Graduate Extension at FNR


According to articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other literature including Science, broadening experiences in addition to research should be components of graduate education so that students may realize the breadth of potential professional opportunities and interact with a diversity of stakeholders. The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, consistent with the mission of a land grant institution, strives to build programs that help graduate students realize diverse professional objectives. With this mind, FNR has developed an extension policy designed to provide a flexible, experiential learning opportunity for graduate students to develop and implement an extension project, based on their research or long-term professional interests, while meeting the missions of our department and Purdue University.

The primary components of student extension work include a 1) logic model, 2) an extension plan, and 3) an extension deliverable. The first two requirements are fulfilled within the required course, Theory and Application of Natural Resource Extension Program. The logic model and extension plan layout the justification and basics of the extension deliverable which is completed by the student prior to graduation. Details about the policy is located within the Extension and Outreach Requirements for Graduate Study in FNR in the FNR Graduate Student Policy Manual.

VIDEO: Novel Models for Integrating Extension and Education, by Brian J. MacGowan and Rod N. Williams, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

VIDEO: What is Purdue Extension?


FNR 506 – Theory & Application of Natural Resource Extension Programming

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop and implement extension activities based on their research interests. The course will focus on important natural resources issues, identify common target audiences, provide examples of extension programming, discuss outputs developed from various extension programs, and outline metrics used to evaluate program impact. Current Syllabus​.


For more information about the Theory & Application of Natural Resource Extension Programming course or our graduate student extension program, contact:

Brian J. MacGowan, Extension Coordinator and Extension Wildlife Specialist,
(765) 647-3538,

Rod N. Williams, Associate Head for Extension and Associate Professor of Wildlife, 
(765) 494-3568,

Student Deliverables

Examples of deliverables produced by students who have completed their degree are listed below. Work in production by the more than 80 current FNR graduate students are not included. mase.JPG
Complete list of FNR Graduate Student Deliverables.

  • Amber Saylor Mase (PhD 2014). 2013. Social Science Results to Inform Extension of U2U Decision Support Tools (DSTs).  (Advisor: Linda Prokopy)
  • Miller, Amy (MS 2014). Northeast and Southern Nursery Association Meeting Presentation, Holiday Inn City Centre, Lafayette, Indiana, July 22-25, 2013. (Advisor: Doug Jacobs)
  • Blythe, Rita (MS 2014). Indiana's woodrats get a boost through captive breeding. The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, Spring 2013 Newsletter. (Advisor: Rob Swihart)
  • Rueda Krauss, O. (MS 2014) and C. H. Michler. 2013. First stages of an Acacia koa tree selection program at HARC A (DHHL). Hawa​ii Forest Industry Association, Hilo, HI. (Advisor: Charles Michler)
  • Herold, Jamie.M. (MS 2013). (In Press). Integrated Vegetation Management for INDOT Roadsides. Joint Transportation Research Program, Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University; West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Advisors: Jeff Dukes and Zachary Lowe)
  • Shields, Josh (PhD 2013). Ecological and economic effects of invasives. Presentation at the Invasive Species Training and Ecological Impacts workshop, October 5, 2011, Martell Forest, West Lafayette, Indiana. (Advisor: Mike Jenkins)
  • Wang, Ying (PhD 2013) and Pijut, P.M. 2011. Flowering control in fine hardwoods. Center for Advanced Forestry Systems Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Seattle, Washington, June 14-16, 2011. (Advisor: Paula Pijut)

FNR Graduate Student Feedback on the Policy

Eighty-one percent of students thought the extension requirement contributed to their ability to communicate technical information to a diverse array of audiences.

What parts of the extension requirement do students find most beneficial?

  • The diversity of publications related to extension in addition to research will make my resume stand out more. I can reach a broader audience and highlight work done at FNR.
  • Knowing that my research is now in the hands of managers who can utilize the information was the most fulfilling part of the process.
  • Providing workshops for the deliverables requirement was most beneficial because it greatly improved my public speaking skills.
  • It made me think about applications of what I'm doing and how it can benefit the public.
  • Doing the project was cool and helped me put my project in a different perspective; it helped me relate to folks outside of the science community.
  • It forced me to start thinking about how to write and present my research to a broad audience.

Resources for Current FNR Graduate Students

Potential Outlets Guide
Online FNR-GC10 form
Examples on how to fill out Form FNR-GC10
Helpful Extension Publications and Resources?
FNR Graduate Program Details​​​