STMA has expanded the educational track, with more than 65 education sessions to choose from, organized into nine different educational tracks.

STMA Conference Program for Long Beach, CA, January 11-14

STMA heads west, to Long Beach, Calif. from Jan. 10-14, 2012 for the 23rd Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition.  Settled along five-and-a-half miles of sandy coastline, Long Beach is the quintessential vacation getaway, boasting both the ambience of a sophisticated urban center and the charm of a seaside community. Located just 20 miles south of Los Angeles, California’s fifth largest city offers visitors a dynamic range of attractions, shopping, recreational activities, art and culture, restaurants and nightly entertainment that make it an ideal destination for attendees.

As has been the case for several years, STMA has expanded the educational track, with more than 65 education sessions to choose from, organized into nine different educational tracks (you’ll learn more about these later in this article).  All of this year’s sessions were selected with one thing in mind… you and your facility coming away with new opportunities, ready to be capitalized on when you return home. 

As usual, there will be ample opportunity to network, visit with STMA commercial members and vendors at the trade show, and take away valuable, actionable lessons from world class educators.  

Estimated Investment to Attend

Complete Conference Package (Including meals and preconference workshops) – STMA Member – $375

*Ground Transportation – $50

Misc. meals – $40

*3 nights lodging at STMA official hotel – $639

Air Transportation – $340

Total – $1,444

Remember, that’s an investment – not a cost!  STMA’s previous conferences have delivered a return on investment of 1,375 percent!  For a detailed ROI report, go to and click on the Conference tab, 2011. 

*There are ways to reduce your costs significantly.  Just splitting the ride to and from the airport and sharing a room with one other person can reduce these costs by more than $340!

What the Conference Includes

·         Full day of pre-conference workshops

·         More than 90 hours of education

·         More than 8 dedicated hours with exhibitors

·         20 hours of networking

·         Breakfasts and lunches

·         Receptions and the 2012 STMA Awards Banquet


Many organizations recognize the caliber of STMA education and are awarding CEUs!

STMA, GCSAA, NRPA, NIAAA, ASBA, and PLANET are awarding CEUs for the entire conference

Irrigation Association (IA) awards for these sessions: Wednesday – STMA 102; 104; 107; Thursday – STMA 205; 206; Friday – STMA 304; 310

American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA) awards for these sessions: Wednesday – STMA 100; 101; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; Thursday – STMA 200; 205; 206; 207; 208; 209; 210; 211; 212; 213; 214; 225; Friday – STMA 303; 304; 305; 306; 307; 308

California Pesticide Recertification Credits can be earned for these sessions: Wednesday – STMA 103; 104; Thursday – STMA 210; 214; 217; 222; Friday – STMA 307; 308; 318; 320

Registration Hours

Tues.,  6:30 – 10 a.m. (Hyatt), AND  3-7 p.m.  (Conv. Cntr.)

Wed.,  6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Conv. Cntr.)

Thurs., 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Conv. Cntr.)

Fri., 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Conv. Cntr.)

All badges will be picked up on-site


Trade Show Hours

Thurs., Jan. 12, 4:15 – 7:45 p.m. (Reception)

Fri., Jan. 13, 10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (Lunch)

Don’t miss the SAFE Silent Auction, and the Top 10+ Monitoring Tools for Turf session on the show floor by Dr. Larry Stowell:  Thurs., Jan. 12, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and Fri., Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Schedule at a Glance

Tues., Jan. 10

6:30 – 8 a.m.                Continental Breakfast

6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.     Registration Open  (Hyatt)

7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.       Seminar on Wheels (optional)

3 – 7 p.m.                     Registration Open (Conv. Cntr)

3:30 – 7:30 p.m.           Certification Exam

6 – 9 p.m.                     Chapter Officers’ Training

Wed., Jan 11

6:30 -8 a.m.                 Continental Breakfast

6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.       Registration Open

7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.       Seminar on Wheels

7 a.m. – 4 p.m.                        SAFE Golf Tournament

8 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Education

2 – 4 p.m.                     Education

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.           Networking Sessions

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.           Committee Meetings

7 – 7:30 p.m.                First Timers’ Reception

7:30 – 10 p.m.              Welcome Reception & Casino Night (NEW!)

