A Haverford degree can elevate you to new heights—just ask Dan Sax ’18 as he dons a climber’s harness to prune branches from the canopies of majestic trees at the Morris Arboretum.
For Sax, serving as a student worker in the Haverford College Arboretum was invaluable in preparing him for a postgraduate path in forestry work and for his first post-college job with the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania. He even discovered the opening through his connections on campus.
“I found this internship through the Haverford Arboretum,” said Sax. “I hope to gain a much deeper understanding of arboriculture as a science and a practiced art. I also want to learn more about horticultural design and the behind-the-scenes management of Arboreta.”
A sociology major, Sax feels that his academic path is not so distant from his arboretum work.
“My studies in sociology have definitely influenced the way I view the importance of my role as a steward of the Morris Arboretum,” said Sax, who also minored in French and concentrated in peace, justice, and human rights. “My work goes beyond the curation of museum-like living specimens; I am part of an organization that strives to present the natural world in an exciting and vibrant way.”
On the job, Sax mainly splits his time between working with the chief arborist to perform maintenance and upkeep on the Arboretum’s tree collection and executing tree-risk assessments on both the Arboretum and the University’s campus.
“This internship is of interest to me because it challenges me to engage with an entirely new knowledge base while, at the same time, allowing me to apply that learning directly to my work in the arboretum treescape,” he said.
Sax knows that this experience and his passion for arboretum maintenance will fuel his future journey.
“I hope to apply my arboriculture knowledge to a future in forestry, exactly how I’m going to get from here to there I couldn’t tell you,” laughed Sax.
One thing is for certain: his time at the Morris Arboretum will only continue to inspire Sax to advocate for the preservation and proper care of the world around us.
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.
Photo by Caroline McKeon ’18.