Our Instructors
Our Instructors

Our Instructors

Irene Barber is horticulturist and landscape designer at Irene Brady Barber Greenscape Designs. She’s also coordinator of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. An experienced educator, Irene has degrees in horticulture and communications along with a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy. Irene brings her enthusiasm for connecting people with plants to her work at the Gardens.

Amity Beane is a paper artist living in Dixfield, Maine. An addition to her ethereal paper flowers, she enjoys growing real tulips and dahlias for a cut-flower CSA in Oxford County. Amity has an undergraduate degree in fine arts from the University of Maine, Machias and an MS in education from the University of Maine, Farmington. She was also the pilot coordinator for the Gardens’ own Lunder New Naturalists middle school curriculum. You can find her flowers online at http://florabeane.com.

Will Bridges, staff horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from the University of Maine and has been gardening in Maine most of his life. Will has been working at the Gardens since 2009. He and his wife, Dotti, live on a six-acre slice of heaven in Alna with their golden retriever, Lily.

Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. A graduate of Smith College, and formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens, she is thrilled to be back in her home state of Maine and working at the gardens here, where she uses her fine art background and horticulture chops to design and maintain our gardens, including the Great Lawn beds and the Arbor Garden.

Kathleen Clemons is an award-winning photographer, instructor, speaker, and workshop leader. Primarily a nature photographer, Kathleen is known for her creative use of natural light and unique compositions. With a background in education and a passion for both photography and instruction, Kathleen loves to teach others how to improve their photography skills.

Lisa Cowan, principal of Studio Verde in Cumberland, Maine and Austin, Texas, is a nationally recognized landscape architect with expertise in ecology-based planning, landscape design and land management.

Bill Cullina, current president and CEO at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, previously served as director of horticulture for the Gardens and before that was nursery director for the New England Wild Flower Society. He is a well-known author and recognized authority on North American native plants. He lectures on a variety of subjects to garden and professional groups and writes for popular and technical journals. His books include Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; Understanding Orchids; Native Ferns, Mosses, and Grasses; and most recently, Understanding Perennials.

Melissa Cullina is director of education and staff botanist for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Formerly a botanist with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Cullina specializes in aquatic and coastal botany, field identification and rare species conservation.

Anna DeGloria is the education programs assistant for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She considers herself a curious naturalist with a botanical persuasion. She developed her skills in environmental education and botany while holding positions at The Trustees of Reservations, The Environmental Program at the University of Vermont, and The New England Wild Flower Society.

Bob Duchesne, naturalist and birding guide, is the author of “The Maine Birding Trail: The Official Guide to More Than 260 Accessible Birding Sites.” A former trustee of Maine Audubon and member of the Maine legislature, Bob is a much sought-after leader of bird field forays and adventure trips throughout Maine, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, Quebec, and the Florida Everglades.

Jen Dunlap is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens where she spends her time cultivating the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. A native of Brunswick, Maine, she has a degree in horticulture and landscape design and holds a certificate in Western Herbal Medicine. After gardening in the Pacific North West and Colorado for a combined 12 years, she is happily settled back in Maine raising her young son alongside a bountiful vegetable and herb garden.

Ted Elliman has been engaged in botanical work in New England and other northeastern states for more than thirty years. Most recently, he was a botanist and plant ecologist on the staff of New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, Massachusetts, where he conducted botanical inventories, natural community surveys, and invasive species control programs.

Gary Fish is a manager for the Maine Board of Pesticides Control and a coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership. He has a B.S. in Forest and Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.

Linda Heppes Funk is an artist with over 38 years of experience teaching design and illustration. Working only from live plant material, she specializes in pencil, drybrush watercolor, gouache and metalpointe drawing. Her work is exhibited widely and appears in many publications and collections. She is a founding member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and served as their director for six years.

Rebecca Goodale makes unique and limited edition books. Her current project, Threatened and Endangered, is inspired by Maine’s rare plants and animals. Her work is in numerous collections including Bowdoin College Library, The Maine Women Writers Collection, New York Public Library, Herron Art Library, Hawai’i State Art Museum, and the White House Ornament Collection. She is the Faculty Director of the University of Southern Maine’s Book Arts at Stone House.

Tracey Hall is an environmental educator for the Boothbay Region Land Trust and a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. An avid naturalist since childhood, she leads walks year-round throughout the Boothbay Region with the goal of connecting people to the outdoors.

Thurston Howes received his Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University and since then has made teaching his lifelong passion. He has taught at Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech as well as SMCC, USM and Maine College of Art. His work has won many awards including a Polaroid grant and has been featured in exhibitions around the world.

Jill Hoy lives half the year in Stonington Maine, where she is a plein air painter, and has run the Jill Hoy Gallery for 31 years. In the winter, she lives in Somerville MA, where she paints in the studio figurative narratives based on memory and drawings. She moved there from Manhattan in 1992, to marry the late painter, Jon Imber. She shows nationally, and is in over 700 collections including the Portland Museum of Art.