Thurs., Jan. 12

6:30 – 8 a.m.                Continental Breakfast

6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.       Registration Open

6:45 – 7:45 a.m.           CSFM Breakfast

8 – 10 a.m.                   General Session

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.       Student Session

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.       Education

12 – 1:15 p.m.              Annual Meeting & Lunch

1:30 – 4:15 P.M.          Education

4:15 – 7:45 p.m.           Trade Show & Reception

Fri., Jan. 13

6:30 – 8 a.m.                Continental Breakfast

6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.       Registration Open

6:45 – 7:45 a.m.           Past President’s Breakfast

7 – 7:45 a.m.                Innovative Sessions

8 – 10 a.m.                   Education

10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.     Trade Show & Lunch

2:45 – 4:45 p.m.           Education

6:30 – 10 p.m.              Awards Reception and Banquet


Conference Highlights

STMA Networking Sessions

Wed., Jan. 11, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Members say that networking is one of the top reasons they join STMA. Thus, in addition to all of the networking opportunities throughout the conference, we’ve created a formalized networking kick-off. Network with professionals from facilities similar to your own! The forum is divided by category into separate sessions for schools K-12 facilities, colleges and universities, facilities used by professional athletes, parks and recreation facilities, academics and students.


Welcome Reception

Sponsored by Toro and Covermaster

Wed., Jan. 11, 7:30 – 10 p.m.

First-Time Attendees Reception – 7 – 7:30 p.m.

A must-attend networking event!  Kick off the conference in style with the other influencers who are in Long Beach.  Enjoy food and drink courtesy of Welcome Reception sponsors Toro and Covermaster.


SAFE Casino Night at the Welcome Reception

Wed., Jan. 11, 8:30 – 10 p.m.

The SAFE Foundation will be debuting Casino Night at the Welcome Reception at 8:30 p.m. with many games and opportunities to win prizes while supporting STMA’s charity. 

Include graphic of cards, chips, etc. or something that calls out Casino Night


General Session Keynote Speakers

Thurs., Jan. 12, 8 – 10 a.m.

Sponsored by World Class Athletic Surfaces

Dr. Frank Rossi, Ph.D.  – Sustainability: Meeting the Needs of Today without Compromising Tomorrow LEAVE SPACE FOR PHOTO

Frank Rossi has been recognized among the most influential people in the golf, sports and lawn turf Industry. He has spent the majority of his career in turfgrass science focused on improving the resource efficiency and environmental compatibility of turfgrass systems. He has served as lead turf consultant for the New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, and for the 2002 and 2009 US Open Golf Championships. His presentation will address the global aspects of sustainability and the demands that go beyond the recreational function of sports surfaces. Sports turf management, often focused solely on athlete safety, now must consider other impacts. Hear about how to leverage the social, economic, and environmental mission of sports turf management into an ideal opportunity to address the broader issue of sustainability.


Eric BolesLead with Purpose LEAVE SPACE FOR PHOTO

Eric Boles is a highly acclaimed speaker and consultant for some of the most recognized companies in the world — Starbucks, Boeing, Coca Cola and Southwest Airlines — to name a few. Prior to becoming an authority on teamwork, leadership and personal development, Eric learned many principles of team dynamics and leadership from his experience playing in the NFL with the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.  His presentation, Lead With Purpose, will help you become intentional in how you develop as a leader, and how you develop others to lead. Find out how your influence grows with your commitment and ability to create relationships. Learn how your personal character and integrity directly impact your ability to effectively influence people. Discover what is necessary to help achieve sustainable long-term results.


STMA Annual Meeting & Lunch

Thurs., Jan. 12, 12 – 1:15 p.m.

Members Only

There is no scheduled Student Session during this time so that Students can now attend! Meet your new 2012 Board Members and hear about the association’s progress and goals while enjoying lunch.


STMA Annual Awards Banquet & Pre-Banquet Reception

Fri., Jan. 13, 6:30 – 10 p.m.

Enjoy fabulous food and beverage while honoring STMA award winners.  Be a part of the surprise when STMA’s highest honors, the Founders’ Awards, are presented to four unsuspecting members.


Conference Takeaways


Attendees will learn:

·         Latest control methods for weeds, diseases, and insects in turfgrass for 2012.  This will include information about current pesticide restrictions and regulations.

·         Techniques for Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in sports turf management that can apply to K-12 schools, parks and recreation, colleges and universities, and professional facilities.

·         How to implement multifaceted environmental stewardship programs and sustainable practices at sports facilities and the associated cost and labor savings.

·         About issues with warm season, cool season, and transition zone turfgrasses through panels of industry experts.

·         Best Practices for the professional care and maintenance of a synthetic turf surface.  Topics include painting, environmental issues, synthetic turf standards, removal and recycling, design, construction, and lifecycle planning.

