Ecological Management of Turf, Landscape, and Urban Horticulture

green roof landscape

Curriculum for Ecological Management of Turf, Landscape, and Urban horticulture Option

The turf, landscape, and urban horticulture industries are large and diverse, offering careers in golf course and athletic field management; landscape design, construction, management, and ecological restoration; conservation; park, botanical, and public garden management; urban horticulture and forestry policy and management; research; and consulting.

The Turf Management program works to develop ecological and sustainable ways to manage large grassed areas, such as golf courses, athletic fields, and parks. A natural fit for the grass seed capital of the U.S., the Willamette Valley, the Turf Management program allows you to integrate horticulture, biology, soil science, and pest management in your studies. Today's turf landscapes are managed with a focus on sustainability and ecosystem enhancement, and Oregon State leads the way. In addition to sustainable methods, you’ll learn about the environmental benefits of turf, like pollutant filtration and flood control, and you'll become an expert in understanding how to maintain native wildlife and bird populations while using cutting edge turf management techniques.

Recent graduates who have focused on Turf Management have become golf course supervisors, athletic field managers, and caretakers of the parks and grounds of cities, counties, and school districts. The program focuses on science, technology, 'in-field' hands-on experience, and decision making in real-world settings. Activities stress networking and exposure to multiple work environments to help students integrate quickly into the industry.

In the Landscape and Urban Horticulture program, students will learn about sustainable landscape management, urban forestry, and the ecosystem services provided by the built environment, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, temperature modulation, waste decomposition and detoxification, purification of water and air, storm and rainwater management, crop pollination, pest and disease control, nutrient dispersal and cycling, seed dispersal, intellectual and spiritual inspiration, recreational experiences, and scientific discovery.

Landscape professionals design, build, and manage aesthetically pleasing, functional, and environmentally responsible natural spaces where we all live, work, and play. Some focus is on ecological restoration of disturbed habitats. In recent years, the industry has expanded and rapidly become more sophisticated to meet the challenges of today’s urban environment. Consequently, there is great demand for creative, motivated individuals who love the outdoors and enjoy working with plants, soil, water, nature, and people.

Students LandscapingActive Learning

As a student studying Turf Management, you'll spend time conducting field research trials at our turfgrass research facility at Lewis-Brown Farm. You'll also have the opportunity to compete in the yearly Collegiate Turf Bowl at the GCSAA Education Conference and the Golf Industry Show. Most students also join the Turf Club, as there you'll get to meet industry members, visit their golf courses and athletic fields, perform community service, and play golf at a local golf course - for free!

As a student studying Ecological Landscape and Urban Horticulture, you'll spend time in one of our greenhouses, learning the best methods to grow and propagate plants and at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture, working on permaculture and landscape design, construction and management projects. You'll also learn from faculty in the College of Forestry, to explore the latest urban forest management techniques. Student teams will also attend the Collegiate Competition at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The Department of Horticulture encourages students to get out of the classroom and take a hands-on approach to learning and skill development.

Turf Management Program at Oregon State University
Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture
Research Farms
College of Forestry

Internship Process and Requirements
Research/Thesis Process and Requirements

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Sustainable Food Jobs
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

About Horticulture
How to Apply
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