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Monday, April 8: Morning

10:15–10:45 am

LiDAR and Utility Vegetation Management: Taking Tech to the Field
Matt Clarkson, Alabama Power Company
Matt Clarkson is an Information Systems Analyst for Alabama Power Company’s Power Delivery Contract Services. Matt holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Forestry from Mississippi State University where he specialized in remote sensing and GIS with emphasis on LiDAR and Remote Sensing data. He has worked for Alabama Power Company since 2008. While at Alabama Power he has provided mapping expertise, application support, and geospatial solutions for numerous departments and projects.
(0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

10:45–11:15 am

No Splash, No Ripples: Path to a Better Job Brief
Shawn Reed, National Grid
If we looked at an incident or accident like a splash from a rock hitting a calm pond and the ripple rings extending outward from the point of impact as layers of people or parts of your life that were affected  by the accident, how far do you think your ripples would reach? If we can stop the splash of an incident, we can stop the ripples. I believe a meaningful, quality job brief is the first step.|
(0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

Monday Morning Monday Afternoon Tuesday Morning Tuesday Afternoon


Monday, April 8: Afternoon Session

12:45–1:15 pm

ANSI Z133 Update
Tim Walsh, The Davey Tree Expert Co.
The 2017 revision of the ANSI Z133 standard has been out for almost a year and there is still some confusion on what some of the changes mean. Due in part to updates to 29 CFR 1910.269 there were significant changes to section four, Electrical Hazards, of the new revision of the Z133 safety standard. In addition, there were many other significant additions, and some deletions that arborists, the companies that employ them and utilities that contract with these employers need to comprehend.

This presentation will review the history of the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC), the group tasked with revising the standard as well as an overview of the process, which has also changed with the 2017 version. The key changes will be addressed but, the presentation is not intended to be an interpretation of the standard in any way. Nor is it intended to be a substitute for the standard itself.  It’s meant merely to be an overview of some of the changes. (0.50 A, 0.50 T, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

1:15–1:45 pm

Looking Forward and Charging Ahead
Joe Marshall, ACRT
ACRT Business Development Manager, Joe Marshall, uses interview findings from VM leaders across the industry to arm you with the insights you need to ensure your utility is ready for what’s to come.  Survey results from Investor Owned, Municipal and Cooperative utilities from across the US as we asked the following questions:

  • What challenges lie ahead for Vegetation Managers

  • What is the greatest opportunity facing our industry today?

  • What trends are you most excited about impacting our industry?

  • What concerns do you have for changes trending in our industry? \

    (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

1:45–2:15 pm

Less Pruning, More Clearance
Guy Meilleur, Historic Tree Care
This presentation is about connecting research to practice and is based on two years of pruning data collection.  The research has compelling implications for utility pruning.  Specified and limited pruning provokes a milder response by the tree and longer pruning cycles. (0.50 A, 0.50 T, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bp)

2:15–3:30 pm Refreshment Break @ the Trade Show


3:30–4:00 pm

Got Data, Now What?  Using data from UAS and other Remote Sensing Platforms to Improve Operations
Scott Rogers, ECI
You’ve heard the buzz. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones are going to revolutionize the way we do work in the field by making it safer, less expensive and easier to collect infrastructure and vegetation data on transmission and distribution networks.  To a great extent, the buzz is true.  UAS technology is becoming mainstream and more and more utilities are adopting these new tools.  

But up to this point, much of the attention related to UAS has been focused on the aircraft and sensors used to collect data.  Not much attention has been paid to how to handle the terabytes of data these sensors collect or how to get the most value out of that data.

This presentation will address why it’s important to understand the use-cases that benefit from UAS data before selecting the UAS platform to use. How utilities can establish enterprise-level processes for collecting and sharing UAS collected datasets.  How utilities have adopted end-to-end virtualized inspection processes to improve the safety and speed of what were traditional boots-on-the-ground inspection processes.  

Attendees of this session will leave with an informed perspective on how UAS data can be effectively used to solve real-world operational challenges. (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

4:00–4:30 pm

Data Driven Reliability
Brian Flage, Think Power Solutions
Within two years of implementing a data-driven reliability program, CoServ electric, a 225k member coop was able to reduce total annual SAIDI by nearly 60% and maintain that performance for over 5 years. Brian will share some specific lessons learned while creating and managing that program, including how to use available data to make more efficient use of field time, what data sources were most beneficial, and what efforts resulted in the greatest improvements. (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

Monday Morning Monday Afternoon Tuesday Morning Tuesday Afternoon


Tuesday, April 9: Morning Session

10:00–10:30 am

Safety for the Single Person Crew
Henry King, ArborMetrics Solutions, Inc.
The unique requirements of ensuring the safety and well-being of the single person crew in utility forestry is not often considered in our industry.  Utility arborists work in a wide range of environments, from areas with increased crime and violence to rural rights-of-way with little to no cell phone coverage.  Poisonous plants and animals, extreme weather, aggressive dogs, constant driving, landowners, and the physical environment can all pose a safety risk, especially to the single person crew.

