AMHERST — Brian Kane, a professor and researcher at the UMass Amherst, is this year’s co-recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA’s) prestigious Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education. The award honors ISA members for enhancing the quality and professionalism of arboriculture through education.
Kane is the Mass. Arborists Assoc. professor of Commercial Arboriculture at UMass Amherst. He is an ISA-certified arborist who started climbing trees professionally 25 years ago. Kane invites his students to participate in his tree research, supports them in their tree-climbing competitions, and guides them to be skilled future workers and business owners in arboriculture. ISA honored Kane at a ceremony on Aug. 3 in Milwaukee as part of the 90th annual ISA International Conference and Trade Show.
“Brian is one of the most formidable researchers in practical arboriculture today, but he’s equally considered for his substantial reputation as a professor,” said Mark Roberts, ISA president. “His devotion to students and his commitment to the field of arboriculture have benefited ISA and will continue to influence the industry for years to come.”
The award’s namesake, Dr. Alex Shigo, was a renowned plant pathologist, known throughout the industry for his studies on tree decay, which led to major changes in arboriculture. “I met Dr. Shigo once and quickly realized that he was a very passionate educator,” said Kane. “What I emphasize most as a teacher to all of my classes is safety, even to those classes that are not hands-on, field techniques. The profession of arboriculture is inherently dangerous, so training arborists to work safely and build a culture of safety wherever they work is an important way to address that.”