USFS Climate Change Specialist Leslie Brandt Coming to ReLeaf 2019

We are most fortunate to have USFS Climate Change Specialist Dr. Leslie Brandt as the 2019 ReLeaf Conference Friday morning plenary speaker and leader of a workshop later that morning.

In the plenary she will discuss “Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Urban Forest and Natural Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Region” and in the workshop, she zooms in on NY with “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for New York’s Trees.”

To get background on Leslie’s work with her climate change cohorts, you can see a superb infographic here about the findings of the team studying the vulnerability of the tree species in the urban forests of greater Chicago. The full paper about this study is here.

The vulnerability case studies presented are most interesting. For example, find out why the Village of Riverside’s urban forest is Low-Moderately Vulnerable to climate change effects, while the City of Lake Forest is Moderately Vulnerable, while the Glencoe Park Distrist is Moderate to Highly Vulnerable. What can we do to make moderate to highly vulnerable urban forests in New York more resilient?

Renowned Climate Change Journalist Andrew Revkin Speaking at ReLeaf 2019

Andrew Revkin reported for The New York Times in 2003 from a research camp set up on sea ice drifting near the North Pole. Scientists erected the sign, then added “was” as currents were pushing the ice several miles a day. Photo by Peter West for the National Science Foundation. Photo in Public Domain

At ReLeaf 2019 (July 18-20), Saturday’s keynote speaker will be award-winning climate change journalist and Hudson Valley resident Andrew Revkin on “Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate.” The following bio for Andrew was originally published by ProPublica.

Andrew Revkin is the senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica. He joined the newsroom in December 2016, after 21 years of writing for The New York Times, most recently through his Dot Earth blog for the Opinion section, and six years teaching at Pace University.

Revkin began writing on climate change in the 1980s. In the mid 2000s, he exposed political suppression of climate findings at NASA and editing of federal climate reports by political appointees with ties to the petroleum industry. He was the first Times reporter to file stories and photos from the sea ice around the North Pole.

Revkin has won most of the top awards in science journalism, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for sustained journalistic excellence and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.

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Central Park Celebration: David Moore’s 2019 ADF Trailblazer Award

About 40 invited guests attended the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) reception on June 6th in the Arsenal at Central Park to honor David Moore’s recognition as ADF 2019 Trailblazer. The Trailblazer Award recognizes outstanding achievement in arboriculture and/or urban forestry by professionals under 35. At the reception, a video (above) about David’s work was unveiled, David gave an extemporaneous, from-the-heart speech, and attendees enjoyed a reception on the Arsenal roof, overlooking the southeast corner of Central Park.

Revelers on the Arsenal rooftop, from left: former NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Mary Beck, current NYSUFC President Karen Emmerich, David Moore, and Past NYSUFC President Andy Hillman.

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Arbor Day Ceremony in Albany Honors Mary Kramarchyk Beck, DEC Poster Contest Winners

NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Gloria Van Duyne presented a framed copy of the Arbor Day 2019 poster to winner Paul Bergwall, who is from the Rochester area. Paul worked for Kodak for many years and then became an art teacher. He and his wife were thrilled to be in attendance and to see his photograph as a poster (printed by International Paper).

On April 26, NYSDEC and the NYS Office of General Services (OGS) hosted a ceremony in honor of Arbor Day 2019. The gathering included members of the State Arbor Day Committee and state and local officials, including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. A London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) was planted on the State Street side of East Capitol Park, near the corner of the Capitol Building, to replace one that was lost during a storm. (Each year, a tree is planted ceremonially on the Capitol grounds).

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David Moore Wins Arbor Day Foundation Trailblazer Award

Congratulations, David! You are indeed a Trailblazer and very much worthy of this recognition. All best from your many friends at the NYSUFC.

