The Value of Cooperative Extension's Public Benefit Explored through Enhancements to Forest Ecosystem Services Provision
Goerlich, Daniel Lee
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Cooperative Extension produces public value through educational programming that benefits the greater community. Forests provide numerous valuable benefits to society through the provision of ecosystem services. Cooperative Extension educational programming positively impacts forest owners, who in turn conduct actions that enhance ecosystem services. A heretofore unrecognized relationship exists between Cooperative Extension and ecosystem services that provides opportunity for mutual benefit. Applying ecosystem services values to Extension natural resources-related programmatic outcomes through benefit transfer provides an avenue for Extension to make significant advancements in monetizing public value. Beyond serving simply as a source of financial justification, however, linkages with ecosystem services also provide Cooperative Extension with opportunities to improve the design and delivery of educational programs, do a better job articulating an array of public benefits resulting from agency accomplishments, and optimize allocation of sparse resources and Extension efforts. This dissertation thoroughly explores these concepts by providing an overview of: Cooperative Extension in general and Extension forestry more specifically; public value in an Extension context; ecosystem services; ecosystem services valuation; benefit transfer, and; connections between these diverse topics. In addition, benefit transfer principles are applied to an existing Extension evaluation data set in attempt to monetize Cooperative Extension's impact, lessons learned are explored, and the Cooperative Extension public value discussion is re-framed as one aspect of overall continuous organizational improvement.
- Doctoral Dissertations