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Spotlight on Research Profiles | OPRO Meets Becky Sideman

Becky Sideman is an extension professor and specialist in sustainable horticulture in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition & Food Systems at the University of New Hampshire and researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station.

Science outreach activity: Spotlight on Research profiles.

Type of event and intended audience: Short extension articles with corresponding video/audio versions.

Each Spotlight on Research summary video is posted on our Extension Vegetable & Fruit Videos page, with special attention paid to make sure closed captioning is a​​​ccurate.
Intended audience: Farmers and agricultural service providers in the field.

Description of the activity: To increase the accessibility of some cool research done by others, in each episode I selected a recent study that I found interesting and potentially relevant to horticultural crop production in our region. I summarized the research in a very short article (700–1,100 words) that was coupled with a short (roughly 8 min) video describing the research with visuals and words. My goals were to 1) communicate cool and relevant research results from outside the region; 2) increase the audience's exposure to​ the research process; 3) give myself an excuse to make time to go through the literature carefully with an eye toward finding applicable results and interesting research questions. Lastly, I wanted to experiment with creating simple recorded video/audio presentations to increase accessibility for those who do not learn best by reading written articles.

Kaltura Capture is used to make a short and simple voiced over Pow​erPoint video—it's easy to add webcam video or not.

​Materials needed for this activity: Pretty much all that is needed is the time to comb through relevant literature and library access to a range of applied research journals. For the video version of each summary, I used PowerPoint and Kaltura Capture to record each version, and we hosted the videos in our university's media space.

Information regarding this event: The three Spotlight on Research articles published in 2020 were each published as part of my grower newsletter, the NH Vegetable & Fruit News blog:

In addition to posting online, a list of the latest blog posts is emailed monthly to around 2,200 active subscribers.​

Each Spotlight on Research is published as a short article on our extension blog for vegetable and fruit growers, NH Vegetable & Fruit News.

How many times has this activity been hosted? We produced three Spotlights on Research in 2020.

In total, how many participants have been in attendance? One of the spotlights has had 590 unique page views in the year since it was published; the other two have had 254 unique page views combined. In addition to those who watched the videos, collectively the three spotlights have had a total of 940 views or reads.

How was the impact of this outreach activity evaluated? Using web analytics, we measured the number of people who have read each blog post or viewed each video.

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