Cookingham Wins 2005 USGA Green Section Award
January 18, 2005
Far Hills, N.J. - Peter Cookingham, the project manager of the Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) at Michigan State University, the world's largest collection of turfgrass science and management information, is the winner of the 2005 United States Golf Association Green Section Award. The award is given annually by a distinguished panel of experts in the turfgrass field and recognizes persons for contributions to golf through work with turfgrass.
As the only full-time librarian dedicated to this field in the world, Cookingham, 52, of Williamston, Mich., has spent nearly 20 years building this unique database. The Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) has logged more than 100,000 articles, books and other important publications for world wide access via the Internet. Included in the collection are 80 years of USGA Green Section publications and 20 years of turfgrass research. This sophisticated system provides computer access to important information for golf superintendents, scientists and students.
"I am so very honored and very humbled at this award," Cookingham said. "As one fortunate enough to work every day with parts of the legacy of nearly every previous recipient of the award, I know all too well what extraordinary company that is. The TGIF database has been built to be a shared resource and its success has been a cumulative effort by many people. I'm the lucky one!"
As the steward of the TIC, Cookingham has embraced all four of the core functions of library services, while most librarians focus on no more than two. Widely admired and respected by turfgrass scholars and practitioners who routinely turn to him for information gathering assistance, Cookingham goes the extra mile to assist special needs. In his years of service, he has selected, acquired, and catalogued the collection and has, because of his hands-on approach, worked directly with users.
The TIC has four primary functions: collect and preserve published and unpublished materials relating to turfgrass science, culture and the management of facilities such as golf courses, parks, sports fields, lawns, sod farms, roadsides, institutional grounds and other managed landscapes; streamline online access to the collection; provide high-end user service; and provide workspace and electronic support of turfgrass scholarship.
Cookingham has dual expertise in library science and recreation and park administration. A 1974 graduate of the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in recreation and park administration, he worked on a master's in the same discipline from Wyoming in 1979 as well as a master's in library and information science from the University of Illinois in 1985.
The USGA funds, develops and promotes turfgrass research to better the environment and improve playing conditions on golf courses.