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Partners in Community Forestry

2020 Conference Agenda

date  Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020

  • 11:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. Welcome to #VirtualPCF! Join Dan Lambe for his annual challenge speech and a welcome address from the USDA Forest Service.
    Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation | Beattra Wilson, USDA-Forest Service
    Dan Lambe is the president of the Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, which has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organisation dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Dan leads the strategic development of programs and partnerships through which the Foundation strives to educate, recognize,and empower people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

    Beattra Wilson is Assistant Director of Cooperative Forestry programs for the USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC, with leadership over the Urban & Community Forestry program nationally.

    Prologue Video the Trillion Trees Platform

    An estimated six trillion trees used to cover our planet. Today, only half remain, and despite massive efforts we continue to lose an additional 15 billion trees globally every year. Trees are an effective nature-based solution to tackle the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse. The World Economic Forum launched which aims to connect, empower and mobilize a multi-stakeholder community to conserve, restore and grow a trillion trees by 2030. Join us for this exciting session that will describe how you can engage in this global effort!

    Betty Cremmins, World Economic Forum
    Betty Cremmins is a "climate intrapreneur" who has dedicated her career to engaging diverse stakeholders to accelerate innovative environmental and humanitarian solutions. At the World Economic Forum, she leads the creation and launch of the U.S. Chapter of (Trillion Tree Platform) which serves a global movement to conserve, restore and grow a trillion trees over the coming decade. Previously she helped build the world's largest environmental data disclosure platform to transition companies and their supply chains to a climate-resilient, water-secure and deforestation-free economy through the Carbon Disclosure Project. She holds a MPA in Environmental Science & Policy from Columbia University and a BA from New York University.

    The Economic Footprint of Urban & Community Forestry in the U.S.

    Economists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present the results of the first-ever national study of the economic impact of urban and community forestry. Using state-level Economic Census data (2017), surveys to public-sector managers, and i-Tree Landscape analysis, the report will offer a state-by-state look at the full spectrum of economic contributions of our urban forests.

    Dr. Eric Thompson, Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Eric Thompson is the Director of the Bureau of Business Research and an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research fields include regional economics, economic forecasting, and state and local economic development, including impact studies of Nebraska agriculture, Sandhill Cranes migration, and the UNL Athletic Department. Dr. Thompson also works on demographic projections, and analyses of economic development programs for Nebraska and cities in Nebraska. In his previous employment, he served as the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and a Research Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky. Eric received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992.

    Towards Urban Forest Equity: Recentering Engagement in Disinvested Communities

    With a few notable exceptions, urban and community forestry struggles with deeply engaging communities in planning efforts. In recent years, many approaches emphasize the importance of greening and expanding forests into places that have been historically disinvested. While laudable, such approaches can reflect an 'ecological supremacy' ideology that pits the ascendancy of trees against a community's needs and preferences. In this presentation, I argue that issues of procedural justice, require further development.

    Dr. Vivek Shandas, Portland State University
    Vivek Shandas is a Professor of Climate Adaptation and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab at Portland State University. Dr. Shandas studies the effects of urban development patterns and processes on environmental health. By examining the assumptions about our built environment and the procedures that create our urban regions, Dr. Shandas supports communities in advancing local green infrastructure efforts. He serves as Chair of the City of Portland's (OR) Urban Forestry Commission, and on several other regional and national advisory boards.

  • 12:00–12:15 p.m. Conversations in the Hallway Take a break with friends old and new. Connect with one another in the Whova app!
  • 12:15–12:45 p.m. Lightning Round: Municipal Forestry session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    From Lemons To Lemonade: Leverage Severe Weather to Improve Tree Selection and Care

    Severe weather events provide extraordinary opportunities for citizen outreach and community understanding for the proper selection, planting and maintenance of trees. Severe weather impacts your community's trees, and by extension, homeowners and commercial property owners. As such, tips for recovery are inherently newsworthy. A series of droughts, arctic freezes, wind events and storms will be used as examples to identify opportunities to educate the public about proper tree selection, planting and care.