Erika Huber is the youth and family program coordinator for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She holds degrees in Forestry and Horticulture and has ten years of experience working with children in environmental and gardening education.

Jan Johnsen is a well-regarded landscape designer and author with a passion for plants, rocks and beautiful gardens. An advocate of the power of Nature upon our well-being, Jan is an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and writes the garden blog, “Serenity in the Garden.” Trained in landscape architecture, planning and professional horticulture, Jan has worked in Japan, Hawaii, Kenya, among other places. She is a co-principal of the design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, New York. Her firm received a merit award in 2014 from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). For many years she taught at Columbia University and now speaks around the country. Her Facebook page is ‘The Spirit of Stone’ and ‘Serenity in the Garden Blog.’

Karen Jones is the camp coordinator for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Karen brings with her over ten years of teaching experience working with children of all ages. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Math/Science with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Leadership and Policy in Early Childhood Education, both from Wheelock College. She currently teaches First Grade at Hall-Dale Elementary.

Nancy Kelley has been a student of yoga and Buddhist studies since her stay in Japan during the ’60s. Her main area of study was Iyengar yoga, though she also chose to work with teachers of Kripalu, Sivananda, and Ashtanga. Having been involved in the medical field, working for hospice, she has a sincere interest in using yoga as a form of holistic care of the body and soul, and she works to give her students the tools necessary to find balance and harmony in their lives. Nancy began teaching in the late 1990s and has started studios in Gardiner, Hallowell, and Augusta. In addition to yoga, Nancy offers workshops on meditation and relaxation. Nancy also serves on the MaineGeneral Prevention & Healthy Living physical movement workgroup and advisory board.

Steve Kress is Vice-President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society and Director of the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program and Hog Island Audubon Camp. His career has focused on developing techniques for managing colonial nesting seabirds. In this role, he manages13 seabird nesting islands in Maine that are home to more than 42,000 seabirds of 27 species including most of Maine’s rare and endangered seabirds. Hundreds of professional seabird biologists can trace their first interest in seabirds to Stephen Kress’s program- known widely as Project Puffin. Methods first developed in Maine such as chick translocations and social attraction are now standard practice worldwide. Dr. Kress received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and his Master’s and undergraduate degrees from Ohio State University. He is author of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock and many other books on bird attracting.

June LaCombe is an independent arts consultant specializing in sculpture by New England artists. She curates and sites exhibitions of sculpture in Maine and oversees sales, delivery, siting, and installations for clients throughout the country. For 28 years her exhibitions have explored themes that forge the connections between art and nature. In 2005 June LaCombe curated the first sculpture exhibition at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens titled Sculpture for this Animate Earth. www.junelacombesculpture.com

Anna Leavitt is a horticulturist and the Gardens Aglow design coordinator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where she currently maintains the Cleaver Event Lawn and Gardens. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science from Colby College, and has been living in Boothbay ever since.

Katie Lee earned a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden, where she has taught for the past 22 years. An award winning botanical and wildlife artist, she has illustrated several books, and her work is featured in Museum collections and exhibitions around the world.

Kristen Lindquist lives in her hometown of Camden, Maine. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon and enjoyed many summers at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her poetry and other writings have appeared in Down East Magazine, Bangor Metro, and the Bangor Daily News, as well as many literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection Transportation was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award; Garrison Keillor read three poems from the book on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. An avid birder, she is on the board of the Merryspring Nature Center in Camden. She has written a natural history column for the local paper for many years and maintains a daily haiku blog, Book of Days.

Erin MacGregor-Forbes is an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper. She and her business partner Cindy Bee manage 150+ colonies Portland and Jefferson, Maine for honey and nuc production. Erin focuses her teaching on sustainable bee management, IPM strategies, and overwintering nucleus colonies. Erin’s passion is working with the bees own instincts and behaviors to create thriving colonies, and communicating those concepts to the human beekeepers and bee lovers.

Frederica Marshall, Master Brush Painter, artist, teacher and researcher, lived in Japan for 28 years. There she studied Asian brush painting for ten years. Now a Master Brush Painter, she has exhibited and won awards in more than 80 group shows and 24 solo shows in Japan and the US.

Kerry Ann Mendez is an award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer who has been featured in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments. She has published three popular gardening books, including her most recent, The Right-Size Flower Garden.

Carol Ann Morley is an artist and illustrator specializing in drawings about nature. She is a dedicated teacher of art and botanical illustration. Since 1979 she has taught at Pace University, The New York Botanical Garden, The Berkshire Botanical gardens and Wellesley Botanic garden. Her work is in museum and private collections.

