Jacklyn Beebe ’05
I’m still not sure if I am excited or disappointed by the “Up a Tree” clip in the summer 2012 edition of Binghamton University Magazine. I have been a tree climber for the USDA’s Asian longhorned beetle program for about five years. Tree work takes specialized skills and knowledge to perform safely and successfully. I’m not sure what Mr. Tartter is trying to teach students, but I feel that Outdoor Pursuits has an obligation to make sure the students are dressed appropriately (some pictures had students in shorts and Converse sneakers) and to educate students about the pitfalls of pursuing of a career in tree work. It is not easy or entertaining.
I did not have the opportunity at Binghamton to receive an education in arboriculture. Binghamton could expand the environmental studies program to include career opportunities in tree work and research that would enhance a student’s experience and open unexpected doors.
The City of New York Parks Department has continuous job openings for tree workers because the candidate has to live in NYC in order to hold a job there. Many Binghamton graduates move to NYC upon graduation, and a degree in arboriculture would be an excellent set of skills to fill a continuous void in the New York City Parks Dept. Tree climbing is also used by botanists and ecologists studying life in the tree canopy and by outdoor education programs, such as BOCES, to set up ropes courses for kids.