Educational Profile of Ryan May

In 2008, I started full time on my Horticultural Diploma in Turfgrass Management. Olds College was recognized as the leading institution for this program in western Canada after Fairview College discontinued it following its buy out by NAIT. What I liked about the program at Olds College was the fact that there were plenty of opportunities for hands on training that allowed me to apply much of my experience and then build on it with the added theory. There were 17 students in my first year with 14 of those who continued into second. I think only 12 of us graduated in 2010 and a few continued right away into the degree program, which was in its first year back in 2010. Olds College had a group of turf test trials that were located where there is now a hotel and a brewery. We as turf students were able to use the plots mainly for practical experience with irrigation involving the wiring of software, installation of PVC piping, audit, and other aspects related to irrigation. We also used the indoor heated pavilion to construct a wooden fence, block retaining wall, and patio to appropriate specifications on a subgrade prepared by tamping and levelling. Use of a laser level was applied here as well. The wide array of both herbaceous and woody ornamental plants gave us the opportunity to not only learn the Latin name but to see it in a planting and then go back to identify pertinent features that explained what hardiness they were, how much water, fertiliser, sun, shade, height etc.. A machine shop was also used for a class that involved diagnosing and repairing small engines along with a welding shop where we used oxyacetylene, arc, and mig welding techniques. There was also the aspect of theory in soils where there were labs that allowed us to conduct experiments to evaluate soil properties, plant grass in various turf soil mixes such as USGA, apply fertilizers and monitor results. Insects and diseases were observed through a microscope as well as the completion of a collection of bugs, having to pin and identify them all on our own.

Much of the second year in turf saw advances in soils that became more specific to golf courses. Irrigation software programming was introduced and then incorporated into a golf course design project all designed in AutoCAD. Of course, there was some business courses as well such as human relations, technical writing, and oral communications that rounded off the hard skills practiced in the more seemingly relevant courses. The environmental management course outlined pesticide use and offered up the opportunity to obtain an Alberta pesticide license, which was achieved in the 5 year span. We got to calibrate a sprayer, do fertiliser calculations, and observe the PPE we needed for pesticide application along with all of the safety and ethical concerns. Another course was in pruning that I actually enjoyed a lot and then went back to school in 2012 to complete the arboriculture diploma. I liked the amount of passion displayed by the instructors at Olds College when it came to delivering the material. Even though I was enrolled in the turf program I particularly enjoyed taking courses from the arboriculture instructor Laurie Newsham. This individual did everything he could to ensure that students were successful in understanding the material. This meant that he would provide examples of what it looked like to prune trees properly, and he would provide constructive feedback if there was something that was not understood. I ended up returning to Olds College in pursuit of my passion for arboriculture prior to taking the Turf Applied Degree. During my time at Olds College there were a few shifts made to the curriculum. When I first started in 2008, the courses were set up in a way that allowed one to run for half of the fall semester and then a second one would take place. For Example, Applied Entomology ran from September to the end of October, and then Plant Pathology ran until Christmas Break. This structure provided me with more focused learning on each subject and I liked it better than the current University style semesters. When I came back in the fall of 2009 for second year the courses had been changed to run one course per semester much like a University. This

changed the way that the material was delivered making it spread out and broadened in terms of subject matter. The advantage to this method in my opinion was that it made it easier to relate all of the components in a subject to one course because two courses would be combined from the old model into one course. Then I came back for third year and realized that the Diploma underwent a program reform. Much of the courses that I took in the beginning had been modified, combined or discontinued and it is this, which makes it difficult to list exactly what courses I have taken. The following educational profile includes courses from before the program reform and cannot accurately be compared to the current academic calendar for the Turfgrass Management Diploma.

