Dr. Ali Harivandi, environmental horticulturist emeritus, University of California Cooperative Extension, received the Turfgrass Educator Award of Excellence from Turfgrass Producers International (TPI).
Linda Moyer of S.C.-based Sod Solutions and chair of the TPI public relations working group says that the board of trustees decided to honor Harivandi at the TPI 2014 International Education Conference & Field Day in Orlando, Fla. for his years of service in supporting the efforts of turfgrass producers worldwide.
“(Harivandi’s) personal commitment, dedication and positive influence in helping to educate consumers, turfgrass producers, lawn care professionals, golf course superintendents and government decision-makers spans more than three decades,” Moyer says.
Harivandi has spoken on numerous occasions at TPI conferences and conventions, and has frequently provided TPI with research updates, according to Moyer.
“In the 1990s, Harivandi’s research showed that leaving grass clippings on the lawn did no harm and actually did more good so he encouraged homeowners and landscape maintenance professionals to practice ‘grasscycling.’ Today, it is a standard practice,” she says. “More recently, he focused on recycled water and has encouraged its use whenever possible.”
Dr. Laurie Trenholm, turfgrass extension specialist, University of Florida, was honored with the award in 2008, making Harivandi the second recipient.
Harivandi received his award to a standing ovation, and expressed his gratitude displaying the same professional grace, warmth and humility that is very much a part of his personality.
“I have no doubt that the existence of this award will hearten and motivate others in my profession as well — it is wonderful to know that doing a good job at something one enjoys can earn special acknowledgement,” says Harivandi in a letter to the TPI board.