of any type (public, private, non-profit, etc.) face seemingly insurmountable barriers to growth and success. And, their inability to recognize the barrier can sometimes be part of the problem.

AEC-puzzle-graphic350x544--web1

The Alber Enterprise Center (AEC) has been providing organization development consulting for employers throughout Ohio (and beyond) since 1996. AEC is a business outreach service of The Ohio State University and OSU Extension based on the Marion campus of OSU. Their staff develop customized plans to help teams of all sizes reach their potential. Learn more about their services, including the BRIDGE program at the new AEC website. Encourage the teams, organizations, agencies and businesses in your community to check out the new on-line course catalog too.

You can also follow the Alber Enterprise Center via a variety of social media networks:

Contact the Alber Center at alber.osu.edu/index.php/en/contact-us.

OSUExtension@COSI – the link to OSU and COSI collaboration

OSU COSI Research Symposium 2014-03-21

Photo credit:
Ohio State @ COSI Symposium Album
(flickr.com 5/15/2014)

What do you get when you partner The Ohio State University and COSI (the large science center in Columbus)? A complex and far-reaching relationship involving a variety of unique endeavors.

Take, for example, the OSUExtension@COSI office. This is a collaborative effort that better informs the field of museums and cultural institutions in how they do their work.

Another one of the current efforts involves celebrating the many ways that the University and COSI collaborate. The first of these events, held on March 21, was a symposium on the research conducted by OSU researchers at COSI. The symposium shared insights from researchers involved in a wide array of research efforts such as:  Labs in Life (research labs behind clear glass walls where real studies are being conducted using COSI visitors), hallway data collection, and using COSI for recruiting participants. OSUE’s unique embedded researcher/outreach specialist role was also presented. Click here to view photos from the first research symposium and poster reception.

Future symposia include various aspects of communication of science to the public efforts, public media and collaborations between formal and informal institutions.

(Submitted by Joe Heimlich, Professor and Extension Specialist, OSUExtension@COSI)