Think Trees New Mexico is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the education, training, and appreciation of trees, arboriculture and horticulture throughout New Mexico. Think Trees New Mexico provides training to professionals in the Green Industry of New Mexico and surrounding regions, by hosting an annual conference in Albuquerque, NM. We have hosted this conference since 1986 with an all-volunteer board of committed tree industry members and supporters.
The Think Trees Board is elected by the board of directors. The executive board is the president, vice-president, recording secretary, treasurer, and past-president. The board of directors supports the mission of our organization.
A separate category of our supporters are the “Friends of Think Trees.” These are active volunteers who share in the ongoing efforts to organize and present our annual conference.
Think Trees New Mexico strives to provide our audience with up-to-date accurate, relevant information on trees and their care by bringing nationally recognized speakers and local experts to our conference, We believe in the value of trees, not just as amenities to the human landscape but as living elements in their own right.
Our conference provides Continuing Education Units for both ISA-Certified Arborists and for New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) licensed pesticide applicators. You can take the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification exam at Think Trees New Mexico. Registration for ISA exams is through the ISA’s website.
Thank you everyone that attend our monthly meetings to organize and present the conference. Since 1986 our success continues to depend on these volunteers and includes everyone that attends and supports the annual Think Trees Conference.
At Think Trees New Mexico, we do think about trees. We believe in the value and beauty of trees.
Be a part of the future – plant and care for trees today!!
Bryan D Suhr, Consulting Arborist
I am a second generation New Mexico arborist, Albuquerque native, and a founding member of Think Trees NM. I became an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist and have supported Arborist Certification since 1992. I have earned additional national credentials including the ISA Utility Specialist in 2003, ISA Municipal Specialist in 2004 and I became an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist in 2010 and relinquished my Certified Arborist credential. I have an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (2016) and also a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP (2009)) through Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). I currently serve as the Rocky Mountain Chapter/ISA, representative for New Mexico. I am an independent consulting arborist, serving individuals and communities across our state, advising clients on their trees and best practices for caring for them. I am passionate about trees, educating people about trees, and for the past 50 years I’ve been caring for trees and learning more about them every day.
EMNRD, Forestry Division
Jennifer is the New Mexico State Forestry Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager, and an ISA certified arborist. At New Mexico State Forestry, Jennifer supports community forest programs statewide through the six NM district offices and the NM Urban Forest Council, and coordinates NM’s Forest Re-Leaf program. She spent the first part of her career focused on environmental compliance and planning. She grew up on her family’s Tree Farm in Maine, and has a deep appreciation for trees and everything they do for our communities. She is excited to be a part of the Think Trees NM board, as a great way to connect with the urban forest community in NM.
Mr. Joran Viers is the City Forester with City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. He is broadly responsible for tree care issues within the City, as described by a few City ordinances. Prior to taking this position, he worked for the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, first as a County Horticulture Agent and County Director in Bernalillo County, and then as State Urban Small Farm Horticulture Agent. Viers was born in Albuquerque, but grew up in California, Costa Rica and Arkansas. He has a life-long love of plants and the natural sciences. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico, and a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of Florida. Mr. Viers has been a member of Think Trees NM since 2003, an ISA-Certified Arborist since 2008, and just became a Board Certified Master Arborist in 2016.
Bernalillo County Extension
John Garlisch is the treasurer for Think Trees NM. He works for NMSU Cooperative Extension in the Bernalillo County Office, Albuquerque, NM. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a BS in Horticulture (2002) and an MS in Agriculture Consumer Economics (2008). He served in various leadership capacities with the Hort Club, Collegiate 4-H, and Beta Sigma Psi (National Lutheran Fraternity), and he was a member of Pi Alpha Xi (Honorary Horticulture Fraternity) and Alpha Zeta (Honorary Agriculture Fraternity). During his schooling, he studied for a semester at Wageningen Agriculture University in the Netherlands and interned in Germany with the Deutsche Bauern Verband (German Farmer's Union) working at an arboretum and a rhododendron nursery.
John joined the Bernalillo County staff in Spring 2010. He is working with 4-H youth, assisting local farmers with business and production planning, facilitating agricultural educational programs and outdoor classroom projects with area schools, and answering questions from the public concerning the identification of plants and their culture, production, diseases, and pests.
