David Simon is the Director of the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department, which includes 290 neighborhood parks, 30,000 acres of open space, and the world-famous International Balloon Fiesta Park. He has a BA from Yale University in Environmental Studies and American Studies, and an MBA from the UNM Anderson School of Management.
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. Larry Costello is president of Oracle Oak LLC, a horticultural and arboricultural consulting firm in San Francisco, California. He received a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Horticulture from the University of California, Davis. For 30 years, Larry conducted an education and applied-research program in urban forestry and landscape horticulture in the San Francisco Bay Area for the University of California. He is a member of the Western Chapter ISA and has served on the ISA Certified Arborist Test Committee, BCMA Test Committee, Science and Research Committee, and is an Associate Editor for Arboriculture and Urban Forestry.
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott is Washington State University’s Extension Urban Horticulturist, bringing science-based information to gardeners and landscape professionals. She is the award-winning author of five books, including the latest edition of Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest. She is featured in the Science of Gardening video series produced by The Great Courses and was the first recipient of the Cynthia Wescott Scientific Writing Award from the Association of Garden Communicators. She also manages the “Garden Professors” blog and Facebook group.
Dr. Leslie Beck is the Extension Weed Specialist in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at NMSU. She received her B.S. in Horticulture and Landscape Management and her M.S. in Agriculture from Tarleton State University, specializing in golf course and turfgrass management. She received her Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science, specializing in turfgrass management, from Texas Tech University. Dr. Beck’s primary extension responsibilities include progressive statewide educational programming in weed science, including annual and perennial weed management, identification, and herbicide application for all cropping systems including agricultural commodities and turf and landscape areas.
William Hutchinson is a Landscape Architect managing the Roadside Environment Design Section within the Environmental Bureau at NMDOT. This section addresses public art on our structures, engaging the public in the design of our facilities, promoting multi-modal transportation, the restoration of disturbed areas within our right-of-way, stormwater management and integrated vegetation management. A 35-year resident of Santa Fe, William is a native of Colorado and has worked on both coasts and overseas. He has degrees from Lewis and Clark College and Oregon State University. He is an avid street and mountain bike cyclist.
David Stricker is an ISA-certified arborist, ISA-certified utility arborist, and is tree risk assessment qualified. He has sixteen years of utility forestry experience and is currently PNM’s Transmission Forester and FAC-003-4 subject matter expert.
Dr. John Formby is the Forest Health Specialist with the State of New Mexico, Forestry Division. Previously, he was a private consulting forester in the southeastern US specializing in forest health and restoration and wildlife habitat improvements. His education includes a BS in Urban and Community Forestry and a Doctorate in Forest Entomology. As a graduate research assistant, he studied invasive insects and their impacts on native flora and fauna.
Andrew Lisignoli has worked primarily in the nursery industry, growing trees for our communities. He has been with Trees of Corrales since 1995. He has served as Senator for the New Mexico Chapter of the Nursery and Greenhouse Association, and is the incoming Vice President on the Board of Think Trees New Mexico.
Dr. Amanda Skidmore is the NMSU Extension Integrated Pest Management Specialist for Urban and Small Farms. Her focus is on developing pest management practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable. She received her BS in entomology and sustainable agriculture and her PhD in entomology from the University of Kentucky.
Ken Futrell works for Ewing Irrigation Products in El Paso, and has been an irrigation/landscape contractor and provided irrigation and contractor sales for over 20 years. He is Irrigation Association Certified, and an Irrigation Contractor, Water Conservation Manager, and Landscape Irrigation Auditor. He is a Texas Licensed Irrigator, Irrigation Auditor, Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester, and Texas Certified Nurseryman. He teaches irrigation products and application to Master Gardeners and Counties, and teaches the State of Texas Irrigation Training Course for persons interested in taking the Texas Irrigator Exam at El Paso Community College.
Dr. Tanya Quist received a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Purdue University where she studied in the Center for Plant Environmental Stress Physiology. Her thesis and post-doctoral work used whole plant physiological and molecular genetics approaches to explore plant responses to abiotic stress, including drought and salt. More recently, as Director of the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum, she provides statewide education and campus leadership promoting science-based stewardship and conservation of urban trees. Key educational themes promote trees as foundational to all ecosystems, providing services that improve human health and support local and global climate adaptation.
Guy Meilleur is an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist, and author of 34 episodes in ISA’s “Detective Dendro” series. He is a former curator at NC State University and Instructor at Duke University. Guy chaired the ANSI A300 committee that created the US standard for tree inspection and root management, and collaborates with the Veteran Tree Network and the Ancient Tree Forum. His company, Better Tree Care Associates, values and manages veteran trees. Services include expert witnessing, community education, trunk and flare care, soil building, installing lightning and support systems, and pruning to improve tree health and safety.
Sarah Hurteau is the Albuquerque Urban Conservation Director at The Nature Conservancy. Before coming to The Nature Conservancy, she worked as a biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, an environmental consultant, and a research professor at Penn State. Sarah is currently working to redefine how natural systems and urban communities interact, creating an Albuquerque metro area that is prosperous and environmentally sound.
Dr. Marisa Thompson is the Extension Horticulture Specialist with NMSU. She is responsible for active Extension and Research programs in sustainable horticultural practices for New Mexicans. Extension efforts include the weekly ‘Southwest Yard and Garden’ column published statewide and on various radio stations (https://nmsudesertblooms.blogspot.com), 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.