STMA 20th Conference and Exhibition visits Silicon Valley

We’ve created exceptional events that provide ample networking time to catch up with friends and meet new contacts. Our program includes more than 90 hours of education highlighting three Turfgrass Institutes, three Pre-Conference Workshops and 39 break out sessions with topics designed to inspire and assist you professionally.

Steve Farber, a subject-matter expert in business leadership will give the Keynote Address sponsored by World Class Athletics. This year STMA has a 9-hour Student Track designed with workshops and forums dedicated to pertinent issues facing students in the sports turf industry along with the 5th Annual Student Collegiate Challenge sponsored by Hunter Industries. With something for everyone, this conference is one that should not be missed!
Below is an overview of the educational program with descriptions for the STMA 2009 Conference. We look forward to seeing you in sunny California.


Wednesday, January 14

8:30AM – 11:30AM Optional Turfgrass Institute I: Introductory –

Native Soil Sports Turf Management

A.J. Powell, Jr., Ph.D., University of Kentucky

A complete review of management practices for native soil fields including solving drainage issues, fertilizer application, aerification, top dressing, and soil testing and pest and weed management. 


1:00PM – 4:00PM Optional Turfgrass Institute II: Advanced –

Principles in Soil Modification

Andy McNitt, Ph.D., Penn State University

Attend this in-depth workshop that focuses on the soil tests you need, the complexity of the lab procedures, and how to interpret the results so that you can develop a soil tests you need, the complexity of the lab procedures, and how to interpret the results so that you can develop a soil modification plan as necessary.


2:00PM – 4:00PM

Pre Conf. Workshop I –

Practical Record Keeping for the Sports Turf Manager

John Netwal, CGCS,

North Scott Community Schools

This presentation will look at various everyday record keeping strategies that will keep the sports turf managers on top of his game.  Exampled of spreadsheets and other helpful tools will be discussed that will tract pertinent information for the sports turf manager.


Pre Conf. Workshop II – The CSFM Process Demystified

Tony Koski, Ph.D.,

Colorado State University

An overview of the process leading to CSFM status, with the emphasis on preparing for the exam.  Includes an overview of the exam process, types of questions, categories of questions, and ways of studying and preparing for the exam.  We will also discuss the “who, where, when” of actually taking the exam- and what happens if you don’t pass every section.


Pre Conf. Workshop III – Diagnostic Interpretation of Turfgrass Issues: A DREAM Opportunity

Richard White, Ph.D.,

Texas A&M University

A systematic and science based approach to diagnosing Turfgrass related issues and problems of any kind such as insects, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, shade, and compaction will be presented.  The information provided will highlight specific steps, tools, resources, documentation and communication needed to effectively deal with any turfgrass related issue or problem.


4:30PM – 6:30PM Sports Turf Networking: These sessions are designed for attendees to get together with other professional in their field and discuss important issues facing their jobs.

Networking 1: K-12

Networking 2: Higher Education

Networking 3: Facilities Used by Professional Athletes

Networking 4: Parks & Rec

Networking 5: Academics

Networking 6: Students


Thursday, January 15


sponsored by World Class Athletic Surfaces

Introductory Remarks – STMA President Mike Andresen,

CSFM Athletic Turf Manager, Iowa State University

Conference Highlights – Mike Goatley, Jr., Ph.D.

Virginia Tech

Research Highlights – Ali Harivandi, Ph.D.

University of California Cooperative Extension

Keynote Address – Steve Farber A subject-matter expert in business leadership and a frequent guest on news-talk shows around the country, Steve is a senior-level leadership coach and consultant who speaks 90 to 100 times a year to a wide variety of public and private organizations. Coaching and inspiring Extreme Leadership at all organizational levels is Steve’s passion, and he does so with a style that is part strategist, part social commentator, part comedian, and all energy.


8:00AM – 11:30AM Turfgrass 101 in Spanish José Makk, Natura LLC Design & Consulting

Taught in Spanish, this session is ideal for crewmembers or those who are seeking a greater understanding of the region’s turfgrasses, fertility, water and pest management practices. (Attendees are invited to tour the exhibition together for continued education and discussion.)



Get a Grip: The Fundamentals of Project Management

Project Management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals. Project management developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering and design. A successful PM must simultaneously manage four basic elements of a project: resources, time, money, and scope.

Jeffrey Bruce,

Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co.


Sports Fields: From IPM to Environmental Mgmt.

This session will cover the essentials of cool season turfgrass management for sports fields emphasis on practices to reduce maintenance input for maximum traffic tolerance- appropriate blends, mixes, grass species and cultivar selections based on NTEP trials and field performance – water management – fertility management – cultivation, renovation.

