Featured Speakers of the Month

SFMA’s Conference Education Committee has put together an exciting and informative education program for the 2023 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah!  Each month, speakers presenting at the conference will be featured. Don’t miss the networking and educational opportunities offered this year!

Dr. Kyley Dickson is a Co-Director of the Center for Athletic Field Safety at The University of Tennessee. He will be presenting “Does Maintenance Impact Synthetic Fields?” on Tuesday, January 17 and again on Thursday, January 19.

The presentation will cover the minimum maintenance needs of a synthetic turf field and highlight the key factors that influence the need for maintenance. Practical tips for improving field playability and performance for any budget synthetic field will also be covered.

Presentation objectives:

  • Teach the basics of synthetic field maintenance.
  • Talk about what research has shown to improve synthetic field longevity and performance.
  • Instruct useful methods and tools for precision maintenance to reduce cost and improve field playability.


Dr. David McCall is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. On Wednesday, January 18, he will be presenting “Maps Guide the Way: Building Pest Maps for Targeted Management.”

Natural playing surfaces are not uniform but are typically managed as if they are. Most pests are distributed in localized clusters, yet entire surfaces are treated equally with pesticides. However, there are both simple and complex strategies that allow turfgrass professionals to target applications. This presentation will provide tools available to help sports field managers apply products to the right place, while reducing total inputs.

Attendees will learn:

  • Both simple tips and more complex strategies to help take control of mapping pest outbreaks across their facilities.
  • How to use pest-incidence maps for precision turfgrass management, reducing both environmental and economic inputs.
  • How to use aerial imagery to state their case to upper administration for necessary management inputs and resources.