Bernalillo County Extension
Sara is originally from El Salvador, Central America. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Rural Development and Environmental Science in 2005 from the Pan-American Agricultural University of Zamorano in Honduras, where she worked with community farmers and schools to implement and teach better agricultural practices and basic plant knowledge. Sara moved to Long Beach, CA in 2006 she worked at a local nursery while attending Horticulture classes at Long Beach Community College. Sara earned her Master’s in Horticulture in 2015 from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM. During her thesis, she worked with different applications of nitrogen and nickel fertilizers on pecan (Carya illinoinensis) orchards to evaluate photosynthesis, leaf greenness, and lignin. She worked on pecan orchards from NMSU Experimental Station and Artesia Agricultural Science Center. She was also a teaching assistant for the Plant and Environmental Science Department at NMSU. Sara happily joined the Bernalillo County Extension office on December 18th, 2017 as an Extension Agent. She is looking forward to collaborating with horticulture programs, school gardens, as well as helping Albuquerque communities with their concerns about plants.
Anne Beard has worked in the arboriculture field for over 29 years. She is a member of ISA/Utility Arborist Association, is a Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist and is TRAQ qualified. Anne is System Forester at Public Service Company of New Mexico.
Anne has, by her efforts, informed her customers, general public and industry professionals on the importance of trees, their benefits to the environment and their proper care. She has many varied experiences speaking at local, national and international venues.
Anne has served Think Trees New Mexico as Treasurer and currently is a Board member. She is the current Vice President for the ISA Board of Directors. She has served the ISA in many ways including ISA Certification Test Committee, and Utility Arborist Association President. She received the UAA President’s Award for her contributions to Utility Arboriculture. She holds a BS in Forestry – Administration and an MBA.
Bryan D Suhr Tree Care Professionals/Consulting Arborists
Me yamo, Maria Dolores Louisa Bernal, but I am Dodie Bernal-Suhr. I became an NMSU-Albuquerque Area Extension Master Gardener in 1985 and my professional life changed. Think Trees, NM happened next and my life as a volunteer was sealed!
I am currently a Lifetime Master Gardener with a 26-year shingle. I have served Think Trees, NM as it’s first president, served as Treasurer and currently serve on the Board of Directors.
I am an ISA Certified Arborist and also manage the office for Bryan Suhr Tree Care Professionals. Serving our local community and state means a great deal to this native of the Albuquerque North Valley in the great state of New Mexico. Join me in keeping Think Trees, NM as the premier organization for professionalism in the greens industry.
Graeme previously served as the Horticulture Agent for Cooperative Extension in Bernalillo County, NM. Before this he was curator for the NMSU Arthropod Collection in Las Cruces. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Agricultural Biology from the Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science department at NMSU. Graeme is an ISA Certified Arborist and has experience working as a horticulturalist, entomologist, field biologist, and grower in farms and nurseries. He has a strong interest in ecology, natural history, horticulture, integrated pest management (IPM), and agriculture.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Northern Arizona University in 1968. George worked as Resource Manager at Duke City Lumber Company working in purchasing, developing and delivering saw timber to Espanola and Vallecitos Sawmills for 22 years. At the Cibola National Forest, Mountainair Ranger District he provided recreation and forest management for a year and a half. Spent sixteen years at the State of NM Forestry Division as the Timber Management Officer, NM Forest Re-Leaf Coordinator and for 11 years as State Urban Forester then retired in June, 2007. Presently, George is contracting with Ciudad Soil & Water Conservation District as the Forest Health Program Assessor. He has been providing residential forest/woodland thinning program and fire risk management for four years.
George is involved in the following: Member and Fellow, Society of American Foresters, 25 years; Member, International Society of Arboriculture, 20 years; Member, Board of Directors Think Trees New Mexico, 20 years; State Commissioner, Board of Commissioners, New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps; and Lecture circuit, presenting “Trees Are Killing Our Forests”.
