Liz is a Research Assistant at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2013 with a M.S. in Forestry. Her graduate thesis pertained to developing the Friends of Firewood Network, a database of West Virginia firewood producers who could be surveyed to give information about how the industry operates in the state. The objective was to use survey results to tailor workshop and publications that would educate firewood producers on business management, firewood's role in the transport of invasive species and the importance of chainsaw safety and personal protective equipment. Liz gave talks at various meetings and workshops on her project, and created three extension publications. She also facilitated partnerships between forestry organizations in the state and maintained the Friends of Firewood Network website.
Liz's work with invasive species education led her into a job as an urban forester with the WV Division of Forestry. She was available in a technical capacity to communities all over the state, assisting with writing street tree ordinances and grant applications, conducting workshops and tree assessments. She was also asked to conduct a high-profile inventory and create a management plan for the WV State Capitol complex, the findings from which she presented to the legislature and other forest industry representatives in order to garner support for urban forestry endeavors in the state. Liz re-designed a Trees for Urban Landscapes brochure tailored for WV hardiness zones, among other publications, and designed a three-tiered webinar-based state tree care certification program for volunteers. She also recruited several new communities to work toward Tree City USA status and served on the WV Urban Forestry Commission.
Liz was hired as a Research Assistant because of her unique skill set as an artist (her B.A. is in Visual Arts) and an urban forester with a background in invasive species education. She assisted with the development of a diagnostic tool that forest managers can use to identify pests and diseases of eastern US commercial tree species, providing both artistic realization of imagery as well as creating a database of common pests and pathogens.
Liz has served on the Tifton, GA, tree board as well as the GA Urban Forest Council. She now maintains various Bugwood websites and educates the public on invasive species in the urban landscape. She has created publications on native alternatives for invasive landscape trees, best management practices for artisans who work in wood, and has updated various other past publications. She is currently working on a Tree Health Care series of publications that will cover from tree selection to planting to aftercare.
Educational and Professional Background
- B.A. Visual Arts from Gettysburg College
- M.S. Forestry from West Virginia University
Thesis title: "The Friends of Firewood Network: Reaching out to firewood producers in West Virginia"
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