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The overarching goal of this project is to increase the diversity of EXS research being conducted at CSU as well as providing local small farmers with information to improve their health and safety. A secondary goal is to add ergonomics to the EXS curriculum, leading to an increase of EXS majors and providing collaboration between the manufacturing engineering and EXS departments. To accomplish these goals, the following objectives and tasks will be completed by the PD, Dr. Kathleen Carter, with assistance from the postdoc trained in pedagogy.Objective 1. Develop a research line in the area of physical safety in agricultural production. The PD will guide and monitor this objective. Task 1: Order a GAITRite walking path.Task 2: Develop protocols for assessing various movements that typically occur during agricultural production.Task 3: Order the DartFish motion sensing program.Task 4: Develop protocols for using the DartFish motion sensing program with agricultural production movements.Task 5: Meet with local farmers, extension agents, and agriculture educators to determine which types of movements they feel are the most troublesome and produce the most skeletal muscle injuries. This will set the priority areas for research.Objective 2. Expand the research capabilities and teaching capacity by filling a postdoc position. The individual will have a background in movement behavior to complement the existing research capabilities. The PD and Associate Director of Research will work together to complete this objective.Task 1: Develop the job description, advertise, and hire a postdoctoral individual. The term of employment will be three years.Task 2: The colleague trained in pedagogy will develop a series of curriculum design training modules and pedagogical seminars. These modules and seminars will be available to all faculty for professional development.The first step in achieving the proposed objectives will be to recruit and hire a postdoctoral researcher. This individual will have a background in movement studies and/or motor behavior. This background is similar to the PD's background which will allow for research mentorship throughout their tenure at CSU. Once the EXS postdoc position is filled, Dr. Anthony Arment (who will serve as Co-Project Director, or Co-PD) will begin the curriculum design and pedagogy training. Dr. Carter will supervise the postdoc while they teach their first semester. As both the PD and Co-PD become more confident in the postdoc's teaching skills, supervision will decrease. While filling the postdoc position, student recruitment for an ergonomics program will follow CSU's recruitment processes. Interested students will complete the college's application through the university's administrative channels and be potentially added to the EXS program. CSU's Dayton campus will be evaluated for expansion of course offerings in EXS and the management of the purchase and installation of lab equipment will be done by the PD. The PD will also develop the protocols for utilizing this equipment for ergonomic and movement studies research. During this time, meetings will be held with the agriculture educators, and extension agents at CSU will determine the first line of research studies to be conducted. Two students per semester will be hired as research assistants and receive training in ergonomics research. Two additional students will be hired each summer to assure continuation of research projects. Other students may possibly be recruited to help with various aspects of research projects as part of their regular upper-class course work. The GAITRite and DartFish products as previously mentioned are portable and can be used on either of CSU's campuses or on a site where the farming motions are taking place. This will maximize the use of the equipment and the number of students involved in research projects. The success of this proposal will be determined by the number of peer reviewed publications, professional presentations, educational materials developed, and presentations to local communities during the three years of funding. It will also be measured by a reduction in the number of agricultural related injuries as compared to past years. Overtime, CSU researchers will gather data and implement new techniques to assist farmers in the community. We will add our data to the global dataset being developed by ergonomic and movement researchers, thereby helping other researchers improve farming community practices in their own areas.

Carter, K.; Arment, AN, .
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