Two students in Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment (CFWE) students received scholarships to attend the Alabama Urban Forestry Association conference in Orange Beach, Alabama from Oct. 16 through Oct. 18.
Seniors J.P. Thomasson and Dalton Williams, who are both pursuing a degree in natural resource management and a minor in urban forestry, were of select few to receive the Michael L. Zarichnak scholarship. Zarichnak was a founding member of the Alabama Urban Forestry Association (AUFA) and worked throughout the state to improve urban tree care and health..
In honor of Zarichnak’s work, the AUFA established the scholarship to fund annual conference tuition and hotel accommodations for a select number of deserving green industry workers or professionals, college students or recent graduates who have interest in pursuing a career in urban forestry or closely related fields.
In addition to networking opportunities the conference provided, the pair benefited from a wide range of presentations and training sessions which allowed them to grow their knowledge about the field of natural resources management and urban forestry while building valuable professional connections
Michelle Cole, a CFWE academic advisor, and Georgios Arseniou, an assistant professor and Extension specialist in urban forestry joined the two students at the conference. “Attending this conference provided these two students with a fantastic opportunity to gain more knowledge related to urban forestry,” said Georgios. “Combined with our curriculum, these students will be armed with the expertise to make urban environments more beautiful and livable.”
Auburn’s urban forestry program prepares students to help meet the special challenges of managing natural resources in an urban environment. Urban forestry covers a wide range of skills, including storm flow analysis, tree planting and care, grant proposals and supervision of municipal employees. Read more about the program here.
(Written by Mary Hillhouse)