    Julius Zsako, City of Lone Tree, CO
    Julius Zsako has served as City Forester and Zoning Enforcement Coordinator for the City of Lone Tree, CO, for the past six years. Julius conducted the first ever city tree survey, authored the first Forestry Plan, and created a series of educational efforts to improve the health, appearance and longevity of trees located in Lone Tree. Julius began his career in Cleveland, OH, where he organized a community partnership that planted 10,000 trees and shrub, earning an Arbor Day Foundation Project Award in 1990.

    Help, My Community's Canopy Goal is Falling Flat!

    Many communities are now tackling their second or third UTC analyses, which creates an opportunity to better understand trends and impacts of policies and programs on tree canopy. In that process, the first community-wide canopy goals are proving to be more challenging, if not unrealistic, to achieve. This presentation will review the current state of community canopy goal setting, explore the purpose of canopy metrics, and offer alternatives that address the challenges.

    Joseph Gregory, Davey Resource Group, Inc. | Matt Erb, Tree Pittsburgh
    Joseph Gregory is an operations manager for Davey Resource Group. Joe is a planner and an urban forester by training and has coordinated numerous community forestry projects throughout the U.S. He is proficient at writing urban and community forestry management plans, benefit analyses, and urban forest master plans for municipal and non-profit partners. Joe led the Davey Resource Group team that authored urban forest master plans for Pittsburgh, PA, and Cleveland, OH.

    As Director of Urban Forestry, Matt Erbmanages many of Tree Pittsburgh's urban forestry programs including the implementation of the Urban Forest Master Plan. In his 10 years at Tree Pittsburgh, he has created numerous programs and executed the first installation of Silva Cells in Pennsylvania. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and an ISA Municipal Specialist with a degree in urban forestry. Since 2009 he has served on the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission and has served as the President of the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council.

    Approaches to Urban Forest Equity, Sustainability, and Management Planning for Small and Mid-Sized Communities

    Successful urban and community forestry planning is built on a foundation of sound data, extensive research, public engagement, benchmarks, and a shared vision to establish measurable goals and actions. Communities of any size and program complexity can implement planning resources such as the USDA-Forest Service's Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Audit and the Vibrant Cities Lab's Community Assessment and Goal-Setting Tool to create practical, living documents for your community forest.

    Chris Peiffer, PlanIT Geo
    Chris Peiffer is the Director of Urban Forestry Consulting Services at PlanIT Geo, with a bachelor's degree in urban forestry and both ISA Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist credentials. He provides planning services to support the management of a community's urban forest. Chris is experienced in planning, tree inventories, data analyses, canopy assessments, ordinance reviews, software, and arboriculture. In the last 5 years, Chris has completed over 20 urban forest projects consisting of management/master plans, planting plans, and tree risk plans.

    Meeting Communities Where They Are: A Model for Adaptive Management Planning

    Community forest management plans provide invaluable structure for sustainable development and maintenance of trees within their larger environmental, economic, and social contexts. While these plans should endeavor to create standards of care across communities and ownership boundaries, one size does not fit all; often smaller or rural communities are left without realistic guidance. Learn about a different kind of model New Mexico has developed to allow management plans to make the most out of a community's history, capacity and identity.

    Amy Bell, Groundwork Studio
    Amy Bell is principal of Groundwork Studio, a landscape architecture and urban planning firm that transforms experience through the possibility of place. Amy's goal as a landscape architect is to improve the connections we have to our surroundings in order to improve ecological literacy, resiliency, community, and stewardship. Amy holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of New Mexico, is a licensed landscape architect in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, and became an ISA Certified Arborist in 2015.

