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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Steve Keeley

Dr. Steve Keeley

Department Head

Turfgrass Science

Kansas State University
3607 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-1428
Fx: +1-785-532-6949

Areas of Specialization

  • Horticultural Pest Management
  • Turfgrass Management

Biography & Education


Dr. Steve Keeley’s family roots are in the small farming community of Annawan, Ill. but he grew up following his father’s career in the military.  He graduated from high school and met his wife in Colorado Springs, Colo., so Keeley claims both Annawan and Colorado Springs as “dual-hometowns”.

Keeley said his path to Turf Management was one of trial and error. “I was encouraged to go into agronomy by my high school counselor because I wanted to work outside. In college I discovered that agronomy wasn’t really for me, but I did find a turf management class while looking through a course catalog. Because of my love of the outdoors and sports, it was a good fit.”

While finishing his Ph.D. at Colorado State, Keeley had three different position offers upon his graduation in 1996. He decided on K-State because as he says, “It felt the most like home--I liked the people and the Midwestern attitudes.”

In addition to his roles in turf and golf course management, Keeley teamed up with fellow K-State professor Dr. Jack Fry and the Sports Turf Manager’s Association (STMA) to develop a new option within the Horticulture major, Sports Turf Operations Management, which became available in the Fall 2008 semester.

When he is not busy with university work, Dr. Keeley enjoys bike riding, running and spending time with his family.

  • Ph.D. Horticulture, Colorado State University (1996)
  • M.S. Crop and Soil Science, Michigan State University (1991)
  • B.S. Landscape Horticulture, Colorado State University (1984)


  • Raudenbush, Zane and Steven J. Keeley. 2017. Cultivation reduces infestation of silvery-thread moss in a creeping bentgrass putting green. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1-6.
  • Alderman, Evan J., Jared Hoyle, Steven J. Keeley, and Jack D. Fry. 2017. Buffalograss divot recovery as affected by nitrogen source and rate. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Mgmt. 3:1-6.
  • Raudenbush, Z., S. Keeley and M. Basel. 2016. Effect of irrigation water pH and acidifying-source on silvery-thread moss (Bryum argenteum Hedw.) establishment. The Bryologist 119:1-7.
  • Raudenbush, Z. and S. Keeley. 2015. Effect of nitrogen source and spray volume on the establishment and colonization of silvery-thread moss (Bryum argenteum Hedw.) in putting greens. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Mgmt. doi: 10.2134/cftm2015.0145
  • Raudenbush, Z., S.J. Keeley, and L. Stark. 2015. A Review: Establishment, dispersal, and management of silvery-thread moss (Bryum argenteum Hedw.) in putting greens. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Mgmt. doi: 10.2134/cftm2014.0094
  • Bremer, D.J., S.J. Keeley, A. Jager. 2015. Effects of home value, home age, and lot size on lawn- watering perceptions and behaviors of residential homeowners. HortTech. 25:90-97.
  • Goldsby, A.L., D.J. Bremer, J.D. Fry, and S.J. Keeley. 2015. Response and recovery characteristics of Kentucky bluegrass cultivars to extended drought. Applied Turfgrass Sci. doi:10.2134/cftm2014.0087.


Dr. Keeley’s research is in applied turfgrass management with an emphasis on grass selection and cultural practices that reduce inputs and improve performance under heat, drought, cold or traffic stress. He also has an interest in integrated weed management research.


Course #TitleSemesterDelivery Method
HORT 515Basic Turfgrass CultureSpring
On Campus
HORT 516Intensive Culture of Golf and Sports TurfSpring
On Campus
HORT 583Survey of Horticultural Ornamental and Food Crop PestsFallOn Campus
HORT 587Turfgrass Disease ManagementFallOn Campus
HORT 588Turfgrass Weed ManagementFallOn Campus
HORT 706Turfgrass ScienceSpringOn Campus