Bell inducted to Oklahoma Turfgrass Hall of Fame

Bell inducted to Oklahoma Turfgrass Hall of Fame

Emeritus Professor Dr. Greg Bell was inducted into the Oklahoma Turfgrass Hall of Fame on Dec 2, 2014 at the 69th Oklahoma Turfgrass Conference & Trade Show. OTRF President Rick Murray (left) presents Greg Bell (right) with Hall of Fame Plaque during ope

The Oklahoma Turfgrass Research Foundation (OTRF) inducted Emeritus Professor Dr. Greg Bell into the Oklahoma Turfgrass Hall of Fame during the opening of its 69th Oklahoma Turf Conference & Trade Show on Dec 2, 2014 at Stillwater, OK. Induction into the Oklahoma Turfgrass Hall of Fame recognizes long and exceptional achievement as well as service to the members of the OTRF and the state's turfgrass industry. The OTRF is a non-profit organization that focuses on raising funds for turfgrass research and that provides annual education for the Oklahoma turfgrass industry.

Greg Bell grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania. He began his turf management career working in golf course construction and maintenance at Mohawk Trails Golf Club, Edinburg, PA on evenings, weekends, and summers while attending high school. After honorably serving in the US Army, Greg was involved in industrial management from 1976 to 1983, holding management positions in both manufacturing and service industries with responsibility for up to 100 employees at a time. He built a profitable golf club repair business, Gregory Bell Golf Club Company, during 1983 – 1993. Greg earned a BS (1993), MS (1995) and PhD (1997) with specialization in turf management/science from The Ohio State University and won the prestigious Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award in Crop Science in 1997 as well as the James Watson Fellowship in 1998.

Dr. Bell joined the Oklahoma State University (OSU) faculty in December of 1997 as an Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Research and Teaching. In 2001 he was recognized with the Outstanding Advisor Award in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In 2002 Greg and the GreenSeeker Research Team at OSU won the USDA Secretary of Agriculture's Honor Award for developing a revolutionary approach to fertilizing crops with GreenSeeker computerized sensor equipment that reads crop needs and applies treatment accordingly and immediately. Greg was awarded the OSU Faculty Phoenix Award in 2003 by the OSU Graduate and Professional Student Government Association. He was awarded the Wayne W. and W. Jean Huffine Endowed Professorship in Turfgrass Science in August 2004 and served in that capacity until his retirement in July of 2014.

During his time at OSU Greg taught nearly 600 green industry students in four undergraduate turf/horticulture courses and was advisor or co-advisor or mentor to over 130 undergraduates in the OSU turfgrass management program. He was the major advisor to seven completed MS and PhD students. His graduate and undergraduate alumni today fill major leadership roles in the turfgrass industry across the US. Greg also served as Director of Education for the Oklahoma Turfgrass Research Foundation for 3 years. He provided over 60 oral presentations at various turf industry workshops and conferences across the US.

Dr. Bell's major research contributions to the turfgrass industry included identification of specific nutrient deficiencies, and effects of restricted air movement, root competition, and shade on turfgrass health. He played an instrumental role in furthering the use of the normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) in assessing turfgrass health as well as optical sensing methods for assessing turfgrass health. He developed management techniques that reduce nutrient and pesticide runoff from turf as well as identified experimental bermudagrass types with improved shade tolerance that are being used in developing the next generation of improved turf bermudagrasses. He is the author of the book Turfgrass Physiology and Ecology: Advanced Management Principles, 3 book chapters, 32 peer reviewed scientific journal articles on turf science, and over 30 turf trade articles.

Greg tells us he enjoys every day of retirement. He and his lovely wife Diana will continue to call Stillwater, OK their home during his retirement.

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