American Lawns and Turfgrass (11:035:280)

Note: This syllabus is for general information about the course. The instructor will provide you with an updated syllabus specific for the semester of enrollment.

Course Description

1.5 Credits. Online. Pass/No-credit grading. This course presents a chance for students to explore the environmental, social, and economic aspects of lawns and turfgrass through a variety of readings. Contemporary issues for New Jersey will also be investigated, including pollution in Barnegat Bay and the state law regulating fertilizer applications to turf for homeowners and professional landscapers. Students will be responsible for weekly reading assignments, participation in the discussion forum, and a final written assignment that will explore a course topic in more depth.

Note: This course was previously designated 11:015:280

Learning Goals

  • Understand the environmental aspects of lawns and turf in the U.S., and their relationship to contemporary issues in New Jersey
  • Critically evaluate and discuss topics related to lawns, turf, and landscapes
  • Express their opinions in a written format in a clear, coherent, and logical form


The class meets entirely online, and will have no regular meeting times, but students will need to complete assignments weekly over a seven week period.

Required Text

There is no required textbook for this course. All reading materials will be provided for students online.

Basis for Grading

This class is designated pass/no-credit for all students. Students will be graded on participation in the discussion forum and the final written assignment. Typical grading consists of:

Discussion: 40%

For each week that a discussion assignment is due, each student is expected to post to the discussion forum, and to reply someone else’s post. Student participation will be graded on its thoughtfulness and insight about course topics.

Written assignments: 60%

Each student is expected to submit a draft of their written assignment, make corrections according to instructor input, and submit final version. Written assignments will be graded on their quality and insight about course topics. For all assignments, clear, correct, thoughtful, coherent writing is required. Proper citation of sources is required. Assignments should state a thesis and then provide support for that idea.


Typical topics include:

  • Welcome and Overview
  • Historical, Cultural, and Economic Aspects
  • Environmental Aspects
  • Contemporary State Regulations and Issues
  • Independent Topic and Writing Assignments

Academic Integrity

As an academic community dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge, Rutgers University is committed to fostering an intellectual and ethical environment based on the principles of academic integrity. Academic integrity is essential to the success of the University's educational and research missions, and violations of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the entire academic community. This academic integrity policy is designed to guide students as they prepare assignments, take examinations, and perform the work necessary to complete their degree requirements.

Students are required to adhere to the professional standards outlined in the Rutgers University policies on academic integrity, which are available Policy on Academic Integrity (PDF) and at: Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

Attendance and Participation Policy

Students are expected to actively participate in all of the online activities for the course. Attendance in the online sessions is determined by thorough, thoughtful, relevant and on time contributions made in the weekly assignments including threaded discussions, reaction papers and quizzes. The course proceeds with the assumption that students have thoughtfully read and reviewed the assigned materials.

Students are responsible for completion of all assigned readings, materials discussed and assignments on or before the assigned due date.

Accessibility at Rutgers

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. For a the full explanation of the process, go to Documentation Guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the registration form on the ODS website.