  • 12:15–12:45 p.m. Lightning Round: Environmental Equity session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    Contextualizing Tree Risk Perceptions in an Historical African American Neighborhood

    We describe a collaboration between diverse entities to explore how local values and attitudes affected perceptions of risks and benefits of trees in an historically African American neighborhood. Using participatory research methods, the specific objective was to identify economic, cultural, biophysical, and social-structural impediments and opportunities to communicating urban tree benefits and risks. Results demonstrate spatial patterns of tree risk, benefits, and management activities influenced by socio-cultural processes.

    Jason Gordon & Katrina Henn, University of Georgia
    Jason Gordon is a faculty member in the new Community Forestry & Arboriculture degree program at the University of Georgia. He teaches Urban Forest Management and other classes in the urban forestry program and conducts research on the human dimensions of urban and community forestry.

    Katrina Henn is a masters student in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Her thesis examines ways of engaging undeserved populations in community tree management activities. She has an undergraduate degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University.

    Strategies to Meaningfully Engage Communities in Urban Forestry

    In this session, attendees will learn how to meaningfully and equitably engage diverse communities in urban forestry, learn about the environmental disparities that exist in Chicago, and see how we are prioritizing hard to access areas in our outreach. Lastly, attendees will learn how Openlands has adapted our community strategy to support the changing needs of communities post COVID-19. Our ultimate goal is for residents to gain a deeper understanding of the value of trees and build community resilience in the face of climate change.

    Jennifer Idrovo & Tom Ebeling, Openlands
    Jennifer Idrovo joined Openlands in 2020 as the Community Outreach Coordinator. In this capacity, she engages communities on the Southwest side of Chicago to create open spaces and build advocates for nature. Before joining Openlands, she was the Neighborhood Network Director at Latinos Progresando leading the Marshall Square Resource Network, a 45-organization coalition focusing on health, education, peace, and capacity building. Jennifer studied public policy and law and Hispanic studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

    Tom Ebeling joined Openlands in 2019 as the Community Arborist. In that role Tom works to facilitate community tree planting grants, helps coordinate tree maintenance and stewardship with TreeKeepers and other volunteers, and participates in the community outreach and education programs offered by Openlands. He is an ISA Certified Arborist with a background in urban and community forestry and enjoys public engagement. He also enjoys exploring the neighborhoods, green spaces and art scenes of the new cities that he visits.

    Using Data to Achieve Equity in Service Delivery

    Along with efforts in Seattle to update the street tree inventory data, we have also been using this data, along with a companion iTree analysis, to measure the equity of our service delivery to underserved communities. This presentation offers insight into the steps that are taken in the analysis, as well as an overview of the tools that we are using to report our progress to decision makers and the general public.

    Nolan Rundquist, Department of Transportation, City of Seattle, WA
    Nolan Rundquist has served as City Arborist for the Seattle Department of transportation for over 20 years. He served on the Society of Municipal Arborists' committee that established the ISA Municipal Specialist certification and has also served on the ISA Test Committee and the Nominations and Elections committee. During his tenure in Seattle, the SDOT Urban Forestry Section has made great strides to manage and improve the street tree population, including an update of the street tree ordinance and creation of a Street Tree Manual.

    Tree Equity Score: A New Way to Set and Achieve Canopy Goals

    Urban tree canopy is critical infrastructure for protecting public health and lives, particularly among lower-wealth populations. Tree Equity Score is a new way to address socioeconomic disparities in tree canopy by synthesizing ecological, socioeconomic and climate data into a unique score for every urbanized neighborhood nationwide. This presentation will introduce the score's purpose, methodology, and action guides to help urban foresters, citizens and officials set goals and work to help every neighborhood develop a passing grade.

    Ian Leahy & Maisie Hughes, American Forests
    Since 2014, Ian Leahy has developed the award-winning Community ReLeaf program through a change model that helps cities nationwide build capacity for managing their urban forests. He led development of the Vibrant Cities Lab (, Tree Equity, and Climate & Health initiatives. Prior to American Forests, Ian served as the State Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the District of Columbia. He has a degree in natural resources management from Cornell University and is studying for a Masters of Environmental Management at Yale University.

