Elm is an artist, environmental educator, and forest enthusiast living in Olympia, Washington. Prior to joining Greenstand, he worked on a variety of environmental projects related to old-growth forest monitoring and preservation. He is also part of a surrealist troupe that connects children with nature and educates them on some of today’s most pressing ecological issues. Elm told us, “Not enough people think about trees as something that they can have a personal relationship with.” In other words, he believes that if everyone had the chance to get out into nature and form an emotional connection with their local ecosystems, our society would be much more environmentally friendly.
Elm was introduced to Greenstand by our lead engineer in early 2020. Due to COVID-19, his eco-education group could no longer do in-person events, so Greenstand gave him a new sense of purpose amidst the pandemic. As a quality control contributor, Elm initially started out by testing the Treetracker app. He has since transitioned to GPS testing, which requires him to set up grids in his backyard using stakes to represent trees uploading photo captures to the Treetracker platform. He then works with Greenstanders on the tech team to gauge the app’s ability to accurately GPS locate while a device is on airplane mode.
Elm’s work is integral to the strength of the Treetracker platform. In order to understand and communicate the social and environmental impact of the trees we track, geographic locations must be as accurate as possible. This is especially important in some of Greenstand’s more rural project areas, where mobile connectivity is often incredibly limited, landscapes are variable, and planting density can be extremely high. In addition, living in northern Washington has given Elm the ability to test the platform’s accuracy in inclement weather. As the climate continues to change and weather patterns become increasingly erratic the ability for the Treetracker app to function properly regardless of weather conditions is of the utmost importance.
Elm loves his work and the open, collaborative nature of the Greenstand community and the positive social and environmental impacts that our projects generate. He commented that other reforestation projects “grow trees, but the roots don’t keep.” The Greenstand team, including Elm, is dedicated to making sure those roots continue to grow. We aren’t just planting seedlings, but growing strong, biodiverse forests around the world.
Thanks for joining us for this month’s contributor spotlight. We look forward to seeing you next month!
Communications Lead, Greenstand