Green Summit Landscape Management
Gary Fears is a co-owner of Green Summit Landscape Management, a full-service landscape company known for offering a variety of landscaping amenities and building strong client relationships. Fears specifically oversees New Business Development and Customer Service. His passion for landscaping began at the age of eleven, when his father dropped him off at the end of a street with a lawn mower. He would move from house to house, offering lawncare to his first customers. Everyone has grass in Kentucky where Fears grew up. This middle school summer job has since blossomed into a professional career in the landscaping industry. Fears has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a minor in Landscape Management from Brigham Young University. He is also Landscape Industry Certified through the National Association of Landscape Professionals and holds a JS Sprinkler License and NMDA Pesticide License. In 2008, Fears moved to Albuquerque after being recruited by an industry leading landscape company. Seven years later, he established his own business, and Green Summit continues to grow and service the community in the greater Albuquerque area. After many years of living in New Mexico with his wife and four children, he is proud to call the Land of Enchantment his home.
Desert Gardens Outdoor Services Inc.
Clay is the owner of Desert Gardens Outdoor Services, Inc.. He has been in the landscape and tree business for over 25 years and has been a certified Arborist through the ISA since 2005.
Sandoval County Extension Service
Lynda joined the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service as the Agriculture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator for Sandoval County in 2013. Born and raised in Kettering, Ohio, she earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. During and after college she worked as a field botanist conducting field inventories in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and various nature reserves. After serving 5 years as a Community Forestry Volunteer in Burkina Faso and a naturalist in Jamaica with the Peace Corps, she earned a MSc in Crop Protection from Colorado State University. She spent the next 15 years managing food security and community development projects in Africa, the Caribbean, and South Pacific. She is passionate about promoting permaculture principles and all things seed related.
Trees of Corrales
Andrew Lisignoli has been on the Think Tree board for numerous terms because of the contribution The Think Tree Conference has brought to our urban forests. Andrew has been working with trees for over 40 years primarily in the nursery industry growing trees for our communities. He has been with Trees of Corrales since 1995. He has also served as the Senator for the New Mexico Chapter of the Nursery and Greenhouse Association.
Ms. Murdock has been a Master Gardener in Bernalillo County for more than 15 years (lifetime or feels like it). Although her degrees are in Mathematics from Purdue University and an MBA from University of Houston with a career in computer related work and management, she has had a love of horticulture for most of her life. Since taking city offered courses on trees in Houston, she has found a niche in learning about trees.
Ms. Murdock is a current member of the High Desert Landscape Committee focusing on preserving the native landscape of the foothills. Finding appropriate plants that can help us landscape sustainably is her goal. She is excited to be a member of the board of Think Trees and understands that the information disseminated during the annual conference is critical to keeping healthy trees in Albuquerque and improving landscape practices.
Judy Nickell is a well-experienced Albuquerque gardener and tree enthusiast. She is a Certified Arborist, Master Gardener, member of the Albuquerque Rose Society and Valley Garden Club. She is also a published author with such works as "“Easy, Casual Everyday Spanish” and “Atrisco to Zena Lona: A Snappy Survey of Selected Albuquerque Street Names.” She also wrote a garden column for "The Albuquerque Tribune".
Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center
Marisa is the NMSU Extension Horticulture Specialist, a state-wide position based in Los Lunas. She is responsible for active Extension and Research programs in sustainable horticultural practices for New Mexicans. Marisa worked pairing plants and people at nurseries in Albuquerque before becoming an Extension Master Gardener for Bernalillo County in 2008 and a Las Cruces Tree Steward in 2014. Her MS in Horticulture involved a study of pecan orchard floor management and how weeds affect water status, soil nutrient availability, and nut yield of mature pecan trees. Marisa received a PhD in Plant and Environmental Sciences in August 2017 for her research on pecan flowering mechanisms with a focus on plant hormones and genes that control floral initiation.
She currently writes the gardening column, Southwest Yard & Garden, which is published weekly in newspapers and magazines across the state. Access the column archives and other hort-related resources at desertblooms.nmsu.edu. Or find her on social media @NMDesertBlooms (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram).
Tom is a Sandoval County Master Gardener, a Rio Rancho Tree Steward, an ISA certified Arborist, specializing in teaching and consulting, an ABQ BioPark Zoo docent, and a published author.
Thomas Neiman was born and educated in the Garden State of New Jersey, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at Upsala College. He combined thirty-five years of military and federal service, beginning as an Air Traffic Controller in Texas, moving to New Mexico in 1978, and completing his career as a System Specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration in Albuquerque, New Mexico.