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Dara Park

Associate Professor
Horticulture Program Team, Water Resources Program Team, Plant and Environmental Sciences Department

Office: 273 Poole Ag Science Center
Phone: 843-319-4957


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Soil and Water Science
University of Florida 2006

M.S. Biology: Environmental Sciences
Florida Atlantic University 2001

B.Sc. Biology: Animal Science
Florida Atlantic University 1997

 Courses Taught

PES 2020 / 2021 Soils and Soils Laboratory
PES 4460 / 6460 Soil Management
PES 4960 / 4970 Soil Judging and Laboratory
HORT 4080 Creative Inquiry

 Research Interests

My research is tailored to support the needs of SC turfgrass and row crop stakeholders. I investigate the use of surfactants to reduce irrigation needs and increase plant quality. Most recently, I have been conducting research to assist in developing an extension program in soil health. This includes investigating fertility needs for row crops following a cover crop.

 Extension and Outreach

My extension focuses on soil and water dynamics, with an emphasis on how water quality influences soil structure, plant health, pesticide efficacy, and subsequently, natural resource protection. Results of my extension-oriented research are delivered by writing publications, presenting seminars and workshops, and solving specific stakeholder issues. I am currently working on a new certification program for landscape professionals.


Menchyk, N., H. Luo, Z. Li, S.B.Martin, F.G. Bethea Jr., D.M. Park and H. Liu. 2015. Two Golf Course utting Green Turfgrass Responses to Urea Nitrogen and Nickel. J. Plant Nutrition.
Park, D.M., N. Menchyk, K. Gorman., L. McCarty, H. Liu, J.E. Toler, and K.C. Stone. 20__. Rootzone Characteristics and Bermudagrass Response to Saline Water Delivered by Subsurface Irrigation. Agron. J. accepted.
Bethea, Jr. F.G., D. Park, A. Mount, N. Menchyk, and H. Liu. 2014. Effects of Acute Moisture Stress on Creeping Bentgrass Cuticle Morphology and Associated Effects on Foliar Nitrogen Uptake. HortSci. 49:1582-1587.
Park, D.M., N. Menchyk, K. Gorman., L. McCarty, H. Liu, J. Toler, W. Bridges, and K. Stone. 20__. Relating Spectral Reflectance to Bermudagrass Quality and Soil Water Content and Electrical Conductivity. Hort Sci. accepted.
Park, D.M., S.A. White, N. Menchyk. 2014. Assessing Irrigation Water Quality for pH, Salts, & Alkalinity. Journal of Extension. 52(6):6TOT8s.
†Menchyk, N., D. M. Park, J.B. Unruh, P. Moon and L. Trenholm. 2014. Freezing Low Volume Aqueous Solutions to Preserve Ammonia and Nitrate plus Nitrate. 54:2325-2327.
Cisar, J., D.M. Park, M. McMillan, and K. E. Williams. 2014. Improving Nitrogen Release Use Efficiency of Turfgrass with Controlled-Release N. European Journal of Turfgrass Science ISSN 1867-3570. Pp. 89-90.
Stiglbauer J.B., H. Liu, L.B. McCarty, D.M. Park, and J.E. Toler. 2013. Seashore Paspalum Green Establishment Affected by Sprig Rates, Nitrogen Sources and Rates. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal. 12:251-­256.
Cisar, J.L., G.H. Snyder, D.M. Park, M.A. Fidanza, E.J. Nangle, and K. E. Williams. 2013.
Potassium and Sodium Application effects on Soil Test Values, and Turfgrass Quality, Clipping Yield and Elemental Composition of Bermudagrass Grown in A Sand Soil. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 12:607‐618.
Park, D.M. and S.B. Martin. 2012. Soil Surfactant and Fungicide Influence on Soil Moisture, Disease Presence and Quality of ‘Champion’ Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Grown on a USGA Specified Constructed Rootzone in South Carolina, U.S.A. Plnt. Manage. Network. htm
Erickson, J. E., D. M. Park, J. L. Cisar, G. H. Snyder, and A. L. Wright. 2010. Effects of Sod Type, Irrigation, and Fertilization on Nitrate-N and Orthophosphate-P Leaching from Newly Established St. Augustingrass Sod. Crop Sci. 50:1030-1036.
Chong, J.H. and D.M. Park. 2009. Saline Irrigation Water Effects on the Abundance of Turfgrass Arthropods. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 11:619-629.
Stiglbauer J.B., H. Liu, L.B. McCarty, D. M. Park, J. E. Toler, and K. Kirk. 2009. Diamond Zoysiagrass Putting Green Establishment Affected by Sprigging Rates, Nitrogen Sources, and Rates in the Southern Transition Zone. Hort Sci.44(6):1757-1761.
Bauer, P.J., D. M. Park, and B.T. Campbell. 2009. Cotton Production in Rotation with Summer Legumes. J. of Cotton. Sci. 13:183-188.
Erickson, J.E., J.L. Cisar, G.H. Snyder, D.M. Park and K.E. Williams. 2008. Does a Mixed-Species Landscape Reduce Long‐term Inorganic‐N Leaching Compared to a Conventional St. Augustinegrass Lawn? Crop Sci. 48:1586-1594.