Featured Speakers of the Month

The SFMA Conference Education Committee has put together an exciting and informative education program for the 2024 Conference in Daytona Beach, Florida. Each month, speakers will be featured to highlight a sample of what will be offered to attendees at the conference. This month’s featured speakers are Dr. Thayne Munce, Ryan Bearss and Jackie Guevara.

Thayne A. Munce, PhD, FACSM is an Assistant Scientist / Manager in the Environmental Influences on Health & Disease Group and Director of the Athletic Health and Performance Lab at Sanford Research (Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD). He earned a BA in Biology from Augustana University (Sioux Falls, SD) and a PhD in Kinesiology from Penn State University (University Park, PA). Dr. Munce is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and has a Graduate Faculty appointment in the Division of Kinesiology and Sport Management at the University of South Dakota. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and serves on several sports medicine leadership boards, including the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the South Dakota High School Activities Association, the Leadership Board of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI), and the Medical Advisory Panel for USA Football.

SmartTeam Project: Unlocking Secrets Behind Athlete Performance and Safety
This presentation will introduce the audience to the SmartTeam Project by discussing program objectives and key milestones. The central goal of the SmartTeam Project is to provide key insights through athlete monitoring, analytics and surface testing that optimize total athlete performance and safety, giving our partners a competitive edge.

Learning Outcomes
1) Describe the SmartTeam Project.
2) Give examples of key performance and safety indicators the SmartTeam Project is measuring.
3) Explain how the SmartTeam Project provides meaningful and actionable information to its partners.


Ryan Bearss
has worked in the turfgrass industry for the past 10 years and is currently a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at Michigan State University for Dr. Trey Rogers. His current research focuses on sod on plastic production and establishment.




Jackie Lyn Guevara is a Ph.D. candidate under the guidance of Dr. Trey Rogers at Michigan State University. She is from the Philippines, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in soil science. She worked at the Country Club Philippines before pursuing a master’s degree in turfgrass soil fertility as MSU. Currently, Jackie is working on her Ph.D. dissertation which revolves around a research goal: to accelerate the sod grown on plastic. She is also involved in other sports turfgrass research as part of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Pitch Research Program.

Hybrid Systems and Hybrid Pitches

This presentation will compare hybrid systems and hybrid pitches and give an overview of the history and progression of each. The current available hybrid options will be discussed in detail.

Learning Outcomes
* Learn about the history of hybrid pitches
*Learn about today’s hybrid options
*How are these systems similar? How are they different?