Dr. Eric North joined the department in December 2020 as Assistant Professor of Urban & Community Forestry. Prior to joining us, he created the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Community and Regional Forestry degree, for which he has been awarded the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Educator Award.
The award “recognizes educators who have made an outstanding contribution toward advancing the knowledge and appreciation of plants among their students.” After starting UNL’s new forestry degree program, North developed a whole suite of supporting courses, which he taught, developed a minor and then got final approval for a new degree program. Through his research, he also developed a formula to determine a tree’s potential life span, which is an important consideration for city planners in helping them decide at what point the cost to maintain a tree is higher than its value to the community. This spring when coursework had to go online, North created compelling and valuable demonstration videos for his students on the safety value of wearing chaps when working with a chainsaw, proper pruning and other topics. He is strategic in his efforts and able to pivot when he sees opportunities. Students and colleagues say North is one of those unique teachers who demands much from his students and they eagerly live up to his standards.