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The Utility Arborist Nelsen Money Scholarship Program

The Utility Arborist Nelsen Money Scholarship Program, established by the Utility Arborist Association (UAA), provides various financial opportunities in support of college students through scholarships to foster a greater appreciation of the utility arboriculture industry.


Support the

Nelsen Money

Memorial Scholarship Fund

 The UAA Nelsen Money Scholarship Program provides financial support for university and college students through scholarships to foster a greater appreciation of the utility arboriculture industry. If you would like to make a financial contribution in support of the program, it will be invoiced separately from sponsorships.


  • Your dollars will go towards supporting students looking to pursue various careers in programs of utility line clearance, utility vegetation management, arboriculture, forestry, urban forestry, or related fields to help boost our ever-changing industry.
  • Tax deduction donation for you / your company
  • Higher graduation rates. When students receive educational scholarships, allowing them to go to the school of their choice, it results in a significantly higher graduation rate.
  • UAA Partners in Excellence (PinE Award) points will be awarded for scholarship donations. This award is given annually at the Trees & Utilities conference and recognizes companies that go above and beyond to support our mission. It encompasses UAA membership, sponsorship, advertising, active committee volunteerism, and many other means such as this scholarship. Then each has been quantified and assigned a value, all adding up to equal your PinE Score.

Donate to the Nelsen Money Memorial Scholarship Fund

By clicking below you will be taken to BetterWorld to complete your donation transaction. Thank you for supporting students pursuing careers in UVM!









Scholarship Awards

Please review the description below, and complete the application based on your qualifications and needs.

The 2024 application period is now closed. Applications for 2025 will be accepted February 14 to April 15, 2025.

Scholarship Award of $2500.00

Applicants must be enrolled in a major, minor, option, or program related to the practice of arboriculture, forestry/urban forestry and/or utility vegetation management at an accredited college or university.

Scholarship award amount will be $2,500. The award is non-renewable but can be applied for annually. All awards will be paid directly to the educational institution attended by the recipient after required documentation has been submitted. Awards may only be applied to tuition expense, and applicants may not request scholarships greater than the anticipated amount of their tuition expense for the academic year in which the scholarship will be paid.

All the following criteria must be met to qualify:

  • Currently enrolled in a major, minor, option, or program of utility line clearance, utility vegetation management, arboriculture, forestry, urban forestry, or related field at an accredited college or university.
  • Returning to the second year of a two-year program or at least the Sophomore year of a four-year program at an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Current student member of the UAA


Lead, Follow, or Get Out of Our Way!

By Renee Bissett, ACRT Services
July / August 2020 Newsline

A decade ago, the UAA membership elected a new president, Nelsen Money. None of us who knew Nelsen would be surprised at the legacy he created. Most notably was his contribution to the Utility Arborist Newsline. When he inherited the previous publication named the UAA Quarterly, it was a challenge to provide diverse content representing our whole industry. The UAA Quarterly had begun in 1992 and much of the content was written by staff and with a lot of “arm twisting” according to, then executive director, Derek Vannice. That year—when he led the UAA—the publication got a makeover. Its new name stands today, the Utility Arborist Newsline.

“Nelsen was the driving force behind the UAA editorial committee, and we can thank him for having enough content so that we could move to six issues a year,” said Vannice. 

Philip Charlton, the current Executive Director of the UAA attributes Nelsen’s biggest accomplishment has been his “transformation of the Newsline” and his ability to “mentor and encourage people, thanking those willing to help the UAA.” 

Nelsen wasn’t shy to ask members to do their part and he didn’t make them do it alone. He’d stand shoulder to shoulder with you, providing guidance and support, and lifting you up when you needed it. According to Craig Kelly, PG&E and Past UAA President, Nelsen saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself, “Nelsen recognized future leadership and helped vet individuals like myself to get the ‘tap’ for a leadership role in the UAA. He encouraged and constantly supported all of his protégées, guiding them on their professional succession trail.” 

When Diona Neeser joined the UAA, it was partially due to Nelsen’s nudge. He was among the first to show her the ropes, too. “He was always in my corner, cheering me on—be it in the workplace or as a friend outside of work. He would call or text just to check in on me, give advice, and then head off to the next big fishing day or glass of fine wine that awaited him,” she said. 

We have to remember that even though he was technically retired, he never stopped giving back to the industry. Others who worked closely with Nelsen echoed similar experiences.  

“Nelsen is one of the most giving people I have ever met, giving of his time, experiences, and his wisdom. Nelsen always worked in the background as to not draw attention to himself. He preferred to pass the attention and torch to others around him for the greater good of our industry and profession,” said Will Nutter, Wright Tree Service, and Past UAA President.  

Randy Miller followed Nelsen’s tenure as UAA President, describing him as a, “hall-of-famer caliber guy, both personally and professionally. What he valued most from Nelsen was his, “measured judgement and sound advice during a dynamic period in the UAA’s history.” 

More than just the Utility Arborist Newsline, Nelsen established the partnership the UAA currently has with T&D World, producing an annual vegetation management supplement, which expanded our reach. Charlton also credited Nelsen for, “making the Western Regional meeting a huge success.” He also contributed to the ROW Stewardship accreditation and was a strong supporter of the program. 

Vannice said, “He was tireless in his promotion of the UAA and IVM.” There were few corners of this industry Nelsen didn’t touch. His legacy is profound. 

“Nelsen was a true IVM/UVM ambassador, with unwavering passion, commitment, and industry-level engagement…a mentor, father, brother, colleague, friend, passionate fisherman, and loving husband. The UVM industry, colleagues/friends that Nelsen touched are exponentially superior from his expertise and spirited discussions,” said Eric Brown, SMUD, UAA President. 

Rich Hendler, ACRT, summarized Nelsen’s contributions as immense: “To the UAA, our editorial committee, our UAA leadership team, our industry, and our life pursuits, we travel the road Nelsen has built and what a positive influence on us all.” 

He didn’t just lift up those of us lucky enough to know him. He did it for the whole industry. Lori Jones, Salt River Project, reminded me that “when industry legends leave us, we need to keep their memories alive.” 

The best way to honor Nelsen’s legacy is to lift those up around us, offering mentorship, friendship, and coaching to those that need it. Keep carrying his torch, and if you catch a big fish, remember him. 

When Nelsen handed over the reins of the editorial committee to me last fall, he told me, “It has been a great ride for many years and the team has done an excellent job. I’ll probably join some calls and can be a resource if needed. It’s time to fish more and enjoy each day.” 

Nelsen would often check in with people and make sure they felt appreciated. After joining us for a recent editorial committee meeting, he sent me a text, “You are doing great.” He went on to say, “It was fun listening in.” That was his last meeting. Nelsen Money passed away in his sleep on May 23, 2020; leaving an everlasting legacy. 

to our scholarship donors:

Individual Donors:
Amanda Opp
April Kennedy
Brandon Hughson
Eumie Davis
Gabrielle Roberton-Cawley
James & Sandra Hawkins
Joe Weathersby
Karsten Schulz
Kelly Farley
Laurel Reimann
Lawrence Abernathy
Lindsey Boyle
Michael Neal
Michelle Serna
Michelle Vignault
Pamela Money
Patsy Rieger
Randall Miller
Rebecca Grostefon
Renee Bissett
Richard Bush
Richard Hendler
Richard Yarnell
Robert Brenton
Rose Epperson
Rosemary Gordon
Sarah Lilley
Sarah Money
Stephen Lach
Stephen Tankersley

Corporate Donors:
Grow with Trees
PG&E Corporation Foundation
Sierra Resource Inc

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Phone: 800-680-4106
Email: office@gotouaa.org