AMES, Iowa – Gabriele Edwards, a graduate of Iowa State University, has joined the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach team as an urban forestry specialist.
In this position, Edwards will primarily focus on restarting the Community Tree Steward program. This program trains its members in community tree management topics such as basic tree identification, planting, care, maintenance, pest management and program planning and implementation.
Those who complete the Community Tree Steward program will be seen as leaders in the community on the topic of tree care. They will then be able to host ISU Extension and Outreach meetings on the topic, teach youth organizations and garden clubs while helping develop and implement a sound community forest plan. ISU Extension and Outreach will begin offering classes for the program during the spring of 2017.
“We are very excited to add Gabriele to our staff,” said Sue Blodgett, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology at Iowa State. “She will strengthen our extension efforts as we continue to design programs to improve tree care in urban environments.”
Edwards is also helping communities across the state plan their response to a potential Emerald Ash Borer invasion. She will help communities plan for the costs associated with removing diseased trees and what to plant once the diseased trees have been removed. She will also be involved in promoting proper tree selection, planting, pruning and lifelong maintenance of trees in an urban setting.
“I’m looking forward to working with the public across the state of Iowa to promote proper urban forest management through seminars webinars and community forestry programs,” Edwards said.
Edwards holds a degree in Environmental Science and Forestry with an emphasis in Urban Forestry from Iowa State. While at Iowa State, Edwards was an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and served on the CALS Dean’s Strategic Planning Committee. She was also the president of the Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honor Society.
She also worked with Dr. Douglas Stokke, senior lecturer in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State, on a publication titled ‘Introduction to Wood and Natural Fiber Composites’.