Featured photo: (L-R) Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen and David Shetlar
David Shetlar, Ph.D., was named the 2016 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year. He received the award from The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) and Project EverGreen.
The award recognizes individuals in the green industry for outstanding communications efforts regarding environmental issues. Known as the “Bug Doc”, Shetlar is a researcher, educator, author and speaker who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in entomology from Penn State University.
“Dr. Shetlar exemplifies the type of communicator needed in the green industry today to guide consumers through the myriad of sometimes mixed messages about the importance of green spaces,” said Den Gardner, TOCA executive director. “His communications style is one that easily translates the positive benefits of turf and ornamentals to consumers as well as to business audiences. We are proud to recognize him for this award.”
Shetlar has been on staff at Ohio State University since 1990 and his areas of insect expertise include nurseries, urban landscapes, turfgrass and Christmas trees.
“Urban biodiversity is real and resilient,” said Shetlar when accepting his award. “There’s more biodiversity going on in turf than most people give it credit for. Select the right plants first in any landscape setting, and they’ll be more resistant to pest infestations and last longer.”
Previous Environmental Communicator Award recipients include:
1999 – Mark Welterlen, former publisher Grounds Maintenance magazine
2000 – Bill Love, W.R. Love Golf Architecture
2001 – Tim Doppel, Atwood Lawn Care
2002 – Doug Fender, former executive director, Turfgrass Producers International
2003 – Allen James, former CEO, RISE
2004 – Rod Dodson, Audubon International
2005 – Jeff Gullickson, Spokane Country Club
2006 – Kevin Trotta, grounds manager/IPM specialist, Cornwall, NY
2007 – Helen Stone, Southwest Trees & Turf magazine
2008 – Allied Golf Associations of Colorado
2009 – Drs. Larry Stowell/Wendy Gelernter, PACE Turf
2010 – Christopher Gray, formerly Marvel Golf Club
2011 – Anthony Williams, formerly Marriott Golf and golf course consultant
2012 – Dr. Frank Rossi, Cornell University
2013 – Phil Fogarty, Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management
2014 -Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee
2015 – Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota