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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Hemlock-ed In! From Cleveland’s parks to the Hocking Hills, meet our leaders conserving one of Ohio’s most spectacular evergreen trees

Dec 5, 2023, 5:00pm - 7:30pm

Photo button from a collection of different images from the EPN Sept Breakfast

Program Overview

The eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a foundational evergreen coniferous tree and native treasure of the Great Lakes Region and the northeastern United States. This tree hosts nearly 100 unique bird species, several of whom are species of concern in Ohio. With its high tolerance for shade, hemlocks provide both a dense evergreen tree canopy and strong lower-level foliage creating perfect spaces for biodiversity. Hemlock stands in Ohio’s forests nurse healthy stream habitats by offering cool temperatures and moist soils harboring ecologically rich communities of native salamanders, fish, and freshwater invertebrates.

Outdoor enthusiasts touring Ohio’s Appalachian parks and natural areas, such as the Mohican and Clifton Gorge, will recognize this evergreen tucked into ravines and towering among Ohio’s high cliffs and rocky outcroppings at nearly 70 feet in height. While hemlocks are an indicator of ecological health and nature-based recreation and tourism in Ohio, they are under threat1 from a variety of pests, most critically the hemlock woolly adelgid, an aphid-like insect that arrived from the hemlock forests of Asia and western North America.

Join the EPN, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry, and a well-rounded team of Ohio leaders to celebrate one of our most beloved evergreens and how we can advance hemlock conservation and protect these trees and the unique ecosystems that they foster on public and private lands across the region.

1Details about the value of this tree are outlined in ODNR’s Eastern Hemlock Conservation Plan.


5:00 p.m. Doors open at 4-H Center; Food and beverages served for in-person attendees. 

Networking session, featuring autumn Ohio State senior capstone project posters on display in the A.B. Graham Hall.

5:55 p.m.  Movement into the Bob Evans Memorial Auditorium for in-person attendees. Livestreaming service begins for virtual attendees.  

6:00 p.m. Robyn Wilson, PhD, acting associate director, Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) Stephanie Downs, southern region service forestry coordinator/NRCS liaison, ODNR Division of Forestry, provide welcome remarks.

6:10 p.m. A series of content expert presentations on planning for, and delivering conservation success, for the eastern hemlock will be provided by the following speakers:

Tom Macy, forest health program manager, Ohio Division of Forestry

Barbara Andreas, PhD, professor emeritus, plant biology, Kent State University

Constance Hausman, PhD, senior conservation science manager, Cleveland Metroparks

Derrick Cooper, the Grand River restoration coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

6:50 p.m. Panel dialogue on eastern hemlock conservation between Macy, Hausman, Andreas and Cooper. Moderated by Dave Apsley.

7:10 p.m. Audience Q & A session for both in-person and virtual audiences.

7:25 p.m. Closing Comments by Dr. Haab.


K Carr Stephanie Downs, cooperative forest management administrator/NRCS liaison, ODNR Division of Forestry 

Stephanie Downs is the cooperative forest management administrator for private lands assistance in Ohio.  She works with the Division of Forestry’s 24 state service foresters and 7 regional urban foresters to coordinate forestry assistance to private woodland owners and the state’s municipalities, cities, and towns.  Stephanie also serves as the liaison with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, where she helps coordinate programs that offer financial assistance for woodland owners sustainably managing their woods.  Stephanie has previously worked in forest health, assisting with surveys and management for invasive insects, diseases, and plants.  For five years, she taught in the Forest Management Program at Hocking College.  Stephanie is an active member of the Society of American Foresters. She has a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife Management and an M.S. in Natural Resources, both from The Ohio State University.

