UConn Extension is pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Ricard, Senior Extension Educator, was presented the 2015 Technology Transfer Award from the Society of American Foresters (SAF). The national awards were presented at SAF National Convention held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 3-7, 2015, with the award presented during the November 5, Plenary Session. A second recognition was made the evening of November 6, recognizing this years and past national award winners. Bob was asked by fellow recipients to speak on their behalf expressing, “What it mean to be recognized by your peers.”
The SAF Technology Transfer Award recognizes outstanding achievement in technology transfer, implementation and outreach extension by an SAF member as evidenced in the recipient’s work on local and national scale. Enhancing the practice of forestry that is based on good science is a foundation principle of SAF. Technology transfer is critical to assuring that sound technical information becomes available to those concerned with the management and conservation of forest resources. The Technology Transfer Award will be presented to an SAF member meeting the eligibility standards with a distinguished record of achievement in technology transfer.
The specific accomplishments Bob was acknowledged for; go to the following SAF link:
UConn Extension is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert M. Ricard, Senior Extension Educator; has been selected by UConn for the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement in the Non-Tenure Track Faculty category.
Bob has acquired a distinguished state, regional, and national reputation for his scholarship, teaching (formal and informal), and service. All three elements contribute to his excellence in public engagement.
One example of his public engagement is his Tree Warden Program. Bob began working for UConn Extension in 1991 and immediately conducted a statewide needs assessment of urban forestry that included all Connecticut cities and towns with tree wardens and chief elected officials as the specific target audience. Bob discovered that the vast majority of Connecticut communities were not prepared to deal with their responsibility of caring for their public trees. Such care includes protecting the public from high-risk trees. As a result of this, Bob initiated several programs to different target audiences. For example, his tree warden program was developed and incorporated as a 501(c)(3). A volunteer board of directors that Bob guides governs the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc. The organization is approaching its 25th anniversary demonstrating it will survive past Bob’s professional career.
In collaboration with this organization, Bob created the Tree Wardens School and Certification Program. The 1991 needs assessment pointed out tree wardens had little to no qualifications for performing their duties. To date, 350 people have gone through this voluntary program, and in 2013, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law requiring all 169 cities and towns to have a qualified tree warden (or deputy tree warden) by attending and passing this school program. Bob has published three refereed, peer-reviewed articles assessing the 25 years of his tree warden program outcomes and impacts. He is currently surveying tree wardens and deputy tree wardens to obtain 25-year data and comparing the state of Connecticut urban forestry since he started in 1991.
This is just one example of the work Bob has done with UConn Extension throughout his career. His work fits well UConn’s commitment to Public Engagement to provide for the needs of Connecticut citizens while meeting university needs to attain world-class standards. Award recipients will be recognized at the Excellence in Public Engagement Reception on Thursday, November 5th at the Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts on the UConn-Storrs campus.