·         Steps to mitigate and recover from real life sports field disasters and how to communicate with various stakeholders during the disaster. 

·         About the daily and long term maintenance necessary to manage baseball and softball infield skins.

·         Best management practices for correcting field issues relating to drought, traffic damage, pest problems, nutrient deficiencies, shade, and compaction.

·         About basic turfgrass growth and development and how it relates to cultural practices and plant responses to traffic and environmental stress.

·         About newest trends and technology available to sports turf managers for 2012.

·         Basic turfgrass management in Spanish.  For Hispanic attendees, Sportsturf 101 – In Spanish will provide a solid introduction to turfgrass management and identify and diagnose some of the most common problems in turfgrass.

·         How to use irrigation more efficiently during water shortages, potential alternative irrigation sources, and guidelines for the interpretation of water quality reports.

·         Agronomic, economic, environmental, and political aspects of sports turf management related to fertilizer and chemical applications.

·         Necessary maintenance practices regarding native and sand-based rootzones as it applies to construction, renovations, field improvements, and ongoing maintenance.  Topics will include soil selection, organic matter, quality control, and proper long-term maintenance.

·         Professional skills necessary for success as a sports turf manager.  This includes resume development, skill enhancement, time management, training requirements, internship goals, employee management, personal and professional success strategies, communication, and networking.

·         The importance of sports field drainage, drainage options, and how to adjust maintenance practices to optimize drainage.

·         Ideas to complement the overall goal to reduce costs, and improve efficiency, safety and playability of sports fields.


Educational Program

The 2012 STMA Conference focuses on providing new ideas, recognizing opportunities and discovering solutions for managing sports facilities.  Demonstrations, classroom education, roundtables, workshops, and networking all provide chances for sports turf managers to access information that will lead to success.  The sessions have been organized into nine separate educational tracks, and we’ve implemented a session numbering system (100’s on Wednesday, 200’s on Thursday, and 300’s on Friday.  Higher numbered classes do NOT necessarily mean advanced content, just that the session is later in the day.), to help you better manage your time on-site.  We strongly encourage you to use the Schedule Builder and Trip Report STMA has developed to ensure that you and your facility maximize your investment in Long Beach.


Synthetic Track

STMA 100 – Synthetic Turf: Concept, Design, Construction, Completion, Maintenance, and Lifecycle Planning

Wed., Jan. 11, 8 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Speaker: Mark Nicholls, Turf Industry Inc.

This workshop focuses on an in-depth analysis of synthetic turf. The point you begin to consider synthetic turf through the entire lifecycle of the field will be detailed in a chronological explanation.  Topics covered will include design elements, specification considerations, vendor selection, project management, care and maintenance requirements, and lifecycle planning.

Attendees will learn:

·         How to professionally identify, select, and procure a synthetic turf system to meet sports specific needs at your facility.

·         Best Practices for the professional care and maintenance of a synthetic turf surface to extend the useful life and enhance the ROI.

·         Routine synthetic turf testing to optimize performance and maximize safety.


STMA 209 – A Realistic Review of Maintenance Practices for Synthetic Turf Fields

Thurs., Jan. 12, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Mark Lucas, University of California – Davis


STMA 221 – Synthetic Turf Removal, Reclamation, and Recycling

Thurs., Jan. 12, 2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Speaker: Zach Burns, The Motz Group


STMA 305 – A Review of the NFL Synthetic Turf Game Day Standards and Synthetic Turf Base Construction

Fri., Jan. 13, 8 – 9 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Andrew McNitt, Penn State University


STMA 306 – Sustainable Athletic Fields and Related Environmental Issues

Fri., Jan. 13, 8 – 9 a.m.

Speakers: Patrick Maguire, Activitas

David Nardone, Stantec Sport


STMA 317 – Artificial Turf Painting and Removal

Fri., Jan. 13, 2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Speaker: Grant Davisson, Minnesota Vikings Football




STMA 101 – Perceived and Real Environmental Impacts of Phosphorus

Wed., Jan. 11, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Speakers: Dr. Gwen Stahnke, Washington State University – Puyallup

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, Auburn University

Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota


STMA 102 – A New Era in Sports Turf Management

Wed., Jan. 11, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

Speakers: Kevin Mercer, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Jim Sluiter, Audubon International


STMA 103 – Weed Control without Synthetic Herbicides

Wed., Jan. 11, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Douglas Linde, Delaware Valley College

The recent increase in public pressure to further restrict or ban synthetic pesticides on turfgrass has increased research on alternatives to synthetic pesticides.  Currently there are very few viable alternatives to synthetic herbicides.  Research from a study conducted from 2009-2011 investigates the effectiveness of 12 alternatives to synthetic herbicides for weed control in turfgrass.  Results showed a wide range in weed control and cost.  The results will be used to provide a basis for defining and describing alternatives to synthetic herbicides that could be used on sports fields.  Field managers educated in this area will be better prepared to reduce reliance on synthetic herbicides either voluntarily or if forced by legislation. 

