Stephen Schneider poses for a picture with plant collections.

He cultivates the campus’s ‘urban forest’ with an eye on the future.

It is a sticky, tropical day in August, making the Boston campus feel like an open-air blast furnace. Good thing Northeastern has nearly 1,500 trees to absorb some of the heat, or it could feel a lot worse, says Stephen Schneider, the university’s new chief arborist.

“One of the more beneficial aspects of this urban forest that we have on campus is the offset of what would typically be an urban heat island,” says Schneider, who took over all landscaping duties in June from a Northeastern legend, Chuck Doughty.

“If you were to take the temperature of our campus versus two blocks away where there’s more concrete and fewer trees, the temperature difference would be immense,” Schneider says.

Granted, he was interviewed within the air-conditioned confines of Shillman Hall in West Village, but his point was clear―there is a strategy behind Northeastern being the only university in Boston to have an arboretum on its campus. And he plans to do more with the campus now that he’s in charge of putting its best botanical face forward―all 70 acres of it.

Read more at [email protected]

Biology
Marine and Environmental Sciences