Associate Professor Eric Wiseman received the 2016 Alex L. Shigo Award for Arboricultural Education from the International Society of Arboriculture. The award, named for an acclaimed tree biologist and plant pathologist known for his studies on tree decay, recognizes the important role that education plays in enhancing the quality and professionalism of the arboriculture industry.

For Wiseman, fostering curiosity and enthusiasm in his students is crucial. “I teach a lot of students who aren’t destined to become arborists, but most of them are living in areas surrounded by urban forests,” he explained. “I try to show them that they’re going to learn something that will be relevant somewhere down the line.”

Wiseman makes an effort to provide many hands-on learning opportunities and has encouraged students to participate in Sustainability Week, Arbor Day events, and a campus tree inventory. “As an undergraduate, I didn’t do as much as I could have to prepare for my career, so I want to make sure that my students have those opportunities,” he said.

Receiving the award is both surprising and humbling for Wiseman. “It causes you to reflect and appreciate the people who have helped you get where you are and the hard work you’ve put in,” he remarked.