View Participant Articles

Arborist Exchange Flyer

 What Is the Exchange Program?

The Arborist Exchange Program offers municipal foresters, utility arborists, and tree non-profit managers around the world the opportunity to engage with colleagues, and experience urban forestry challenges and successes in varying political and cultural settings.

The Program funds airfare and basic expenses for professional exchanges. Each participant will spend at least one week visiting and working with another city’s forestry department. The program is also evaluating local exchanges that do not require airfare or lodging and may be shorter than one week in duration. An "exchange" may be "two-way", meaning that paired participants take turns hosting the other, or "one-way", where a selected participant only visits a willing host city identified and approved by the Arborist Exchange Committee.

Why Have an Arborist Exchange Program?

The purpose is to create a way for urban forest managers to exchange expertise, ideas, and technology through “in-person” contact and on-site experience. What better way to find out how other forestry practitioners operate than to spend time with each other? We have much to learn from other programs in our own countries and around the world, and we each have much to offer. Not only will the program facilitate the transfer of knowledge, but it will also help foster an international community of municipal arborists.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone can apply, but priority is given to members of SMA, ACT, and UAA. One can apply immediately upon joining. A candidate must be employed within the urban forestry profession for at least two years. Knowledge of a second language is helpful but not compulsory, although the application must be submitted in English. All applicants must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster to be eligible to participate in the program. For a two-way, local exchange, a chosen host will not need to provide lodging for the visiting participant, as the distance traveled will allow visiting participants to head home at the end of each work day. Long-distance participants' lodging will be determined based upon following COVID-19 restrictions and with respect to the comfort level of visiting and receiving participants. Hotel lodging, lodging in private homes, or other arrangements may be made on a case-by-case basis.

How Will Selections Be Made?

Two-way exchange pairings will be made by our selection committee on a “best match” basis. The number of participants will depend on available funding. Participants in local exchange programs may come from different-sized communities and/or different fields to foster exchange of information between local peers working under differing circumstances. Long-distance exchange participants will attempt to be matched with peers coming from similar-sized communities. Ideally, each forestry program will have or do something that the other can learn from - a unique or exemplary program, site condition, problem, etc. The selection committee will consider if an applicant wishes to have an exchange with someone from a preferred city, country, or region. One-way exchange selections will be based on the applicant’s programmatic needs and the potential for a viable learning experience. Cross-organizational exchanges are encouraged!

What Is Required From Selected Participants?

Participants will spend at least one full work week with the host city’s forestry department or arborist. Each participant will be required to write an article about what he or she learned and experienced, for use in partner organizations’ media outlets.

What Is the Deadline?

The Arborist Exchange Program committee is considering applications on a rolling, case-by-case basis. The timeframe for the exchanges will be determined by the participants, with assistance from the Arborist Exchange Committee. Thoughtful consideration will be given to timing and planning of exchanges based on current and anticipated COVID restrictions and waves. Any planned exchanges will be subject to cancellation if COVID-19 surges or changes in restrictions prohibit the responsible exchange of participants.

How Do I Apply?

The Arborist Exchange Program committee is currently revising the program's guidelines, application process, and conditions for participation in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Anybody who is interested in participating in an exchange can email the committee chair at [email protected] with copy to [email protected].

CEUs apply.