2022 Speakers and Presentations

We are honored to present the initial speaker line-up for the 2022 Florida Rendezvous! Thanks to all our volunteer presenters for their generosity in donating their time and knowledge to the Tree Climbing Community.

Keep checking this website for new speakers! A final schedule with dates/times will be posted as we get closer to the event. If you are interested in being a sponsor, donating to the silent auction, and/or being a presenter for the 2022 Florida ‘Vous, please contact us.

The 2022 ‘Vous will feature its usual lineup of tree climbing industry innovators, ecologists, researchers, professionals, and recreational tree climbing speakers during the main event (Friday, April 1, 2022 at noon through Monday, April 4, 2022 am).

We will also have a day full of educational workshops. On Monday April 4, 2022, we will discuss a variety of important issues affecting all types of climbers. The main subjects will include rescue, sample collection, and equipment for diverse body types.

Traditional ‘Vous Lineup (April 1, 2022 noon – April 4, 2022 am)

Richard MumfordTBD – Something New & Improved!Climbing Innovations LLC
Michelle KirchnerDiversity and Ecology of Temperate Canopy AntsEntomology and Biology at North Carolina State University
Nick ArayaTBD – Delivered with a Smile!Tree Care LA
Matiss Castorena SalaksCarbon Economics as a Mechanism for Underlying Tree DiversityThe University of Arizona
Normer AdamsCat in Tree RescueCat Man Do Rescue | Facebook
Gina KentTree Climbing for Raptor ResearchAvian Research and Conservation Institute 
Dan HouseAdaptive Climbing/Special Needs Workshop Chair Adaptive Climbing Committee – GOTC gotreeclimbing.org
Sarah Prentice Trees & FungiFlorida Academic Lichen And Fungi Enthusiasts League (FALAFEL)
Eric FolmerTree JeopardyTree Wolf – Tree Climbing Travel & Education
Eleanor FlattArboreal BridgesConserving Costa Rica’s Natural Treasure – Osa Conservation
Carolina PintoArboreal BridgesConserving Costa Rica’s Natural Treasure – Osa Conservation
Johan OrtizArboreal BridgesConserving Costa Rica’s Natural Treasure – Osa Conservation
Leonardo G. ZiccardiCanopy Scale Variation and Photosynthetic Ecosystem Response in Central AmazoniaDepartment of Forestry & Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Michigan State University
Jaejae and JoyceSouth Korea as a future Rendezvous Location!https://www.playseesaw.kr/

Monday Workshops Lineup (April 4, 2022)

Presenter SubjectAffiliation
Eric Folmer In Tree Climber Rescue Tree Wolf – Tree Climbing Travel & Education
Nadia Lombardero Equipment for Diverse Body Types Chair Rendezvous Planning Committee – GOTC gotreeclimbing.org
Michelle Kirchner Sample Collection Techniques for Canopy Research Entomology and Plant Pathology
Griëtte van der HeideLessons Learned – Collecting Samples in TreesGOTC gotreeclimbing.org
University of Colorado

Richard Mumford, a retired pilot, is the mastermind behind Climbing Innovations LLC | Tree climbing and arborist work.  As a passionate climber and supporter of the Tree Climbing community, he is always looking for ways to make climbing trees more efficient, safer, and body friendly.  He is also an avid educator and his excellent tree climbing teaching videos can be seen at (18) Richard Mumford – YouTube

You can also follow him on Facebook (2) Richard Mumford | Facebook

Nick Araya is best known for his groundbreaking training and instructional programs. He owns and operates TreeCareLA – Certified Arborist – Los Angeles CA a successful tree care business. His first-hand knowledge and experience with climbing methods and climbing tools is unsurpassed.

Nick’s popularity is due to his infectious smile, combined with his witty and informative seminars, serving both professional and recreational climbers. His ongoing contributions are highly coveted and well documented. (18) Nick Araya – YouTube

Nadia Lombardero, the Chair of GOTC’s Rendezvous Planning Committee and the lead organizer of the 2022 Florida ‘Vous, took her BTCC class from Canopy Climbers in 2016. She took additional climbing classes in 2017 from Tree Climbing Colorado and traveled monthly to Atlanta to practice her newly acquired skills with the members of the Atlanta Tree Climbing Club.

Initially introduced to climbing techniques by the “aerial arts” community through GCC Gainesville Circus Center , Nadia has always loved heights, trees, and the environment. She has an MS from the University of Florida and has worked as a chemist and toxicologist in the environmental field for many years. She found a fun loving community among tree climbers and decided that she wanted to give back by introducing people to the “art” of tree climbing. After training monthly for almost a year, she received her Tree Climbing Facilitator Certificate from Pathfinder Outdoor Education on November 3, 2018.

Normer Adams began recreational tree climbing in 2013 after retiring as a state lobbyist for child welfare agencies. He is an active member of GOTC where he serves as Treasurer. He was introduced to cat in tree rescues by Peter Jenkins in 2017.  Since then, rescuing cats has become an obsession. 

Helping tree stranded cats has given Normer a reason to climb besides “just for the fun of it.”  As of July 2021, he has performed over 900 rescues and this number will keep rising. Averaging more than one a day, he probably does more cat in tree rescues than anyone in Georgia.  He charges no fees for his services and those who want to give are directed to charities that he supports.   