David Pinsonneault, CSFM, CPRP

Town of Lexington, MA

Mary Owen, UMass/Amherst


Polo Field Maintenance:

When the Sport of Kings Met the STMA

This will cover my journey from grounds supervisor of a K-12 school district to turf supervisor of a 30-acre polo complex. Hear the similarities and differences between the maintenance routine

for traditional sports fields and polo fields. Learn about sand slit drainage systems, compaction issues, divot repair, aerification, mowing practices, and reducing pesticide use.

Rich Watson,

Belvedere Property Mngmt.


Is Your Field Drainage Working or is it All Wet?

A look at field drainage, why it fails and what the key steps are to install a properly operating system. Current drainage technologies and installations will be shown. Cost will be given.

The steps that go into deciding to install and how to justify it will be outlined from the perspective of the owner, the athletic director, the grounds crew and the contractor.

Steve Bush, CSFM,

Bush Sports Turf


Nitrogen Fertilizers in Sports Turf –

Best Management for Best Turf

A discussion of the biologically based N cycle and how it affects sports field management and the application of N fertilizers. This workshop will cover new research in paths of N loss from fields, including N volatilization and N leaching. It will also cover new N fertilizers that have recently been introduced to the market, including those products with nitrification inhibitors.

Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D.,

Auburn University


The Replacement Process of a Synthetic Field

The synthetic sand/rubber infill system at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon, is one of the first installations in the world, installed in Oct. 1997. This presentation will include the description of their 1st generation product and the advancements made up to their fourth generation product.

Debra Kneeshaw,

Portland Parks and Rec.


Practical Solutions to Failed Fields (repeated 3:00-4:15pm)

This talk will focus on eight to ten case studies of fields that have failed due to poor design, poor construction, inadequate management, or overuse, and will discuss the solutions in these cases.

Norman Hummel, Ph.D.,

Hummel & Co. Inc.


Communicating with Coaches, User Groups, Administrators and other Nefarious Characters

This presentation will discuss how to communicate and manage the various user groups of sports turf facilities and how to gain their cooperation to provide safe, playable and aesthetically pleasing fields.

Dale Getz, CSFM, CSE,  and Boyd Montgomery, CSFM, CSE,

The Toro Company



Are You an Eagle or a Buzzard… Remember, Both Soar

There are two different types of birds that soar in this world.

Which type are you?

Jeff Fowler,

Penn State University


Weather 101: Fundamental Meteorology for Turf Managers

Weather conditions impact turf managers on a daily basis. Turf managers can provide more consistent playable field conditions by understanding weather patterns and concepts. This interactive workshop provides turf managers with the tools to interpret daily weather reports, maps, and forecasts, which can then be applied to daily turfgrass management practices.

Brad Jakubowski,

Doane College


Granulars and Nozzle Types that Work: Novel Technologies for Disease Control

An evaluation of the effectiveness of new granular fungicides for control of brown patch and other diseases. Also the use of different nozzle types to extend and improve the effectiveness of fungicides applied to tall fescue for brown patch.

Brandon Horvath,

Virginia Tech.


Specific Strategies for Managing Intense Traffic Areas of Cool- Season Athletic Fields

(repeated 1/16-2:45-4:00pm)

This session will identify the problems associated with intense traffic on cool season athletic fields. Learn proven strategies and techniques that can be readily implemented in every sports field managers program. The STMA’s Playing Conditions Index (PCI) will be highlighted as a tool for evaluation.

David Minner, Ph.D.,

Iowa State University


Storm Water Management

Are storm water management requirements affecting the management of your athletic field, park or facility? Want to expand or renovate your site, but confused by regulations related to storm water runoff and how they affect your plans?

This presentation will cover the basics of storm water management, and what sports turf managers should know about this timely topic.

Aaron Volkening, P.E.,

Earth Tech, Inc.


Punch Lists Punching You Out?

For those facing construction projects, this session will address ways to set yourself up for success, before the stress of the project hits. Spec. development, bid processes, contractor selection and quality control will be presented.

Jay Warnick, CSFM,

World Class Athletics


Planning Construction, and Maintenance of Infill Fields, What We Have Learned

Take an in depth look at the conversion of Paul Brown Stadium from a natural grass field to a synthetic field and the day-to-day maintenance of the surface.

Darian Daily,

Paul Brown Stadium


Infield Dirt Maintenance and Renovation (1:30-4:00pm)

Hear from a panel of professionals on infield dirt maintenance and renovation. A focus will be the maintenance and renovation practices that turf managers can accomplish on their own. There will be a Q&A session.

