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The purpose of this column is to highlight innovative publications and websites in food science education and allied topics. If you know of a website or a recent publication that you believe other readers would like to know about, please submit the full text of the article or the URL for the website and an annotation of not more than 125 words. We welcome your resources and comments on this column. Material should be submitted to: Jim Bird, Science & Engineering Center, Fogler Library, Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469–5729, or e-mail to If e-mailing, please put “JFSE submission” in the subject line.

Blair D. 2009. The child in the garden: An evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening. J Envir Ed 40(2):15–38.

This extensive evaluative review (75 references cited) provides a framework for researchers, teachers, and school administrators to examine school garden quantitative studies and support systems. The discussion of school garden educational outcomes shows improvement in student academic achievement and behavior. The author details several shortcomings in qualitative studies and offers ways to improve future research effectiveness as well as ways to redesign aspects of the school garden program in schools. This is an important article for all educators involved in school gardening.

Bodyfelt FW, Drake MA, and Rankin SA. 2008. Developments in dairy foods sensory science and education: From student contests to impact on product quality. Int Dairy J 18(7):729–34.

The history of the systematic sensory analysis of dairy products is discussed with information presented on the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest and its role in this history. The authors show the contribution to sensory analysis that dairy education has made over the years.

Bolger, DA. 2008. Integrating CTE and academics: One teacher's account. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers 83(8): 44–6.

The author teaches a career and technical education (CTE) commercial foods high school program. Bolger shares her methods for integrating the areas of math, social studies, science, and geography into her teaching in order to expose her mostly special needs students to core academic areas. This is a brief article but offers details on classroom activities. The author stresses the importance of integrating academics in a CTE curriculum to promote student success and motivation.

Dittmar RS, Kundinger MM, Woodward CL, Donaldson LM, Golbach JL, Kim WK, Chalova V, and Ricke SC. 2006. Quality control laboratory design project for poultry science undergraduate students enrolled in an advanced food microbiology course. J Verbrauch Lebensmitt (J Consum Protec Food Saf) 1(2):77–82.

Students in an advanced food microbiology course at Texas A&M Univ. participated in small groups, each with the objective to design a quality control laboratory. In preparation for this exercise, each student completed a literature review on a pathogen. Student survey results are presented in detail, providing data on project difficulty and interest, group dynamics, and career goals. Overall, the results of the exercise indicate that “…more instructional emphasis on scientific problem solving and group activity skills is needed if undergraduate food and poultry science students are to gain more confidence and ability to remain in touch with rapid technical developments occurring in laboratory science.” (p. 82).

Dykes GA. 2008. A technique for enhancing learning about the professional practice of food microbiology and its preliminary evaluation. Br Food J 110(10):1047–58.

The author describes work done with the Food Microbiology 1 course for 2nd-y students at the School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, Univ. of Queensland, Australia. Students formed groups of 5 members and engaged in a variety of active learning methods including peer assessment and problem-based learning. Problems researched and discussed revolved around listeriosis outbreaks in various settings. The preliminary evaluation of the group exercise showed that it “…seems to enhance learning about the professional practice of microbiological food safety and provides students with a better understanding of issues they may face in professional practice.” (p. 1056) This work did show that some issues related to group work need to be more closely examined and refined.

Francis CA, Lieblein G, Breland TA, Salomonsson L, Geber U, Sriskandarajah N, and Langer V. 2008. Transdisciplinary research for a sustainable agriculture and food sector. Agron J 100(3):771–6.

The authors look at discipline integration as a key to help solve some of the challenges facing the world today in the areas of agriculture and food. The agroecology Masters of Science program in Norway is examined as a program that incorporates discipline integration. Providing students with an understanding of both scientific and social science research methods and a multinational teaching/research staff prepares students for the complex challenges inherent in agriculture and food systems.

Troutt HF and Osburn BI. 2008. Implementing a future national center concept in veterinary education for the dairy industry. J Am Vet Med Assoc 232(9):1290–3.

The authors provide an overview of food animal veterinarian education programming. Tracing the history of veterinary centers of emphasis, the authors propose the establishment of three national veterinary diary centers (NVDC) to be associated with academic institutions. The purpose of these centers would be: “To maintain a cadre of dairy veterinarians, enhance national biosecurity within the dairy industry, and promote food safety and environmental health….” (p. 1292) Detailed NVDC objectives are presented along with a scenario on a possible implementation process.

In the course of my literature search to discover articles and websites for this column, I found 2 recent publications that may be of interest to readers. Please note that I do not have access to these 2 documents, but based on the abstracts they seem like resources that would be of interest to food science educators, especially at the college and university level. If readers know of other recent master's theses or doctoral dissertations in the area of food science education that you believe would be of interest to readers, please e-mail me and I will try to include them in future columns. Many theses and dissertations can be ordered from UMI Dissertation Publishing at: or check with the InterLibrary Loan Dept. at your educational institution, business library, or public library.

Chi M. 2006. Development of virtual laboratory as an educational/research tool in food processing. MS thesis. McGill Univ. 125 p. Publication number: AAT MR24641.

Hassall LM. 2007. Multiple purposes of ePortfolios in higher education: A case study of one department. PhD dissertation. Iowa State Univ. 205 p. Publication number: AAT 3289428. (The Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State Univ. was used in this study.)