Oral Communications, Workplace Communication, Human Resource Management, Accounting, Golf Course Management These courses allow me to: 1) Oral Communications a) Prepare presentations i) Use power point to produce a slide show ii) Speak as an improvisation iii) Use cue cards during a speech iv) Practice audience engagement through body language v) Answer questions during a presentation 2) Accounting a) Apply basic principals of accounting i) Read a balance sheet and income statement ii) Perform basic calculations iii) Balance debits and credits iv) Organize financial statements

3) Workplace Professionalism a) Apply communication principals i) Manage self through intrapersonal skills ii) Use Interpersonal communication skills iii) Evaluate and demonstrate career advancement strategies iv) Use ethical approaches to make decisions 4) Project Management I a) Apply project management principals i) Measure costs, volumes via material take-off sheets ii) Present project attributes to the class iii) Prepare a project timeline iv) Assess the viability of completing a project 5) Golf Course Management a) Assess golf course management principals i) Describe ethics as they relate to managing a golf course ii) Explain rules and etiquette in the game of golf iii) Identify budgeting practices iv) Evaluate employment hierarchies for golf courses v) Use golf course management practices vi) Describe the role of golf industry associations

Plant Selection, Applied Entomology, Plant Pathology, Introductory Turfgrass Management, Turf Pest Management, Turfgrass Diseases, Golf Course Pesticide Application. 1) Plant Selection a) Select plants for different applications i) Employ plant names in English and Latin ii) Use plant characteristics such as hardiness to determine best location iii) Explain basic plant biology iv) Asses the best ways to maintain healthy plants v) Identify uses for herbaceous and woody plants in the landscape

2) Applied Entomology a) Construct an insect collection i) Capture insects out of their natural environment

ii) iii) iv)

Dry out and pin onto Styrofoam Key out the animals down to genus Identify characteristics that group insects into orders

b) Develop a working knowledge of insects i) Assess pest or beneficial insects ii) Explain methods of control iii) Explain basic insect biology iv) Identify applications of insect control v) Describe basic principals to integrated pest management 3) Plant Pathology a) Identify plant diseases i) Explain the causes for diseases in plants ii) Describe the biology of pathogens iii) Explain the importance of microbes in the landscape iv) Explain the interactions between pests b) Assess management options i) Apply industry tools to manage disease ii) Explain how landscape construction influences disease outbreaks iii) Diagnose diseases based on plant characteristics iv) Use alternative means to manage disease 4) Introductory Turfgrass Management a) Recommend various grass species for golf applications i) Key out turfgrasses in the field ii) Evaluate grass establishment methods iii) Explain turfgrass cultural practices iv) Select appropriate grass species for correct location on the golf course b) Perform duties required to operate aspects of a golf course i) Identify playing areas ii) Explain golf course setup strategies iii) Develop maintenance plan for a golf course iv) Calibrate machinery for cultural practices 5) Turf Pest Management

a) Evaluate potential pest problems on a golf course i) Diagnose pest damage ii) Assess turf pest species and beneficial species iii) Explain worker risks for pest management iv) Manage pesticide resistance in turf v) Apply IPM to turf management as it relates to characteristics of pests 6) Turgrass Diseases a) Identify and manage turf diseases i) Identify potential causes of diseases ii) Describe plant pathogens as they relate to development of disease iii) Apply disease management tools and concepts to golf course maintenance iv) Use plant pathology and plant science principals to diagnose diseases v) Explain the role of microbial activity in preventing and managing disease 7) Explain pesticide safety and regulations i) Explain local pesticide legislation ii) Use pesticide label to guide in an emergency iii) Describe types of PPE and use iv) Describe maintenance of pesticide equipment and facility a) Perform pesticide application i) Use pesticide license acquired to apply products ii) Perform calculations on rates based on label instructions iii) Explain the pesticide applications processes iv) Assess pesticide mode of action and active ingredient v) Interpret formulation, registration, development, of products

Urban Soils, Advanced Golf Course Soils 1) Urban Soils a) Asses soil conditions i) Analyze physical properties of the soil ii) Understand biological processes within the soil iii) Produce a spreadsheet with fertiliser calculations

iv) v)

Determine deficiencies in the soil Evaluate water quality and how it relates to soil nutrients

