DTM*2600 Turf Environmental Management

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course covers the many environmental issues encountered by professional turfgrass managers in golf, sports and lawn turfgrass operations.  The course addresses regulatory issues, waste management, environmental protection and monitoring, including both the turf and non-turf elements of the landscape. The course is designed to prepare students for landscape applicator license exams in a number of jurisdictions.

Turfgrass areas offer functional benefits to the surrounding community and the environment, in addition to the physical and mental health benefits provided by recreational activities. This course introduces the application of integrated pest management strategies and the development of best management practices which minimize and mitigate the impact of turfgrass management on the ecosystem as a whole. We will focus on environmental stewardship and responsible land use.

Pre-Requisites:  DTM*1000, DTM*1300


  • DTM*4100
  • Restricted to Associate Diploma students in the Turfgrass Management program.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to WebAdvisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, students should be able to:
  1. Identify, understand and critically evaluate the key global issues that affect the environment and how they relate to managing local golf courses, sod farms, sports fields, municipal parks and home lawns. 
  2. Read, analyze, and extract important product, application, safety, disposal, and environmental information from pesticide labels.
  3. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of regulations and best management practices surrounding pesticide use, fertilizer applications, water consumption, and fossil fuels within a turf management operation.
  4. Understand key principles in land stewardship surrounding management and/or restoration of wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and ecological integrity in the context of sustainable conservation.
  5. Understand the need for balance between turfgrass maintenance practices and their potential environmental impact.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, critically evaluate, and report on prevailing public perceptions, government legislation, and scientific literature on topics relating to turf management and environmental concerns.
  7. Accurately analyze, interpret, and discuss experimental data through the collection and evaluation of laboratory findings

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:
Lecture topics include global environmental issues and their relation to the turfgrass management industry. Specific areas of focus will include but are not limited to:
  • Pesticide use and risk
  • Fertilizer applications
  • Water management reduction strategies
  • Integrated pest management for turfgrass
  • Principles of land stewardship, conservation, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and ecological integrity
  • When possible, relevant industry case studies and guest speakers will be used in class
Labs & Seminars:
Labs will be a mix of hands-on activities, group collaboration, discussions, student presentations, and guest speakers. Specific topics and activities will include but are not limited to:
  • Group discussion and debate
  • Understanding and reading pesticide labels
  • Pesticide application and movement
  • Fertilizer leaching and electrical conductivity meters
  • Irrigation auditing
  • Identifying key areas of environmental sensitivity
  • Field trip (when possible)
  • Environmental case study report presentations
  • Ontario Landscape Exterminator's Licence review and prep

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed


20% 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Lab Worksheets


2, 3, 4, 6, 7

Class Debate


Midterm Exam

20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Group Case Study


1, 3, 4, 5, 6

Final Assessment*

20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

*This final assignment is in lieu of a final exam, to be presented to the instructor before the 9th day of the exam period. The oral assessment will cover all materials and topics presented and discussed in class and lab. Details regarding this assessment will be posted to CourseLink by the 9th week of classes.


Final examination:

There is no final exam in this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:
  1. A Guide to Environmental Stewardship on the Golf Course (Textbook) Details on how to access this free resource will be shared on CourseLink
  2. Integrated Pest Management for Turf. OMAFRA Publication 845 http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub845/pub845.pdf

For those taking the Pesticide Exterminator's Licence Exam:

  1. Ontario Pesticide Training and Certification: Core Manual - https://www.ontariopesticide.com/ Available from Ridgetown College, University of Guelph. Ordering instructions will be given in class.
  2. Ontario Pesticide Training and Certification: Landscape Module - https://www.ontariopesticide.com/ Available from Ridgetown College, University of Guelph. Ordering instructions will be given in class.
Michigan State Turfgrass Information File (Website)
The TGIF is a collection of trade magazine articles, peer reviewed scientific publications, brochures, pamphlets, and fact sheets on various topics related to the turfgrass industry.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless you are a member of a recognized professional association, students will only have access to the TGIF when connected to the main campus network.
Lab Manual:

Not applicable.

Other Resources:

Not applicable.

Field Trips:

Not applicable.

Additional Costs:

Not applicable.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies

Late assignments will be penalized at 5% per weekday late. Exceptions to this rule will be considered if students follow the guidelines listed in the Student Responsibilities section. Late assignments will not be accepted after solutions have been posted or discussed in class. These rules are not designed to be arbitrary, nor are they inflexible. They are designed to keep you organized, to ensure that all students have the same amount of time to work on assignments, and to help to return marked materials to you in the shortest time possible.

Course Policy on Group Work:

Students will receive a general group mark from the instructor, but will also be assessed by their group members in regards to their individual contributions.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:               

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

Course Submissions

Dropbox Submissions Lab worksheets may be submitted in person or online. Environmental case study report presentations should be submitted electronically via the online Dropbox tool. When submitting documents using the Dropbox tool, do not leave the page until your assignment has successfully uploaded. To verify that your submission was complete, you can view the submission history immediately after the upload to see which files uploaded successfully. The system will also email you a receipt via email. Save this email receipt as proof of submission. 
Be sure to keep a back-up copy of your assignments in the event that they are lost in transition. Your instructor strongly recommends for you to save your documents to a cloud-based file storage (e.g., OneDrive) or email them to your personal email account to ensure that the assignment could still be submitted on time or re-submitted if something happens to your computer.
It is your responsibility to submit your assignments on time as specified on the Schedule. Be sure to check the technical requirements and make sure you have the proper computer, that you have a supported browser, and that you have reliable Internet access. Remember that technical difficulty is not an excuse not to turn in your assignment on time. Don’t wait until the last minute.
If you have technical difficulties when submitting an assignment electronically, please contact your instructor or CourseLink Support.

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

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