    Before joining American Forests, Maisie Hughes was owner of Design Virtue, co-founder of The Urban Studio, and director of planning & design at Casey Trees. She was a 2018 Landscape Architecture Foundation Fellow for Innovation and Leadership and 2016 winner of the Frederick Gutheim Award for Distinguished Leadership by a Professional Planner. Committed to inclusive place-making with people and plants, Maisie is a certified Arborist with a Master of Landscape Architecture from Morgan State and a Bachelor of Arts in Afro American studies at Howard University.

  • 12:15–12:45 p.m. Lightning Round: Urban Forest Pests session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB): the Threat in Black and White

    Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is potentially the most devastating non-native pest to have ever arrived in North America. The beetle kills trees belonging to 12 genera in 9 plant families. Attendees will learn the current status of ALB, its host range, basic biology, and key points for detection. Early detection is essential to eradication success, so the goal of this session is to teach attendees what they need to know to help stop ALB!

    Joe Boggs, Ohio State University Extension
    Joe Boggs is an Assistant Professor with OSU Extension, Hamilton County, and the OSU Department of Entomology. He specializes in tree and shrub diagnostics and pest management. Joe averages over 100 teaching presentations per year. He has published articles in the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Magazine, Landsculptor (Michigan Green Industry Association), the Buckeye Arborist, the Society of Commercial Arboriculture Newsletter, and the Canadian Groundskeeper. He is a frequent contributor to the Buckeye Yard and Garden Line (BYGL) blog [].

    Urban Forest Pest Readiness: A New Self-Assessment Tool for Municipalities

    Urban forests are vulnerable to outbreaks of invasive insect pests which can have costly and lasting impacts, especially if local jurisdictions are not well prepared. To address this issue, the Washington State DNR and the Washington Invasive Species Council developed the "Urban Forest Pest Readiness Playbook," a new self-assessment tool for public tree managers. This session will include an introduction to the playbook, case studies of cities that have used it, and future plans for this work in Washington state.

    Ben Thompson, Washington State Department of Natural Resources | Justin Bush, Washington Invasive Species Council
    Ben Thompson is the Urban Forestry Program Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Urban & Community Forestry Program and has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 1999. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Urban and Community Forestry from Unity College in Maine and a Master's in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida. He lives in Olympia, WA, with his wife and two young kids. Together they enjoy family excursions to experience Washington's diverse landscapes--from national parks to cityscapes.

    Justin Bush is the executive coordinator to the State of Washington Invasive Species Council. Justin has been working on invasive species issues since 2008 with various federal, state, regional, and local organizations. During these years, he has been involved in various projects to prevent, detect, and control both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species and is passionate about reducing the threat they pose to the economy, native species and ecosystems.

    Developing New Best Management Practices for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

    Emerald ash borer (EAB) is either an existing or imminent threat to many of our cities across North America. Urban forestry professionals are seeking direction on how, when, and where to focus their management efforts. Previous studies have shown that treating healthy ash trees with biological insecticides is less expensive than removing and replacing these trees, but injecting all ash trees is not always feasible nor recommended. Cities need best management practices to help make tough decisions regarding city-wide tree treatments or removals.

    Allison Craig & Dr. Rhoda deJonge, BioForest/LPC
    Allison Craig is the Manager of Urban Forest Health Services at BioForest in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She started as a field technician in 2012, hanging green prism traps and counting thousands of emerald ash borers. She is an ISA Certified Municipal Arborist, Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, and a licensed pesticide applicator. She works closely with municipalities throughout Ontario to advise and coordinate effective forest pest monitoring and urban forestry programs.

    As the Technical Manager for Urban Forestry at BioForest, Rhoda deJonge manages research trials that study the efficacy of plant, bacteria, and fungal-based products to control insect pests and improve health outcomes for urban trees, including the control of Emerald Ash Borer. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Forestry. Previously, Rhoda worked for environmental organizations in both Michigan and Ontario focused on land conservation and stewardship.

