Educational Session Descriptions

Adam GreenspanSalesforce Park: Growing an Urban Forest in the SkyWednesday, 8:50-9:40 Track 2

Bio: Adam Greenspan has been the lead designer on a wide range of projects including public parks, campuses, mixed use developments, competitions and estates.  Adam’s background in art and sociology, combined with years of horticultural practice support an integrated approach to design and allow him to develop projects from many angles. Adam has collaborated extensively with architects, artists, community groups and public and private owner groups, as well as sub-consultant experts, in the process of realizing exceptional built work. Adam’s recent projects include: the Newport Beach Civic Center Park in Newport Beach California, Constitution Gardens on the National Mall in Washington DC, The Transbay Transit Center Park, San Francisco, Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore, and Glenstone in Potomac, MD.  Adam has served on public art selection panels for the City of San Jose and the City of Santa Monica and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Landscape Architecture Foundation. 

Adam received a Bachelor of Arts, with honors in Studio Art and Sociology from Wesleyan University and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania

Salesforce Park: Growing an Urban Forest in the Sky will describe in detail the landscape design process for Salesforce Park including from the competition stage in 2007 through the park’s opening in 2018 and beyond. Lead designer Adam Greenspan will discuss considerations related to climate and heat, building a park on structure, tree and plant material sourcing, soil selection and the difficulties and opportunities related to these sorts of large scale urban projects.

Alma DuSolierProposing the Urban Forest: how Landscape Architects “fight” for trees in constrained conditions

Thursday, 9:20-10:05 Track 2

Bio: Alma Du Solier is a Mexican-American Landscape Architect and the Studio Director at Hood Design Studio, an award-winning cultural practice based in Oakland, CA, which merges landscape architecture, public art, and urban design. She is also a registered Architect in her native country Mexico. Alma’s design approach builds on her dual design background and her interest on the meaningful integration of design with site and culture. Alma has a Bachelor’s in Architecture from Tec de Monterrey (Mexico), and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been practicing in the U.S. since 1999 and has been the lead designer for a wide range of projects in the urban public realm. Alma is a recurrent guest lecturer for design studios at UC Berkeley and is a Board Director for the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) since 2017.

Using relevant projects by Hood Design Studio, this presentation focuses on the stories behind them, illustrating opportunities and challenges faced by Landscape Architects in creating the urban forest.  From the perspective of Hood Design Studio, a cultural practice that embraces both the natural and social aspects of design in urban environments, the presentation discusses the relevance of protecting and enhancing our urban habitats, while reinforcing their relevance as storytellers of past, present and future narratives.

Amy MurrayROW for ESG: Incorporating Right of Way Vegetation Management Activities in Sustainability Reporting Metrics

Wednesday, 3:30-4:15 Track 1

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics have become a standard sustainability based investing resource guiding decisions by investors and owners in our industry. In an age of growing concern over companies’ efficacy in sustainability, demonstrating good stewardship of people, finances and natural resources is a marker of success. Right-of-way (ROW) activities are unrealized potential gains to utility ESG and responsibility reporting, whether the utility is employing internally developed metrics or investor indexes.

Bio: Amy holds an MS in Forest Ecology from North Carolina State University, and is an ISA certified arborist, TRAQ, utility specialist.  Amy served on the Utility Arborist Association Board of Directors between 2016-2019, chairs the UAA Outreach Committee and serves on the Board of the Virginia Urban Forest Council.  Her utility VM experience includes regional forester for ITC Holdings, Corporate Vegetation Management SME at ITC, and Regional Operations Director for Integrity Tree Services.  Amy’s current industry roles are Mid-Atlantic UVM Project Developer and National Sustainability Business Development for Davey Resource Group.

Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) connected over a mutual interest in refining the process of ESG reporting and have developed a pilot project to explore methods of mapping ROW vegetation management into ESG reporting. For NYPA, this entails building a reporting framework with the goal of converting years of ROW vegetation management data into metrics relevant to their Sustainability Plan. As this is developed, the previously collected data will be used as much as possible.

Much of this new ESG initiative is translating ROW best management practices and measured attributes into advantages in ESG reporting. The intimate relationship between the energy system and communities highlights opportunities present in ESG reporting particularly by acknowledging social and equity contributions and opportunities.

