ISA Member Profile June 2023

Arborist to Educator

ISA Member Profile June 2023

Across the world, ISA Members dedicate their efforts to promoting the professional practice of arboriculture and fostering greater awareness of the benefits of trees. The ISA Member Spotlight allows ISA to share our members; stories and recognize their accomplishments and contributions to the arboriculture industry. This month, ISA is highlighting Aaron Schauer.

Aaron Schauer is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® and educator passionate about teaching younger generations to care for and promote the benefit of trees. Over the last few years, Aaron has worked to create an impressive program at Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wisconsin. As the program director, he has built a curriculum that encompasses everything necessary to train his students to succeed in arboriculture. His goal is to inspire and educate students about the industry and show that arboriculture is not only a career path but also an opportunity to make a significant impact on our environment and the future.

It was not until a high school presentation by the Department of Natural Resources that Aaron learned about the possibility of a career in arboriculture. After graduation, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point with a major in Forest Management and Urban Forestry and quickly realized that climbing should be his full-time career. Aaron traveled everywhere from Nelson, New Zealand, to San Diego, California as a climbing arborist and worked with trees worldwide. When he was not climbing for work, he competed in many local climbing competitions and qualified to climb in ISA's regional and international championships (NATCC and ITCC).

Upon his return to Wisconsin, Aaron started volunteering with students and instructing climbing programs within the technical school system. During this time, he decided to pursue teaching and, thus, return to the university to make his dream a reality. With a master's degree in hand, Aaron began to build his curriculum and promote his classes at Gateway Technical College. His program has been highly successful, and with the help of state funding and grants, he has acquired the machinery and tools necessary to provide education for all aspects of the arboriculture industry. He is currently working to build relationships with local high schools to create apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to help students become involved with tree care earlier. He aims to establish an arboricultural academy where students can receive credits during high school and graduate with a pathway certificate and a head start in their careers.

When Aaron is not in the classroom, he spends his time volunteering as a member of ISA's Council of Representatives and the Wisconsin Arborist Association's Board of Directors and Program Committee. As an active ISA member, he appreciates how unique it is that arboriculture and urban forestry have a worldwide organization that connects everyone in the field so well. As a result, there is a seamless information flow and a more significant push for consistent education. As an educator, he believes that "the field of arboriculture needs educated individuals at all levels of the industry," and he hopes to contribute to this goal with his own initiatives and apprenticeship opportunities.


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