Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

David McGill

Committee Co-Chair

Emily Perdue

Committee Member

David Smaldone


Private woodland owners play a key role in maintaining and improving environmental amenities for local and downstream communities. To support these owners in making informed land-use decisions, extension professionals often rely on needs assessments to develop well attended educational outreach programs that reflect their ever changing educational needs. Recent work, however, has indicated a low correlation between woodland owners' expressed educational needs and seminar attendance.;Seasons in the Woods is a three-part woodland focused education series used to explore whether landowners would be more likely to express interest, register, and attend forestry education seminars if they were given the chance to select the seminar topic. Outreach to 3600 woodland owners was conducted exclusively by direct mail. To control for variation in responses due to general public interest in educational seminars and to facilitate the monitoring of workshop participants. Seminars were delivered approximately four months apart.;Our study showed a low, non-significant correlation between expressed interest in topics and actual attendance. The treatment group whom was able to select the topic showed a greater attendance rate (1.11%) than those who only received a postcard invitation (0.69%), but a slightly smaller attendance rate than the group who were just invited to the 3-part series (1.21%). The surprising finding was that almost half (42%) of the attendees to seminar one were New Comers (NC). The New Comers were participants who attended the first seminar, even though they received zero direct mail contact or invitations from this study. Once the NC's were assigned to the corresponding treatment group of the person that they attended with, the numbers of attendees among treatment groups changed so much so that there was a significant association between treatment and seminar attendance.