ESG will only grow in importance over time and new approaches are necessary to capitalize on ROW benefits. This partnership with NYPA, and the resulting methodology and software development, is an exciting way forward for the UVM industry, helping utilities find ways to analyze and report on the current positives and improve challenge areas.

Anthony Esterbrooks and Christopher Buck Urban Infrastructure Projects and its impacts on Planning for a better Urban Forest

Wednesday, 8:00-8:45 Track 2

This presentation by Tony Esterbrooks and Chris Buck will provide an overview of how government projects in San Francisco implement its urban forestry plan and the challenges we face along the way. Several projects including Van Ness BRT, Better Market Street Planning effort, as well as other case study examples will be shared.

Bio: Tony Esterbrooks is a landscape architect with San Francisco Public Works. His involvement has included experience with public right of way and San Francisco Public Utility Commission projects.

Bio: Chris Buck: Over the last 20 years in San Francisco, Chris Buck has served as the Urban Forester and as an Urban Forestry Inspector for Public Works, and before that, as the Education Coordinator for the nonprofit Friends of the Urban Forest. He is a Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist, Tree Worker credential holder, and an RCA with ASCA. He graduated from the University of Iowa in ’94 with a degree in English, which is his favorite tool.

Beattra Wilson – Keynote

Tuesday, 9:00 – 10:00

Bio: Beattra Wilson is Assistant Director for Cooperative Forestry at USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC. As national lead for the agency’s Urban and Community Forestry Program— Wilson oversees program policy, budget, partnership development and strategic and equitable delivery of federal and state urban forestry programs. Beattra has built a solid career administering conservation cooperative assistance programs at regional and national offices, and has served on boards and committee to advance environmental justice, conservation workforce diversity and customer experience. Wilson has completed White House detail assignments to the Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Management and Budget and co-chaired the Secretary of Agriculture’s Executive Committee for 1890 Land Grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Beattra has a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Forestry from Southern University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University.

Brandon Namm

Thursday, 9:20-10:05 Track 1

Conserving the Urban Forest While Enhancing Public Infrastructure 

Capital improvement projects, including sidewalk and sewer improvements and development on public property, inherently present conflicts with existing trees. Ideally, these conflicts are identified and addressed during project design. However, even the best designs require close communication and flexibility during construction to ensure tree preservation. This presentation provides examples of city projects in Portland, Oregon that have successfully limited tree removals and enhanced the urban forest through thoughtful plan review and critical thinking in the field.

Large scale city projects present a challenge to preserving existing trees and maximizing tree planting in urban areas. Development required to enhance public infrastructure where space is limited often results in a detriment to the urban forest.  Plans identifying all the potential tree conflicts are key to assess whether designs can be altered to retain trees or whether trees require removal. A detailed tree inventory and plan sets showing existing trees and site conditions, proposed alterations, proposed impacts to existing trees and tree protections measures limits unforeseen conflicts during construction.

However, tree impacts during construction are often unavoidable. Trees may require root pruning, tree protection may not be installed as shown on plans due to inability to acquire temporary construction easements, and construction elements (e.g. bridge footings) may require greater impacts than was foreseen.

This presentation provides examples of city projects in Portland, Oregon that have successfully limited tree removals and enhanced the urban forest through thoughtful plan review and critical thinking in the field. I discuss city projects where creative designs and collaboration in the field have allowed city projects to preserve trees and maximize tree planting opportunities. Alternatively, I provide examples where poor design, unclear plan sets, or constraints in the field have resulted in removal of significant trees.

Bio: Brandon work as a Capital Improvement Project Tree Inspector at the City of Portland where I design and review tree protection plans and oversee construction impacting trees. I received a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and a M.S. from Humboldt State in Forestry and Wildland Resources. My professional interests include coming up creative solutions to addressing development conflicts with urban trees and applying a racial equity lens when applying urban forest policy. When not at work, I am hiking, mushroom hunting, and spending time in the garden with my wife and two cats.

Carol Kwan, Endangered Species in the Hazard Zone

Wednesday 1:15-2:00 Track 2

Bio: Carol Kwan has a diverse background with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a MBA degree. She worked for about 20 years in construction and development as an engineer before becoming a Certified Arborist in 2003 and working as a consulting arborist in her own business, primarily in construction. Carol is an ISA Certified Arborist, holds the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, and is a Past President of WCISA.

