Joseph Vargas receives Distinguished Faculty Award

Professor Joe Vargas receives the Distinguished Faculty Award at ANR Week 2019.

Joe Vargas

The Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes faculty members who have brought distinction to the CANR through teaching, research and/or outreach and provided leadership that has helped students, faculty members and/or citizens reach their potential for excellence.

Joseph Vargas is a professor in the MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. For more than 50 years, he has been a vital member of the turfgrass industry. He is a world leader in the area of turfgrass pathology and has readily served in many voluntary capacities at university, state, national and international levels. He advises master’s and doctoral students, served on promotion and tenure committees, coordinates the MSU Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab and is the faculty coordinator at the MSU Turfgrass Research Center.

He has served since 1970 on the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Board. Nationally, he has served as a member of the Turf and Ornamental Disease Committee, and the Archives Committee of the American Phytopathological Society.

Dr. Vargas demonstrated that annual bluegrass in the field dies from two diseases rather than from high summertime temperatures and determined that the true cause of black layer is excess sulfur in the soil. He was instrumental in developing the anthracnose fungicide timing model and assisted in the development of the model for timing of Embark application for annual bluegrass seed head suppression.

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