This presentation will highlight the unique circumstances facing multi-person and single person crews.   How can technology, training strategies, and work procedures minimize risks and the likelihood for a safety event to occur?  Case studies will be highlighted, and lessons learned from actual incidents will be discussed.  The ultimate goal is to bring attention to how utility vegetation management personnel and contractors can manage and improve their safety programs for the single person crew. (0.50 A, 0.50 T, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bp)

10:30–11:00 am

Contractor Emergency & Storm Response: More than Just a Bucket Truck
Scott Huffmaster, Mountain Enterprises
With the ever-increasing need for vegetation management contractors to provide support services to utilities during times of emergency, storm or fire response, the traditional method of just supplying line clearance tree crews with the standard bucket truck or climb truck, may not be the best way to support the effort.  By taking away line clearance crew resources from routine work, often from other utilities via a mutual assistance effort, not only does it cause negative impacts to the other utility’s vegetation management program, it may not be the most effective way to deal with the vegetation. There is no doubt that the somewhat traditional response does have a place as part of the rebuilding effort but there are other creative ways that the contractor can partner with the utility and other stakeholders, both internal and external to provide a safe and cost-efficient response.

As a follow up to the article provided in the July-August 2018 UAA Newsline, the purpose of this presentation is show how the Mountain Enterprises family of companies provided a variety of solutions to the 2017 North Bay fires and also to supplement that information with additional details on yet another level of service being provided in 2018 to PacifiCorp as part of their response to the Delta Fire and its impact on their transmission system.

The presentation will include discussion about the need for vegetation contractors to work more closely with utility companies prior to the emergency event to best structure crews and equipment, along with appropriate subcontract resources from potentially outside of the traditional industry that can provide specialized equipment, project management expertise, FEMA billing protocols, etc. that will relieve the pressure of all stakeholders during the response effort. (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

11:00–11:30 am

Customer Connection Through Trees and Energy Savings
Kristin Bousquet, Arbor Day Foundation
In this presentation, we will explore how the Energy-Saving Trees program provides the mechanism and strategy to positively engage with your customers and the communities you serve. Kristen Bousquet, from the Arbor Day Foundation, will discuss how 55 other utility companies have used the Energy-Saving Trees program to implement tree distributions leading to homeowner education, energy efficiency, community resilience and satisfied customers. This all-inclusive, turn-key program offers trees plus the technology to streamline the implementation process and provide data/metrics showing the impact of each program. Using the Energy-Saving Tree’s interactive online interface, your customers are educated on “right tree right place” and have the opportunity to plant virtual trees around their home in order to identify the best planting location for the largest energy savings. The education and metrics are courtesy of iTree technology which quantifies the data through scientific, peer-reviewed research. It’s a WIN for your customers, your community and your organization. (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 M, 0.50 Bm)

Monday Morning Monday Afternoon Tuesday Morning Tuesday Afternoon


Tuesday, April 9: Afternoon Session

1:00–1:30 pm

Formulation of a Pollinator Site Value Index (PSVI)
Rick Johnstone, IVM Partners, Inc.
The decline of bees and the Monarch butterfly prompted a Federal Strategy on Pollinators and petitions to US Fish & Wildlife Service for listing several species as threatened or endangered. IVM Partners has documented plant community changes across the country as ROW vegetation management has transitioned from cutting to integrated vegetation management (IVM) and the selective use of herbicides. We recognized that a quantitative measurement of habitat quality did not exist, thus a Pollinator Site Value Index (PSVI) was developed for measuring pollen and nectar for honey and bumble bees, and another measurement for butterflies and moths. PSVI provides a scientific basis of IVM benefits on utility ROW for pollinators and a positive public relations message to agencies and consumers.  (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bs)

1:30–2:00 pm

Implementing IVM + IHM into Pipline ROW Management Program
Connis Oslica, Enable Midstream
This presentation will focus on the implementation of an Integrated Vegetation Management Program on Pipeline Right of Ways. Including program goals, basic implementation steps a case study and financial justification.  (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)

2:00–2:45 pm

The UAA Task Force: Managing for Thriving Ecosystems
Philip Chen, CNUC
Learn about the updates to Environmental Stewardship section of the UAA’s website.   (0.75 A, 0.75 U, 0.75 Bm)

2:45–3:00 pm Refreshment Break


3:00–3:30 pm

Program Management
Randy Miller, CNUC
This presentation is a program management overview.  It is drawn from information in the “Program Management” chapter in Utility Arboriculture: The Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide by Randall H. Miller and Geffrey Kempter, published in 2018 by the International Society of Arboriculture.  The objectives of the presentation are to enable attendees to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for a VM program. 

  • Design work schedule plans that best achieve program goals and objectives. 

  • Utilize project management techniques to execute project plans. 

  • Prepare a utility VM budget. 

  • Execute contracts for VM services. 

  • Implement a personnel management strategy that encourages high-performing staff. 

    (0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bm)


3:30–4:00 pm

Storm Work
John Reese, Duke Energy Progress
John Reese is the Transmission Vegetation Manager – Duke Energy Progress, A.A.S Degree in Forestry Management, A.A.S Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management, ISA Certified Arborist. He started his VM career in 2007 as a contract forester for Progress Energy, was hired as a Vegetation Management Specialist (VMS) by Duke Energy Progress in 2013, have managed multiple areas of the Duke Energy service territory including the Pinehurst and Raleigh, NC management areas. He was promoted to Lead VMS in 2017 then accepted the TVM Manager position in 2018. He has helped managed several storm events on the ground level as well as from an advisory role.
(0.50 A, 0.50 U, 0.50 Bp)

4:00–4:45 pm

ISA Southern Chapter Annual Business Meeting & Awards Presentations
Beau Brodbeck, President, ISA Southern Chapter

Monday Morning Monday Afternoon Tuesday Morning Tuesday Afternoon

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