Education, Outreach, and Advocacy Oregon Community Trees

2021 Speakers

Christine Buhl | Forest Entomologist, Oregon Department of Forestry

Christine Buhl is a graduate of Oregon State University (B.S. Environmental Science, Entomology) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D. Entomology). She has a broad background in entomology spanning from work with public health vectors to tropical species conservation to insect chemical ecology, and working geographically from Hawaii to Lebanon. She currently serves as the state Forest Entomologist with the Oregon Department of Forestry where she provides statewide technical assistance to public and private landowners and monitors forest health via aerial and ground surveys.

Nancy Buley | Director of Communications, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Nancy Buley is Director of Communications for J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., wholesale tree growers of Boring, Oregon. A Lifetime Honorary member of ASLA, she has earned national recognition for her tree advocacy and stewardship efforts that include a recently completed decade of service on the board of directors of Friends of Trees. A graduate of Oregon State University, she also earned a Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) certificate from the Society of Municipal Arborists.

Milan Davis | Urban Forester, City of Salem

Milan has been the Urban Forester for the City of Salem since January of 2020. Milan worked for the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the American Horticulture Society in Alexandria VA, and worked for over 10 years in the nation’s capital, 6 years as manager of field operations at Casey Trees and four years as a lead arborist at the Urban Forestry Division for the District Department of Transportation.. Milan has also worked for over 10 years in the farm & nursery industry specializing in orchard operations, specialty crops and organic vegetable production.  He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2006.

Lauren Grand | Assistant Professor, Extension Forester, Oregon State University, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Lane County

Lauren Grand joined OSU Extension as the Lane County Extension Forester in 2016. Lauren’s role is to provide objective, research-based educational opportunities related to forest ecology, forest stewardship, and small woodland management.  Before becoming an extension forester Lauren worked as a wood products consultant in Vietnam and research assistant with fire ecology labs at UC Berkeley and the Forest Service. She has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of California Berkeley. Her expertise also includes amphibian conservation management, which was the focus of her MS work at the University of Washington. In her free time, Lauren enjoys exploring wetlands for amphibians, romping in the woods with her son and pup, and canning the fruits and veggies from her partner’ garden.

Ian Hanou | CEO & Founder, PlanIT Geo

Ian Hanou has 19 years of private sector experience. He earned a BS in Forest Management & GIS from Colorado State University and founded PlanIT Geo in 2012. Ian is a thought leader in software and geospatial analysis for urban forestry, green infrastructure, and ecosystem services. He has led over 400 assessments, studies, and technology projects with state and local governments, nonprofits, consultants, and other entities. At PlanIT Geo, Ian directs overall operations, management, strategic partnerships, and vision. He plays a hands-on role in business development, project management, administration, and the roadmap for the Tree Plotter suite of software. In 2011, the Society of Municipal Arborists honored Ian with an award for innovation in tree planting prioritization using GIS. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two children, where he has summited all 54 mountains over 14,000 feet.

Kris Hikari | Green Stormwater Resource Manager, Watershed Revegetation Program

Kris Hikari is currently a Green Stormwater Resource Manager with the Watershed Revegetation Program of the Bureau of Environmental Services at the City of Portland. Primary job responsibilities include coordinating the installation, maintenance, repair, and replanting activities for trees and other vegetation within over 500 public stormwater facilities in rights-of-way across NE Portland. She has 20 years’ experience in working at the intersection of plants and people with the goals of creating functional living systems within urban environments. She is an ISA-certified arborist, Municipal Specialist and holds a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. In her free time, Kris is devoted to cultivating a diverse, quasi-native, food forest in her backyard, as well as introducing her young daughter to the wonders of the natural world.

Heidi Lakics | Urban Forestry Consultant & Contract Manager, City of Eugene

Heidi has been an ISA Certified Arborist for over 13 years and has worked in a variety of professional tree roles during that time. She currently works with the City of Eugene, OR’s Urban Forestry Department as a consultant and contract manager doing everything from plan review, to responsive calls for help with construction projects, to coordination of contracted tree work. Previously she has worked as a utility arborist, as well as a manager of street tree plantings for a non-profit organization in San Francisco. As if she doesn’t get enough tree time on the job, she’s taken up recreational tree climbing as a new hobby this summer.