This presentation will focus on:

·         Understanding the public pressure being put on turfgrass managers to reduce or eliminate pesticide use.

·         Various alternatives to synthetic herbicides for turfgrass and their advantages and disadvantages.

·         How to incorporate alternatives into a sports field weed control program.


STMA 200 – Keynote Presentation: Meeting the Needs of Today without Compromising Tomorrow: Sustainable Sports Turf

Thurs., Jan. 12, 8-9 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Frank Rossi, Cornell University


STMA 208 – Environmental and Economic Considerations of Nitrogen Fertilization

Thurs., Jan. 12, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota




STMA 104 – Turfgrass Physiology for the Sports Turf Manager

Wed., Jan. 11, 2 – 4 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Tony Koski, Colorado State University


STMA 107 & 205 – Back to Basics: Maintaining Natural Grass on Native Soil

Wed., Jan. 11, 2 – 4 p.m.

Repeated Thurs., Jan. 12, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Brad Jakubowski, Doane College


STMA 206 – Managing Turfgrasses During Drought

Thurs., Jan. 12, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Ali Harivandi, University of California


Recreational facilities located in climates characterized by long, hot, dry summers must water turfgrasses to survive under hot, dry conditions. During drought conditions, cost and demand for water rises and facilities are under pressure to use water more efficiently. This presentation will focus on how turfgrasses use water, ability of turfgrasses to resist drought, irrigation practices, and smart cultural practices during drought conditions.

Attendees will learn:

·         How to reduce irrigation water use during water shortages to conserve water and cost and still keep turfgrasses alive.

·         About soil-water-plant relationships to become more effective agronomists.

·         How to modify other turfgrass management practices (mowing, fertilization, aeration) during water shortage periods to help turfgrass plants survive.


STMA 212 – Comparison of Synthetic and Organic Fertilizers for Sports Turf

Thurs., Jan. 12, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Tony Koski, Colorado State University


STMA 223 – Bermudagrasses: New Varieties for Sports Turf and Management Tips from the Pros

Thurs., Jan. 12, 2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Speakers: Dr. John Sorochan, University of Tennessee

Dr. A.J. Powell, Jr., Retired – University of Kentucky

Darian Daily, Paul Brown Stadium

Leif Dickinson, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club


STMA 224 – Cool Season Turfgrasses: New Varieties for Sports Turf and Management Tips from the Pros

Thurs., Jan. 12, 2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Speakers: Brad Park, Rutgers

Dr. Gwen Stahnke, Washington State University – Puyallup

Dr. John “Trey” Rogers III, Michigan State University

Bill Deacon, New York Mets

Tim VanLoo, CSFM, Iowa State University


STMA 226 – Deciphering Your Soil Test

Thurs., Jan. 12, 3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, Auburn University


STMA 228 – Turfgrass Physiology: Solar Radiation is the Driving Force of Sports Turf Management

Thurs., Jan. 12, 3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Karl Danneberger, Ohio State University


STMA 301 – Kentucky Bluegrass – Monostand or Blend

Fri., Jan. 13, 7:15 – 7:30 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. John “Trey” Rogers III, Michigan State University


STMA 304 – Turfgrass Management in the Transition Zone

Fri., Jan. 13, 8 – 9 a.m.

Speakers: Dr. A.J. Powell Jr., Retired – University of Kentucky

Dr. John Sorochan – University of Tennessee


STMA 307 – Sportsturf 101 – in SpanishCèspedes Deportivos 101- En español

Fri., Jan. 13, 8 – 10 a.m.

Speaker: Jose Makk, Natura Turf

This seminar will provide a solid introduction to turfgrass management. Real cases will be presented that focus on turfgrass ecological impact, soil identification and common problems, nutrient balance, and turfgrass management and culture. The session will include a step by step approach to identify and diagnose some of the most common problems in turfgrass.

Attendees will:

·         Learn principles of good turfgrass manageme