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UF/IFAS Offers Distance Education Computer Technology Course

Carole L. Jaworski

Howard Beck (352) 392-3196
Fedro Zazueta (352) 392-7260

GAINESVILLE – Want to learn more about the latest computer tools and technologies in agriculture and natural resources? You can with a distance education course being offered next spring by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“Computer Technologies in Agriculture and Natural Resources” is a survey of computer tools and technologies for agriculture and natural resource managers. Topics covered in the three-credit course include an introduction to Windows, logging on the Internet, creating documents for the World Wide Web and using software for agricultural and natural resource system design and management.

Instructors for the course are Fedro Zazueta and Howard Beck, UF/IFAS agricultural and biological engineering professors. Zazueta has developed more than 50 software programs for agricultural applications. Beck developed the Florida Agricultural Information Retrieval System (FAIRS), a database that consists of CD-ROMS and World Wide Web sites.

“This course is designed for people who would like to know more about computer technologies, but were afraid to ask,” Beck says. “They won’t be intimidated.”

The first part of the course provides an introduction to basic computer technologies. “The last two-thirds of the course features experts in agriculture and natural resources who show how these computer technologies are being applied in their areas,” he says.

Requirements for the course include an Internet-ready computer, World Wide Web access, and an e-mail address. Minimum computer requirements are a 486-DX66 Mhz computer, 8 MB RAM, 100 MB available hard disk space, a SVGA monitor, a 28.8 kilobaud modem, Windows 3.1 and a CD-ROM drive. Course delivery is by Internet and videotape.

To receive a catalog of this and other UF/IFAS distance education spring semester courses, which include full course descriptions, enrollment information, deadlines and fees, contact UF/IFAS Communication Services by phone at (352) 392-3893; by fax at (352) 392-3896; or by e-mail at Course descriptions and catalog information can also be found on the World Wide Web at

Pre-registration for spring courses must be completed before December 19, 1997. Classes begin in January.

The videotapes used in this course may also be purchased separately, whether enrolled in the course or not. For more information on that, contact UF/IFAS Publications at (352) 392-1764.