Adventure is his turf

Assistant professor in horticulture Adam Thoms

In the world of sports, perhaps no issue currently receives more attention than how to better protect athletes from serious injuries like concussions. That's where Iowa State assistant professor in horticulture Adam Thoms comes in. Keeping young athletes safe is his turf. Figuratively and literally.

Thoms' specialty is researching sports turfgrass maintenance for public school fields and community parks. Much of what he studies, like how to minimize surface hardness and maximize turfgrass cover, is being implemented by field managers across the country. Knowing that he's making fields safer for young athletes couldn't make him happier. Said Thoms, "Sports is one of the few activities where you can forget the stress of the day and just enjoy the game. I hope our research gives these kids a safe surface to enjoy."

For Thoms, Iowa State is the perfect place to conduct his sports-changing research. "Iowa State allows me to research what I love -- making sports fields safer," he said. "ISU Extension also lets me spend time working with turfgrass managers to implement plans to increase the performance and safety of athletic fields in Iowa." Thanks to Thoms, young athletes and their parents can rest easier knowing someone has their backs when it comes to safety.

Research that makes the world a better place is nothing new at Iowa State. When you choose an adventure here, you'll have the chance to learn from innovative professors, faculty, and staff who go the extra mile to make sure the grass is always greener. For everyone involved.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.

Learn more about Iowa State's turf management program in the Department of Horticulture.