Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science – Forestry

School or Department

Wildlife Biology


Wildlife Biology – Terrestrial

Faculty Mentor Department

Wildlife Biology

Faculty Mentor

Chad Bishop

Faculty Reader(s)

Chad Bishop, Doug Emlen, Ben Hamman


chemical, management, wildlife, law, history, policy

Subject Categories

Cancer Biology | Environmental Studies | Organization Development | Sports Studies | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


This study is a comprehensive meta-analysis on health claims linked to exposure to golf courses, more specifically the chemicals used to maintain their appearance. It provides a brief history of the golf industry and how its growth exacerbated the environmental impact as well as an explanation of the legal landscape that will affect golf course management. Golf courses can disrupt local ecologies, contaminate ground water, rivers, lakes and streams with run-off, and be responsible for the bioaccumulation of chemicals which remain dangerous for decades. Despite the adverse effects of golf courses on the environment, there remains an opportunity to transform the golf industry into a sustainable enterprise. There are always natural alternatives to the synthetic chemicals, and much better ways of incorporating the natural environment into the overall function of golf courses to help minimize their negative ecological impact and health risks. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) regulates the Best Management Practices for each states’ golf courses. This study assesses the quality of Montana’s Best Management Practices, provides a list of alternative management practice that have been identified as safe for humans and the environment, and seeks to include more wildlife management principles. This is especially important going forward as there have been legal decisions that put the liability on golf courses using carcinogenic chemicals.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




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