Shannon Watkins--Shannon is a Ph.D. student studying public affairs at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. She is a research affiliate of the Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group (BUFRG), directed by Dr. Burnell C. Fischer, within the Center for the Study of Institutions, Populations and Environmental Change (CIPEC) and the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Her research is motivated by a general interest in how people interact with and shape their environment and how policy and planning decisions affect individuals and their environment. Particularly, she is interested in how individuals affect change in their local environment and in investigating the social and ecological results of those efforts. Shannon is interested in issues of distributional and representational equity in urban environmental issues. Her interests extend to evaluating the social and ecological effects of policy decisions. Most of Shannon's current work relates to urban forestry.
Aaron Carpenter-- Aaron's proudest achievement is attaining the rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America at the age of 16. From this experience he learned to work hard to reach goals, to be a team player, and to lead others. Aaron has many fond memories of camping with his dad and made lifelong friends from these experiences with Boy Scouts of America. After his association with the Boy Scouts, Aaron knew he was destined for a career in natural resources. This in part, led him to West Virginia University where he majored in initiative to begin an independent study focusing in arboriculture. Currently, Aaron is in the third semester of his Master of Forestry degree.
Lauren Garcia-- Lauren is actively involved with the American Society of Horticultural Sciences, where she has presented her research findings. She has served as teaching assistant for the Woody Ornamentals lab, teaching students over two hundred trees and their identifying characteristics. She continues her research, with the help of a TREE Fund grant, has taught her many aspects of tree care and maintenance. This has been further supported through the assistance of one of the committee members, a certified arborist (Dr. Todd Watson), who has taken the time to instruct her with tools such as air spades, tensiometers, and soil bores as well as his knowledge and practical experience.
Rachael Bergmann--Rachael is a master’s student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University pursuing degrees in Environmental Science and Policy (MSES/MPA). She has a
B.A. from Emory University in Environmental Studies and Psychology. Her interest in the
environment, in particular trees, can be traced back to growing up in South Carolina where
she spent summers exploring both the Atlantic coast and neighboring Appalachian Mountains.
Upon graduation, Rachael plans to work at the intersection of environmental and human issues,
supporting conservation and restoration in urban and natural environments.
Won Hoi Hwang--In Korea, while Won was working on double majors: B.S. Forest Resources & B.S. Geography, he realized that aesthetic benefits were the main focus of the urban forest industry. Won was motivated to pursue an advanced degrees as a means to acquire specialized information about how to best
utilize urban forests. At the Master’s level, Won examined how road-side trees affected the
temperatures of pavement and how urban vegetation influenced urban thermal patterns. He is completing a Ph.D. in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA with two major research projects: (1) identifying temperature mitigation and the resultant energy conservation effects gained from strategically placed urban trees, and (2) comparing geospatial techniques to assess Urban Tree Canopy (UTC).