Grants:IEG/Plant Disease Articles
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
We noticed that the vast majority of Wikipedia pages related to plant pathogens and the diseases they cause lack both content and standardization. Across the internet, current sources of information on plant pathogens are spread across many different places including numerous land grant extension agencies and private bloggers. Furthermore, much of the detailed biology about these pathogens is contained in academic databases. These databases are composed of scientific articles that have come from studies performed because of grants funded by taxpayers across the world. We believe that limiting access to the results of these publicly-funded articles is unethical. Many researchers agree and have proceeded to establish open-access publications that allow anyone to view the results of a study published under their purview. However, most home gardeners and commercial producers do not have the time nor expertise to sift through the academic journals in the pursuit of information even if they have access. As a result of this information remaining unconsolidated, there is much ignorance about plant pathogens and how to manage them in an economical, social, and environmentally-optimal manner.
What is your solution?
We will fix this problem by using our expertise as crop consultants to sift through academic journal articles and extension publications in order to build a comprehensive profile of a wide-array of plant pathogens and the diseases they cause. Furthermore, we will provide standardization to the format by which each profile is conveyed. In this way, home gardeners and commercial producers will be able to quickly gather high-quality information that is relevant to their situation much more easily and with a much higher degree of certitude than is currently available through Wikipedia and the internet more broadly.
Over the course of the next six months, our goal is to build a comprehensive profile of 25 plant pathogens whose articles are currently stubs. We will build these profiles on the basis of the following pathogen attributes: geographic distribution, host range and accompanying symptomolgy, epidemiology/lifecycle, pathogenesis, and management options. We would also like to edit the articles of 5 pathogens that have had long articles written about them in order to ensure that all the information is not only accurate but also succinct and easily navigable.
We will carry out this project in three phases. The first phase will involve gathering enough sources on each of the 25 pathogens to build an initial profile and an initial "bank" of sources from which to draw upon in later phases. This phase will focus on geographic distribution, host range, and typical symptomology. Phase two will use the sources compiled in phase one and combine that with more sources to fill in the information concerning epidemiology/lifecycle, pathogenesis, and management options. Phase three will be composed of tightening up the details. This especially concerns the areas of pathogenesis and management options, which are the areas that are most likely to involve information that is somewhat technical, somewhat disputed, and/or somewhat unclear. We will measure our success through two metrics. First, we will actively seek comments from growers, industry professionals, and researchers that we frequently encounter.These will be included in our midpoint and final reports. We will also pay attention to the activity surrounding our articles from the Wiki community. That is, we hope to see other writers with expertise in the area use our framework to be able to make their contributions to the article. This is an appropriate metric because we believe that the plant pathology community wants to make improvements to the articles on Wikipedia but they are discouraged by the lack of context within which they can make their specialized contribution. Without an initial framework to provide that context, their specialized contribution is of little value. Hence, we want to provide the framework around which the community can swarm.
- Resource collection:(10000) USD
- Project management:(10000) USD
- Total Budget: (20000) USD
To engage the community that we are aiming to serve, we will actively seek the comments of the growers, industry professionals, and researchers that we frequently encounter. Due to the pent-up demand for the project that we are proposing, we expect that the plant pathology community will organically swarm around the initial profiles that we build; independently of any outreach efforts from us.
We expect that community members with expertise will swarm around the profiles that we build and continue to improve on the articles that we write. Furthermore, the usefulness of our framework will be apparent to the community and future writers will adapt it to more pathogens than the 25 that we will write about under this grant. Finally, as new research from extension specialists and other researchers is performed, the conclusions that they reach will be incorporated into the articles that we write.
Measures of success
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We will measure our success through two metrics. First, we will actively seek comments from growers, industry professionals, and researchers that we frequently encounter.These will be included in our midpoint and final reports. We will also pay attention to the activity surrounding our articles from the Wiki community. That is, we hope to see other writers with expertise in the area use our framework to be able to make their contributions to the article. This is an appropriate metric because we believe that the plant pathology community wants to make improvements to the articles on Wikipedia but they are discouraged by the lack of context within which they can make their specialized contribution. Without an initial framework to provide that context, their specialized contribution is of little value. Hence, we want to provide the framework around which the community can swarm.
Andrew M. Pape received a Bachelor's degree with Scholastic Distinction in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. While working towards his undergraduate degree, he worked in the UW-Extension Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic, published a UW-Extension Garden Facts Sheet on Black Rot of Crucifers, was nominated for and received the Donald Hagedorn Scholarship, and had an internship at a large muck farm in Wisconsin. Upon graduation, Andrew became a crop consultant in the irrigated Central Sands region of Wisconsin. In this position, Andrew has gained extensive experience in nematology, molecular diagnostics, agricultural chemicals, disease management, and crop production more broadly.
Joshua R. Johnson received a Bachelor's degree in Soil and Crop Science from the University of Wisconsin - Plattville with a minor in Geography. As an undergraduate, Joshua gained extensive experience in mapping/GIS, served as a seasonal crop scout in the irrigated Central Sands region of Wisconsin for 4 summers, and spent one summer analyzing crop population, health, and yield potential in counties ranging from North Dakota to Indiana for an international grain commodities company. Upon graduation, Joshua became a crop consultant and has used his GIS/mapping experience to focus on soil nutrient planning and field-scale analysis, as well as his primary responsibility of advising growers on crop protection during the growing season.
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