Help create ‘forest’ in memory of biological science professor

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Greenhouse manager Matthew Frazel distributes Hormoz BassiriRad’s trees to the UIC community at the Plant Research Laboratory. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

Members of the UIC community can help create a “Hormoz Forest” in the Chicago metropolitan area by picking up a free tree to plant in memory of biological sciences professor Hormoz BassiriRad, who died in June.

The trees, which were used in BassiriRad’s research, are available from UIC’s Plant Research Laboratory.

“He was a plant physiologist and was really interested in studying the difference between high and low Co2 levels,” said Matthew Frazel, manager of the Plant Research Laboratory.

“He, himself, is responsible for a lot of trees, and it’s the last 200 trees of his that are going out into the world now.”

About 100 trees already have been planted in the “Hormoz Forest” by students and employees. It’s a good way to make memories with family and feel connected to the UIC community while helping the environment, Franzel said.

“Do something for your grandkids or do something for the next generation or do something for your carbon,” Frazel said. “Planting trees is a great way to sequester carbon for a long time.”

Many students have taken the opportunity to pick out a tree and plant it with family this semester.

“I was really excited to hear about the trees because my mother and I have been looking for a tree to fit in our front yard. We ended up choosing an oak tree. The coloring was very beautiful,” said Reina Savitzky, a freshman in biological sciences. “Since oaks are native to Illinois, I thought it would be very beneficial for the environment to plant a native tree.”

There are various trees to choose from, including maple, oak, cedar, pine, ash and spruce trees.

To learn more, set up an appointment with Frazel at mfrazel@uic.edu

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