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Meet the Team

Our mission is to support an improved quality of life for Austinites, and we do this through the lens of trees and urban forest ecosystems which provide a multitude of benefits and services to our community. 

Organizational Placement

The Community Tree Program is partnered with the City Arborist Program under the Community Tree Preservation Division and Development Services Department. Our team is responsible for implementation of Austin's Urban Forest Plan. 

Program Goals: 

  • Build stronger community connections.
  • Foster a culture of stewardship.
  • Increase trees planted and cared for in Austin. 
  • Increase city-wide urban forest health.

Emily King | City of Austin's Urban Forester
Emily joined the City’s Parks and Recreation Forestry Program in 2005, and transitioned to the City’s Development Services Department in 2015 where she now serves as the City Manager appointed Urban Forester. As the City's Urban Forester, she leads city-wide collaboration efforts to implement Austin’s Urban Forest Plan and seeks to learn new methods for better data and improved work efficiencies. Emily began her career working for community forestry nonprofits in Houston and DC, and conducted tree inventories in various cities across the states. She holds a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, and is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist.  

Connect on LinkedIn or email emily.king@austintexas.gov
Leah Haynie | Community Information + Planning Manager
Leah has over 14 years of experience planning, collaborating, and engaging the community in the areas of air quality, urban heat reduction, and green infrastructure systems. She is passionate about civil service and working for the common good. Her day to day work focuses on supporting the discussion concerning Austin’s urban forest ecosystem to better support the quality of life for community members and the sustainability of Austin’s future forest. Leah was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She graduated from Texas State with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning.  

Connect with her on LinkedIn or email leah.haynie@austintexas.gov.  
Jason Traweek | Environmental Program Coordinator 
Jason Traweek works for the City of Austin’s Community Tree Preservation Division as an urban forest resource coordinator. With 20 years of work in environmental education, project development, and arboriculture, Jason has dedicated his career to ecological preservation and restoration. His current work includes managing grant funding, contract management and project development for urban forestry initiatives in Austin, Texas.  Jason grew up in Texas and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin in Conservation Biology.

You can email Jason at jason.traweek@austintexas.gov.
Alan Halter | IT Geospatial Analyst Senior 
Alan is a Certified GIS Professional and cartographer with experience in the forestry and real estate industries. His love for mapping began while studying geography and urban planning. Today he provides mapping IT support to the Community Tree Preservation Division.

Aimee Aubin | Community Engagement Coordinator
Aimee is a visual storyteller who joined the Community Tree Program with a nonprofit background. Her work focuses on using creative techniques to unlock potential in individuals, organizations, and communities - a mission that has taken her around the world. With the Community Tree Preservation Division, Aimee blends visual communication and community development, with a lens on supporting the next generation of Austin’s forest stewards.

A graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, Aimee studied community development through the arts. Born and raised in Long Island, NY,  she now calls Austin home.

Connect on LinkedIn or email her aimee.aubin@austintexas.gov.
April Rose | Environmental Program Coordinator
April Rose earned her BS in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University, she is a Certified Arborist & Environmental Educator. April worked in municipal urban forestry at the City of Pflugerville, in non-profit as the Executive Director of TreeFolks, then as a consulting arborist prior to joining the Community Tree Preservation Division. She has served on the Board of the International Society of Arboriculture and is a Project Learning Tree Facilitator. April believes that trees are critical to our quality of life, to healthy communities, and is dedicated to helping people build personal connections to trees.

Connect on LinkedIn or email april.rose@austintexas.gov.
Keith Babberney | Forester 
Keith has worked in the field of arboriculture for over 25 years. He’s been a member of the International Society for Arboriculture (ISA) and a Certified Arborist for over two decades. Keith is a dedicated tree climber and competed for several years in the ISA’s Tree Climbing Championships, eventually becoming a judge in the annual competition. He was a member of the City’s Urban Forestry Board for three years, including one year as Chair. Keith has also earned the ISA’s Municipal Specialist Qualification as well as becoming a Board-Certified Master Arborist in 2015. His work at the City focuses on programs dedicated to urban forest health, helping to introduce children and adults to the wonder of tree climbing, and providing tree care education and best practices to City staff and the community.

Joanna Dwyer | Community Catalyst
Jo Dwyer is a naturalist and community engager who has worked with museums, nonprofits, and city parks for over ten years. Before joining the tree team, she worked as the Volunteer & Communications Coordinator for TreeFolks, where she got the chance to get to know Austin’s creekside ecosystems and the people who love them. A naturalist at heart, Jo studied humans and their habitats (Anthropology and Urban Studies) at the City University of New York at Queens College. She has worked as a park ranger, migratory bird monitor, educator and volunteer coordinator in New York City and Boothbay, Maine. Originally from Long Island, New York, Jo moved to Austin from Maine, and enjoys paddle boarding with her family, eating fresh Texas grapefruits, and sharing stories with the incredible people she now calls her neighbors.
Are you interested in a vibrant, resilient future for Austin? Connect with Jo on LinkedIn or email at joanna.dwyer@austintexas.gov
Margaret Valenti | Senior Planner 
Margaret has lived in Austin for over 29 years and has extensive experience in strategic planning, program management, community education and outreach as well as being a champion for all things green. A city employee for over 13 years Margaret has served as the Austin Community Tree Program Manager for the last 12 years and joined the Community Tree Preservation Division in the Fall of 2018. An avid cyclist and lover of BBQ Margaret can be found riding her bike down tree-lined streets in an effort to build up an appetite in order to eat some well-deserved central Texas BBQ. She holds a Master Degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Technology Policy and Nonprofit Management from the University of Texas Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs.
You can email Margaret at margaret.valenti@austintexas.gov.
Cody Goldman | Forestry Conservation Program Coordinator
Cody Goldman graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2015, after growing up in Chicago, with a Bachelors of Science in Forest Resource Management. He began as an assistant consulting forester for Dickson Forest Products in Makanda, Illinois at the age of 19 and started his own company, Goldman Resource Management dealing with rural forest management, at the age of 20. Cody moved to Tyler, TX in 2015 as a ISA Certified Arborist to take the urban forester position for the City of Tyler where he also partnered with the University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler Junior College as campus forester for the two. Cody has been a guest lecturer at many different education levels ranging from kindergarten to college at many different schools across the Midwest and South. He has chaired workshops for the ISA Texas Chapter and assisted with Texas legislature on urban forestry issues. Cody has also served as an infantryman in the United States Army National Guard for 8 years and is still enlisted.  Cody recently accepted the position as Forestry Conservation Program Coordinator with the City of Austin after becoming an ISA Certified Municipal Specialist Arborist, bringing his passion for long-term, sustainable urban forest management. Cody was also recently nominated for Southern Illinois University's 2018 Young Alumni of the Year.
Connect on LinkedIn or email cody.goldman@austintexas.gov.
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