seal  2004 Honorary Degree
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James B Beard

Doctor Of Agriculture

(NOTE TO EDITOR: no period after middle initial)

James B Beard has distinguished himself as a professor in turfgrass research.

James B Beard

He is currently the president and chief scientist for the International Sports Turf Institute and lives in College Station, Texas.

Born and raised in Bradford, Ohio, Beard received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from The Ohio State University in 1957 and then came to Purdue for his master's degree in crop ecology in 1959 and doctorate in turfgrass physiology in 1961.

Beard spent most of his career in academia. He was an assistant, associate and full professor at Michigan State University for a total of 14 years before going to Texas A&M University for 17 years. He has been professor emeritus of turfgrass science at Texas A&M since 1993.

Currently, he guides turfgrass research and education programs, especially internationally, while also instructing in turfgrass education through seminars, papers, manuals, and books. In addition, he provides technical assistance on turfgrass and environmental science, and the construction and culture for golf courses, sports fields, race courses, sod farms, lawns, and roadsides.

Beard has provided leadership and coordination of turfgrass research programs in stress physiology and culture. He has pioneered investigations concerning turfgrass evapotranspiration, rooting, drought stress, heat stress, winterkill, chill injury, shade adaptation, wear tolerance, nitrogen-potassium stress, and thatch biodegradation. Other research he has done includes the ecology of grass communities, roadside establishment, winter overseeding, sod production, sport field mesh-root zone stabilization and safety, and weed control.

Besides his teaching activities with four college undergraduate turfgrass courses and graduate grass ecology and stress physiology courses, he has been active in graduate and undergraduate curricula development, undergraduate student advising and has served as major professor to 46 graduate students. He also lectures widely throughout North America and internationally.

Beard has authored 265 scientific papers and 382 popular technical articles. He has also served on many national committees including the Roadside Development Committee Foundation, Musser Foundation Board of Directors, and Southern Regional Task Force on Plants to Enhance Man’s Environment.