The Council is jubilant that Past President David Moore has won the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) Trailblazer Award, given to a professional under 35 who has made exceptional contributions to arboriculture and/or urban forestry. A video about David’s work is in the making (and we’ll share here on the blog as soon as it’s available). From the ADF press release:

“The title of Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland, California, belies David Moore’s age and accomplishments. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David developed a sophisticated system of tree procurement that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.”

The Trailblazer Award description: “This award recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research, or tree care during the past five years. The Award winner will exhibit a collaborative spirit that inspires others to give their time, effort, and resources to improve our understanding of trees, tree planting, or tree care.”

CONGRATS, DAVID!!

Danielle Gift on What the Partners in Community Forestry Conference Means to Her

NYC Parks Tree Preservation Senior Project Manager Danielle Gift reflects here on her experiences attending the Partners in Community Forestry (“Partners”) Conference, which includes the affiliated Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) Conference. The next Partners will take place November 20-21, 2019 in Cleveland, just after the SMA Conference November 18-19. Partners is organized by the Arbor Day Foundation.

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Kateri Savory on Her MFI Experience

Kateri Savory

Council member Kateri Savory is the Davey Resource Group Project Manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in NYC. Kateri received scholarship funding from the Council toward attending the 2019 Municipal Forestry Institute, which took place in Silverton, Oregon.

Can you tell us about your job background and education?
Kateri Savory: I’ve always loved being outside, and beaches and rainforests are my favorite places. However, the forest, much less an urban forest, wasn’t where I thought I would find myself working.

Before changing fields, I was a district manager in retail where I enjoyed training teams and using my creativity to revamp stores. Constant goal attainment made the long hours satisfactory for a while, but I wanted to spend energy on something that would help others and feed my soul.

I studied Permaculture courses online through Cornell University and then pursued a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Bronx Community College, which included courses with the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The array of adult education classes offered by NYBG were way too interesting for me to pass over, so I took any class that would teach me about gardening, biology, arboriculture, design, etc. I received a Certificate in Gardening and spent much time interning with NYBG, which gave me invaluable skills and knowledge.

I began working with Davey Resource Group in 2015 as an Inventory Arborist. I’ve had the opportunity to assist with various projects including tree inventories, pollinator garden creation, and invasive species management. Since then I became an ISA Certified Arborist and attained the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ).

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NYSUFC 2018 Annual Report: Accomplishments, Connections, and Memories

The Council’s 2018 Annual Report, professionally designed by Council Website Manager and Graphic Designer Sarah Gugercin, is now available! It is dedicated to the memories of Pat Tobin and Brian Skinner, and it honors the contributions of Mary Kramarchyk, Sally Kellogg, and Mary Martin, who have moved on to new professional opportunities.

The Annual Report is filled with upbeat images from 2018 conferences, workshops, tree planting events, and Arbor Day celebrations. Have a look, and please share with anyone who may be interested in hearing about the Council’s work and the phenomenal people around New York State who power that work.

Getting to Know Onondaga Earth Corps Director Greg Michel

Greg Michel (at left) went with a team of Onondaga Earth Corps staff and advanced crew members–Nick, Amanda, Taveon, and Tyrell–to the 2018 Partners in Urban Forestry Conference in Irvine, California.

Over the years, Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) and the Council have partnered in various fruitful ways. OEC Director Greg Michel (pron. “Michael”) recently joined the Council Board; we wanted to get to know him and OEC better. A Council Blog post about the work of OEC can be seen here.

Greg Michel was born in Boston, then raised in Houston for a decade before his family moved to upstate NY when he was 12. He spent a gap year between high school and college in Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student, establishing an abiding interest in Japanese culture. After high school he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where he majored in International Studies with a regional focus on Japan and wrote his undergraduate thesis on “The Role of Japanese Identity in Cross-Cultural Communication.”

Michel then went to Tokyo Gakugei University to study International and Environmental Education at the graduate level, writing his thesis on “Impact of Global Connections on Place-Based Environmental Education,” and earning his master’s degree in 2001. 

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