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Faculty Spotlight on Chris Carlson

Faculty Spotlight


Kent State Salem Professor Earns International Recognition

Chris Carlson earns the Award of Merit from the International Society of Arboriculture

Chris Carlson, associate professor of biological sciences and horticulture technology at Kent State University at Salem, recently received the Award of Merit from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), an international organization comprised of 22,000 certified arborists from 47 countries.  The once in a lifetime honor is given for outstanding and meritorious service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of professional tree care and arboriculture and contributing materially to the promotion of the ISA.

A certified arborist since 1991, Carlson joined the ISA in 1985. During his tenure he has published more than 65 articles on professional tree care, arboriculture and urban forestry, taught 12 different university courses in horticulture technology, and been responsible for helping develop and administer the ISA’s Certified Arborist Exam recognized by 47 countries around the world as the most prestigious exam of its kind in arboriculture and urban forestry.

“The recognition of my efforts was one of the highlights in my career,” Carlson said. “It truly was an honor for me to accept this award.”

The Ohio chapter of the ISA presented Carlson with the award recently in a meeting in Columbus.

At Kent State Salem, Carlson teaches seven courses including urban forestry and arboriculture, which is one of three concentration areas within the university's horticulture program. Students studying horticulture can earn either an associate’s or a bachelor's degree and focus their studies in professional tree care and arboriculture, turfgrass management or landscape management and design.

Prior to coming to Kent State Salem, Carlson was the head of the forestry and urban forestry department at North Dakota State University where he taught a variety of classes in arboriculture and urban forestry.  Before this post, Carlson was a research forester with the Timberlands Division of Champion International Corporation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Carlson earned bachelor’s degrees in both plant biology and natural resource management from The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Following graduation he held several positions as a state and county forester for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the United States Forest Service. In 1981, he earned his Master of Science degree from Michigan State University in East Lansing in forest management and silviculture, the section of forestry that focuses on the development and care of forests. Most recently Carlson served as an ISA board of director for the national ISA certification exam committee.

“Chris Carlson’s ISA award reflects his years of commitment in supporting arboriculture education and his more than 20 years as a member of the ISA,” said Stan Jones, director of the horticulture program at Kent State Salem. “The award attests to his expertise in the field of arboriculture and greatly helps support the professional ideals we promote within the horticulture department here at Kent State Salem.”

Jones said the award helps recognize the specific fields of study offered at Kent State Salem and the university’s commitment in keeping attuned to new technologies via industry memberships.“We are very proud of his achievement and applaud Chris in receiving such a prestigious award,” Jones said.

 Chris Carlson

Kent State Salem Associate Professor Chris Carlson is congratulated by Carrie Paulus, a member of the Ohio Chapter ISA Board of Directors, after receiving the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Award of Merit. The once in a lifetime recognition is given only to those in the ISA who work to advance the principles, ideals and practices of arboriculture. The ISA is comprised of 22,000 certified arborists from 47 countries.