Defining and Developing Sustainable Turfgrass Management – Gwen K. Stahnke

Sustainability has been used with varied meanings, and in some cases, it is interpreted as no maintenance. This session will define sustainability as a decision process to select and maintain plants adapted to the local environment and use of the area. With help from university researchers’ trials and data, Gwen will examine how to select the appropriate turfgrasses for sustainability in specific environments. Learn to develop maintenance plans that will enhance, not degrade the environmental quality.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to make turfgrass and cultural practice selections based on university research data, location and use of area
  • Develop plans for all areas with minimal inputs to keep from degradation of areas
  • Split plans for areas up into low, medium and high use areas for scheduling and budgeting
  • Reevaluate all areas for improvements to plans to increase sustainability through use of new tools or plants

Sponsored by: Silver Partner in Professionalism

 Dr. Gwen K. Stahnke

Dr. Gwen K. Stahnke grew up in Illinois and received her B.S. in Horticulture/Turf at U. of Illinois in 1977. Her first job was assistant superintendent at Medinah C.C. in Medinah, Illinois. After 1 ½ years, she went back to graduate school at Texas A & M University for her Masters degree in turfgrass with Dr. James B Beard in 1981. From Texas A & M, she moved to Lake City, FL, to teach in the school of golf course operations for 4 years and then moved on to Area Agronomist for the TruGreen Co. in Menominee Falls, WI, for 2 years. Her career path from there led to a sod farm manager in Atlanta and then circled back to earning her PhD in Turf with Dr. Bob Shearman at Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989, with a move to Washington State as Turf Extension Specialist in Puyallup, WA, for the next 24 years. She retired from WSU-Puyallup and is currently Professor Emeritus, WSU-Puyallup REC and the instructor for the Turfgrass Management program at Walla Walla Community College. She is active within the Crop Science Society, the national and local chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Associations, is one of 3 representatives from the U. S. on the International Turfgrass Society’s Board of Directors and most recently became a member of the PGMS Board of Directors.