Engaging volunteer cooperators to perform field research presents a new approach to conducting applied research. We enlisted Extension Service users to conduct research. This allowed for an increased sample size and expanded study area than was possible using traditional approaches. Cooperators received comprehensive training that briefed them on the subject and research protocols. Data were collected via research workbooks and informal written surveys. We obtained acceptable data for demonstrating the efficacy of rodenticide treatment under operational conditions. Unexpectedly, cooperators favored one control method and indicated they would use it in the future, despite no statistical difference between treatment methods.
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Salmon, T. P., Faber, B., Bender, G., & Shaw, D. (2008). Volunteer Researchers: Moving Beyond Cooperators. The Journal of Extension, 46(2), Article 9. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol46/iss2/9