Patricia Moroz is the owner of Starlight Custom Cakes on Sawyers Island in Boothbay, Maine. She is an award-winning cake artist and a regular contributor to American Cake Decorating Magazine. Patricia holds extended classes for pastry chefs, bakeries, caterers and private classes during the off season. After training with some of the top pastry chefs and cake artists from all over the country, she opened her business six years ago and specializes in custom designed wedding cakes and sculpted cakes for special events. To see some of Patricia’s gorgeous creations, visit her website at www.starlightcustomcakes.com.

Vanessa Nesvig, interpretation and exhibits coordinator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, is a both an artist and garden writer. Having taught pastel and oil painting for over ten years, Vanessa brings a love of being outdoors and experience helping people translate the visual outdoor world. Coming to the Gardens from the Portland Museum of Art, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Boston University and is a professional painter who has exhibited widely throughout New England.

Justin Nichols has been professionally maintaining gardens for more than 20 years. In addition to various horticultural certifications, he holds a master’s degree in education and enjoys teaching horticultural topics to people of all ages.

Hillary Parker is a naturalist and international award winning botanical watercolor artist with paintings exhibited and sold worldwide. As a former resident of Camden, she now works from her home studio in Coral Gables, Florida. She has enjoyed a dual career of teaching and painting for over 20 years.

Ralph Pope is the author of Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts, A Field Guide to Bryophytes of the Northeast published by Cornell University Press in December 2016. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Antioch New England Graduate School, Ralph is also author of Lichens above Treeline: A Hiker’s Guide to Alpine Zone Lichens of the Northeastern United States published in 2005 by University Press of New England.

Kimberly Post, artist and photographer, lives outside of Portland, Maine. Her art embraces the natural world and she likes to closely observe flora and fauna in all stages of living and dying. She’s been a part of the mobile photo/iphoneography community since its inception and is the first to attest that iOS devices have completely changed the way she approaches her art. Kimberly is represented by Vox Photographs.

Sharmon Provan is director of horticulture at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Growing up on the West Coast, Sharmon attended The Evergreen State College and moved to the Bay Area for graduate school. Desiring a life-change after a four-year layover in the canyons of Southern California, she headed east to the beautiful mid-coast region of Maine, where she quickly dug into the earth, enrolling in the University of Maine’s Master Gardener program. In 2005 she joined the staff of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Bruce John Riddell, landscape architect of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, is principal of his one person firm known as “LandArt”. Bruce received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. He is the winner of 2011 Merit Design Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects for Outstanding Residential Garden Design for the Wright Garden: “Pardisan.” He is also the winner of the prestigious 2010 American Horticultural Society’s Landscape Designer of the Year Award. His present design focus is on intimate coastal gardens. His landscape designs for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens include the stonework, planting, and waterfall designs for the Meditation Garden, Rhododendron Garden, Arbor Garden, Entry Garden, and Great Lawn.

Deb Soule is an herbalist, gardener, and the founder of Avena Botanicals in Rockport Maine. Avena is home to a three-acre organic and biodynamic herb garden, which Deb and her staff cultivates to produce their handcrafted line of tinctures, herbal salves and ointments, facial crèmes and tea blends. In addition to her work as a farmer and teacher, Deb is the author of The Women’s Handbook of Healing Herbs and How To Move Like A Gardener.

Dr. Lois Berg Stack is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s ornamental horticulture specialist. She conducts applied research and organizes workshops and conferences for nursery, greenhouse, garden center and landscape professionals in Maine and New England. Some of her current projects focus on plants that support native bees and honeybees, and production of chokeberry as a nutraceutical crop. She also works extensively with home gardeners on landscape topics such as management of invasive species and selection and management of Maine landscape plants.

Dr. Lisa Standley developed in interest in Carex while an undergraduate at Cornell, and studied the taxonomy and evolution of the genus for her MS and PhD work at the University of Washington. She taught biology at Wellesley College until 1988, and has worked as an environmental consultant for the past 29 years. Lisa has been involved with the New England Botanical Club since the early 1980s, serving as recording secretary and President, and is currently the Curator of Vascular Plants. She teaches courses on sedges and grasses, has published several floristic surveys, and wrote the Field Guide to Carex of New England. She is currently working on the sequel, Field Guide to the Non-Carex Cyperaceae of New England.

Lauren Stockwell is a botanist and environmental consultant. Her business, Stockwell Environmental Consulting, Inc. provides comprehensive environmental services, including natural resource identification, resource evaluation, and related permitting. She has led many field walks and taught many classes at the Gardens.

Diane Walden is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Her beautiful garlands have graced many ribbon-cutting celebrations, including those for the Haney Hillside Garden, Bosarge Family Education Center, and new Fairy House Village. She creates many of the arrangements and container plantings that visitors so admire.

Patty Watson has been on the horticultural staff of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens since 2009. She is an avid gardener and loves to put up the many products she grows at home. Along with her husband, they can and freeze several pounds of produce every season. Patty is also an avid hunter and gatherer and has been an outdoors writer for over twenty years. Most days her hands are either planting, peeling, or preparing.