    Trees Ease our Stress, Do We Return the Favor?

    As an urban forestry professional, you focus on maintaining a strong urban canopy to protect human health. But, are you monitoring your trees to ensure they're healthy enough to do so? The Nature Conservancy and the USDA Forest Service jointly developed a scientifically rigorous tree health monitoring protocol accessible to civic scientists and professionals alike, called Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities. Learn about our app and the updated training resources. Your trees may be stressed, let us demonstrate a simple method to see how they're doing.

    Dr. Richard Hallett & Dr. Michelle Johnson, USDA Forest Service | Rachel Holmes, The Nature Conservancy
    Rich Hallett has spent his career studying tree and forest health in the northeastern U.S., working towards early detection of tree stress caused by exotic insects and diseases. In 2009 he shifted his research focus from ex-urban forests to urban ecosystems. He has developed an urban tree health assessment tool and is studying urban forest management. He continues to adapt techniques and knowledge gained in rural forests to urban forest practice. He has learned that city foresters are uniquely situated to help rural foresters prepare for climate change.

    Michelle Johnson is a Research Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service at the New York City Urban Field Station ( Her research areas broadly include urban natural resources stewardship and urban tree health, with a current focus on urban forest patch governance, tree stewardship and health relationships, and changes in stewardship over time. Her toolkit includes spatial analysis, qualitative and quantitative social science, and field ecology methods.

    Rachel Holmes is the Healthy Trees Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In addition to urban forestry, Rachel has a background in youth development, having worked for several youth-based non-profit organizations prior to joining TNC in 2014 when she started the Conservancy's first field-based urban conservation professional development program. Rachel holds a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and the Environment, a Master of Divinity also from Yale University, and a BS from Rutgers University.

  • 12:45–1:00 p.m. Conversations in the Hallway Take a break with friends old and new. Connect with one another in the Whova app!
  • 1:00–1:30 p.m. Lightning Round: Natural Areas session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    Approaches to Urban Natural Areas Management

    Natural areas make up 84%, or 1.7 million acres of urban parkland in the U.S. These spaces are an important form of "nearby nature" that contribute to the health and well being of four out of five Americans who live in cities. These spaces are also critical for protecting biodiversity and mitigating the impacts of climate change. This presentation focuses on urban forested natural areas and summarizes the work of an emerging national network working to manage, conserve and advocate for these outdoor spaces.

    Sarah Charlop-Powers & Dr. Clara Pregitzer, Natural Areas Conservancy | Sophie Plitt, USDA Forest Service
    Sarah Charlop-Powers draws on her background in land use planning, economics, and environmental management in her work. While working as a planner at Jonathan Rose Companies, she was the lead project manager for the creation of a new management entity for the South Bronx Greenway, where she focused on the creation of local revenue streams. Sarah worked for seven years as the parks manager for Scenic Hudson, managing 15 parks, and has also worked as a consultant for NYSERDA, the NYC DOT, and the Mohonk Preserve.

    Clara Pregitzer led the Forest Assessment component of the Natural Areas Conservancy Ecological Assessment for NYC parkland and the development of the Forest Management Framework. She previously worked with NYC Parks's Natural Resources Group (NRG) conducting ecological assessments in over 1,500 acres of New York City parks. She holds a B.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, a M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee and a PhD from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

    Sophie Plitt works in a dual role between the USDA Forest Service and the Natural Areas Conservancy managing natural partnerships for STEW-MAP and forested natural areas practitioners. Sophie has worked with the NYC Parks Department, New York Restoration Project, TreeKIT and the New York Tree Trust reseraching, planning and implementing green infrastructure projects with the goal of deepening human-nature connections in cities.

    Fear and Fascination: Use and Perceptions of Urban Natural Areas

    Wild urban forests are integral to the social and psychological well-being of many city residents. Urban natural areas provide a sense of refuge, place attachment, and nature experience to city residents across different metropolitan areas, neighborhoods, and land management regimes. However, these green spaces may elicit both positive and negative emotions, influencing the benefits derived from these urban green spaces, as well as local residents' desires for their future structure and function as social-ecological spaces.

