Green Section Honors Harivandi With Piper And Oakley Award

The USGA Green Section is pleased to announce that M. Ali Harivandi, Ph.D., has been honored with the Green Section’s Piper and Oakley Award, which was established in 1998 to recognize meritorious service to the USGA Green Section and its activities and programs by a volunteer.  The honor is not awarded annually, but is granted when an outstanding nominee is recognized. 

M. Ali Harivandi has exhibited unselfish dedication and contributions to golf.

Dr. Charles V. Piper and Dr. Russell A. Oakley were among the earliest scientists to conduct studies in the fields of turfgrass science and golf course management, and they served as the first chairman and co-chairman of the USGA Green Section when it was formed in 1920. They were men of great character, keen vision and remarkable achievement, whose contributions to the improvement in early greenkeeping methods were immeasurable.   Like Piper and Oakley, Harivandi has exhibited unselfish dedication and contributions to the game of golf and the turfgrass industry.

In 1998, Harivandi joined the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research and has been an active member ever since. As an environmental horticulturist who specializes in turf, soil and water with the University of California Cooperative Extension, Harivandi provides an invaluable national and international perspective of crucial water and turfgrass issues to help guide the USGA’s broad research objectives. 

Participating on the Research Committee is demanding, and Harivandi contributes countless hours on behalf of the USGA, helping direct the largest turfgrass and environmental research program ever undertaken.  For most of the 26 years of the program, committee members have met two or three times per year for several days each.  In advance of the meetings, our 16 committee members have been charged with reviewing 60 to more than 100 research proposals each year, some compilations exceeding more than 600 hundred pages of scientific jargon.

In addition to the several committee meetings each year, a number of USGA staff, along with committee volunteers, have taken turns visiting the 35-plus universities and the principal investigators at every university.  This has required abundant travel and dedication on behalf of our volunteers. Harivandi’s knowledge, experience and loyalty has been invaluable to the research program.

The USGA’s Turfgrass and Environmental Program has supported more than 400 research projects at 39 universities, at an expense of more than $34 million in actual grants since 1983. 

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