Brian Kane, Massachusetts Arborists Association Professor in the department of environmental conservation, recently received a $200,000 award from Eversource, which provides electricity throughout New England, to study the state of the “utility forest” in Massachusetts.
The study will inventory trees near utility lines in Massachusetts towns to begin to understand how best to prioritize management. Management of trees in proximity to utility lines is critical to minimizing the likelihood of outages caused by trees.
As the frequency and intensity of storms increases in response to climate change, reducing the number of outages has become critical. Minimizing outages can also help reduce electricity rates.
Kane is also the recipient of the 2019 International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) President’s Award.
Kane is an ISA Certified Arborist who has climbed trees professionally for more than 25 years. His research focuses on tree biomechanics and tree worker safety, and oversees several student research projects.