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Regenstein School Faculty and Instructors

Continuing education instructors are a special breed! They are enthusiastic about their subject matter, bring real-world expertise to the classroom, understand the needs of adult learners, and enjoy the interaction between student and instructor.

Find information on your instructor's background and credentials below. Interested in joining our staff? Send us your inquiry here.

Iris Allen
Award-winning freelance photographer and photography instructor specializing in Photoshop editing techniques.

Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson
Ornithologist and member of the Chicago Audubon Society. Currently serves on its board of directors and as chairman of the research committee. Conducts seasonal bird-watching walk and talks at the Garden.

Bonnie Arkin

Bonnie Arkin
Mosaic artist and jewelry designer. B.F.A. and member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists. Award-winning artist whose style is nostalgic, eclectic, and whimsical. She shares her enthusiasm by teaching pique assiette (broken china) mosaics and rejuvenated jewelry classes at the Garden.

Janet Austin
Mosaic and ceramic artist and teacher. B.A. in printmaking from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, and M.A. in printmaking and art history from Dominican University in Florence, Italy.

Steven D. Bailey

Steven D. Bailey
Research biologist-ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, where he studies avian communities throughout Illinois and collects data for the Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP). Co-author of Birds of Illinois, and associate editor of Meadowlark, the quarterly journal of the Illinois Ornithological Society. He is an authority on owls and gives owl presentations locally at the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve and elsewhere throughout the state.

Chris Baker

Chris Baker
Curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he maintains a diverse collection of approximately 175 bonsai trees of different species and styles.

Cindy Baker

Cynthia Baker
Manager of horticultural services, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. in ornamental horticulture and agronomy from the University of Arizona.

Douglas Beasley

Douglas Beasley
Acclaimed photographer and guest instructor, and author of Earth Meets Spirit and other photography anthologies. Founder and director of Vision Quest Photo Workshops.

Craig Bergmann
Registered landscape architect, ASLA, garden designer, plantsman, and lecturer. Editor of Sunset's Midwestern Landscaping.

Bruce Bondy

Bruce Bondy
Principal, Bondy Studio. Architectural illustrator and charrette drawing specialist.

Natalie Boyett
Owner, the Chicago Weaving School.

Linda Breuer
Owner of Barnswallow, a Wild Bird Concern, dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wild birds as well as providing education to the public.

Linda Oyama Bryan
Photographer and lecturer specializing in garden landscapes and architecture. Has toured and photographed many world-famous gardens.

Julia Bunn

Julia Bunn
Landscape designer and owner, the Spirited Gardener, Inc.

Dave Cantwell

David S. Cantwell
Assistant horticulturist, berm and wall gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden. M.S., Roosevelt University, Chicago.

Jack Carlson

Jack Carlson
Certified professional photographer specializing in natural scenic images. Freelance photographer and board member of the Chicago Professional Photographers Association.

Robin Carlson

Robin Carlson
Chicago Botanic Garden staff photographer since 2006. B.F.A. in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, and pursuing an M.F.A. at Columbia College, Chicago.

Jack Carman
ASLA, landscape architect, and president, Design for Generations, LLC. Specializes in creating therapeutic exterior environments for senior residential communities and healthcare facilities.

Nancy Clifton

Nancy Clifton
Horticulture program specialist in visitor programs, Chicago Botanic Garden, specializing in containers, troughs, wreaths, herbs, and other botanical arts and crafts.

David Dallison
Professional artist and painter for 26 years specializing in the plein-air painting technique.

Sheryl DeVore

Sheryl De Vore
Reporter for the Chicago Tribune and author of three books about birds. Has given presentations throughout the Midwest on birds and is the chief editor for Meadowlark, published by the Illinois Ornithological Society. Her nature and environment stories have won numerous regional and national awards.

Roy Diblik
Co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm, established in 1991, specializing in perennials, native plants, ornamental grasses, landscape design and installation. Has propagated more than 140 prairie species. Worked on the installation of the Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park.

Marlene Hill Donnelly
Scientific illustrator in the geology department at the Field Museum. Degrees in zoology and art. Co-author of Painting Wildlife in Watercolor.

Diane Dorigan
Artist and educator specializing in artists' sketchbooks and techniques. M.A. in interdisciplinary arts. Member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. Her work includes botanical and other natural science subjects in pencil, watercolor, etching, and engraving.

John Eskandari

John Eskandari
Horticulture educator, Urban Plantsman LLC. Degree in horticulture from Michigan State University and degree in English literature from the University of Michigan. Certified arborist with active memberships in many Illinois landscape/horticulture organizations.

Pamela Feldman

Pamela Feldman
Weaver and colorist focusing on natural dyes. M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and certificate of excellence in dyeing from the Weavers Guild of America. Editor and publisher of The Turkey Red Journal, a publication dedicated to natural dyes and natural dyeing methods and projects.

Tobin Fraley

Tobin Fraley
Photographer and author of three books. Currently working on a multiyear project of photographically documenting the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve.

Thomas Fritz

Tom Fritz
Plant healthcare specialist, Chicago Botanic Garden. Associate's degree from Joliet Junior College in horticulture (turf management) and an associate's degree from Kankakee Community College in agricultural business.

DJ Garrity

DJ Garrity
Award-winning sculptor and guest instructor. Served as sculptor-in-residence of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Jessica Goehler
Horticulturalist.