    Dr. Nancy Sonti, USDA Forest Service
    Nancy Falxa Sonti is an Ecologist with the US Forest Service, based at the Baltimore Field Station, where she works as an interdisciplinary researcher studying urban social-ecological systems. Her current research interests include urban tree ecophysiology and processes of forest restoration and regeneration, as well as motivations for engagement with urban green spaces such as forest patches. Nancy has a Masters in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a PhD in Plant Science from the University of Maryland-College Park.

    Nearby Nature's Power to Heal: How Community-Led Reflective Greenspaces Improve Mental and Physical Health for All

    Evidence is mounting that small urban greenspaces can have a marked, positive impact on individual and community health. This presentation will illustrate how by sharing hard science mixed with practical knowledge gained through the creation of more than over 150 "Sacred Places" over 25 years. Discover how this model can be employed across the U.S. to convert vacant lots and other slivers of public space into reflective greenspaces, quickly expanding the nature footprint in cities and addressing a constellation of public health issues.

    Alden Stoner, Nature Sacred
    Alden Stoner served on the Board of Nature Sacred for nearly 15 years before joining as CEO. Prior, Alden served in leadership roles at Participant Media and Quantified Ventures. She brings together private, non-profit, academic and governmental entities to effectively change attitudes, behaviors, and policy. She is a film producer, an award-winning campaigner, and a mother. Alden holds a B.A from the University of Southern California, Phi Beta Kappa, and a dual Masters in Global Media and Communication from USC and the London School of Economics.

    City Forest, Country Forest: Lessons in Management Across the Divide

    Cities are focusing attention on trees and green space, motivated by a wide range of ecological and social benefits. Forested natural areas in cities are a subset of urban forests that can be managed more like rural forests than like individual street, park, and yard trees. Urban forested natural areas are often overlooked and undermanaged, even though these woodlands may contain most of the trees within the city. Is there room for silvicultural practices in the city, and what can urban and rural practitioners learn from each other?

    Dr. Richard Hallett, USDA Forest Service | Dr. Max Piana, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    Rich Hallett has spent his career studying tree and forest health in the northeastern U.S., working to advance the early detection of tree stress caused by exotic insects and diseases. In 2009 he shifted his research focus from ex-urban forests to urban ecosystems. He has developed an urban tree health assessment tool and is studying urban forest management. He continues to adapt techniques and knowledge gained in rural forests to urban forest practice. He has learned that city foresters are uniquely situated to help rural foresters prepare for climate change.

    Max Piana is a postdoc researcher at UMass-Amherst, working with the U.S. Forest Service at their Urban Field Station in Philadelphia, PA. He received his PhD in Ecology & Evolution from Rutgers University and conducted his dissertation research through Dr. Steven Handel's lab at the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology. Max was also a fellow at the Center for Resilient Landscapes.

  • 1:00–1:30 p.m. Lightning Round: Technology session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    American Chestnut Restoration: Biotechnology as a Forest Health Tool

    This presentation will be an overview of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project, from its inception in 1990 to its culmination in 2020 with the development of a blight-tolerant American chestnut, and insight into future projects. This presentation is intended to demonstrate the viability of biotechnology as a tool for conservation of threatened or endangered tree or plant species. The process of navigating federal regulation and oversight is covered, as well as the current plan to maximize genetic diversity in the species.

    Dr. Allison Oakes, SUNY-ESF/American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project
    Allison Oakes has worked for the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project since 2006. She is a postdoctoral research fellow and is optimizing American elm Agrobacterium-mediated transformation protocols, as well as teaching Principles of Genetics at SUNY-ESF. Her research interests include micropropagation, tree genomics, experimental design, and statistical analysis. She was an author on the regulatory documents needed by the USDA and EPA for eventual release of blight resistant American chestnuts.

