All course information is listed within this syllabus.

TURF 230: Turfgrass Pesticides (1 credit). TURF 230 provides the foundation in pesticide management upon which the other courses (Turf/Ornamental Weed Control and Turfgrass Pathology & Entomology) build. The focus of TURF 230 is to both introduce students to the concepts, terminology, and processes involved in the management of turfgrass pests and to gain an understanding of how to share information concerning pests with the public. TURF 230 is a one-credit experience designed to allow students to work within the given time-frame to complete the course requirements. This course does not require any group learning components. Students can work through materials at their own pace.

TURF 230 will prepare the student for issues about turfgrass pesticides. This class will not substitute for the student taking their respective state certification exam to receive a valid state pesticide applicator's license. That responsibility lies with the student, not this class. If a student has a valid and verifiable state pesticide license, then he or she can request to be automatically exempted from taking the one-credit Turfgrass Pesticide (TURF 230) course.

Prerequisites: No prerequisite coursework is required.

Instructor

Instructor for TURF 230

Max Schlossberg
Associate Professor of Turfgrass Nutrition/Soil Fertility

403 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802

E-mail: Please use Canvas Inbox for course correspondence.

If you need to contact me regarding your course, the best way to reach me is through Canvas Inbox. I will respond within 48 hours on weekdays, and by Monday on weekends.

Course Overview

TURF 230 covers a variety of topics central to the understanding of the use of pesticides in turfgrass management. Three important topics begin this course of study: toxicity, pesticide formulations, and the fate of pesticides. Next, the course takes a close look at the labels, Material Safety Data Sheets, certification, and regulations in use in the green industry today. A number of practical lessons focus on the calibration of equipment and the selection of spray nozzles. In particular, time is spent on working through and practicing the necessary calculations used in preparing pesticide formulations. Finally, integrated pest management as a strategy for turfgrass managers to control problems in turf, and communicating with the public about the technical issues that surround pesticide usage, are the focus of the final two lessons.

This course is a paced-enrollment course which means that you will have an established start and end date. There is no required interaction with other students throughout the course. All course modules, quizzes, and activities are online.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of TURF 230 students will have learned to:

  • develop a foundational understanding with regard to pesticides, their development, their use, and the appropriate methodology for their delivery
  • develop an understanding about how to effectively communicate with the general public about such items as toxicity, environmental fate, and how turfgrass managers use cultural practices to improve turfgrass health and vigor as a means to decrease the use of pesticides
  • have an opportunity to apply concepts to solve simple problems in turfgrass management
  • have an opportunity to communicate and work together with other students through the course materials

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

This course requires that you access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course. Materials will be available from the Library Resources link on the Course Navigation Menu in Canvas.

Readings in TURF 230 will be referred to by the Catalog Number within the course content.

  • Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification: Core Manual, #AGRS-106. Randall, Carolyn; Hock, Winand; Crow Edward; Hudak-Wise, Colleen; Kasai, Jeanne, eds. PSU Ag Sciences & Coop Ext., 2008.
  • Pennsylvania Pesticide Laws and Regulations for Commercial and Public Applicators, #AGRS-118. Scott, David, Compiler. PSU Ag Sciences & Coop Ext., 2011.
  • Supplement to the Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual, #AGRS-119. Jacobs, Steve, Compiler. PSU Ag Sciences & Coop Ext., 2011.
  • MSDS Sheet and Specimen labels for Confront Specialty Herbicide. Dow AgroSciences.

Assignments

Modules 1-4 and 7-12 have a quiz or activity that you can use to test your understanding of the concepts presented in the lessons. Each quiz has a time limit of either 30 or 45 minutes once you open it and you must complete the quiz within this period. You only have the ability to take the quiz once; you will not be able to close and return to the quiz to finish it. Additionally, all quizzes and exams will only allow you to access one question at a time and will not return to a prior question once it opens. For each quiz, please choose the best answer provided for each of the quiz questions.

All modules are activated and the students have the ability to take the quizzes. Each week, a quiz will close down that corresponds to the material that should have been covered by the student that week. The course consists of twelve modules. Students may work ahead, but if you don't complete the module by the date shown on the Syllabus page, you will receive a ZERO.

All quizzes will close down on Mondays at 11:59 p.m., EST. Please be prepared to take the quiz before you open it. Timing will begin as soon as you start the quiz and will not stop even if you log out or switch browsers. Please refer to the Syllabus page on Canvas for additional information.

Module 12 Final Assignment: Communicating with the Public

A presentation has been solicited from you by a member of the local garden club interested in the potential of environmental risks posed by pesticides. What about the toxicity? Should they be banned? Are the regulations in place strict enough? These are just some of the concerns expressed by this group of local gardeners.

Based upon the information available to you, the information in this module, and the information gained via working through the previous 11 modules of this course, draft an outline, for a 25 to 30-minute presentation to the garden club to address the issue of using pesticides on turf and their environmental impact. You should have a well-developed outline so that you could have it on the podium with you and present your information to the garden club from the outline. As a part of this outline, indicate sections that show how you have anticipated questions that will likely be asked by your audience. Include the information that you will use to respond to these questions. Do not copy and paste information from this course into your outline. Use your own words for this assignment.

Communicating with the Public Assignment Rubric

  1. Work submitted in outline format with at least four headings and supported by several subheadings.
  2. Introduction: What makes you qualified to do this presentation?
  3. Content: Relevant information from this course.
  4. Questions and answers for each section within the body of the outline.

Assignment Outline Example (The Conquest of Mt. Everest)

  • 1st Main Level Topic: Introduction - Background information on Mt. Everest
    • Second Level Topic: Location of Mt. Everest
      • Third Level Topic: Geography of Mt. Everest
        • Fourth Level Topic: Specific information about Everest
          • Height
          • Peak Names
  • 2nd Main Level Topic: Major Explorers of Mt. Everest
    • Include subheadings as above
  • 3rd Main Level Topic: Impact of Exploration on Mt. Everest
    • Include subheadings as above
  • 4th Main Level Topic: Impact of Exploration of Mt. Everest Local Communities
    • Include subheadings as above

Submit this outline to Module 12: Communicating with the Public Assignment Page at the end of Module 12.

The turnaround time for graded assignments is generally one week or less.

Grading Policy

Grading Criteria
Requirement Point Value
Module Quizzes 110
Module 12 Assignment 50
TOTAL: 160
Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage Points
A 100% – 94% 149–160
A- < 94% – 90% < 149–144
B+ < 90% – 87% < 144–141
B < 87% – 84% < 141–132
B- < 84% – 80% < 132–128
C+ < 80% – 77% < 128–125
C < 77% – 70% < 125–112
D < 70% – 60% < 112–96
F < 60% < 96

The course final grade is determined by the total points earned by the student. The percentages listed above are for reference only.

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on the World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the Internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the Internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the Internet.

Accessibility Information

  • Accessibility statement for Canvas.

Netiquette

The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Support Services

As a World Campus student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the World Campus Student Services page for more information.

If you experience technology problems of any kind in Canvas, please select the Help icon and select "Report a Canvas Problem," "Chat with Support," or "Call Support." It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as: the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Penn State Policies

Log-In Policy

Students are expected to log-in regularly to keep up-to-date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

Read the Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's Academic Integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity at the Report Bias webpage.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week)
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week)
Mental Health Services

(814) 863-0395
(877) 229-6400
Text LIONS to 741741

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.