Students perusing the course catalogue at UConn this fall might notice a new course within the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. The Fundamentals of Arboriculture will be taught at the Storrs Campus, meeting twice a week for lecture and with a 3 hour lab on Tuesday afternoons. The instructor is John Kehoe. John is a long-time member of CTPA who admits that he is thrilled at the opportunity to teach this class.
The CTPA is assisting UConn in the establishment of a 2 year degree program in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. As described in a previous post (see CTPA and UConn Announce Plans for a New Degree Program), this course in Arboriculture is being added as an elective this fall and a second course, on Urban and Community Forestry, will be added in the spring semester. There may also be a practical Winter Session course on tree care skills. Then, if all goes well, the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources will initiate the degree program in the fall of 2020, with all of the above courses required for the Associates Degree.
CTPA’s contributions are two-fold. The Association is underwriting the costs of hiring the instructor or instructors for each of the two semester courses. The Association and its members are also being asked to provide industry support of the sort that will help build a successful program. That includes encouraging students to take these courses, providing helpful feedback to the university faculty and administration as the program builds, and, perhaps most importantly, being open to hiring worthy candidates who graduate from the program. All of this, obviously, will need to play out over the course of time as the program establishes itself.
Meanwhile, the consensus is that John Kehoe is an excellent choice to get the classroom part of the program started. John is a second generation arborist who obtained his Connecticut license back in 1975. He has seen a lot of industry growth and change over those years. As he has grown in experience, he has also grown in knowledge and insight. He has seen tree care from the perspective of a private, commercial tree care company, as the former acting City Forester in the City of Hartford and, now, in his current position, as part of the tree care staff of UConn. Among his educational activities, John is widely known for his encyclopedic knowledge of tree species and horticultural varieties. He has lectured, led numerous tours and participated in workshops for a variety of audiences. As a teacher, he is conversational in his style, confident and very capable of bringing his wide range of experiences to life. He will do well in front of a classroom.
CTPA should be proud of its role in helping to make this happen. The CTPA Committee, chaired by board member Carter Peck, remains active and in touch with UConn as this program continues to develop and grow.