Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, has spent the last decade as a production manager with Astroseal Products, a lightning protection manufacturer located just east of Killingworth, CT. Outside of work, John Sulzbach enjoys reading novels, including Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! is the debut novel by fiction writer Karen Russell. Released in 2011, the novel followed on the heels of Russell’s well-received short story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of the Bigtree family, operators of a Floridian, alligator-themed tourist attraction, as they deal with the death of their matriarch and the subsequent business failings.

The novel, which has been described as comic magical realism, received a glowing review from The New York Times and was later named by the magazine as one of the 10 best works of fiction of 2011. Swamplandia! was one of three finalists for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, though ultimately no award was given that year. The book also became a finalist for inaugural 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

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Earning an Arborist License in Connecticut

John Sulzbach, a resident of Killingworth, CT, currently works as a production manager for Astroseal Products in Chester. When he is not managing a 25-person staff and overseeing all aspects of business, John Sulzbach spends time as a licensed arborist in and around Killingworth, CT.

The practice of arboriculture by a qualified arborist encompasses various practices of maintenance for shade, ornamental, and fruit trees. In the state of Connecticut arborists who wish to practice in a professional setting must first achieve a license as issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Through the DEEP, the Tree Protection Examining Board hosts license examinations four times per year. Arborists must first pass a written test with the DEEP before being approved for the official license exam.

During the license exam, arborists will have their knowledge tested in several areas of arboriculture, ranging from the identification of Connecticut’s common trees in the winter and summer months to the diagnosis of various injuries and abnormalities. Individuals who pass the evaluation process must undertake 12 continuing education credits within five years of the exam to maintain the license.