STMA is hosting three technical institutes at the upcoming national conference in January in San José. The Introductory and Advanced Institutes are being held pre-conference on Wed., Jan. 14, and they are timed so that attendees can attend both of them. The morning Introductory Institute, Native Soil Sports Turf Management, taught by Dr. A.J. Powell, will provide a complete review of management practices for native soil fields including solving drainage issues, fertilizer applications, aerification, top dressing, soil testing and pest and weed management. The afternoon Advanced Institute, Advanced Principles in Soil Modification, taught by Dr. Andrew McNitt, is designed to increase your understanding of the practical workings of sand-based rootzones used for turfgrass. It is aimed at those who manage, design, or build sand-rootzone sports fields. The emphasis will be on understanding the manipulation of air and water in a rootzone and drainage system by manipulating sand particle size, shape, and uniformity and organic matter type and content. After this seminar you should be able to understand the sand selection and organic matter mixing process and be able to converse about USGA specifications, testing procedures, and quality control, as well as have a cursory knowledge of rootzone design principals. The third institute is being held on Fri., Jan. 16, in the afternoon. Turf Pathology is being taught by Drs. Alan Windham, Frank Wong, and Brandon Horvath. This session takes attendees through the elements of disease diagnosis using compound and dissecting microscopes. Some of the turfgrass diseases that you will be able to identify include Pythium, Sclerotinia, and Rhidzoctonia. Each attendee will receive a full color booklet for future reference. Each institute has a $55 fee in addition to the full conference registration fee.