Joseph M. Vargas, Jr., a professor of Plant Pathology (PhD) in the Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Department at Michigan State University for over five decades, produced research with international implications for turfgrass, authored over 200 articles on turfgrass diseases and related subjects, made over 1000 presentations at turfgrass conferences around the world, and authored the most widely used turfgrass disease book titled “Management of Turfgrass Diseases.”
He also coauthored two other books, “Poa annua: Physiology, Culture, and Control of Annual Bluegrass” and “The Turf Problem Solver.”
He regarded his greatest research accomplishment as demonstrating that annual bluegrass, or Poa annua, does not die from summer heat, but rather from two diseases.
His large body of work has earned him numerous awards, including the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s Meritorious Service Award in 1996, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Distinguished Service Award in 1997, the National Turfgrass Foundation Research Award in 2002, and the USGA Green Section Award 2007.
Year inducted: 2016