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2022 FEATURED SPEAKERS

Our featured speakers are some of the brightest individuals across the country in turfgrass management and research. These high-profile speakers will present top trends impacting the turfgrass industry. Learn more about each featured speaker by scrolling over their image and selecting their bio.

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Roch Gaussoin

University of Nebraska

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Brandon Horvath

University of Tennessee

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Mike Richardson

University of Arkansas

SESSION SPEAKERS

The following individuals represent turfgrass institutions and industry professionals from across the state of the Iowa. Learn more about these individuals by scrolling over their image and selecting their bio.

Nick Christians, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

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Michael Lee

Sr. Manager, Government Affairs at GCSAA 

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John Ball

South Dakota State University

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Donald Lewis, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

 

Nick Christians, Ph.D.

Nick Christians, Ph.D., is a professor of horticulture at Iowa State University. He earned his B.S. degree at Colorado State University and his master's and Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Christians’ research focuses on turfgrass fertility, weed control, growth regulators and naturally occurring herbicides for the turf industry. His university appointment consists of a blend of teaching and research. His excellence in the turfgrass industry has been well-documented through the numerous awards, including  the Iowa State Horticultural Society Honor Award, an appointment to the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Board of Directors, the Fred Grau Turfgrass Research Award from the Crop Science Society of America, the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa GCSA and the Meritorious Service Award from the Iowa Turfgrass Institute.

In addition to his participation in many state and regional turfgrass conferences around the United States, Christians has lectured on basic turfgrass management in Spain, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Japan.  He has been a GCSAA faculty member since 1983 and he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

 
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Roch Gaussoin, Ph.D.

Roch Gaussoin, Ph.D., joined the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska in 1991. He studied agronomy in his first four years at New Mexico State University. Dr. Gaussoin went on to earn his Ph.D. in crop and soil science s at Michigan State University. Dr. Gaussoin has over 100 Extension publications, 400 invited presentations and authored a book chapter. He continues to exhibit global awareness and knowledge of human diversity through analysis of the geopolitical and environmental issue related to invasive plants.

 
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Brandon Horvath, Ph.D.

Brandon Horvath, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee since 2009. He began his turfgrass and turfgrass pathogens studies at Ohio State University and went on to earn his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. As a turf pathologist, he is strategizing about the courses he will develop at the University of Tennessee. His research interests include the epidemiology of turfgrass pathogens and development of strategies based upon epidemiological research to manage turfgrass diseases.

 
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Donald Lewis, Ph.D.

Professor and Extension Entomologist, Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Dr. Lewis is responsible for outreach education on insect pest management in horticultural crops, households and structures and is a specialist in the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Dr. Lewis is the instructor of the online, beginning entomology course for non-majors and is a co-instructor in Turfgrass Pest Management. Dr. Lewis as an instructor in the Iowa Master Gardener Program and a regular contributor to the Iowa Public Radio Talk of Iowa Horticulture Show.

 
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Mike Richardson, Ph.D.

Mike Richardson, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas since 1998. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in turfgrass management and conducts research on cultural practices that impact cool and warm season turfgrass production in transition zone environments. Dr. Richardson has authored over 120 journal articles on turfgrass management and physiology, published 10 book chapters, and delivered over 300 invited lectures on various aspects of turfgrass management around the nation and world.

 

Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

Adam Thoms, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of horticulture at Iowa State University. He earned his B.S. in horticulture with the turfgrass option from Iowa State University, a master’s in plant science in the turfgrass option from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in plants, insects and soils from the University of Tennessee.

His appointment allows him the opportunity to be involved with extension, research and teaching. Thoms’ research focuses on the performance of turfgrasses subjected to various management techniques. 

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John Ball

Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist.

John supports the citizens of South Dakota in his role as a Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist at the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings. His interests are trees.

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Michael Lee, GCSAA

Michael Lee is GCSAA’s Sr. Manager of Government Affairs. Having joined the association in November 2016, he manages state and local affairs with a strong focus on grassroots management and advocacy for the Industry. Prior to GCSAA, Lee worked for 8 years for United States Senator Jim Inhofe in his home state of Oklahoma.

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Ankeny, Iowa 50023-4163

P: 515.635.0306

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