Female Powerhouses in the Arboriculture Industry

March is Women's History Month! Every year, March is dedicated to giving well deserved recognition to women and all they do for our community as a whole. In honor of this, we’re dedicating today’s blog post to highlighting female powerhouses in the arboriculture community and the impact they’ve made in the industry!

Nalini Nadkarni PH.D

Nalini has dedicated her academic career to her interest in trees, with a goal of better understanding and furthering research on trees. Her research focuses specifically on the community and ecosystem ecology of tropical and temperate forest canopy organisms and interactions, the impacts of forest fragmentation on biodiversity and community function, and the expansion of database tools for canopy researchers.

She is also a major innovator in the creation of activities and programs focused on raising awareness on the significance of trees and nature, including STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP), Initiative to Bring Science to the Incarcerated (INSPIRE), STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP).

Sharon Lilly

Sharon Lilly began her arboriculture career in the commercial sector. During this time, she was an engaged member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), assisting in developing ISA certification educational and training assets.

She is also a published author of several widely used books amongst the community, including "The Tree Worker's Manual," " The Tree Climbers Guide," and the "ISA Arborists Certification Study Guide."

In 1997, Lilly became the very first female president of the ISA, paving the way for other females in the industry!

Colleen O'Sullivan

Colleen O'Sullivan first discovered her interest in trees after starting her career in landscape maintenance. O'Sullivan comes equipped with an MSc in Urban Forestry and Arboriculture from Myerscough College, and is an ISA Certified Municipal Specialist®, and earned the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.

O'Sullivan began her arboriculture career at the London Borough of Camden as a tree officer. She also serves on the executive committee for the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), dedicated to tackling issues that affect woodlands in London.

Sara Sankowich

Sara Sankowich's passion for arboriculture began at an early age during her time spent as a Girl Scout. Initially, she started her career in the industry's utility sector, where she became involved with ISA, Tour des Trees, and the Utility Arborist Association (UAA).

Since beginning her career, Sankowich has made leaps and bounds, becoming an ISA Certified Arborist, serving as the president of the UAA, and has even created a program for storm resiliency.

Heather Dionne

Heather Dionne was influenced to pursue an education in arboriculture by a past science teacher who encouraged her to study forestry at Unity College in Maine. Dionne gained her initial experience in the industry's municipal sector through a summer job she worked with throughout her studies.

Dionne has had tremendous success in her career as an ISA Certified Arborist. She has acted on the Connecticut Urban Forest Council, was the first female city forester in Hartford, CT, where she identified the Emerald Ash Borer's initial infestation.

These influential females have helped pave the way for other females to join the industry and continue making positive impacts. We love to see how these women have created opportunities to further diversify the industry as it allows for valuable insights and developments for all!

Happy International Women's Day to all of the female trailblazers out there!