Cookingham is the project manager of the Turfgrass Information Center at Michigan State University, the worlds largest collection of turfgrass science and management information. The award is given annually by a distinguished panel of experts in the turfgrass field and recognizes persons for contributions to golf through work with turfgrass.
As the only full-time librarian dedicated to this field in the world, Cookingham, 52, of Williamston, Mich., has spent nearly 20 years building this unique database. The Turfgrass Information File has logged more than 100,000 articles, books and other important publications for worldwide access via the Internet. Included in the collection are 80 years of USGA Green Section publications and 20 years of turfgrass research. This sophisticated system provides computer access to important information for golf superintendents, scientists and students. As the steward of the TIC, Cookingham has embraced all four of the core functions of library services, while most librarians focus on no more than two.
Cookingham has dual expertise in library science and recreation and park administration. A 1974 graduate of the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in recreation and park administration, he worked on a masters in the same discipline from Wyoming in 1979, as well as a masters in library and information science from the University of Illinois in 1985.