Removing large, high risk, invasive trees can be challenging in any environment. Removing them in a tropical rainforest above endangered species for a government entity with insufficient funding is even more so, but this is what happened at Lyon Arboretum on the Island of Oahu.

Christopher Kallstrand and Aaron Reece, Evolving Technology: A History of Blue Gum Management

Tuesday, 2:15-3:00

Bio: Mr. Kallstrand is a senior urban forestry specialist with 15 years’ experience providing project oversight on projects ranging from arboricultural assessments and oak management plans to detailed risk evaluations using technology such as sonic tomography. Mr. Kallstrand has evaluated thousands of trees throughout Southern California and has assessed over 5,000 blue gum trees within the City of Irvine. Mr. Kallstrand routinely utilizes technology to thoroughly evaluate the structural stability of trees and provide management recommendations.

Aaron Reece- Mr. Reece is a certified arborist and leads a team responsible for managing over seventy thousand urban trees for the City of Irvine. Mr. Reece holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has over 16 years of experience in the landscape industry including nurseries, landscape maintenance, design, construction and horticultural consulting.

The City of Irvine has an extensive mature blue gum population, planted as agricultural windbreaks and managed to reduce the effects of Santa Ana winds. These management practices were effective for their original purpose but would not be employed in urban settings. Over the last 20 years, the City has utilized technology to evaluate tree structure. Evolving technology has allowed for educated management decisions to reduce risk associated with the trees.

Dan Staley and Jim Flott – How Arborists Can Improve Results: Improvements today and tomorrow

Wednesday, 11:10-12:00 Track 1

Bio: Dan Staley is Principal of Arbor Drone, LLC, a green technology firm in Carmel, California, USA. Dan is a certified drone pilot and studied Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry at UC Davis, and Urban Planning specializing in urban ecology under a National Science Foundation grant at the University of Washington. Dan’s applied research on urban forests and green infrastructure technology has appeared in scholarly journals, proceedings, symposia, policy papers, and trade magazines.

Jim Flott is president of Community Forestry Consultants, Inc. He received his B.S. in Horticulture from Iowa State University and his M.S. in Forest Pathology from the University of Arizona and has over 40 years work experience in the horticulture, urban forestry and arboriculture industries. Jim is an ISA Certified Arborist and Certified Municipal Specialist; American Society of Consulting Arborists Registered Consulting Arborist; ISA TRAQ instructor and current member of the PNW-ISA Board of Directors.

Attendees will learn how to provide more efficient services to clients and expand their offerings by assessing various technologies available today for use in different scenarios across scales from one tree, to city neighborhoods, or to properties in the Wildland-Urban Interface. Attendees will also learn what technologies and processes in the near future may improve their services or offer better solutions for their clients.

Dana Coehlo and Dana Karcher – A Tale of Two EAB Projects: Can Data Manage a Pest?

Wednesday, 1:15-2:00 Track 1

Bio: Dana Coehlo is the Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for Colorado. A passionate advocate for trees, Dana has spent her career in both the nonprofit and government sectors. Prior to joining the Colorado State Forest Service, Dana was the Executive Director of the Metro Denver Nature Alliance. Dana is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, Past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, and currently serves their CoR Rep to the ISA.

Dana Karcher- Dana Karcher is an Area Manager for the Davey Resource Group. Located in Texas, works with communities throughout the US with urban and community forestry challenges and opportunities. Dana has spent her career in both the nonprofit and commercial industries throughout the Western US. She is a Certified Arborist, Past President of the Western Chapter ISA, and honored to be the current President of the International Society of Arboriculture.

No two communities are alike. That doesn’t matter to the invasive pests that attack our urban forests. Colorado Front Range communities are susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer. Through two different projects, locally and federally funded, communities are making decisions on how to deal with EAB, it’s destructive capabilities, and the wood waste it leaves behind. Using data, trends, and experience, the lessons learned can be applied to communities as they battle the next invasive.

Daniel PskowskiTree Preservation Solutions

Wednesday, 4:20-5:00 Track 2

My talk will be on the impacts infrastructure has on urban trees, how to protect them and avoid tree removal. Should horizontal boring be allowed under street trees? How to make an unsustainable site sustainable when a tree has outgrown the park strip or tree well. Effective negotiation tactics when trying to preserve trees.