Tony Mecum | Urban Forester, Grants Pass

Tony Mecum is a graduate of the University of Oregon (B.S. Biology) and the Yale School of the Environment (Master of Forestry). He is the first Urban Forester for the City of Grants Pass (his hometown). Tony oversees the City’s urban forestry program, which includes: long term planning; forestland management; tree inspections and appraisals; review of development site plans; coordination of the City’s tree planting programs; initiation of the City’s first public tree inventory; and the creation of tree protection and pruning specifications for capital projects. He is currently collaborating with City Council and staff to develop new landscape-related development code amendments to increase tree survivability. In 2021, Tony received an Oregon Community Trees Individual Award. Prior to Grants Pass, Tony served as a Senior Forester for the NYC Parks Department, overseeing capital contracts for street tree plantings in the Bronx and Queens.

Martin Nicholson – Curator, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Parks & Recreation

Martin’s work history includes Oregon State University and Washington State University research facilities before working as Plant health manager with J Frank Schmidt Nursery. He has been at the Hoyt Arboretum for 14 years and serves on the Great Plant Picks tree committee and the Portland Heritage tree committee.

Paul D. Ries, Ed.D. | Senior Instructor and Director, Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry, Oregon State University

Dr. Paul Ries has worked as a practitioner and educator in natural resources, urban forestry, arboriculture, and wildland fire at the state, local, International, non-profit, and academic levels for over 35 years. He currently teaches urban forestry, green infrastructure, and arboriculture at Oregon State University and provides consulting services and training for government agencies and non-profit organizations through Insightful Nature LLC. He holds BS and MS degrees in Natural Resources and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Paul is a Past-President of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 1988.

Tyler Roth | Owner, Gorge Tree Surgeon

Tyler Roth has worked extensively with trees since 2006. Tyler has an AAS in Natural Resources: Forestry from MHCC and a BAS from THE OSU in Horticulture. His career has led him all over the PNW including AK, ID, OR, and WA. Tyler has run his own tree service as an ISA certified arborist since 2013. Most days you will find him climbing a tree for a career, fun, or to rescue animals like cats and red tailed hawks. Tyler has a unique insight for this presentation based on every day field observations as well as his education and continuing education events.

Ruth Williams | Board Certified Master Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, Treecology Consulting Group LLC

With dual degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry, Ruth is a partner at Treecology Consulting Group. Using data and research as a foundation, she focuses on innovative and practical solutions to help her clients build and maintain functional urban landscapes.  She has experience in urban forest master planning, community engagement, tree preservation in construction, and tree appraisal. She spent five years traveling throughout the US and Canada collecting tree inventory data and writing comprehensive management plans for small towns and homeowners associations. She loves collaborating with clients to build species lists that emphasize resilient trees to fit individual site constraints. Volunteer roles include Hoyt Arboretum botanical illustration instructor, and River Hugger lead safety kayaker. Ruth believes in helping clients leverage their tree resources to create and maintain beautiful, functional landscapes.

Wei Zhang, Ph.D. | Co-Founder/Co-Owner Zynnovation LLC

Wei Zhang holds a Ph.D. degree in Engineering from Virginia Tech. He has been doing research & development for the green industry for 10 years. His research areas include watering solutions for landscape plants, plant health, plant protection against stresses like drought and road salt. His work also provides novel solutions to green stormwater infrastructures, for which plants are used for the treatment of pollutants in stormwater. Has has more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, one monograph and more than 100 conference presentations. He has been a frequent speaker on Arboriculture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Forestry, Stormwater Green Infrastructure, and related conferences and seminars. He is known as a scientist, educator and public speaker. Dr. Zhang is a ASLA approved LA CES provider.

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