2019 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Sunshine Brosi - Frostburg State University, Maryland

Associate Professor
Ethnobotany Program Coordinator

 Dr.  Sunshine Brosi is an Associate Professor of Ethnobotany and Forest  Ecology at Frostburg State University in western Maryland where she runs  the only Bachelor’s-level program in Ethnobotany in the US. She is the  President of the Society for Economic Botany; the premier ethnobotanical  research society. She has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources (University of  Tennessee), a Masters in Forestry (University of Kentucky), and a BA in  Environmental Studies (Warren Wilson College). Dr. Brosi planted  American chestnut on surface mines, log landings, and clearcuts in  Kentucky and Pennsylvania for her Masters project and continued various  plantings of chestnut during her PhD. Dr. Brosi’s research focuses on  restoration of cultural keystone species and she has worked in Cherokee,  NC; Harlan County, KY; Mission, SD, and rural Alaska. Dr. Brosi also  focuses on attracting and retaining women and minority students in  forestry programs. She is the middle child of a family of nine from the  coalfields of Eastern Kentucky. 

Courses Taught:Introduction to Ethnobotany, Dendrology, Plant Taxonomy, Plant Ecology, Forest Ecology and Conservation, Economic Botany, Ethnographic Field Techniques, Research Methods in the Biological Sciences, Forestry Field Practices, & Field Experiences in Ethnobotany 

Research Interest: Ethnobotany education, Appalachian ethnobotany, Alaska ethnobotany, forestry, and non-timber forest products. Cultural keystone species including rare, threatened and endangered trees & plants. Forestry impacts of exotic forest pests and pathogens. 

Dr. Brosi will present "Raised on Chestnuts: The nut of my Appalachian grandparent's childhood"


Mr. Tom Saielli - The American Chestnut Foundation

Regional Science Coordinator

"Thanks to Tom Saielli we are in the process of distributing some 200 chestnut seedlings to different sites in West Virginia. As a young TACF chapter, this is a really big boost to our membership. Tom has been very supportive in other ways, such as helping us locate wild American chestnut trees. He has provided information and support for the future of the WV chapter."

                                                                                                                                     -Robert Sypolt, WV Chapter-

Mr. Saielli will speak about "New advances in chestnut breeding pave the way for species restoration"


Rex Mann - U.S. Forest Service (Ret.)

­Rex Mann received a BS degree in forestry from NC State University in 1967.  He served 42 years with the US Forest Service as a Land Manager and Fire Fighter at eight different duty stations, retiring in 2007.  With a lifetime interest in American chestnut, he founded TACF’s KY Chapter in 2001 and served on the National Board of TACF for 14 years.

Mr. Mann will speak about "An American tragedy: How a mass extinction can help save our forest."