I have worked with all kinds of people, indoors and out, educating, building consensus and community.
I have worked in a variety of places, in big cities and small cities, even in a cemetery and a Zen monastery.
I have worked with all kinds of trees, from acorns to redwoods, and everything in between...

Projects: Connecting People + Place + Trees

RUSSIAN JACK SPRINGS PARK
Sustainable Birch Bark Harvesting and Moose Call Making Workshop

 

I met Val Barber at the Society of American Foresters Conference in Anchorage. We were talking about our mutual love of basketmaking, the piles of windblown birch in the municipal parks, and a desire to find ways to connect folks to urban forestry. The result was two workshops. We taught people how to sustainably harvest birch bark, and explained the potential negative impacts from harvesting incorrectly. Then, using the bark we harvested, in one workshop we made baskets, and in the other, Max Chickalusion showed us how to make and use moose callers

HISTORIC UNION CEMETERY 
First Women-Only Tree Climbing Workshop in Redwood City, CA

 

When Kelly Palomera asked me to help her lead a women-only tree climbing workshop, I told her that although I love climbing and working in the canopy, I wasn't comfortable teaching others. But, I had a great network of professional tree-care and recreational tree climbing friends, and I had access to a great site. We held our first event, which led to a number of other similar events, and trained 23 women. They learned while accomplishing approximately $10,000 worth of much needed tree work in the cemetery. Best of all, we had a great time in the company of women!

TASSAJARA MOUNTAIN ZEN CENTER
Zen Joinery Apprenticeship with Paul Discoe

 

I was one of 13 apprentices who had the unique opportunity to work under the tutorship of Paul Discoe in the design and re-build of the main entry gate to Tassajara, his spiritual home. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, ordained Paul Discoe as a Zen priest and sent him to Japan to study Japanese carpentry in the 1960s. Paul taught us the philosophies and methods of Japanese joinery including design, joinery techniques, shop drawings and cut lists, wood preparation, tool use and care, cut out, and assembly. We spent nine months working together, culminating in a two-week work period at Tassajara where we installed the gate, ate amazing meals, and soaked in the Japanese-style baths.

INTERNATIONAL TREE FAILURE DATABASE
Sharing Information Reveals Patterns, Improves Management

 

The California and International Tree Failure reporting programs were established to collect quantitative information on the mechanical failure of trees. That data is then used to develop ‘failure profiles’ for genera and species to more accurately assess failure probability in standing trees and thereby reduce failure potential. As with any inventory system, the programs are only as robust as the information is updated and utilized. I won awards for my contributions to the database, and was invited to give presentations to my colleagues. I trained youth from the King Career Center and the Youth Employment Program to take measurements as they worked in Anchorage's wildland urban interface.