Guy Sternberg is the co-founder of Starhill Forest Arboretum, which has developed the most comprehensive research collection of oaks in the US with approximately 250 taxa (the next largest one has about 90) and six globally endangered species. He is a founding member of the Illinois Native Plant Society and a past president of its central chapter. He is also a life member of the International Dendrology Society, the International Society of Arboriculture, the founding president and a life member of the International Oak Society, a 60-year life member of American Forests, and an active member of many other conservation and environmental organizations.
He serves as adjunct faculty in Biology at Illinois College and adjunct research associate in Botany at the Illinois State Museum, Is an ISA-certified arborist (IL-0669-A), licensed landscape architect (retired, IL157-000197), and consultant to eight state and federal agencies as well as many communities. Guy is the tree consultant and tour coordinator for Oak Ridge Cemetery, the second most visited cemetery in America and the home of President Lincoln’s Tomb and Illinois’ National Living Memorial site (designated due to its historic tree collection, 700 of which Guy donated).
Guy began his studies of ecology under Alton Lindsey, the pioneering scientist responsible for the creation of nature preserves in the state of Indiana, where he was a professor of forest ecology at Purdue University from 1947 to 1973. His book, “Natural Areas of Indiana and Their Preservation” (published 1970), was used to support the creation of Indiana’s first nature preserve, Pine Hills, where Guy served as a research assistant specializing in arborescent flora in 1969. Guy later participated in the founding of the National Natural Areas Association at Heron Pond Nature Preserve in southern Illinois.
Guy has authored many books and articles about trees and ecology, and his latest (and final, so he claims!) reference book is the massive Native Trees of North America, from the Rockies to the Atlantic.