LMC Alumna Leads Conservation Nonprofit as New Executive Director

Posted April 1, 2022

The Old-Growth Forest Network, a national nonprofit which focuses on connecting people to old growth forests and preserving America’s remaining old growth forests, recently named Sarah Adloo (neé Horsley), STAC 2013, as their new executive director.

Over the next few months, Adloo will serve as co-executive director alongside Joan Maloof, founder and executive director of the Old-Growth Forest Network and Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University. In the fall, Maloof will take on the role of founder, focusing on writing and giving presentations, while Adloo transitions to executive director. Adloo is the second executive director to lead the nonprofit in its 10-year history.

Adloo started at the Old-Growth Forest Network in May 2020 as the network manager. In her previous role, she identified regions and specific mature and old-growth forests for the network to expand into and worked to ensure that the forests in the network remained protected from logging and development.

An old growth forest is a forest that has been undisturbed by development or logging for long enough to allow many generations of trees to go through their entire life cycles. This process, which can take hundreds of years, creates a unique ecosystem with unparalleled biodiversity. According to the Old-Growth Forest Network website, “less than 5% of Western and only a fraction of 1% of Eastern original forests, on average, remain standing.”


Bloom Where You Are Planted

While studying Science, Technology, and Culture in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Adloo tailored her coursework to her interest in forest conservation.

In a course taught by LMC Associate Professor Hugh Crawford, she designed the first iteration of the Georgia Tech Arboretum, which has since evolved to a campus-wide platform featuring maps, tours, and educational tools defining the performance of individual trees and the collective forest in the Georgia Tech landscape.

“In LMC, you have that chance to explore so many intersections through your coursework and the threads you can explore,” Adloo said. “If I didn't have that flexibility with my electives and some of the personal projects that I did, then I wouldn't be where I am today.”

For her senior thesis, advised by Crawford, Adloo outlined how trees in Atlanta can tell the cultural stories of development, people, and changing neighborhoods.


A Broad Margin in Life

Adloo shared her advice for LMC students in the form of a quote by American naturalist Henry David Thoreau, “I love a broad margin to my life.”

After graduating from Georgia Tech, Adloo followed her passion for forest conservation and earned both her M.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources in 2015 and Ph.D. in Integrative Conservation/Forestry and Natural Resources in 2021 from the University of Georgia.

“It's really important to not be separate selves with your passions and your professional life,” Adloo said. “If you can integrate those things, you'll find really interesting intersections where you can pursue your passions and your skills together.”

For those with a similar interest in forests, Adloo invites them to become advocates for forest preservation in Atlanta, either through the Old-Growth Forest Network or local arboriculture organizations, or to contact her via email at sarah@oldgrowthforest.net.

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Cassidy Chreene Whittle
Communications Officer
School of Literature, Media, and Communication | School of Modern Languages