SLC Public Utilities Water Conservationist, Stephanie Duer is reporting a 50% reduction in water use at the Concord Lifting Station in the months following the landscape conversion for SLC Turf Trade. The location was selected for conversion as a demonstration canvas for landscape practices suggested by the Center for Water Efficiency (CWEL). This conversion incorporates a number of different landscaping practices to maximize water efficiency. Common landscape tactics for increasing water efficiency include hydrozoning, or grouping plants according to their water need, turf area reduction, and optimizing irrigation design and hardwater for water efficiency.
Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) created the Data Evaluation and Statistical Analyst (DESA) position. Filling this position for the inaugural role is Tyler Carr, graduate student at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“This position is the confluence of TWCA’s efforts to provide, sound scientific trialing to the turf community while elevating the next generation of scientists,” says Jack Karlin, Program Administrator of TWCA.
Despite this being the inaugural position, Carr, is no stranger to TWCA. His prior experience with TWCA came at University of Arkansas with Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Department of Horticulture and Crop Science (formerly of University of Arkansas) conducting lysimeter testing on turfgrasses determining the impact of soil texture on volumetric water demand. This work served as a keystone in developing TWCA’s innovative Water Calculator (turfgrasswaterconservationalliance.org).
Tyler’s nomination to this position came from Dr. Karcher. “I knew I wanted to pass this responsibility to someone who was qualified, experienced, and capable,” says Karcher. “Tyler is exactly the right guy for this.”
Creating a dedicated role in TWCA focused on data evaluation and statistical analysis creates a clear, direct evaluation process for the program. The DESA evaluates all the image data, analyzes the statistics and serves as an informational liaison with the Research Review Committee. Additional opportunities for public and industry outreach are anticipated for these analysts.
Creating this position closes the loop on succession plans for the program, with each analyst eventually training their successor and serving on the Research Review Committee as a reviewing member.
This role both streamlines the TWCA trialing process and creates a long-term investment into the future of emerging professionals. To fulfill this mandate TTWCA has limited eligibility for this role to requiring graduate students or assistant professors. TWCA has further limited potential candidates requiring both nomination for the role by the serving DESA at time of succession and approval by the RRC to serve this critical role.
This is the first in a string of programs TWCA will release this year aimed at developing emerging professionals. Other programs will include a research paper grant award program and an accompanying Congressional Visit Day scholarship. “Without turf researchers, we don’t have a program,” says Karlin. “We’re investing in a resource as precious to us as water.”
Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to water conservation and committed to preserving the environmental benefit of turfgrass in the managed environment. TWCA Qualifies drought tolerant turf cultivars through multi-year multi-site trialing. TWCA relies on third party peer review of objective data to make final qualifications of drought tolerant materials. To learn more about topics in this article please visit tgwca.org.
Jack Karlin is the Program Administrator for TWCA. His interest is in using policy and the built environment to create livable and sustainable communities.