UF/IFAS will hire a new tree scientist, at least partially with funds donated recently by the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
During a campus visit on Dec. 3, Florida ISA chapter CEO Norm Easey and President Scott Shultz provided a pledge payment to help the UF/IFAS department of environmental horticulture inits search for a new faculty member, said department Chair Dean Kopsell.
The new person will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of internationally recognized professor Ed Gilman. Among his contributions, Gilman conducted considerable research and Extension to help the public protect trees against wind damage.
“What we hope to find is an expert who can support the arboriculture industry in the state with outreach programs and research designed to facilitate the training process for professionals in the state and region,” Kopsell said. “The educational component includes a course in arboriculture, which will attract students enrolled in various plant sciences majors in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, also part of UF/IFAS CALS.”
The ISA supports the arboriculture faculty position in the UF/IFAS department of environmental horticulture through an annual deposit, Kopsell said. Since 1989, The Florida Chapter ISA has pledged more than $1 million to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences for research and the teaching of arboricultural sciences classes in UF/IFAS CALS. The arboriculture endowment, which helps fund positions such as this, was created in 2009, Easeysaid.
The ISA endowment supports teaching, research and Extension programs at UF/IFAS,exclusively for the arboriculture program. In addition to making a $95,000 installment to the Arboriculture Endowment, Florida ISA also delivered $3,000in climbing gear for the UF/IFAS CALS students researching arboriculture in the department of environmental horticulture.
“Dr.Gilman has had such a profound impact on how arboriculture is practiced in Florida and around the world that we wanted to continue his legacy,” Easey said.“We are doing all we can to make that happen.”