Sharing My Passion
For Ángela Villademoros her love of nature began when she was child. In fact, it was her love of nature that lead her to study agronomic engineering. Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants in agriculture for food, fuel, fiber and land restoration.
“I made the choice of studying agronomic engineering following the inclination towards nature I’ve felt since childhood,” she said. “I’ve always liked trees and insects. On top of that there was my mother’s advice and the fact that my grandfather was a forest engineer.”
Villademoros graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Rosario in Santa Fe, Argentina. After graduating, she became involved evaluating pest treatments on the trees in Rosario’s urban forest.
Around the same time, a new school that focused on landscaping was being developed. “I was part of a group of professors in charge of the syllabus and started teaching a class on Botany and Vegetal Physiology, which I still teach,” said Villademoros.
Villademoros found research to be a natural part of teaching. “Research comes with teaching,” she said “With the daily contact with trees, pests, diseases and conflictive situations that involve trees that I’ve got as a professional, allows me to collect samples, to study, and to refine the techniques used.”
Additionally, Villademoros was called to be a technical advisor for the Department of Parks and Recreation in Santa Fe, which has a population of nearly a million inhabitants. Ten years after being appointed to that position, she was made the general director of the department. When Villademoros first began working in the Department of Parks of Recreation, she said there were only two specialists, her and a male colleague; however, upon being appointed the director, she oversaw 500 employees.
Villademoros, who is an ISA member, was also invited to be a part of the ISA Hispanic Committee, and, in 2018, she was awarded the ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture award for her dedication to the arboriculture profession.
Most recently, she has become the undersecretary for the Nature Conservation in charge of urban trees, native forests and protected areas in the Santa Fe province.
“I'm proud of being able to work in the field that I chose and love, and that it has allowed me to take care of my family and to pass on my knowledge and passion to many generations of students.”
Women working in male dominated field face a variety of challenges including stereotypes, higher stress, lack of mentoring and societal expectations, and, in many cases, women use various coping mechanisms to help them navigate through these challenges. Villademoros said it was through a lot of effort and respect for everyone that made her success possible.
Looking to the future, as more and more women enter the industry Villademoros said that as long as the industry continues to educate the public about arboriculture, more opportunities will be created.
“It’s a thrilling field, with lots of complexity and topics to cover, that needs more people getting involved in any of its aspects: be it teaching, research, management or development of new techniques, and women can do it,” she said. “I believe there is a need for increased publicity of the wide range of knowledge, research topics and activities that are involved in arboriculture, in order to bring more women into it.”
Check out the other Women in Arboriculture profiles.