    IntersecTREEnality: The Intersection of Trees, People, & Technology

    As Partners in Community Forestry, we sit at the great intersection of where trees and people connect. It is time that we add & embrace technology to this intersection. Technology has revolutionized our world in many ways including our understanding of and management of trees. This presentation will engage the audience through a discussion of how we can best utilize technology to not only manage our urban forests but also communicate and engage with the community.

    Josh Behounek, Davey Resource Group, Inc.
    Josh Behounek is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. He is the Coordinator of Urban Forestry Services for the Davey Resource Group throughout the U.S. and was previously an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri. Josh is currently traveling the country living out of his Airstream RV experiencing trees & nature first hand. He has experience inventorying, climbing, planting, pruning, mulching, spraying, writing about, and hugging trees.

    Tweaks to Processes and Software to Turn Tree Inventories into "Living" Inventories

    Most tree inventories are static and most of the money spent on tree inventories hasn't been leveraged as well as it could be. They were created with great effort and expense, but wind up cloistered away from the people who would be best suited to update it. To make an inventory a living document--becoming more useful over time rather than outdated--we demonstrate processes and system improvements that put data into the hands of field staff, who can enrich the data collected.

    Tig Tillinghast, Urban Forest Metrix
    Tig Tillinghast helps run Urban Forest Metrix, a company that makes tree inventory and tree work management software for cities, states, provinces, arborists, tree service firms, and field research scientists. Since 2019 he has been helping bring free tree inventory to smaller communities through a NUCFAC grant program.

    Preparing Urban Forestry Staff and Students for the Near- and Middle-Futures

    This session will outline new technologies that will make important inroads into municipal/urban forestry and urban infrastructure management. Remote sensing tools (satellite, aircraft, and drone data) are among the technologies poised to become industry standards for conducting urban tree canopy cover analyses and tree risk assessments in the near future. Attendees will see examples of green infrastructure projects and learn how to prepare for the coming technological and data revolution.

    Dan Staley, Arbor Drone, LLC
    Dan Staley is the Principal of Arbor Drone, LLC and is educated in urban forestry, urban planning and urban ecology. He also is a licensed drone pilot. His applied research into urban forests and drones, trees and solar energy, trees and urban design, and urban forests and green infrastructure has appeared in the scholarly literature, proceedings, trade magazines, briefing papers, podcasts, webinars, workshops and more.

  • 1:00–1:30 p.m. Lightning Round: Outreach & Engagement session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic

    How To Maximize Digital Storytelling With Minimal Resources

    The power of storytelling to inspire action and change is well established. With easy access to technology, digital storytelling has now become cemented as a fundamental marketing tool. However, running large-scale, sophisticated, digital storytelling campaigns that have a high degree of impact can be cost prohibitive for many organizations, particularly non-profits. Attendees will learn how to leverage their resources for a high impact digital storytelling campaign and how to work with their marketing/communications contractor.

    Brandon Stiller, Open Media Foundation
    With nearly a decade working with nonprofit and public sector clients, Brandon Stiller has focused on digital storytelling, messaging strategy, live event capture, and video production. He looks forward each day to telling the stories of organizations that are truly making a difference. Brandon is constantly humbled to be a part of an organization composed of great people who are collectively working towards real and lasting change.

    Up Your Community Engagement Game

    Being a leader can be difficult when you are trying to build partnerships among residents, city staff, community organizations and businesses. How effective are you at engaging the community? When you bring people together, are you asking the right questions? Are people listening to each other? Who is not at the table that should be? In this session you will learn to hone your listening skills around "six conversations" that can be used to help people deeply listen to one another and take ownership for a thriving tree canopy.