Larry DiVito, Washington Nationals

Gary Vanden Berg, CSFM, Milwaukee Brewers

Bill Deacon, New York Mets

Dan Bergstrom, Houston Astros

Chris Ralston, Lake Elsinore Storm

Mike Boekholder, Philadelphia Phillies




Advanced Logo Painting for Special Events

An advanced presentation of last year’s 15 min. innovative. Using Power Point grid and importing images to layout desired logo painting for games and special events.  Learn how to make your own stencils and laying out text using various techniques and guidelines.

Michael Hebrard,

Athletic Field Design


Defending Against the Indefensible –

Poa Strategies that Work

The focus is on keeping the Poa out with a comprehensive defense program more than just herbicide applications, but several lines of defense to be effective. Ways to get rid of Poa once you have it and then emphasize the importance of this program to minimize the reoccurrence. Attendees should come away with some new ideas on how to defend against Poa and be able to apply what they have learned on their own fields.

Eric Fasbender, CSFM,

University of Oregon Athletics


Managing Bermudagrass on Sand Based Fields

Sand based fields are characterized as having excellent drainage and aeration, low water holding capacity and low nutrient holding capacity (CEC). The field is like the “Temperamental Star” it has tremendous potential but it can be extremely difficult to manage.

Gil Landry, Jr., Ph.D.,

University of Georgia


Practical Solutions to Failed Fields

(repeated session from 10:30-11:45am)

This talk will focus on eight to ten case studies of fields that have failed due to poor design, poor construction, inadequate management, or overuse, and will discuss the solutions in these cases.

Norman Hummel, Ph.D.,

Hummel & Co Inc.


The Perfect Storm

A combination of weather factors including late frost, drought and extreme heat make for extremely difficult growing conditions in the Southeastern U.S.

Waldo Terrell, CSFM,

Town of Cary


Future Technology in Turfgrass Maintenance

This talk will discuss some of the emerging technology that will be coming that will impact this industry. The technology will help managers maintain or reduce costs while consuming less resources.

Dana Lonn, PE,

The Toro Company


How Do I Do More with Less?

Being a successful sports turf manager means not only executing well with sufficient funding but also doing it when the funding is reduced. The true test of good management is dealing effectively with your authority. You must manage your resources to their best effect.

Chuck Pula,

City of Winter Springs



Friday, January 16

7:00AM – 7:50AM Innovative Sessions I, II and III

(15 min. sessions)

I: Post Season Field Restoration Bob Marcotte, Texas A&M

II: Going Back to Grass Darian Daily, Paul Brown Stadium

III: How to Conduct a Safety Audit David Schlotthauer, BYU

8:00AM – 10:00AM

Cool-Season Presentations & Q&A

David Minner, Ph.D., Abby McNeal, CSFM, Mike Trigg, CSFM, Jeff Fowler

Warm-Season Presentations & Q&A

Grady Miller, Ph.D., Ron Hostick, CSFM, Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D., Chris Calcaterra, M.Ed., CSFM, CPRP

Transition Zone Managers Presentations & Q&A

Bob Campbell, CSFM, Mike Goatley, Jr., Ph.D., AJ Powell, Jr., Ph.D., Jody Gill

Synthetic Turf Managers Presentations & Q&A

Debra Kneeshaw, Andy McNitt, Ph.D., Jay Beals, Mark Nicholls


1:15PM – 5:15PM Optional Turfgrass Institute III: Turf Pathology

Alan Windham, Ph.D., Frank Wong, Ph.D., and Brandon Horvath, Ph.D.

Using compound and dissecting microscopes, participants will learn the elements of disease diagnosis and will identify turf grasses infected with Pythium, Sclerotinia, Rhidzoctonia, etc. Complete full-color booklets will be provided to take home for easy reference.




Specific Strategies for Managing Intense Traffic Areas of Cool-Season Athletic Fields

A PowerPoint presentation will be used to fetch out the problems associated with intense traffic on cool season athletic fields. Learn proven strategies and techniques that can be readily implemented in every sports field managers program. The STMA’s Playing Conditions Index (PCI) will be highlighted as a tool for evaluation.

David Minner, Ph.D.,

Iowa State University


John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz Comes Alive

This live presentation of the popular monthly article that appears in SportsTurf Magazine showing photographs of problems that occur on sports turf areas and the causes as well as solutions to these problems. The talk is not only entertaining but lots of fun as well. It is more in-depth than the magazine as additional photos of the problems and solutions to the problems are shown.

John Mascaro,

Turf-Tec International


Turf & Weedy Grass I.D.

The use of identification keys (including web-based keys) for the identification of desirable turf species and weedy grasses (both warm and cool season species).