2) Advanced Golf Course Soils a) Understand soil characteristics i) Explain plant nutrition as it relates to cultural practices ii) Interpret a soil test report and provide recommendations iii) Assess soil profile as it relates to drainage iv) Analyze water quality in the soil v) Discuss fertility concepts for turfgrass specific soil applications vi) Understand USGA soil profile and how it influences watering practices Welding, Turf Equipment Maintenance 1) Welding a) Using welding techniques i) Use of mig, arc, oxyacetylene techniques ii) Understanding of electrical components of welding iii) Assess the safety of welding practices iv) Construct welds using various methods v) Evaluate the benefits/shortfalls of each welding method 2) Turf Equipment Maintenance a) Diagnosis of engine problems i) Understanding of essential components for combustion ii) Explain the reasons for engine failure iii) Disassemble engine and its components iv) Reconstructing and testing engines b) Repair methods i) Understanding specific attributes of engine as it relates to machine function ii) Using grinders to sharpen mower blades iii) Assess engine specifications iv) Optimize function of mechanical components separate from an engine Golf Course Design Methods, Principals of Golf Course Construction, Introductory Golf Course Irrigation, Advanced Golf Course Irrigation

1) Golf Course Design Methods a) Assessing slope i) Determining drainage patterns ii) Evaluate slope on a property as it pertains to golf course playability iii) Use the natural landscape of the property to create a golf course iv) Modify slope to fit the needs of a golf course b) Designing a golf course using AutoCAD i) Understanding how to draw using AutoCAD ii) Take into account golf course area + distance specifications in designing features iii) Using layers in AutoCAD to separate features iv) Adjust the drawing to fit the scale of aerial photograph 2) Principals of Golf Course construction a) Analyze processes in constructing a golf course i) Explain the renovation process for golf course features ii) Evaluate construction planning and costs iii) Describe golf course grass establishment techniques iv) Assess the role of golf course construction consultants v) Produce a golf course construction plan for specific areas 3) Introductory Golf Course Irrigation a) Examine principals of irrigation systems i) Assess hydraulic demands placed on an irrigation system ii) Schedule irrigation on a golf course iii) Troubleshoot and solve basic irrigation problems iv) Install an irrigation system v) Calculate water storage capacities and water usage 4) Advanced Golf Course Irrigation a) Use central irrigation control software i) Schedule and adjust irrigation from a computer ii) Input irrigation system information onto a central control database iii) Use software to monitor water usage iv) Evaluate capacities of irrigation system components on a computer

b) Assess water usage i) Describe and perform an irrigation system audit ii) Schedule irrigation based on results of the audit iii) Troubleshoot for electrical problems iv) Use water conservation to design an efficient irrigation system

Advanced Turfgrass Management, Environmental Management for Golf Courses 1) Advanced Turfgrass Management a) Understand agronomics of Turf i) Evaluate management of poa annua and creeping bent grass on greens ii) Understand winter protection procedure for greens iii) Explain management of warm and cool season turf iv) Develop a golf course agronomics calendar v) Perform calculations for areas of golf course management 2) Environmental Management for Golf Courses a) Understanding the environment on and around the golf course i) Develop water quality and conservation strategies ii) Educate public on golf course management practices iii) Manage wildlife and habitat for golf courses iv) Assess chemical usage and reduction v) Develop best management practices for a specific property

Ecological Principal and Weed Management, Urban Forestry, 1) Ecological Principals and Weed Management a) Evaluate local ecology i) Describe ecosystems in terms of community and populations ii) Examine the characteristics of an ecosystem iii) Understand impacts of human actions on ecosystems iv) Assess the functions of species within a plant community b) Understand weeds and their management i) Identify common and invasive weeds in Alberta ii) Evaluate strategies for weed management

iii) iv)

Explain preventative measures to weed management Examine the effects of chemical and biological control methods on an ecosystem

2) Urban Forestry a) Understand trees in an urban environment i) Assess the value of trees in an urban setting ii) Use tree inventories iii) Examine issues of sustainability for urban forests iv) Evaluate tree risk management v) Describe tree and infrastructure interferences vi) Explain how to maintain the health of a tree in an urban setting

The degree courses I am currently enrolled in are Research Methods, Project Management Principals, Directed Field Study Preparation, Ethics and Pest Management, and Certified Environmental Professional. These will all be completed prior to the Christmas break in December 2013 In January 2013, I will begin the second half of the third year in the Applied Degree. These courses include Operations Management for Horticulture, Golf Operations Management, Integrated Project, Plant Environment Systems, and Golf Course Master Planning.