K Carr Tom Macy, forest health program manager, Ohio Division of Forestry

Tom Macy has been the Forest Health Program Manager for the Ohio DNR Division of Forestry since 2013. Prior to that, he worked as a Land Management Forester, and has worked previously for the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station assisting with research on the impacts of emerald ash borer on Ohio’s forests. In his current role, he coordinates the monitoring, surveying, and management of various insect, disease, and invasive species pests affecting Ohio’s forests and trees, as well as education and outreach. Tom earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Forest Science from Ohio State University.

T MoloneyConstance Hausman, PhD, senior conservation science manager, Cleveland Metroparks

Constance Hausman serves as senior conservation science manager of Cleveland Metroparks, supporting the conservation mission of the Natural Resources Division. Hausman received a PhD in Plant Ecology from Kent State University. As the Plant and Restoration Ecologist, Dr. Hausman develops and implements ecosystem assessment, natural recovery and habitat restoration projects related to plant communities throughout Cleveland Metroparks. Her current work focuses on understanding changes that occur in our natural areas due to forest pests/pathogens, climate change, habitat destruction, and invasive species in order to rehabilitate our native forests through restoration and management. She is also the Executive Director of the Ohio Biological Survey.

shelly douglas imageBarbara Andreas, PhD, professor emeritus, plant biology, Kent State University

Dr. Barbara Kloha Andreas earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Kent State University, and had post-doctoral research positions at the University of Michigan and the New York Botanical Garden.  She retired as Professor Emeritus from the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University in 2011.  Dr. Andreas has dedicated her professional life to the preservation of natural lands, having been on the board of the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for 22 years, for which she received their President’s Stewardship Award.  She served on the Ohio Governor’s Natural Areas Council, and is presently on the board of the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association and the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Rare Plant Council.  She is co-founder of the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association. Dr. Andreas was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame in 2021.

marne titchenellDerrick Cooper, the Grand River restoration coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

Derrick Cooper manages and oversees the northeastern Ohio preserves of The Nature Conservancy. As part of The Nature Conservancy’s Morgan Swamp Preserve, the Grand River Conservation Campus includes facilities and grounds for recreation, environmental education and restoration. Morgan Swamp is home to one of the few remaining hemlock– yellow birch swamp forests in Ohio, all of which reside in the Grand River Lowlands, a vast wetland system that occurs throughout northern Trumbull and southern Ashtabula Counties. Derrick is from Northeastern Ohio and is an alumnus of Cleveland State University.

marne titchenellDave Apsley

Dave is a forest management and forest ecology expert with over 30 years of professional experience in forestry and natural resources education, management and research. Dave recently retired from The Ohio State University Extension after 23 years of service. Prior to that role, he taught for six years in the Forest Management Technology at Hocking College.  Other positions that he has held include Forester and Supervisory Forester for the Department of Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Research Technician and Research Coordinator in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia.  Dave is a past chair of the Ohio Society of American Foresters, a Fellow and a Certified Forester. He lives on a Tree Farm-Certified Family Forest in Jackson County. Mr. Apsley received his M.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia and B.S. in Forest Management from Purdue University. 

Additional Information

This event’s menu features sausage patties, scrambled eggs, potato hash, and fresh fruit salad, Coffee, hot tea, fruit juices and water will be served. There will be plates, cups, woodware, and napkins.  

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in this activity, please reach out to Callia Téllez ( Requests made five business days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access. However, we will make every effort to meet requests made after this time frame. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs. For the virtual audience, a closed captioning option via EPN’s YouTube live stream will be available, as well as other accommodations as requested on the registration.

Masks are optional for all event attendees at this event, in accordance with Ohio State’s Safe and Healthy Protocols as of this date. In-person attendees will be expected to follow Ohio State protocols regarding the prevention of COVID-19 transmission. More health and safety information available on this Personal Safety Practices page

This program will be livestreamed on the  EPN YouTube page. Additional information on livestream connections are available to those who register as a virtual participant for this event. 

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EPN Breakfast Series

The Environmental Professionals Network hosts a monthly breakfast series with compelling speakers on important innovative topics at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s campus - open to all!