City Trees

March/April 2011

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Partners Updates Utility Arborist Association Utility Arborist Profile: Mariclaire Rigby, Senior Forester, National Grid In November 2009, I was hired full-time by National Grid as a senior transmission forester, so my fam- ily and I moved back to the Boston area. This new position allows me to have the best of both worlds–field and office. The core of my job is to set up the work plans for the transmission forestry department in National Grid’s New England territo- ry (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). This involves working directly with the other transmission foresters to keep the lines on cycles so they are compatible with field condi- tions and the current budget. I apply for all the regulatory permits needed in each state to com- plete our Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) program. I conduct field audits as well as ground and aerial patrols to make sure that the work being performed is consistent with our IVM program. In addition, I work on department initiatives such as outreach, training, and our GIS program. from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. After I graduated from college, I moved to Wyoming and worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildfire technician and a crew boss on a tim- ber marking crew. I couldn’t find much full-time work in the off season, so I moved back to the East Coast and worked as an urban forester for the New Jersey Forest Service. Wanting to gain more experience in municipal forestry, I worked in both Washington, DC and Boston, Massachusetts as a city arborist. I Finally, I decided to move back to the Syracuse area and give utility forestry a try. I began work- ing for the Davey Resource Group as a transmis- sion forestry consultant for National Grid. I spent most of the time in the field inspecting rights- of-way in Central New York and the Adirondacks. Transmission forestry is the best fit for me, but having experience in urban and field forestry has helped me, as my current position encompasses some of all three. 16 received my Bachelors of Science degree in 1999 in Natural Resource Management-Forestry What have been the challenges? When I first graduated college and started in the forestry field, I had to overcome some barriers of being the only female on a previously all-male crew. There were some hard times, but I discovered early on that as long as you do your job well, you can gain the respect of those around you. The greatest chal- lenge I have now in my new job is that when you cover four states, there are a lot of regulations that need to be followed and what goes for one state might not work for another. My goal is to keep learning what I can about this evolving industry and to apply my organizing skills and passion to shape the future of it. The Utility Arborist Association gives me a glimpse into other vegetation management programs going on around the nation. It allows me to see what other compa- nies are doing and be exposed to models that we can incorporate into our program at National Grid. I spend most of my free time with my daughter, Piper, and my husband, Chris. We enjoy spending time outdoors, camping, exploring new places, and meeting up with friends and family. I also like to sew and am learning to knit. City Trees

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