Bio: BS Degree Landscape Horticulture – Colorado State University, Post Graduate Study – Forest & Shade Tree Pathology, Applied Entomology – Colorado State University, ISA Certified Arborist WE-0964A Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, City Arborist (29.5 years) City of Sacramento. Grounds Foreman, Campus Arborist (10 years) – Colorado State University.In these positions I was able to touch trees every day. My tenure in Sacramento allowed long term monitoring of the trees I touched to determine if preservation methods incorporated were successful.

David Moore and Jacque Larrainzar and Emily SpillettRaising the Bar for Urban Forest Equity Planning

Wednesday, 10:20-11:05 Track 2

Bio: David Moore is the Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland since 2018. He moved to Oakland from New York, where he was a Senior Forester for the New York City Parks Department’s street tree division as well as the President of the New York State Urban Forestry Council. In 2019, he was presented with the Trailblazer Award from the Arbor Day Foundation for his leadership in Urban Forestry.

Jacque Larrainzar- Jacque Larrainzar is a Race and Equity Analyst in the City of Oakland. Her department works with City staff and elected officials to eliminate institutional racism and create a community where equity exists in opportunity for everyone. This involves changing organizational programs, policies, procedures, or practices that create inequity along racial lines. She has worked in a variety of municipal government leadership positions focused on civil rights and community work.

Emily Spillett is a Senior Area Manager with Davey Resource Group.  Emily has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Forestry from The State University of New York. She is a Certified Arborist (#WE-6702A) through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and carries the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). She is trained in Tree Care for Birds and other Wildlife through the ISA Western Chapter and is a Graduate of the Municipal Forest Institute. Emily is a board member and past president of the California Urban Forest Council and a volunteer for the ISA Western Chapter. 

The City of Oakland began its first ever Citywide Tree Inventory and Urban Forest Master Plan in 2019 with funding from a Cal Fire grant. See how the City of Oakland’s Tree Department, Race and Equity Department, and the project consultant, Davey Resource Group, have collaborated to center equity in this project’s framework to authentically consider and address Oakland’s historical equity disparities.

David Muffly, Tree Strategies – Oaks, Resiliency, And Biodiversity in California’s Future Forests

Tuesday, 3:30-4:15

Bio: Dave planted his first acorns in 1989 as part of the groundbreaking oak revegetation project at Stanford University, a project which Dave ultimately managed. Dave became a Certified Arborist in 1998, and a Board Certified Master Arborist in 2008. Dave’s knowledge of tree planting continued to grow with major urban tree plantings in East Palo Alto and elsewhere. Dave’s abilities were put to the ultimate test in 7 years as Senior Arborist at Apple Inc.

Every city in California has street trees planting lists, and lists of trees acceptable for parks and commercial properties, given to landscape architects. In northern California, these list have become dominated by water loving, low biodiversity fall color trees, like Red Maples, which are available at low cost from Oregon nurseries. But these are literally reverse climate change trees for most of California. These trees come from places that receive much more precipitation than the California where most people live, and are evolved for radically colder temperatures, none of which fit climate change models for future California. We need new lists, and new trees. Oaks have always been important in California, and will remain so. But we also need to increase resiliency through diversity, and we will also look at other tree species which promise to bring beauty and resiliency to California future urban forests.

Kevin EckertUtility-Caused Wildfires: How, Why and What Can We do to Reasonably Minimize the Risk

Wednesday, 2:05-3:00 Track 1

Arbor Global’s founder, president and managing director, Kevin K. Eckert, is an arborist and vegetation manager with extensive experience in the hands-on design, implementation, administration, and management of measurably successful arboriculture and vegetation management programs within temperate and tropical vegetation zones.

Ian KestersonComplex Challenges Require Complex Solutions: Thinking beyond the trees to evolve the urban forest

Wednesday, 3:30-4:15 Track 2

Bio: Ian is a lifetime tree person, retired tree climber, and current urban forestry project planner for the City of Berkeley. While this role certainly orbits around the strong gravity of the trees, the process of growing and expanding the urban forest takes a bigger effort, larger imagination, and set of problem-solving tools served well by his decades of tree climbing and university studies in literature.

The City of Berkeley has a vibrant urban forest. However, like many urban areas, our tree canopy has maintenance challenges, is not equitably distributed, and needs to evolve to reach its potential and meet our future needs. We’ll go over some of our strategies to fund a planting program, work within a municipality, engage our various user groups, and most importantly, identify known challenges and begin to create solutions.

