Home Climate justice Seattle confirms six members to the Urban Forestry Commission

Seattle confirms six members to the Urban Forestry Commission


The City of Seattle has set the bold goal of achieving 30% tree cover by 2037 to increase the environmental, social and economic benefits that trees bring to Seattle residents. The Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) is made up of thirteen members, six appointed by the mayor, six appointed by the city council, and one (position #9) is elected by the Urban Forestry Commission. Commissioners have knowledge in the areas specific to the position they are applying for, including skills such as architecture, environmental justice, ecology, community outreach, etc. For more information

Newly confirmed UFC members include:

Hao Liang:

Hao Liang is a landscape architect. He devotes his academic and professional interests to design, cultural landscape, urban forestry and marginalized communities. As a designer, he thinks transversally about social and environmental issues at different scales. He worked on a wide range
of projects including public spaces, green infrastructure, campus planning, commercial development and residential design. Hao enjoys the collaborative process, learning from communities and observing the daily changes in our built environment. In the context of the Commission on Urban Forestry, Hao sees identity, inclusion and equity as located at different levels on a given topic, namely policy, planning, design, practice and awareness. . Hao is familiar with planning studies and design implementations. He will strive to communicate his specialty to others, facilitate the process when he can, and encourage everyone to participate. Hao is appointed for the remainder of a three-year term ending March 31, 2024.

Rebecca B. Neumann

Dr. Neumann leads the Hydro-Biogeochemistry Research Group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. The group studies the transport and reaction of chemicals in the environment, addressing topics relevant to society, such as food and water quality and global climate change. Dr. Neumann was the 2018 recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s Charles S. Falkenberg Award, which recognizes “an early-career scientist who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunity and stewardship of the planet through to the use of Earth scientific information.” Prior to UW, Dr. Neumann worked as a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow on Climate and Global Change at Harvard University in the Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology. She holds a doctorate in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and art and art history from Rice University. the mountains with her husband and two children. Rebecca is appointed for the remainder of a three-year term ending March 31, 2024.

Lia Room

Lia Hall was born and raised in Seattle in an ethnically and culturally mixed family. After a short coming of age in New York, she returned to the Emerald City of her youth. She resides in Rainier Beach near her sanctuary, Kubota Garden. Along with her husband/business partner, Cedar, they have two young children and run a neon sign shop primarily producing signs for small businesses in and around Seattle. Lia has also taught yoga classes since 2006, prioritizing classes for BIPOC communities and pregnant women. She has a permaculture landscape design certification from Seattle Tilth and is passionate about planting, propagating and sharing native plants. Lia wants to help align our city with its sustainability goals by championing our tree parents while ensuring our community members have a voice. She believes we can all have a fairer, happier, and healthier future if we plan and design for the needs of a growing city while protecting our urban forests. Lia is appointed for the remainder of a three-year term ending March 31, 2024.

Joseph Sisneros

Joe Sisneros holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington, with a concentration in the Sustainable Forest Management option. He has field and research experience in forestry and riparian restoration. Born in the Coast Salish lands and raised in what is now Everett, WA, Joe enjoys backpacking, reading, and enjoying live music. With formal training in forest ecology and oceanography, Joe has an immense appreciation for the ecology of the Pacific Northwest and a deep passion for the people who inhabit this incredibly special part of our Earth. Joseph is appointed for the remainder of a three-year term ending March 31, 2023.

Falisha Kurji

Falisha Kurji (they/she) graduated from the University of Florida with a major in sociology and sustainability studies. They are deeply passionate about the intersections of environmental and social justice and seek to advocate for access to green spaces for BIPOC, low-income, and homeless communities. They are an alumnus of the University of Washington’s Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program, where they developed a strong foundation and experience working on environmental justice issues. They are currently Community Partnerships Coordinators at the Seattle Parks Foundation, where they work with various community-led groups that work to create safe and accessible public green spaces. In their spare time, they enjoy learning ethnobotany, connecting with their South Asian heritage, and dancing. Falisha is appointed for a three-year term ending March 31, 2025.

Joshua N. Morris

Joshua is the Urban Conservation Manager at Seattle Audubon. In his role, Joshua leads the engagement on
local conservation issues and coordinates coalition building, advocacy and awareness to support
conservation priorities that include our urban trees. Joshua holds a Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy and brings over ten years of professional and volunteer experience in environmental conservation to the Urban Forestry Commission. He is appointed for a second term ending March 31, 2025.

Learn more about Seattle’s urban forestry efforts at Seattle’s Trees for Seattle website and the Urban Forestry Commission website.