International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist®

  • Posted on: 30 August 2018
  • By: msmolins

The University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is proud to announce that Richard Jones, campus arborist for the University, has passed the exam to earn the title of International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist®. To truly appreciate the prestige of his accomplishment, there are currently 32,523 Certified Arborists around the globe, and only 750 individuals worldwide hold the title of Master Arborist as of August 2018.  The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a globally recognized organization dedicated to the profession of arboriculture, the study of the care and maintenance of trees. In order to qualify to sit for the ISA Certified Arborist® exam, a prospect must meet very specific requirements involving 3 or more years of professional work experience, or a combination of academic and professional work experience. In addition to prior knowledge and experience, Certified Arborists are also required to maintain and expand their base of knowledge through earning a minimum of 30 Continuing Education Units every three years. For Master Arborists the bar is higher; requirements to earn the title of Board Certified Master Arborist® involves a point-based system that takes into account years of work as a Certified Arborist, other ISA certifications held, academic experience, as well as earning 60 CEUs to maintain certification every three years.


Richard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from James Madison University in 2007, but owing to his love of the outdoors, he sought work outside of his degree. Having worked on JMU’s grounds crew, found work in landscaping with the Columbia Association, an organization tasked with the upkeep and betterment of the city of Columbia, MD, as a landscaping grounds man. While working for CA, he took interest in the work of the arborist assigned to his crew. After a three years of experience working under that arborist, he sat for the ISA Certified Arborist® exam in 2012 and was able to fill a vacant position with the Association as a crew arborist. Before joining the Arboretum here at the University, he served as Lead Arborist at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland for more than 2 years.


The University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to nearly 15,000 trees and woody plants. Properly caring for the collection is no small task, and requires consistent expert care year round. Richard has been the campus arborist at the University of Maryland since 2015. Here at the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, we take immense pride in our colleagues that work so hard to make the campus the esteemed botanical collection it is today. Congratulations to Richard for this elite achievement.

Written by Mark Santamaria