Dr. Scott Ebdson (R) receives the NTEP Distinguished Service Award from Executive Director Kevin Morris (L).

Inaugural NTEP Distinguished Award winner announced

The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) announced that the first recipient of the NTEP Distinguished Award is Dr. Scott Ebdon, Professor of Turfgrass Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Ebdon received the award at the Crop Science of America annual conference in Baltimore, Md., on November 9. 

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the turfgrass industry through cooperation with, or support of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. Dr. Mike Richardson, University of Arkansas nominated Dr. Ebdon for the award, noting his role as principal investigator and evaluator of twenty-four NTEP trials over his career. Dr. Ebdon has been instrumental in evaluating traffic tolerance on many of those trials, as well as serving on advisory committees for multiple trials. Dr. Ebdon was also a key contributor as an advisory committee member and evaluator for two NTEP water use trials under rainout shelters. Because of his research on water use and drought tolerance in turfgrasses, Dr. Ebdon is a recognized expert on how grasses utilize water and in understanding drought tolerance mechanisms.  His many research articles and presentations on the subject include two comprehensive review articles he recently co-authored and published in Crop Science. 

Dr. Richardson noted that Dr. Ebdon’s greatest contribution to NTEP is probably his efforts to improve NTEP’s statistical analysis procedures.  Dr. Ebdon, along with Dr. Hugh Gauch applied the AMMI statistical model, developed by Dr. Gauch to NTEP trial data. The AMMI procedure significantly improves the accuracy of NTEP published data by factoring in the many different trial environments utilized by NTEP.  Dr. Ebdon subsequently trained NTEP staff on implementation of the procedure.  In addition, Dr. Ebdon has been instrumental in his commitment to the NTEP database and the revolutionary, publicly available Turfgrass Trial Explorer search engine, aiding in design, accuracy and output of statistics critical to the success of this new product. Dr. Ebdon was served on the also the NTEP Policy Committee as Northeast representative for three terms. 

NTEP, established in 1980, is a non-profit program that develops and coordinates uniform evaluation trials of turfgrass varieties and promising selections across the United States and Canada.  ‘Official’ trial locations can be found at land-grant universities in forty states.  ‘On-site’ trials are or have been established on about 25 golf courses nationwide.  NTEP is currently testing over 600 cultivars and experimental selections, encompassing about twenty turfgrass species.  More information can be found on the NTEP web site (www.ntep.org) or by contacting Kevin Morris, NTEP Executive Director at 301-504-5125, or kmorris@ntep.org .