Jessica Sanders


1809 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Urban Forestry expert and experienced manager

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Professional Experience

July 2012 - Present

Casey Trees

Director - Science and Policy

April 2018 – present

- Technical Services and Research

July 2012 – March 2018

Program Strategy and Management

  • Manage finances and operations of the department.
  • Develop and execute departmental strategic plan, support and direction including an annual budget to guide overall programmatic direction to improve organizational efficiency and impact.
  • Management and evaluation of department staff and program-related activities.
  • Grant proposal, implementation, management, reporting and tracking.
  • Lead on developing annual program evaluations.
  • Initiated and conducted a departmental merger of the Design and Advocacy Department and the Technical Services and Research Department in order to create efficiencies and streamline organizational goals using research to inform policy.

Policy Strategy and Implementation

  • Strategic policy city-wide initiatives that involve trees in development, regulation and legislative issues.
  • Communicate with developers, legislatures and other decision makers to keep the urban forest healthy
  • Manage and engage a volunteer group of tree advocates around development, tree preservation and expanding tree canopy throughout the District.

    Technical Services

  • Development and implementation of a mobile application and technological upgrades to address structural inadequacies including a new tree tracking application and GIS server to manage tree data in real time.   
  • Oversee, conduct and refine: data collection, analysis, mapping, data tracking and related services to assist other departments achieve goals and objectives, and; to assist partners in their efforts as needs dictate.
  • Unique scientific content creation for web pages and brochures.
  • Translation of scientific expertise for a non-technical audience.


  • Creation a citizen science program to engage volunteers and further research capacity.
  • Creation and implementation of a joint Partnership with Davey Trees to create - a freely available middle school unit aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core.
  • Increases outreach, awareness, partnerships and participation through development, implementation, and promotion of online mapping, CT application and web-based tree interaction tools.
  • Oversee and implement a biennial research conference with 300 + attendees focused around Livable Communities.


  • Oversees existing research and builds organizational portfolio to increase research.  Partners with academic institutions, non-profits, for-profits and others to further organizational mission and operational objectives.
  • Oversees annual fellowship competition for researchers in urban forestry.
  • Provides data compilation, analysis, report language and related support for all publications.
  • Monitors the conditions and extent of DC’s (and metro’s) urban forest through regular aerial and on-ground assessments and works with partners to build regional coordination/cooperation.
June 2008 - July 2012

Rutgers University


July 2010 - July 2012


  • National Science Foundation Science, Technology, engineering, and Mathematics Graduate Students in K-12 Education.
  • Build and maintain learning communities in the STEM fields by establishing educational partnerships involving Rutgers University and local school districts teaching grades 5-9.   

Pre-Doctoral Leadership Development Institute

  • Group designed to help prepare doctoral students for faculty and academic leadership roles.  
  • Focused on leadership concepts and competencies, and the contemporary challenges facing higher education in the United States.

Carnegie/Rutgers Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  • Group created initiatives to advance Teaching Assistant understandings of teaching methodologies.
  • Prepared future faculty through institutional partnerships with senior faculty.
  • Assessment to identify the outcomes of improved teaching pedagogy.

Graduate Research Assistant

Fall 2009- Spring 2011
  • Mapping Power line Right of Way (ROW) in the New Jersey Pinelands.  Conducting Vegetation surveys in the Power line ROW.

Associate Director of Orientation, Project Coordinator and Assessment

June 2008 - July 2012
  • Organized, registered and ran the annual orientations for approximately 300 new teaching assistants and part-time lecturers.
  • Organized and ran the annual international teaching assistant orientation
  • Created and planned TAP workshops and certificate programs for graduate students and faculty.
  • Created promotional materials for the program.

Select Teaching

University of Maryland College Park

Adjunct Professor

Forest Ecology
Spring 2017,2018

Rutgers University

Course Supervisor

Higher Education Leadership
Spring 2011, 2012
Leadership Issues in Higher Education
Fall 2011, 2010

Visiting Lecturer

Trees and the Environment
Urban Forestry
Extreme Students
Expanding the Learning Environment
Group Work and Assessment

Course Instructor

College Teaching II
Fall 2008, 2009, 2011
Fall 2009

Select Publications

Branching out to residential lands: Missions and strategies of five tree distribution programs in the US

Nguyen VD, Roman L, Locke DH, Mincey SK, Sanders JR, Smith Fichman E, Duran-Mitchell M, Lumban Tobing S (2017)

Trees and Income: Washington D.C. Tree Canopy Changes from 2006-2011 and which neighborhoods experienced them

Sanders JR, Locke DH, O’Neil-Dunne JPM, MacFaden S, Royar A, Pelletier K, Gomez R (2015)

20 years later: Does reduced soil area change overall growth?

Sanders JR, Grabosky JC (2014)

Proactive, not reactive: Evolving Elm Management in the Nation’s Capital

6 (1)
Sanders JR, Duszak JE, Woodworth JW (2013)

Establishing Maximum Size Expectations for Urban Trees with Regard to Designed Space

Sanders JR, Grabosky JC, Cowie P (2013)

Urban tree planting and mortality statistics in the Boroughs of NYC

Sanders J, Grabosky J, Flaxa-Raymond N, Greenfeld J (2008)


Ecology+ NSF Steering Committee

Committee member

August 2017 - Present

Mid-Atlantic Chapter International Society of Arborists

Board Member

October 2016 – Present

International Society of Arborist Nominating and Elections Committee

Committee member

August 2016 - Present

Stonewall Dodgeball

Team Fundraising Chair

May 2016 – Present

Urban Ecology Collaborative


January 2015-August 2017

International Society of Arborists Arboricultural Research and Education Academy


August 2016 - Current

President Elect

August 2015 – July 2016


August 2014-July 2015

Urban Tree Canopy Expert Panel

Panel member

November 2014 - Present

EnvironMentors, Washington DC


Fall 2014 - Spring 2015


Certified Project Management Professional


ISA Certified Arborist



Rutgers University

B.S. Environmental Studies

Richard Stockton College