Alumni & Advisors

Over the years TreeKIT has benefitted from the hard work and creativity of many fine individuals. We’re please to count the people listed here as Alumni and Advisors of TreeKIT:

Michael Cluer
Michael G. Cluer is a licensed Landscape Architect with over 14 years of professional experience. He has worked in large teams of professionals, civic leaders and neighborhood organizations to design and manage the construction of several major urban renewal and community development projects in New York City and abroad. Michael grew up on a farm in southern Idaho and received his degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. Michael has taught at several universities and been involved in many environmental research and start-up projects, notably his work creating a Master Plan for the South Bronx Greenway and managing the initial phase of streetscape projects through completion, as well as the construction of several green roof projects. His extensive work in our urban environment affords him a broad perspective on our collective relationship to urban regeneration and innovative green infrastructure at all scales. He likes to take the subway to unknown stops for urban hikes and culinary expeditions.

Jessica Einhorn
Jessica Einhorn holds a degree in Environmental Studies from The New School. Her love of the urban forest led her to acquire a Citizen Pruner Certification from Trees New York and ultimately brought her to the TreeKIT team. Jessica has worked in community energy consulting with the Win-Win campaign and in community agricultural education at GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets. If she could be any street tree in the urban forest, she would be a Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum).

Sophie Plitt
Sophie Plitt is an Urban Forester and ISA certified Arborist who works to increase the quality of New York City’s forest canopy as well as understand and enhance the relationship between people and the trees in their neighborhoods. She has worked with the New York Restoration Project, TreeKIT, and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation planning and managing tree planting and implementing projects in New York City’s Public spaces. She is an alumni of the Tishman Center for Environment and Design at the New School. She is an alumni of the Tishman Center for Environment and Design at the New School.

Urban Botany Advisors:

Pippa Brashear: Pippa is a landscape designer and urban planner whose work strives to integrate design and planning in improving the public realm, specifically making spaces of transportation successful public places. Through her professional work and academic endeavors she has developed a focus on transportation, where design, planning, and public input can come together to create successful places for movement and activity in our communities. Pippa has been working in New York City for three years since receiving her masters in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has worked with the firm Wallace Roberts and Todd and as a freelance consultant.

Technical Advisors:

Javier de la Torre, CEO and founder, Vizzuality: Javier is CEO and co-founder of Vizzuality. Over the past 10 years has been working on the field of Biodiversity Informatics. First on the academia side, working at different research institutions, and later from the private side. During this time he gained strong experience in the social and technical aspects of data sharing while mobilizing vast amounts of Biodiversity data on Internet. He is a recognized expert on biodiversity standards, and is well-known on the geospatial community, specially on Open Source. He is frequently invited to speak on topics including biodiversity, data visualization, conservation, citizen science, open data and web GIS and has presented at Geoweb, FOSS4G and TDWG. Javier has a strong interest in the distribution and conservation of species on Earth and how we can help to conserve them through the use of technology and collaboration over Internet. Javier studied Agriculture Enginner in the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the Freie Universität Berlin. He is a professor at the Master on Global Environmental Change at the IE University on Data Analysis and Data Visualization.

Patrick Barry: Patrick is software ninja at Google, developing Google Earth Builder and related geoweb products. Self-described as “programmer, beer snob, pun maker, food adventurist,” he is passionate about crafting social experiences both online and in person. He studied Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Melon, and computer science at North Carolina State University. He is a beer connoisseur and brewer living in the Mission District of San Francisco where he hosts a monthly beer sampling night.

Sophia Parafina: Sophia has worked in the geospatial industry for two decades in many roles ranging from sys admin, programmer, scientist, system architect, project manager, venture capitalist and chief technology officer. Recently, she was a Geographer at Infochimps, designing their location API. Previously, Sophia was Director of Operations at OpenGeo, Chief Technology Officer at IONIC Enterprise, and a Senior Program Manager at In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital fund. She has earned a MA in Geography, and has completed PhD coursework in Forestry at Texas A&M. She has worked extensively with implementing OGC standards and is currently working with OGC to improve scalability.

Ray Cha: Ray Cha is an interaction designer and product developer. He has worked for Columbia University, the Institute for the Future of the Book, and the design firm AvroKO. He co-authored a book on prefabricated architecture, “Prefab Now” for HarperCollins and was a consultant on “Museum of the Phantom City,” an iPhone app and website about unbuilt architecture proposals. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a masters degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Current research areas involve interaction design, urbanism, information design, data mining, and surveillance.

Additional Advisors:

Jessie Braden
Eric Brelsford
Tom Buckley
Schuyler Erle
Jennifer Greenfield
Frank Hebbert
Jackie Liu
Sean White
Ivan Willig
Alyssa Wright