Jenn Yost, PhD SelecTree Expansion: New functions and new trees

Wednesday, 10:20-11:05 Track 1

Bio: Dr. Jenn Yost is a professor of botany at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she works with the Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute. Jenn studies plant evolution, trees in the urban forest, plant responses to climate change, and invasive species. She is the director of the Cal Poly Hoover Herbarium and a collaborator on SelecTree.

Dr. Yost will be joined by Natalie Love, Matt Ritter, Jeff Reimer

SelecTree is a database of trees and their characters, used by over 50,000 users each month. The new functionality of SelecTree will be discussed along with examples for how the tree care industry, educational institutions, and urban forestry non-profits are using SelecTree in their work.

Jerry KentEast Bay Eucalyptus History & Wildfire Safety

Tuesday, 1:30-2:15

Bio: Jerry Kent retired in 2004 as Assistant General Manager of Park Operations with the East Bay Regional Park District. He was involved for 42 years in all aspects of District management and policy, including overseeing the Park District’s fire related vegetation management programs. He staffed the 1982 East Bay Hills Blue Ribbon Fire Hazard Reduction Planning Study, assisted in fighting the 1991 fire, and in restoration efforts after the fire, and he was the Park District’s representative while developing the 1995 East Bay Hills Vegetation Management Consortium Fire Hazard Mitigation Program and Plan. After retirement, Jerry has also been engaged in 17 years of wildfire prevention advocacy serving on the Sierra Club Public Lands Committee, the Claremont Canyon Conservancy Board of Directors, and the Regional Parks Association Board of Directors.

Large-scale tree planting projects took place in the East Bay between 1873 and 1913. Early projects included blue gum eucalyptus and Monterey pine in parks and residential areas. Diablo winds in 1923, 1933, 1960, 1970, and 1991 enabled fire to enter tree groves, where pines torched and long ribbons of eucalyptus bark soared high in the fire column until they fell to earth causing new ignitions in unprepared residential areas.

Lawrence SchultzSpar Solutions and Tight Quarters Rigging

Wednesday, 8:50-9:40 Track1

Bio: Mr. Schultz has been involved in tree care since the fall of 2003. 10 years of his career were spent in New York city, working for the Brooklyn Forestry Department and later Central Park. He has been residing in California as a full time contract climbing arborist since the fall of 2015. He’s been a Certified Arborist since 2006 and Municipal Specialist since 2009.

Spar solutions analyzes both the rigging and climbing aspects involved in spar work. Negative rigging wood is the most force you can put on the remaining tree. It is also the most dynamic demand you can make on your rigging gear. Previous studies have shown peak forces reaching upwards of 10 times the weight of the actual piece. You need to create a rigging system where all of the components can withstand the maximum force you could possibly generate. In addition to this you will need to be able to safely secure your self to the spar in such a way that you can not be thrown to your peril in the event the rigged pieces are not properly lowered. This presentation will cover all of this and more to help keep you considering all of the factors involved in tree work’s most dangerous task.

Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD.Landscape soil tests: what matters, what doesn’t, and why

Thursday, 8:30-9:15 Track 1

Bio: Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is a Professor and Extension Specialist in Urban Horticulture at Washington State University. She is an ISA certified arborist and has been the editor of Western Arborist magazine since 2020.  Linda is also one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s research and educational contributions have been recognized by several groups, including WCISA and ISA.

Increasingly, arborists recognize the importance of soil testing before prescribing the use of fertilizers in managing urban trees. However, not all soil tests are created equally: agricultural soil metrics are not appropriate for application in treed landscapes. Moreover, we can correlate relevant soil test data with careful site observations to understand how rhizospheres are currently functioning and what, if anything, should be added.

Matt Ritter, PhDAn analysis of California native trees and argument for why they are not always appropriate for urban forest planting

Tuesday 10:30 – 11:30

Bio: Dr. Matt Ritter is a professor of biology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has authored numerous scientific papers about California’s natural ecosystems and its urban forests. His most recent books include California Plants: A Guide to our Iconic Flora and A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us, the state’s most popular natural history guide to the urban forest. His academic writings focus on Eucalyptus trees, horticulture, ecology, and plant taxonomy.

In this talk, we present the first comprehensive list of California native tree species, GIS native range maps, a heat map of overlapping native ranges, and an analysis of tree diversity in different geographic areas in California. We compare native tree diversity to urban locations and show that California’s urban areas are home to few native trees. The potential implications of planting only native trees in urban environments will be discussed.

