LAST FEW DAYS!!
Arboricultural Association Consultation
The Approved Contractor Scheme
a couple of days ago, I Googled the words Catena, Thermography and trees, and
among the results that came up, one featured the word Marcus, so, just out of
curiosity, I clicked on it and entered the UKTC forum for the first time
(www.tree-care.info/uktc/archive/2009/msg04168) . What I found was a rich
exchange of e-mails between Mr Paul Hugues, whom I don't know (or at least I
don't recall ever meeting him) and Mr Marcus Bellett Travers, whom I met a
few years ago through the Arboricultural Association. As I read on, I came
across an e-mail by MBT that directly involved me, and mentioned my name and
surname but contained false and incorrect statements about me and
Thermography: as this was published on a public website, I now feel free to
respond to this e-mail to the extent to which it concerns me.
First of all, I don't understand why MBT involved me as he disappeared, after
he and two managers from his University offered me to join their will-be
Company: I hope he's not using my name in his courses/job, in the way he did
in this e-mail I'm responding to, or that he gives people to understand that
we have contacts, as I'm repeating this again, I have nothing to do with him.
After two meetings in 2003 and 2004, during the AAAC, in which MBT and I
discussed thermography to try and find a confirmation to my hypothesis that
the method worked thanks to the different thermal conductivity in healthy and
decayed tissue, which I had suspected from the very beginning, we conducted
on-site trials (Woburn Abbey, Wimpole, Nottingham Trent
University-Brackenhurst Campus), but I was the one who always took all the
thermal pictures and never handed in the results or final reports, because at
the last meeting that we had at his University, the interlocutors appeared
very vague. After more and more occasional exchanges of e-mails, always
started by me, during York's 2006 AAAC, MBT told me that the company had been
set up and we could go our separate ways.
It is true that there are certain things about thermography that still have
to be clarified (as in many other scientific sectors), but if they were
"great many", how could we use thermography in all its sectors, and in
particular how has it been possible for me to SUCCESSFULLY apply it to trees
for the past 25 years?
I am publishing my website, where information about myself, and the method
will be available, as well as a list of projects and publications and
presentations delivered at international congresses on trees (over 50) some
of which will be available in English for download.
I have a degree in Chemistry, I'm no expert in environmental physics. In 1974
I started conducting research on environmental pollution at the Italian
Institute of Health (ISS) in Rome, with the use of Thermal imaging and Aerial
photography (remote sensing), before introducing the use of thermography to
tree assessment, with my assistant Lanfranco Palla, back in 1984. I did not
"fall foul of not properly investigating thermal imaging and trees": my
assistant and I thought that everything depended on the different thermal
properties of healthy and damaged tissue (conductivity, as I have always
written in my articles, starting from 1990 and repeated in my presentations
delivered in the UK and Netherlands - AAAC 2003 and Treeworks Environmental
Practice and BTL, 2004, and 2005), but as I'm no plant physiologist, I
couldn't prove it.
It does not bear any resemblance to the truth that I conducted "trials in
Holland that went badly wrong with perfectly healthy, large trees being
felled", and I can prove this. When in the Netherlands, I only found out how
environmental conditions uncommon in Italy affect the measurements. I cannot,
therefore, comment on the sentence that follows the sentence that I quoted,
as it doesn't need any consideration. I was fully paid for the contract with
the Dutch firm, which mainly concerned measurements requested by Local
Authorities, which received reports on the condition of the trees examined.
If they'd felled a healthy tree, I don't think they would have paid my full
fee or refused to mention this.
Mr MBT then goes on to mention Sam, who knows me, but I don't know who he is.
Who, then, tried to "protect and help me" and against what? I don't
understand in what way they tried to protect my reputation, maybe they tried
to protect me against people who believed thermography ineffective? Well, I
have 25 years of evidence, trees examined and felled, pictures etc. to
Moreover, a gaffe is always a gaffe, even if trees are to be felled.
I do, however, agree with MBT on one point: thermography really works and is
effective. You only need to know how to interpret it and have someone who can
teach the method. It is successfully applied in a number of sectors:
military - war in Afghanistan, we all recall, I believe, the thermal images
that news show every now and again;
healthcare-remember SARS? Remember seeing chaps with thermal cameras at
airports to spot people with a temperature?
Non Destructive Testing,
And many more.
I can only speak for myself, of course, but when I teach my method,
students/will-be experts receive an academic training and do field
operations. I will be happy to talk about my method, get in touch with anyone
to tell how the method works.
Let me apologise to the Administrator and the readers for this long letter,
but I think that this was owed to my 36 years in Thermal Imaging.
L'Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) è tra i beneficiari dei proventi del 5
per mille dell'IRPEF.
Nella scheda allegata alla dichiarazione dei redditi è sufficiente apporre la
propria firma nel riquadro "Finanziamento della Ricerca Sanitaria" e indicare
il Codice Fiscale dell'ISS, che è 80211730587, per destinare tali fondi a
sostegno dell'impegno scientifico dell'ISS a difesa della salute di tutti.
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