Trees: Racial and Environmental Equity and Valuing Natural Capital

September 23, 2021
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Campus Tree Planting

This panel discussion is part of a two-part event including both a virtual panel and an interactive tree planting event. The goal of these two events is to shift the way our community views nature in our urban spaces by encouraging participants to engage with the benefits and challenges of natural resources through the example of the tree. Panelists will discuss community tree planting initiatives, share how tree cover has changed over time in Philadelphia, and address policy implications associated with meeting community needs. Speakers include Zonia Moore, M.D. candidate for the Perelman School of Medicine; Lara Roman, Research Ecologist for the Forest Service Philadelphia Field Station; and Joel Pannell, Vice President of Urban Forest Policy for American Forests. Hanna Morris, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication, will facilitate the discussion. Click here to learn more about and register for the tree planting event on Saturday, September 25th from 10AM-12PM.


Zonía Moore Headshot

Zonía Moore

MD candidate Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania

Zonía Moore is an MD candidate at Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in Hispanic Studies and Romance languages & literatures, she worked for 3 years in consulting and corporate strategy. Zonía completed multiple projects utilizing innovation and design-thinking techniques to develop new technical product ideas. At the Boston Consulting Group, she ran a workshop and collaborated on two ideas for technological innovation to replace long distance radars that were eventually selected by the client for investment. She co-led a team that placed 3rd at a Startup Entrepreneurship Competition with a focus on developing an innovative business model to address a health problem.In addition to working in the wards of the hospital, Zonía is currently working on 2projects. SANIPACKis a portable, battery-powered N95 mask sterilizer that won recognition by MIT'S COVID for Africa innovation competitionand was selected for investmentby the Clinton Foundation.Finally, Zonía continues her organizing work aimed at changing policy within the healthcare system through the Vot-ER Civic Health Fellowship.Zonía enjoys playing tennis, writing poetry,taking photos, playing piano,and singing.She can be reached at zoniamoore.comand on twitter @tzoniaa.

Joel Pannell Headshot

Joel Pannell

Vice President of Urban Policy American Forests

Joel is the Vice President of Urban Policy at American Forests where he oversees efforts to build and promote the organization's positions on a range of urban forest policy and related social equity issues. Over the last decade-plus, Joel has played a leading role in expanding equitable access to public lands including the creation, and significant growth, of the only federal grant program funds addressing park equity in cities as well as the launch of the 10Minute Walk Campaign. Prior to joining American Forests, Joel led Sierra Club’s Outdoors for All campaign and directed urban policy for The Trust for Public Land. Joel is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Leadership. Outside of the office, Joel enjoys getting outdoors with family and friends and officiating high school basketball.

Lara Roman Headshot

Lara Roman

Research Ecologist USDA Forest Service

Lara Roman is a Research Ecologist with the Philadelphia Field Station of the USDA Forest Service. Her research centers on the temporal dynamics of urban forests, including tree mortality and growth, canopy cover change, historical legacies, species composition change,and citizen science monitoring. These studies involve close collaborations with urban forestry professionals at municipalities and nonprofit organizations throughout the US, and her contributions to urban forestry practice were recognized with an Early-Career Scientist Award from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). She currently services on the ISA Science & Research Committee and was past chair of the Urban Tree Growth & Longevity Working Group. She has led or co-authored over 50 publications, including a recent urban tree monitoring field guide that set the standard for longitudinal data collection of city trees. She received a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Biology and Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, the TREE Fund, and the Garden Club of America. When she is not measuring trees, she is baking or hiking with her husband and two young daughters.


Hanna E. Morris Headshot

Hanna E. Morris

Postdoctoral Fellow Annenberg School for Communication

Hanna E. Morris is a postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at theUniversity of Pennsylvania where she is working on a book tentatively entitled ApocalypticAuthoritarianism: Climate Crisis, Media, and Power. Morris’s research addresses critical questions of power and the relationship between the climate crisis, media, and social change. Her research and writing have been published in various academic journals and popular media outlets including Environmental Communication, Media Theory, Reading The Pictures, and Earth IslandJournal. She is also the co-editor of the new book entitled Climate Change and Journalism: Negotiating Rifts of Time.