Natalie Love, PhDThe California Urban Forest Inventory: What seven million data points tell us about one of the world’s largest and most diverse urban forests

Thursday, 8:30-9:15 Track 2

Bio: Dr. Natalie Love is currently a Frost Postdoctoral Fellow at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with Dr. Matt Ritter. Their research focuses on the structure, function, and diversity of California’s urban forests. She received a B.S. in Soil Science and an M.S. in Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She received Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from UC Santa Barbara where she studied the ecological and evolutionary drivers of trait variation in plants.

The California Urban Forest Inventory project represents the most comprehensive inventory urban street trees in California and currently has nearly 7 million individual tree records. This talk describes the assembly of the inventory and uses the data to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the structure and diversity of California’s urban forest.

Robert PhillipsFifty years of Tree Climbing Competition

Wednesday, 8:00-8:45 Track 1

Bio: Robert Phillips has been involved in Tree Climbing Competition since it was first introduced to the chapter back in 1972. He has been an active competitor since the onset and retired from competition in 2005. Robert was the Chapter Tree Climbing Chair in 1998 and 1999 and has served as a Judge for many years. Robert was overall champion of the Northern California Jamboree in 1982 & 1984 and the Southern California Jamboree in 1995. Robert was also the Western Chapter ISA President in 2004 and has served on and off the board for over twenty years.

Much of what we know today came from what we learned yesterday. Passing on the knowledge is essential to the evolution of learning and to the advancement of methods and techniques.

Steve NimzA Team Approach to Tree Preservation

Wednesday, 2:05-3:00 Track 2

Bio: Steve Nimz has over 55 years of experience as an arborist, starting out as a climber, establishing his own commercial tree care company, and presently working as a consulting arborist at his firm, Tree Solutions & Environmental Consulting Services Inc. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist and holds the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. He was the first Arborist in the State of Hawaii recognized as an ISA True Professional of Arboriculture.

Developing a Tree Protection Plan for a multimillion-dollar Banyan tree at the International Market Place in Waikiki. Owners, design groups, architects, engineers, contractors and arborists all working together for a positive redevelopment project.

Walt WarrinerMoving from a Municipal Arborist to an Urban Forester

Wednesday, 11:10-12:00 Track 2

Bio: Walt is a Consulting Urban Forester that works in Hawaii and California. For over 35 years he has worked with municipalities, developers, contractors, law firms and insurance agencies. His education includes Agriculture Technology and Business Accounting from the University of Hawaii, & Landscape Architecture from UCLA. He is a Certified Urban Forester, Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist, Pesticide Applicator, Pest Control Advisor, Qualified Tree Risk Assessor and a Qualified Tree Risk Appraiser.

This presentation will detail the duties and skill sets of the Municipal Arborist and the Urban Forester. Attendees will learn how the Municipal Specialist and Urban Forester operate within an Agency; how they each impact constituents and communities; and how they each fill different roles in the planning, development and management of an urban forest program. The presentation will discuss how becoming a certified Urban Forester would be the next step for the Municipal Specialist.

Panel Presentations:

Wednesday, 4:20-5:00 Track 1: Post Fire Tree Assessments

In the Western US, fires continue to be a major concern in both cities and the wildland-urban interface.  Arborists are often faced with responding not only to the consequences of fires (to trees, structures, and people), but also to the residents’ concerns about trees and fire.  The goal of this panel is to serve as an orientation to the diverse issues in “post-fire arboriculture,” from the physiology of fire damage, to arboricultural practices in tree assessment, to planning for re-planting and finally to setting up a dialog with the local communities.   To start, each of our panelists will briefly introduce a topic, sharing their own experience with issues such as fire effects on tree physiology, mortality of trees during a fire, assessment of trees after a fire (including how to set up the assessment process, and the contracts involved), post-fire safety for arborists, the issues with plant flammability lists, and finally an introduction to an effective “fire and trees conversation” with the concerned residents.  This will be followed by ample time for Q&A and discussion – please, come prepared to ask questions and contribute to the discussion!”

Joel Brown, Jim Flott, Elizabeth Lanham and Steve Swain

Thursday, 7:00-8:00: Women In Arboriculture- Work/Life Balance Panel (Optional ticket required)

Join the WCISA Women in Arboriculture Committee to explore what work/life balance looks like for each of us, strategies to achieve it, and how real or perceived work/life balance difficulties act as barriers to recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the tree care industry. People of all genders are welcome at this event. (Breakfast is included in ticket price).

