An Urban Tree Care Conference
January 30th & 31st, 2020

Our Speakers

Denice BrittonDenice Britton has a bachelor’s degree in Plant Pathology and a master’s degree in Urban Forestry from UC Berkeley. She was co-owner of Britton Tree Services from 1984 to 2001, and the Urban Forest Manager for the City of Chico, CA from 2006 to 2013. Denice was instrumental in establishing the Certification Program for Arborists in the Western Chapter ISA. She was subsequently elected President of the Chapter in 1990 and was President of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. Denice has been a successful consultant for more than 30 years, specializing in tree management programs, appraisal and risk assessment. She is currently President of California Tree and Landscape Consulting, Inc., known as CalTLC, a consulting firm serving northern California.

Dr. Catherine LavisDr. Cathie Lavis is a Professor at Kansas State University in the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources. She teaches Arboriculture, Sustainable Landscape Maintenance, Horticultural Irrigation Systems and the Business of Landscape Contracting. Dr. Lavis received the American Horticultural Society Teaching Award, the Irrigation Association Educator of the Year Award; the Kansas State Presidential Advising Award, the International Society of Arboriculture Alex Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education, and the Outstanding University Teaching Award. She serves as advisor to the Kansas State Horticulture Club and coaches the Landscape Contracting Team for the National Collegiate Landscape Competition that hosts 29 horticultural competitive events and the largest green industry career fair in the country.

Dr. Dr. Rolston St. HilaireDr. Rolston St. Hilaire teaches courses in landscape horticulture and environmental stress physiology at New Mexico State University. His current research focuses on ornamental plant development, plant stress physiology, the development of tools that promote efficient use of water in urban landscapes, and mapping and categorizing land cover in urban ecosystems. He is the plant originator of the bigtooth maple cultivar, Acer grandidentatum ‘JFS-NuMex 3’, trademarked as Mesa Glow and author of the book ‘Landscape Plants for the Lower Rio Grande Basin’.

Dr. Kim CoderDr. Kim Coder is a professor of Community Forestry and Tree Biology and Health Care at the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He has a PhD in Forest Ecology, an MS in Tree Physiology, and a BS in Forest Management from Iowa State University. He is an honorary lifetime member of the International Society of Arboriculture, and winner of the Alex Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education, Sharon J. Lilly Award of Achievement, and the 2014 Award of Merit.

Amy Bell is the Principal at Groundwork Studios, a landscape architecture firm focused on site design integration and creative approaches to interactive landscapes. Amy is a licensed landscape architect in New Mexico and Texas, and is an ISA-certified arborist.

Caitlyn Pollihan is the Executive Director for the International Society of Arboriculture, and was previously the Executive Director of the Council of Western State Foresters and the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. She has earned the Certified Association Executive credential from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management, the highest professional credential in the association industry.

Dana Karcher is an urban forestry advocate and instigator. She has spent the last 15 years finding ways to make trees the center of attention in communities across the country. She does this as a Project Developer for the Davey Resource Group, a Board Member of the ISA, and a Steering Committee member of the Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition. She is most proud of the work that includes developing urban forest programs in California’s Central Valley and supporting nonprofits in their endeavors to make communities greener. Additionally, she enjoys the opportunity to share the joys (and pitfalls) of working in Urban and Community Forestry with students who also believe that trees are the answer.

Dr. Carol Sutherland serves as an Extension Entomologist with NMSU and State Entomologist with New Mexico Department of Agriculture. She’s been affiliated with NMSU since 1980 and NMDA since 1987. She gives numerous presentations annually for the state’s Master Gardeners, Pesticide Applicator Workshops and various commodity conferences around the state. She organizes state competitions for the New Mexico 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs. Annually, she identifies and reports on hundreds of insect specimens and samples for various clientele as well as creates various “entomology outreach programs” for all ages.

Dr. Marisa Thompson is the Extension Horticulture Specialist with NMSU, and an ISA Certified Arborist. She is responsible for active Extension and Research programs in sustainable horticultural practices for New Mexicans. Research focus areas this year include tomato rooting, mulching effects on soil quality, perennial plant root development, and beneficial insects associated with winter bulbs. Extension efforts include the weekly ‘Southwest Yard and Garden’ column published statewide and on various radio stations (, dozens of presentations to NM gardeners on all sorts of horticulture issues, and learning new things every single day. Follow her program on social media @NMDesertBlooms.

Jennifer Dann is the New Mexico State Forestry Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager, and an ISA-certified arborist.

Joran Viers is a life-long lover of plants, animals, and landscapes, and works as the City Forester for the City of Albuquerque. He is an ISA Board-certified master arborist, and does some small project consulting as a side business. For over 10 years, he has kept a pet tarantula in his office. Her name is Rosie.

Dr. Matt Schmader has worked for 39 years in southwestern archaeology on sites of virtually every cultural time period. He served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of the City of Albuquerque’s Open Space Division from 1995 until retiring in 2016. He is currently an adjunct associate professor of archaeology at the University of New Mexico Department of Anthropology.