Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

Gregory Dahle

Committee Co-Chair

Robert Burns

Committee Member

David McGill


Urban forestry is still a relatively new area of science and is still trying to establish itself as a legitimate scientific field and profession. Often urban forestry and arboriculture are conflated, and urban forestry has yet to achieve much of what arboriculture has in terms of recognition its and establishment. Landscape architects, traditional foresters, environmental scientists, horticulturalists all may find themselves in positions that can be classified in the urban forestry profession, which shows this lack of a standard definition for what is an urban forester. While there are many significant, potential benefits to a properly managed urban forest resource and employers recognize the value of the specialized education of urban foresters this lack of identity could lead to a lack of recognition in the eyes of the public and these overlapping professionals in the urban arena. The first step for arguing for this value is tackling the identity problem. It is important to know what employers are expecting of applicants and what applicants are delivering to employers. This is a question that has been asked many times in the past in many other professions: some as closely related to urban forestry as traditional forestry, arboriculture, or botany; though not much research has been done to answer this question specifically for urban forestry employers. It is in this way that a definition for what exactly an urban forester is can be found and the profession can ensure that entry-level urban foresters have the skills needed to perform their jobs effectively. The list of necessary skills is constantly changing and while the technical urban forestry and arboriculture skills remain relevant there has been a change that shows employers are now valuing not only communication skills, but team-based problem solving and leadership skills as well.