Sara Davis, Dana Karcher and Erica Teach

Sara Davis has a Bachelor’s in Urban Forestry from UC, Davis and is a Certified Arborist.  Sara has served in leadership roles in arboriculture organizations at the local, state, and federal levels over the 20 years.  She enjoys the challenge of leading and coaching workers across the generations from entry-level to management positions. 

Dana Karcher is a leader, a spouse, a partner and a mother, not necessarily in that order. She works for collaboration within the arboriculture and urban forest industry as her day job. She relaxes by calming her mind in nature, at the sewing machine, in the kitchen, or with a good book, sometimes with a good glass of wine or beer and chatting with friends.

Erica Teach has worked in urban forestry in the Sacramento area as a volunteer, paid intern, general staff, and manager over the past 15 years where she has gained valuable informal education. During this time, she earned her Master’s in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation from California State University Sacramento where she also holds a Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts. She currently holds the position of Natural Resource Specialist with the Davey Institute which is a component of the Davey Tree Expert Company. 

Thursday, 10:30-11:15: Workforce Development Panel

This panel will discuss strategies to build further diversity in the arboriculture workforce through training, education and understanding the needs of employers. It will highlight the roles of non-profits, colleges, and tree companies working together to build and maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce to support our urban forests.

Gia Grant (SF Clean City Coalition), Laura Forlin (Merritt College) and Brigitte Orrick (The Davey Tree Expert Company)

Bio: Laura Forlin earned her MS Degree Horticulture and Agronomy from UC Davis, Laura’s graduate work at Davis was focused on urban forestry and arboriculture. Laura has been teaching general horticulture, arboriculture, tree ID and soils courses at Merritt College in the Landscape Horticulture Program since January of 2011, and is the current co-chair of the department, along with Landscape Architect Chris Grampp. Laura is a certified arborist. In the spring of 2017 Laura received a grant from the USFS, in conjunction with California ReLeaf, to develop a 2-year Arboriculture Degree Program to prepare students for entry into the tree care industry. The program launched in fall of 2018.

Gia Grant is the Executive Director of SF Clean City, a non-profit organization. Ms. Grant leads many innovative programs to further the greening and beautification of San Francisco, with an emphasis on developing training and employment opportunities for low-income residents. She has worked in the Bay Area’s non-profit sector for over twenty years focused on urban gardening, community beautification, environmental sustainability, and workforce development. Ms. Grant did her undergraduate studies at UC Santa Cruz and has graduate degree in Geography: Resource Management and Environmental Planning from San Francisco State University. She is a licensed C-27 Landscaping Contractor.

Cindy Schwab is a Recruiting Manager for Davey Tree. She oversees the recruiting throughout the Midwest and the West. In this position she works with workforce development groups, colleges, national events, and local groups to further the Arboriculture Industry. She has been in the Green Industry for over 20 years where she has worked in the field, been a sales arborist, managed field, and office employees.   She has a bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point in both Urban Forestry and Parks & Recreation, an M.B.A., and is an I.S.A. Certified Arborist.

Thursday, 11-15-12:00: Battle of the Trees Tournament of Future Champions!

Join us for the 2nd Annual WCISA Battle to close out this year’s conference! Last year, our member states battled it out to decide which was the worst “Pest of the West.” This year, we’ll fight to pick a future champion tree species! Representatives from various facets One representative from state will present two underappreciated species. You, the audience, will vote on each state’s winner. Those winners will compete, Final Four style, with the audience voting, until a winner is crowned!

Documentary Viewing

Tuesday, 4:15-5:30: “Old Survivor”

“In the 1850’s, fueled by the California Gold Rush, an ancient redwood forest was drastically logged to help build San Francisco. Yet one old tree was left behind.

This 20-minute documentary highlights “Old Survivor”, the only remaining old-growth redwood in the East Bay hills, and tells the story of Oakland’s resilient, ecologically amazing, and now protected redwood forest.

Featuring Save the Redwoods League, the East Bay Regional Park District, and City of Oakland parklands, the film promotes outdoor recreation and open space networks, encourages stewardship, celebrates local history, and educates the viewer about redwood forest ecology.”