10 Best Cities for Urban Forests: Judging Panel Bios

Dr. James “Jim” R. Clark

Dr. Jim Clark has been a principal with HortScience, Inc., an arboriculture and urban forestry consulting firm, since 1991. He received a Bachelor of Science in plant science from Rutgers University in 1973, followed by a Master of Science in horticulture in 1975. He received a doctorate from the University of California-Davis in 1979. Prior to joining HortScience, Dr. Clark spent 10 years on the faculty of the University of Washington at the Center for Urban Horticulture. He is an ISA-certified arborist (WE-0846), a registered consulting arborist (#357) of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, an honorary life member of both the ISA and the Western Chapter, as well as an all-around good guy.


Carrie Gallagher

Carrie Gallagher is the executive director of Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees), a national nonprofit organization established in 1993 to support local nonprofit organizations dedicated to urban and community tree planting, care, conservation and education. ACTrees engages in public policy advocacy at the federal level and provides grant support, national programs, education and training opportunities for its network of member and program partner organizations. Gallagher joined ACTrees in April 2011 from Keep America Beautiful, where she served as vice president of programs and strategic outreach. She earned a master’s in public policy and administration from Columbia University and her research and thesis focused on nonprofit organization partnerships. With a focus on organization management and growth at ACTrees, Gallagher looks forward to collaborating with corporate, government and nonprofit partners to expand the urban and community forestry resources and strategically increase the impact of the ACTrees Network.


Dr. James Kielbaso

Dr. James Kielbaso retired in 2004 as professor emeritus in the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University. He taught arboriculture and urban forestry courses, among many others, at Michigan State for 38 years. He also conducted research on topics such as improving compacted soils for planting, the status of street trees nationally, management practices of U.S. urban foresters, herbicide use by U.S. utilities and social attitudes toward neighborhood trees. Dr. Kielbaso has served on the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, the International Society of Arboriculture’s board of directors and the Michigan Forestry and Park Association’s board of directors. Dr. Kielbaso received a bachelor’s degree from University of Dayton and master’s degree and doctorate in forestry from Michigan State University. Dr. Kielbaso is a member of the American Forests Science Advisory Board.


Elizabeth Larry

Elizabeth Larry is national coordinator for urban research at the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C. She provides national leadership in bringing Forest Service urban forestry and socio-ecological knowledge together to inform collaborative science, policy and practice that advances urban sustainability. She has spent nine years in federal service, at the Forest Service headquarters and with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Secretary. Larry received her Master of Forestry degree from Yale University and her Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College. She has served as a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, a Presidential Management Fellow and an appointed member of the Society of American Foresters National Committee on World Forestry.


Scott Maco

Scott Maco is manager of ecosystem services for the Davey Institute, The Davey Tree Expert Company’s center for research and development, technical services, education and training, and environmental compliance. Maco focuses his work on innovative tools and ideas to enhance urban forestry analysis and environmental value. His experience extends from research and development with the U.S. Forest Service’s Center for Urban Forest Research to municipal forestry work with the city of Seattle to agroforestry work in Senegal with the U.S. Peace Corps. He received a Bachelor of Science in urban forestry from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in horticulture and agronomy from University of California-Davis.


Dr. Greg McPherson

Dr. Greg McPherson is a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station located in Davis, Calif. He grew up under a canopy of American elm trees in Michigan. Despite attempts to save the trees, all were lost to Dutch elm disease, and having felt the sting of that loss, he became a “green” accountant, developing new methods and tools for quantifying the value of nature’s benefits from city trees. He works with a team of three other scientists, who measure and model effects of trees on energy use, urban heat islands, air pollutant uptake, carbon sequestration and rainfall interception. Their research is helping justify investments in urban forest planning and management. In 2000, Dr. McPherson received the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) L.C. Chadwick Award for Research. He chairs the ISA Tree Growth and Longevity Working Group and serves on the Science Policy Advisory Committee of the California Urban Forest Council. He attended University of Michigan (bachelor’s degree), Utah State University (master’s in landscape architecture) and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (doctorate in forestry). Dr. McPherson is a member of the American Forests Science Advisory Board.


Dr. David J. Nowak

Dr. David Nowak is project leader with the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Syracuse, N.Y. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley. He has authored more than 200 publications and is a recipient of the J. Sterling Morton Award, the National Arbor Day Foundation’s highest honor, recognizing a lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a national or international level; R.W. Harris Author’s Citation from the International Society of Arboriculture, which is granted to authors of outstanding publications for sustained excellence in the publication of timely information pertaining to the field of arboriculture; American Forests’ Urban Forest Medal, recognizing outstanding national contributions in urban forest research; Distinguished Science Award of the Northeastern Research Station; U.S. Forest Service Chief’s Honor Award for Engaging Urban America; and New York State Arborists-ISA Chapter Research Award. Dr. Nowak was also a contributing member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His research investigates urban forest structure, health and change and its effect on air quality, water quality and greenhouse gases. He also leads teams developing software tools to quantify ecosystem services from urban vegetation. Dr. Nowak is a member of the American Forests Science Advisory Board.


Phillip Rodbell

Phillip Rodbell is a program specialist for Urban and Community Forestry in the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area, located near Philadelphia, Penn. He provides leadership in federally funded action to plant and improve community trees and forests in the Midwest, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.


Steven Sinclair

Steven Sinclair is the director of forests and is the state forester with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation in Waterbury, Vt. During his more than 30-year tenure with the department, Sinclair has served as an assistant county forester, state lands manager, urban and community forestry coordinator and department planner. He has held leadership positions in both the National Association of State Foresters and the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters. He is a forestry graduate from the University of Vermont and the Certified Public Managers Program.


Scott Steen

Scott Steen was appointed chief executive officer of American Forests in December 2010. He leads the organization in its mission to protect and restore forests. Since coming to American Forests, Scott has focused on developing a stronger scientific foundation for forest restoration and public policy work, expanding public understanding of the importance of forests for human life, and building an emphasis on stewardship and transparency. During his tenure, the organization has planted nearly 10 million trees in approximately 100 restoration projects, has re-launched its Urban Forest program, introduced the Endangered Western Forest initiative, expanded the board of directors and created a Science Advisory Board, engaging some of the most respected researchers in the forest conservation field.


Dr. Kathleen Wolf

Dr. Kathleen Wolf is a research social scientist with the College of the Environment, University of Washington. She has been a key collaborator with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in the development of a program on Urban Natural Resources Stewardship. Since receiving her doctorate from the University of Michigan, Dr. Wolf has done research to better understand the human dimensions of urban forestry and urban ecosystems. She has also worked professionally as a landscape architect and as an environmental planner. Her studies are based on the principles of environmental psychology; her professional mission is to discover, understand and communicate human behavior and benefits, as people experience nature in cities and towns. Dr. Wolf is interested in how scientific information can be integrated into local government policy and planning. She is a member of the Environmental Design Research Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, Society of American Foresters, the Transportation Research Board National Committee on Landscape and Environment and the Washington State Community Forestry Council, as well as a technical contributor on human well-being to the Sustainable Sites Initiative and research advisor to the TKF Foundation. Dr Wolf has presented her research throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.


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