A.J. Elton, ISA, Community Forester, RI
A.J. works with Rhode Island communities to assist in the preservation and expansion of urban tree canopies. He helps them revise or update ordinances, assess urban canopy cover and benefits, plant trees and conducts community outreach to ensure the conservation or increase of urban tree cover. Before joining the Green Infrastructure Center, A. J. was the City Forester and Director of the Forestry Division for the City of Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to moving to New England, A. J. was an Arborist for the City of Richmond, VA., where he stewarded 60 square miles of urban forest.
A. J.’s interest in nature and plants has been lifelong. He was the greenhouse’s student manager in high school and worked for a local tree nursery. He learned arboriculture from the ground up, beginning his career dragging brush to a chipper. As a commercial and public arborist, A. J. is an experienced climbing arborist, plant health care technician, and crew leader.
A.J. holds a Master of Environmental Science degree with a focus on Forest Resources and Arboriculture and an Undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Conservation with a focus on Urban Forestry and Arboriculture from UMass Amherst, as well as an Associate degree with a focus on Landscape Design from Virginia Tech. He is also a graduate of the Municipal Forestry Institute (M.F.I.) and an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A). His graduate research explored Urban Forestry NGOs in the Temperate Forests of the United States and has been published in multiple peer-reviewed publications. In his spare time, A. J. can be found exploring nature and new places with his wife, daughter, and dog.