Tony Koski, Ph.D.,

Colorado State University


Comparison of Organic-Based Fertilizers to

Synthetic- Based Fertilizers

A season long comparison of organic based fertilizer, against synthetic, or mineral based fertilizers. Turf will be cool season, blue/ryegrass. It will be located in North Park, in Lincolnshire

Illinois. The results will determine the future fertilization practices in this park.

Mike Schiller, CSFM,

Olsens Distributing & ILSTMA

Troy Taylor, Village of Lincolnshire


Budgeting to Do it Right the First Time

Many sports turf managers lament the lack of maintenance budgets to provide quality field conditions. This session will explain how you can develop a realistic maintenance plan and budget for long-term superior field conditions and gain buy-in

from your employer and user groups.


Considerations in the Selection of Renovating a Native Soil Field Versus Replacing with Synthetic Turf

When trying to decide how best to spend valuable and limited funds on the renovation of athletic fields, all of the stakeholders will have differing opinions and requirements. What are the questions that really need clear answers? A few include: What is your budget? What is the field condition?

Devin Conway,

Verde Design, Inc.


Environmentally Compatible Sports Turf Management

(repeated 4:15-5:15pm)

This presentation will integrate the human and environmental dimensions of sports turf management. Sports turf has the most intimate relationship with its user than any other turf system.

In addition the tools and practices needed to meet these needs can have consequences.

Frank Rossi, Ph.D.,

Cornell University


Maximizing Irrigation Distribution Uniformity with Catch Pan Performance Data

Will show the benefits of performing a zone-by-zone irrigation audit. Comparisons will be made between catalog precipitation rates and actual field measured values. Water savings, reduction of overly wet areas and overall better turf quality will be demonstrated.

Jeffrey Gilbert,

University of Arizona



4:15PM – 5:15PM

Converting from Cool season Grass to Bermudagrass in Native Soil in the Transition Zone-

How to Make it Work for You

A step-by-step breakdown of processes used to convert cool season grass fields to warm season grass with attention to specific types of equipment and products used.

Michael W. Sullenberger,

Game Day Incorporated

Josh McPherson,

DC Dept. of Recreation


US Horse Racing Surfaces: Turf, Dirt, and Synthetic

Gain a better understanding of the types of racing surfaces used in the USA. Also get firsthand information regarding soil and turfgrass composition for 8-15 racing surfaces located throughout the country. Learn something about the variation in dirt track composition for various racetracks.

Michael DePew, Ph.D.,



Multi-faceted Approaches to Managing Community and School Sports Fields

Review the strategies managers can use when working with and involving end-users including parks and rec agencies, community groups, leagues and schools to secure support for field use policies and resources for managing high-use community and school fields when safety and playability are priorities.

Joanne Gruttadaurio,

Sports Turf Managers of NY


The Politics of Sports Field Management

Sports field managers who understand the value of good human relations skills can have both great sports fields and great relationships with their “customers.” Find out how successful K-12 sports field managers balance their agronomic skills with their people skills.

Don Savard, CSFM, CGM

Salesianum School


Improving Native Soil Athletic Field Drainage

Renovation to a synthetic or sand-based system is very costly and will render a field temporarily useless. A possible alternative to complete field renovation is the installation of an intercept drain tile system and subsequent sand top-dressing applications providing a cost effective solution.

Alex Kowalewski,

Michigan State University


Environmentally Compatible Sports Turf Management (repeated)

This presentation will integrate the human and environmental dimensions of sports turf management. Sports turf has the most intimate relationship with its user than any other turf system. In addition the tools and practices needed to meet these needs can have consequences.

Frank Rossi, Ph.D.,

Cornell University


Drought Management & Water Conservation

The presentation will focus on issues facing the turfgrass, golf course and sports field industry as it relates the use, quality, and availability of water for the future.

Terry Vassey, Ph.D.,

Cal Poly State University


Managing Turf Without Pesticides

Management practices on athletic fields, park areas without pesticides, seeding practices and aerifying to assist with this, working in a liberal community

Joe Wagner,

City of Iowa City

Parks and Recreation


Student Track

Friday January 16 8AM-5:15PM

8:00AM – 10:30AM Student Challenge Win $4,000 for your turf program! Teams of 2 to 4 students (undergraduates only) compete on a team test covering agronomics,  sports turf and athletic field management.

10:30AM – 12:00PM Students attend Trade Show

12:00PM – 1:00PM Student Lunch

1:15PM – 5:15PM Student Forums:

Transitioning from Student to Assistant Sports Turf Manager James McAfee, Ph.D.

Leveraging Your Personality Traits For a Successful Career Mike Goatley, Jr., Ph.D.

Asenal FC – An International Sports Turf Experience

John Torres