"My affinity for plants form some of my earliest and fondest memories—walking with my grandmother in the woods as she identified spring wildflowers, the soft snow of falling crabapple petals as I swung in a hammock, and drying four-leaf clovers in a miniature plant press.
Although my initial university education and career did not involve plants, I developed broader skills which inform my work. I gained experience teaching: drawing at Miami University (Ohio), art appreciation at Eastern Kentucky University, literacy with AmeriCorps, 7th grade science through a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and ecology at University of Kentucky. I worked in outreach and administration within a regional arts council (where I served as Executive Director), a public university, and a private school (as Director of Student Affairs).
At the age of 30, I decided to return to school to follow my passion. I began an intensive graduate field studies program at Eastern Kentucky University. I completed my M.S. with an inventory of the plants within two Kentucky state forests. I worked in the EKY herbarium, and served as student curator of the educational collection. Post-graduation I worked as a botanist in the Daniel Boone National Forest (KY), and served as an arborist for the Asian Longhorned Beetle eradication program (OH).
I am passionate about native plants and trees in particular, and have served on the boards of the Kentucky Native Plant Society and the Covington (KY) Urban Forestry Board. I have been invited to speak at a variety of natural history and native plant events, written various botanical articles for journals and newsletters, and have presented research at state, regional, and national conferences.
When my mentor and advisor, Ron Jones, was completing Kentucky’s definitive botanical reference,
Plant Life of Kentucky
, I produced over 50 pen and ink drawings for the book. Later, I was awarded the Anne Ophelia Dowden Education Grant for the development of a portfolio of native plant drawings and engravings.
Within my role of Assistant Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, I will be managing and expanding our educational offerings and community outreach. This is a job which I am delighted to undertake, and for which I feel particularly well suited, considering my experience in teaching, administration, and botany. I am anxious to share my passion for plants with the UNC Charlotte community and the Charlotte community as a whole. I welcome any suggestions for classes, workshops, tours, or outreach, and can be contacted at