    Rachel Comte, Urban Canopy Works, LLC | Gayle Hilleke, This Room, LLC
    Rachel Comte is an arborist, urban planner, trained facilitator and communications expert. She is a leading authority on urban forestry master plans, and has developed plans for cities across the U.S. Rachel has served in diverse roles throughout her career, with over 20 years' combined experience in project management, strategic marketing, consulting, landscape design, green infrastructure, and planning and urban forestry and has worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

    Gayle Hilleke is principal of This Room, LLC, and executive director of the Kentucky Campus Compact. For seven years, she has participated in Peter Block's community organization, A Small Group, learning community dialogue and facilitation techniques on a daily basis, both in her work and in community settings.

    The Tree Whisperers

    Because trees have no voice, we must speak for them. Only when we articulate the needs of the urban forest will trees thrive and grow. Trained arborists are the tree whisperers, able to speak for organisms that cannot speak for themselves. In cities and towns, many people don't notice or perhaps actively dislike the trees in their midst. We must reach across the divide and effectively educate the public about why urban forests and other arboreal landscapes are important.

    Jean Zimmerman, SavATree
    Jean Zimmerman is a commercial and consulting arborist for SavATree, serving the Lower Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City. Jean assists municipalities, universities and cultural institutions in developing and implementing tree inventories, risk assessments and management plans. Previous to her position with SavATree Zimmerman was a project developer for Davey Resource Group.

    'Throwing Spaghetti' To See Which Crazy Initiatives Stick

    Managing an urban forestry nonprofit requires a delicate balance of resources, ideas, technical skills, partnerships, and magic. As the world continues to cope with the new reality of the coronavirus, we have all be forced to throw our best laid plans in the garbage and scramble to write a new spring playbook. Forest ReLeaf of Missouri has jumped on so many bandwagons in hopes that something will make a new and profound impact toward growing healthy and diverse forests for people and places. The big question is, did it work?

    Meridith Perkins, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
    For the past 20 years, Meridith Perkins has dedicated her career to promoting healthy urban forestry management, connecting people to trees in ways that transform both landscapes and lives. She has experience in nonprofit, government, and private sector urban forestry efforts. Meridith is a skilled educator advocating for healthy, diverse forests and valuable human connections to nature by teaching community college courses, leading conference sessions with professional peers, and delivering keynote presentations for general public events.

  • 1:30–1:45 p.m. Conversations in the Hallway Take a break with friends old and new. Connect with one another in the Whova app!
  • 1:55–2:20 p.m. The Green Heart Study: An Experiment to Examine the Effect of Greenness on Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health

    Louisville, KY, has recently become an urban laboratory examining the ability of large-scale tree plantings to reduce exposure to harmful air pollutants and improve the heart health of communities. This Green Heart Project is following the health, well-being, and pollution exposure of over 700 residents before and after planting thousands of large trees. We explore how tree planting can reduce exposure to air pollution and improve heart health. This will inform evidence-based planting strategies to improve public health in cities worldwide.

    Dr. Ray Yeager, University of Louisville
    Ray Yeager is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and a Health Geographer with the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute. He is an active collaborator on the Green Heart Louisville project, University of Louisville Superfund Research Center projects, and the Louisville Healthy Heart Study. The overarching goal of his research is to identify and create a better understanding of environmental factors affecting cardiovascular risk, particularly greenness and air pollutants.

    Urban Forestry: Looking Back and Toward a Bright Future Ahead

    Dave Nowak will offer his perspective on how urban forest research has advanced over the last 40 years and how it is poised to make great advances in the future to improve urban forest management and support.

    Dr. David Nowak, USDA Forest Service
    Dave Nowak is a senior scientist and team leader with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Syracuse, NY. His research investigates urban forest structure, health, and change and its effect on human health and environmental quality. He has authored more than 300 publications and leads teams developing i-Tree software tools to quantify ecosystem services and values from trees and forests.


    Join us live and in-person in Louisville, KY, for next year's Partners in Community Forestry conference, November 17-18, 2021!

    Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation
    Dan Lambe ?is president of the Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, which has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Dan leads the strategic development of programs and partnerships through which the Foundation strives to educate, recognize, and empower people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

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