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Thomas W. Cook Papers, 1970-2009

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Thomas W. Cook Papers, 1970-2009

Predominant Dates: 1977-1999


Primary Creator: Cook, Thomas W.

Extent: 12.6 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Thomas W. Cook Papers document Cook's teaching, research, and extension activities pertaining to turfgrass in the Oregon State University Horticulture Department. Cook was a faculty member and Extension Turfgrass Specialist from 1977 until his retirement in 2008.

Scope and Content Notes

The Thomas W. Cook Papers document Cook's teaching, research, consulting, and extension activities at Oregon State University pertaining to turfgrass and turf management. The papers include article reprints, certificates, conference papers, correspondence, course materials, curriculum vita, employment records, notes, photographs, publications and reports, research data, speeches, and his thesis. The course materials include course outlines, syllabi, course packets and guides, examinations, and teacher evaluations. These are for courses in turf and landscape management, turf fertility, irrigation and drainage, and golf course maintenance and management.

Cook's consulting work with country clubs, private companies, colleges, municipal park departments, individual property owners, and school districts is documented in correspondence, studies and reports, and photographs. These projects pertain to the development and maintenance of golf courses, athletic fields, and lawns, including a golf course development project in Japan for which he was honored by having the course named for him. The research data primarily relates to fertilizer and herbicide studies, especially on bentgrass and bluegrass varieties. The publications include article reprints, Extension Service circulars and bulletins written by Cook, and Turfgrass Field Day programs. The photographs are primarily color slides (340) as well as prints (60) documenting Cook's research and consulting projects.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Thomas W. Cook was a faculty member in the Oregon State University (OSU) Horticulture Department from 1977 until his retirement in 2008. Cook taught classes in turf and landscape maintenance leading to the horticulture degree option in turf management and directed the undergraduate internship program. He developed and maintained a five-acre practical field lab to support instruction in turf and landscape management, irrigation, and drainage. In addition, Cook was the OSU Extension Service Specialist for Turfgrass; in this role, he supported public and private entities engaged in turfgrass management as well as county extension programs. He prepared Extension Service publications for broad distribution, consulted on turfgrass projects, organized workshops, and coordinated the annual Field Day. Cook conducted applied research in turfgrass fertility, cultural practices, and pest management with an emphasis on regional issues, golf course turf problems, and general lawn care. He is credited with developing grass seed mixes needing less water and chemicals and also encouraged the use of native plants in landscaping around golf course fairways. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

A native of Washington, Cook earned a BS from Washington State University in 1972, majoring in agronomy and soils. He completed an MS in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Rhode Island in 1975, with a concentration on stress physiology. Cook worked as a Research Associate at Washington State University from 1975 to 1977, doing applied field research in turfgrass fertility, variety evaluation, cultural practices, and weed control.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 400 photographs; 13 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The papers were donated to the Archives by Cook in 2010.

Related Materials:

The Oregon State University Foundation Moving Images (FV 178) include a DVD commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Trysting Tree Golf Course (with footage of Cook) that outlines the ways in which the golf course supports the turf management program. The Harry August Schoth Papers (MSS Schoth) document early research at Oregon State on turfgrass for lawns and golf courses and include copies of the Bulletin of the Green Section of the U.S. Golf Association from the 1920s and 1930s. Additional information about horticulture instruction, extension, and research programs are available in the Horticulture Department Records (RG 187).

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holdings also include the Walter S. Brown Photograph Album (P 274) and the collections of several horticulture faculty including the James R. Baggett Papers (MSS Baggett), Arthur G.B. Bouquet Collection (MSS Bouquet), William A. Frazier Papers (MSS FrazierW), and the Melvin N. Westwood Papers (MSS Westwood).

Preferred Citation: Thomas W. Cook Papers (MSS CookTW), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Other URL: Preliminary container list available online.


Cook, Thomas W.
Oregon State University. Department of Horticulture
Oregon State University. Extension Service

People, Places, and Topics

Agricultural extension work--Oregon.
Athletic fields--Maintenance and repair.
Athletic fields--Northwest, Pacific.
Cook, Thomas W.
Golf courses--Maintenance.
Horticulture--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon.
Natural Resources
Turf management--Oregon.
University History

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.
Slides (photographs).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.