2023 Landscape Short Course Speaker Bio

Course Speakers

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PJ Liesch is an Extension entomologist and the expert on insect identification and biology at UW-Madison. Also known as the Wisconsin Bug Guy, PJ is the Director of the Insect Diagnostic Lab

Dr. Chris Williamson is a Research and Development Scientist for the PBI-Gordon Corporation, he is based in Defiance, Ohio. Dr. Williamson is responsible for coordinating research projects, technical assistance to university and private cooperators and supports end-users in the Midwest and Pacific Coast. Chris received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, M.S. from The Ohio State University and B.S. from The Ohio State University.  He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 21 years. Prior to that, he was a research scientist at TruGreen, a golf course superintendent and an assistant golf course superintendent. Dr. Williamson has over 35 years of experience in the turf and ornamental industry, and he has strived to provide relevant and practical solutions to growers and managers.

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Laura an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for Woody Ornamentals. She has worked in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over 24 years.

A doctor in Horticulture and Crop Science with interest in turfgrass physiology, Dr Ed. Nangle has worked in the turfgrass industry around the world all his life with stops in places such as Ireland, South Carolina, Australia, Florida and Chicago amongst his career experiences.  As an Associate Professor in Turfgrass Science and Physiology at The Ohio State University / ATI in Wooster OH he teaches introductory turfgrass management classes as well as introductory plant physiology classes, pesticide handling and turf and ornamental diseases. He has a specific interest in light and the impact it has on turfgrasses in a range of situations – whether shaded or exposed to excess light levels. He supports the turfgrass industry in Ohio as the Director of Education for the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation and Ohio Lawncare Association and consults with superintendents and lawncare operators on pest related issues as well as carrying out research trials evaluating a range of products. Dr. Nangle is also involved with the Irish Sportsturf Institue where he serves as director of research.

Frank has earned a B.S. in Ecology from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Forestry at Northern Arizona University. For over 25 years, Frank has worked towards the preservation, restoration and re-creation of natural areas. His areas of expertise include botany, invasive species control, woodland restoration, prairie reconstruction, erosion control, prescribed burning and landscaping with native plants. Frank founded Good Oak in 2008.

Since 2003, Susan has worked with students and community volunteers to manage and monitor a 4-acre garden representing the plant communities of southern Wisconsin. She also leads a conservation project where students and the public document and study native bumble bees, including the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee. 

A graduate of Stanford University, Susan earned her MS in Botany and MS in Science Education at UW–Madison.

Dr. Roberts retired from Michigan State University in 2018 after committing four decades to advancing MSU’s Land Grant Mission, originally signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln during the midst of the American Civil War. He received his B.S. (1975) and M.S (1977) from The Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1982. Over the decades, Dr. Roberts has published 100’s of articles and has taught 100’s of lectures and workshops. He has researched many issues in Michigan’s plant industry, including Oak Wilt, Dutch Elm Disease, Diplodia Tip Blight of Pines, along with variety of cultural problems such as plant nutrition and herbicide toxicity. During his career, he has discovered a variety of new diseases and pests such as Phomopsis Canker of Spruce and the first bacterial wilt disease of turfgrasses in North America. In the early 2000’s, his research on Ash Decline in Southeast Michigan led to the discovery of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in North America. In his retirement, Dr. Roberts intends to remain active with the Arboriculture/Landscape/Nursery Industries while hoping to have more time for his hobbies. Dr. Roberts is President, CEO and CBW (Chief Bottle Washer) of The Plant Doctor, LLC…aka The Tree Doctor. Contact information: Phone 248/320-7124; Email treedoctordave@gmail.com.

Richard Hauer is the Director of Urban Forestry at CNUC and a Professor of Urban Forestry at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point teaching courses in urban forestry, nursery management, woody plants, dendrology, and introduction to forestry. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, M.S. from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Rich has conducted research in tree biology, urban forest management, emerald ash borer management, trees and construction, tree risk management, and ice storms. He was honored as the 2018 L.C. Chadwick Award for Arboricultural Research. He has published over 180 publications and presented over 450 talks throughout the world. Dr. Hauer is also an Associate Editor of the Journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greenspaces

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