To check out his great November 2021 interview and recognition for his work at the Ellen DeGeneres show: https://youtu.be/kk2YKqbn-oU

Normer’s videos can be found on his YouTube channel.
You can follow CatManDoRescue on his Facebook page.

Gina Kent, Senior Conservation Scientist, has worked for the Avian Research and Conservation Institute in Florida, USA for over 20 years.  Whether conducting bird surveys from small planes, boating around the Florida Keys, or climbing up 100-foot tall trees,  

Gina has worked with many specialty birds including Swallow-tailed Kites, Short-tailed Hawks, Snail Kites, Reddish Egrets, White-crowned Pigeons, Magnificent Frigatebirds and others.

She grew up in Wisconsin and went to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Upon graduation she took tech positions on birds, herps, small mammals, and invasive plants from New Mexico to New York and Missouri to Australia. She received her Masters at Georgia Southern University on the stopover ecology, habitat associations, and parasites of Swallow-tailed Kites.  She now works as ARCI’s Senior Conservation Scientist.

Dan House is the inventor of the Dan House Rope Sleeve. His innovations and contributions to the tree climbing community and the arboricultural industry are well known. Dan remains committed to helping others. His 2022 Florida ‘Vous Workshop about working with special needs clients or what is now referred to as Adaptive Climbing, is a testament to his kind and loving nature. He chairs the GOTC Adaptive Climbing Committee and was named GOTC Ambassador in 2020.

Sarah Prentice has been identifying fungi since 2015. She co-founded and organizes the Florida Academic Lichen And Fungi Enthusiasts League (FALAFEL) and has led dozens of mushroom walks and fungal forays. Sarah is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Plant Pathology at the University of Florida while working full-time at the Marston Science Library.

Eric Folmer, aka Tree Wolf, hosted the 2018 Costa Rica Rendezvous, the first ‘Vous outside of the United States. He also planned all the Pre and Post ‘Vous activities for the 2019 Redwoods Rendezvous and was the lead organizer of the 2020 Cloud ‘Vous. His initial concept of conducting a virtual ‘Vous at different times zones to reach a worldwide audience might become the inspiration for future ‘Vous by offering both an in-person ‘Vous and a virtual ‘Vous. 

Besides planning enjoyable and educational tree climbing trips through his company Tree Wolf – Tree Climbing Travel & Education, Eric has dedicated the last 40 years to sharing

his wisdom and expertise to benefit professionals, students, and recreational climbers.  As a professional arborist with a vast experience in the field and understanding of trees and forests, Eric shares his in-depth knowledge of techniques and equipment (with an emphasis on safety and respect) with climbers from around the world!

Michelle has been studying ants since 2017. As a PhD student in Entomology and Biology at North Carolina State University, she uses tree climbing to explore the uncharted world of ants in temperate forest canopies. She loves science and seeks to communicate her passion and findings in meaningful ways in formal and informal settings. Her ultimate goal is to excite people about the nature in their own backyards! Check out her website to learn more about her research! 

Matiss Castorena is a Mexican doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He earned with honors his bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology in Mexico City from the Autonomous National University of Mexico. Matiss studies how plant trait diversity is driven by natural selection and how this may affect ecosystem processes. He plans to examine how the capacity of plants to cope with the environment is related to their respiratory rates. When not doing research, Matiss is an avid tree climber, mountaineer, and explorer of the world around him.

Osa Conservation Team:

Eleanor Flatt is a British wildlife biologist and tree climber, who has been working in tropical rainforests for the past 6 years, working on multiple projects up in the canopy; installing real-time acoustic monitoring devices to detect illegal activities, deploying camera traps to monitor canopy wildlife and trialling arboreal connectivity tools to increase wildlife movements. 

Dr. Carolina Pinto is an Argentinian wildlife biologist who specializes in community ecology and has been working in conservation in Latin America for the past 7 years. She has been leading a team on the ground for Osa Conservation to install and monitor arboreal bridges above roads across the Osa Peninsula in SouthWest Costa Rica. 

Johan Ortiz is a Costa Rican field research technician and tree climber from the rural town of Puerto Jimenez. He has been working for Osa Conservation for the past 4 years, his experience includes, participating in remote botanical expeditions to climb trees for seed collection for vital restoration efforts, canopy camera trap monitoring and most recently installing and monitoring arboreal connectivity tools to increase wildlife movements.

Joyce likes to experience new things. She climbed a tree for the first time at a Seesaw climb in 2018. This was a life altering experience and lead to her change of careers. She is now a GOTC board member, a senior instructor at Seesaw, and a tree worker in her native South Korea. She has been working at Seesaw for four years and has been engaged in tree-related activities such as recreational tree climbing, tree management, and rope courses.

Jaejae likes to observe trees. In 2017, he started his career in the forest as a forest firefighter and then finished an advanced course in forest therapy in 2018. He is an ISA certified tree worker and tree care expert. He acquired his tree climbing Facilitator training from EarthJOY, USA in 2019. His dream is to become a knowledgeable arborist and help take excellent care of the neglected Korean city trees. 

Seesaw (www.playseesaw.kr) where they both work at, is the first public school in Korea to give tree climbing and arborist classes to elementary and middle school students. In 2021 they became the first ones in Korea to train tree climbing Facilitators.  They hope to hold one of the next Tree Climbing Rendezvous in Korea in order to promote tree climbing in Korea and to introduce Korean tree climbers to the GOTC and Tree Climber community.