Writer: D'Lyn Ford
Bernhard Leinauer began working last month as an assistant professor and turfgrass specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.
Leinauer will help New Mexicans manage turfgrass for golf courses, athletic fields and home landscapes.
He said the state's biggest turf management issue is water. He'll study grass varieties that require less water, ways to modify the turf's root zone to increase water retention and the best irrigation techniques for the state. Leinauer already has met with members of the Southwestern Turf Association and the New Mexico Golf Course Superintendents Association to assess their needs.
He plans to expand the varieties on display in turfgrass demonstration plots at the Fabian Garcia Research Center on University Avenue in Las Cruces. He also is planning to build a large research green at the center to study how best to conserve water.
A native of Peiting, Germany, Leinauer has a bachelor's degree in agricultural science, a master's degree in agricultural biology and a doctorate in natural science, all from Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany. His dissertation dealt with the influence of irrigation methods on water use, drought stress tolerance and recuperative ability of several grasses.
Prior to joining NMSU, Leinauer worked as a research associate at Michigan State University, where he studied water issues related to golf course turf.
He also has experience teaching turfgrass and golf course management classes and has served as a consultant to the Bayern Munich professional soccer organization and to golf course superintendents in Germany and Austria.
Leinauer is a member of the United States Golf Association, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of American and the American Society of Agronomy.
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