What Works? Evaluating Forest Pest Outreach Efforts

The Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project (FPOSP) is a multistate outreach project designed to increase awareness of invasive forest pests, primarily the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and the emerald ash borer (EAB). Early detection of invasive pests reduces the costs and resources needed for a management response, as well as increases the chances of eradication success. Early detection of ALB and EAB can be accomplished through outreach and education efforts, and FPOSP has been the primary mechanism of these efforts. FPOSP has been conducted in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as other states, since 2009. In addition to public outreach for these pests, ME, NH, and VT have recent out-of-state firewood bans which rely heavily on public education to be effective. Although reports of negative confirmations have increased over the years, there has been no direct measure of the effectiveness of the outreach for this project or the firewood ban.

“What Works? Evaluating Forest Pest Outreach Efforts” is a project funded in part through the USDA Farm Bill, and conducted by University of Maine researchers who employed a number of social science techniques to help determine the most effective outreach methods to increase public awareness of invasive forest pests and the firewood ban. The techniques and model developed for this project can be adapted for evaluation of other educational campaigns.  FMI, click here to follow the link.