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TURF 850 Syllabus

Turfgrass Physiology

TURF 850: Turfgrass Physiology (3): A study of the physiology of turfgrasses and how their physiological functions can be utilized to develop the best management systems possible. Prerequisite: Turf 425

Instructor

Michael Fidanza, Ph.D.

Michael Fidanza, Ph.D.

Penn State - Berks Campus
Tulpekocken Rd

Reading, PA 19610
Email: Please use Canvas Inbox
Work Phone: 610-396-6330

 

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 the weekdays, and by Monday on the weekends.

Education

  • B.S., Agricultural Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 1987
  • M.Agr., Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State University, 1989
  • Ph.D., Agronomy, University of Maryland, 1995

Responsibilities and Interests

Turfgrass management and turfgrass ecology; turfgrass IPM with an emphasis on weed and disease management; ornamental and landscape horticulture.

Professional Background

  • Courtesy Professor, Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 2002–present.
  • Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences, Berks Campus, The Pennsylvania State University, 2011-present.
  • Associate Professor, Berks Campus, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006-2011.
  • Assistant Professor, Berks Campus, The Pennsylvania State University, 2000-2006.
  • Research and Development Biologist, Aventis Environmental Science, 1999–2000.
  • Field Research and Development Biologist, AgrEvo Environmental Health, 1997–1999.
  • Field Development Representative, AgrEvo USA Company, 1995–1997.

Selected Publications

  1. Fidanza, M.A., P.F. Colbaugh, H.B. Couch, S.D. Davis, and D.L. Sanford. 2002. Conventional and innovative methods of fairy ring management in turfgrass. Science and Golf IV:631-642.
  2. Dernoden, P.H., M.A. Fidanza, and J.M. Krouse. 1998. Low maintenance performance of five festuca species in monostands and mixtures. Crop Science 38:434-439.
  3. Fidanza, M.A. and P.H. Dernoeden. 1996. Influence of mowing height, nitrogen source, and iprodione on brown patch severity in perennial ryegrass. Crop Science 36:1620-1630.
  4. Fidanza, M.A. and P.H. Dernoeden. 1996. Brown patch severity in perennial ryegrass as influenced by irrigation, fungicide, and fertilizers. Crop Science 36:1631-1638.
  5. Fidanza, M.A., P.H. Dernoeden, and M. Zhang. 1996. Degree-days for predicting smooth crabgrass emergence in cool-season turfgrass. Crop Science 36:990-996.
  6. Fidanza, M.A., P.H. Dernoeden, and A.P. Grybauskas. 1996. Development and field validation of a brown patch warning model for perennial ryegrass turf. Phytopathology 86:385-390.
  7. Dernoden, P.H. and M.A. Fidanza. 1994. Fenoxaprop activity as influenced by auxin-like herbicide application timing. HortScience 29:1518-1519.

 

Course Overview

This course is designed to acquaint you with the basic principles and concepts of turfgrass physiology.  Necessarily, some of the subject matter delves into basic plant science at a level that may be new to some of you.  An attempt has been made to present the subject through the use of video, graphics, text, and other methods that, hopefully, will facilitate your assimilation and understanding of the material.  In addition, even the most basic concepts are connected to practical applications in order to make this subject as useful in ‘real life’ situations as possible.

The course is broken down as follows:

  • Turfgrass morphology and anatomy---a review
  • Vegetative Growth and development
  • Germination process
  • Reproductive growth
  • Bioenergetics (bioenergetics and chemistry)
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Products of photosynthesis
  • Cultural Implications of photosynthesis
  • Mineral nutrition and utilization
  • Nutrient uptake and transport
  • Water relations (Transpiration and Drought Resistance)
  • Environmental signals
  • Stress physiology (temperature, moisture, shade, and mowing)
  • Growth regulators Bio-stimulants, phyto-hormones, and anti-oxidants

 

Library Resources

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 introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

 

Assignments/Exams

Assignments: There will be five exercises throughout the course.

Quizzes: There will be ten quizzes throughout the course, one on each topic.

Exam: There will be a final exam worth 100 points and the exam will be comprehensive in nature.

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

Grading

RequirementPoint Value
Exercise 1 20
Exercise 2 20
Exercise 3 20
Exercise 4 20
Exercise 5 20
Quizzes 100
Final Exam 100
TOTAL: 300

Grading Scheme

Letter Grade

Percentage
A 100 - 94%
A- < 94 - 90%
B+ < 90 - 87%
B < 87 - 84%
B- < 84 - 80%
C+ < 80 - 77%
C < 77 - 70%
D < 70 - 60%
F < 60 - 0%

 

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’s 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 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 forum postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum 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 Problem", "Students chat with Canvas Support", or "Canvas Support Hotline (Students)". 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.).

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 wellbeing. 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.