Date of Award

4-14-2014

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Agriculture

First Advisor

David E. Kopsell

Abstract

This project assessed U.S. university-affiliated golf courses on their certification level in regards to the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for golf courses and the amount of college or university student involvement with the certification process. Certification through the ACSP is designed to recognize environmental stewardship and sustainable golf course management practices. A cross-sectional, self-administered online questionnaire was administered to U.S. university golf course superintendents via an online link to the survey in an e-mail message. The population of 120 university golf course superintendents was asked to participate. Data was analyzed using Qualtrics, SPSS, SAS, and Microsoft Excel. Questions were both exploratory and inclusive as the project is both qualitative and quantitative. The participants answered 30-40 questions depending on their golf course's certification status with ACSP. The response rate of 31.9% was achieved from the 113 participants that received the questionnaire. The results show that the ACSP is known to superintendents at university golf courses. Of the participants who answered, 75% of them had heard of the ACSP before taking the survey. There is a large amount of interest in the program and in

student assistance with the program. Of those who responded, 73% would be interested or more interested in becoming certified if students were to assist. Relationships exist between the certification status of golf courses, student employment at the golf courses, university classes that visit the golf course, the number of years the superintendent has been in the golf industry, and the presence of a horticulture or turfgrass program at the affiliated college or university. A ranking analysis illustrates that labor and time are the most challenging factors for beginning the certification process. The most beneficial aspect of being certified is enhanced public perception. Student assistance was identified as a viable option for superintendents who want to become certified or want to further their certification status.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Kuban_ilstu_0092N_10246.pdf

Page Count

106

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