STMA Featured Speakers of the Month

STMA’s Conference Education Committee is working hard to put together an exciting and informative education program for the 2022 Conference in Savannah, Ga. Each month, STMA is highlighting speakers who will be presenting at the conference. The featured speakers being highlighted in July are Dr. Kyley Dickson, Dr. Stan Kostka and Dr. Michael Fidanza.

Dr. Kyley Dickson is the associate director of the Center for Athletic Field Safety at The University of Tennessee. He will be presenting ‘Synthetic Field Maintenance: What the Research Shows.”

The presentation will detail the minimum maintenance needs for a synthetic turf field. The presentation will cover what the research has found on these different maintenance techniques. The presentation should show the key factors to look for when determining when to apply maintenance on synthetic fields. The attendees will be taught useful tips to improve field playability and performance. The presentation will cover the basic synthetic turf maintenance needs for any budget.

The objectives for this session include:

1 – Teach the basics of field maintenance and its importance.

2 – Talk about what research has shown to improve synthetic field longevity and performance.

3 – Instruct useful methods and tools for precision maintenance to reduce cost and improve field playability.

Dr. Stan Kostka is a visiting scholar at the Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus and Dr. Michael Fidanza is a professor of plant and soil sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus. They will be presenting “Let’s Clear Up the Confusion on Wetting Agents and Sports Turfgrass.”

Soil surfactants (also referred to as wetting agents) are staples of turfgrass maintenance programs to treat localized dry spots, mitigate soil water repellency, and to improve rootzone water delivery, water use efficiency, nutrient access, and enhance overall plant health. The goal of this seminar is to provide sports field managers with an introduction into the basic concepts of soil water, the development of water repellency in soils, and basic principles on soil surfactant mode of action and impacts to enhance water management and improve turfgrass performance, and how to make sense of all the soil surfactant products in the marketplace.

By attending the session, attendees will:

1 – Gain an understanding into the concepts of soil water dynamics within the turfgrass rootzone.

2 – Gain further insight into how the soil surfactants in today’s marketplace are classified and categorized.

3 – Learn about the many wetting agent products on the market, and how to determine which ones are best suited for their own turfgrass management program.