Jeffrey Gorra
Consulting biologist, X-Bar Diagnostics Systems, Inc. B.S. in molecular and cell biology and an M.S. in genetics, both from the University of Connecticut. Research interests include the genetics and development of model species, as well as demographic and genetic analyses of rare plant populations in Illinois.

Glenn Grosch
Horticulturist and agronomist. B.S. in agronomy from the University of Illinois. Associate's degrees in horticultural science and parks and grounds management from Harper College. Certified ISA arborist.

Esther Gutiérrez-Sloan
Certified personal trainer and president, SALSArobics, Inc.

Nancy Halliday
Retired artist and naturalist for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois. Has taught scientific illustration since 1977. B.S. in zoology, University of Oklahoma, and M.A. in geography and environmental studies, Northeastern Illinois University. Accomplishments include writing the bird-illustration chapter in the GNSI Handbook of Scientific Illustration, and acting as GNSI historian since 1995.

Jessica Hannah

Jessica Hannah
Natural perfumer and interdisciplinary artist. Owner of J. Hannah Co., specializing in creating unique scents custom blended from natural materials. She also conducts group workshops about natural botanic oils, plant origin and distillation, and how to create a uniquely personal signature scent.

Richard Hawke

Richard Hawke
Plant evaluation manager, Chicago Botanic Garden. Horticultural degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Author of Plant Evaluation Notes, columnist for Chicagoland Gardening magazine, and recipient of the Perennial Plant Association's 2005 Academic Award for teaching excellence.

Kathie Hayden

Kathie Hayden
Manager, plant information service, Chicago Botanic Garden.

Lisa Hilgenberg

Lisa Hilgenberg
Horticulturist, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden.

Bruce Iverson
Artist. Studied the tools and techniques of the ancient art of Asian watercolor painting (sumi-e in Japanese) with master Chinese brush painters, Jean Shen, Ning Yeh, and I-Hsiung Ju. A member of the New Hampshire Art Association, his works are exhibited in juried shows throughout the United States.

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson
Senior director of horticulture, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.A. in horticulture from the University of Nebraska.

Judith Joseph

Judith Joseph
Painting instructor and two-time recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Artist's Fellowship Award. Specializes in the ketubah, a richly painted, hand-lettered document used at Jewish weddings. B.S. in art from the University of Wisconsin.

Kim Kaulas

Kim Kaulas
Landscape designer, Kim Kaulas Inc., and board member of Landscape Design Association. Specializes in rejuvenating small urban spaces and shade gardens.

Sean Kelley

Sean Kelley
Owner, Reveal Design LLC. Degree in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois and post-graduate studies in Oxford, England. Has traveled extensively throughout Europe visiting notable gardens. Applies his appreciation of garden architecture to his classic and modern residential designs.

Heeyoung Kim

Heeyoung Kim
CPSA. Freelance artist specializing in basic botanical drawing and watercolor painting techniques.

Bob Kirschner

Bob Kirschner
Director of restoration ecology and specialist in aquatic plant and urban lake studies, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. from the University of Illinois. More than 30 years of experience in lake and stream management, as well as development of public policy relating to water resource protection.

Diane Kittle
Fine art photographer specializing in creative photographic techniques used to produce abstract nature photographs.

Nina Koziol

Nina Koziol
Horticulturist and garden writer whose articles and essays have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicagoland Gardening, Old-House Journal, and other magazines. Degrees in education and environmental science.

Paul Laiblin
Project manager and senior estimator, Scott Byron and Co. Extensive experience in construction and project management and landscape design for residential, commercial, and resort landscape development.

Timothy Lally

Timothy Lally
Principal, Timothy Lally Design, a landscape architectural firm, ASLA, RLA. More than 20 years of experience designing corporate, commercial, and residential landscapes. B.L.A. from Iowa State University.

Claudia Lane

Claudia Lane
Botanical artist and instructor. Studied at the University of Texas at Austin and the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Member of the Reed-Turner artist circle, the American Society of Botanical Artists, and the Colored Pencil Society of America.

Gary Lehman
Professional landscape architect, RLA, G Studio. Specializes in using SketchUp to develop 3D models.

Valerie Gerdes Lemme
Registered landscape architect, ASLA. Chicago Botanic Garden instructor for more than 12 years and a private-practice residential designer. B.L.A. from Iowa State University. M.L.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Beth Levy
Custom container specialist at Chalet Nursery and Garden Shop and owner of a small residential design business. Master Gardener and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden plant healthcare.

Natasha Lewis

Natasha Lewis
Owner/operator of Esther's Place Fiber Arts Studio in Big Rock, Illinois. Natasha shares her love of fiber arts with students at the Garden and inspires them to create seasonal crafts made from natural wool felt fabric and colorful dyed yarns spun from the wool of her flock of Cheviot sheep and other local Illinois flocks.

Emily Limburger
Assistant horticulturist for the Lakeside Gardens and horticulture intern coordinator at the Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University.

Gordon Lock

Gordon Lock
Popular tai chi instructor on Chicago's North Shore, teaching both Yang-style and Sun-style of tai chi chuan at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Certified instructor of Tai Chi for Arthritis, a program supported by the Arthritis Foundation of Australia and Arthritis Care of the U.K., and adapted by the U.S. Arthritis Foundation.

Charles and Karen Lorence

Charles and Karen Lorence
Husband-and-wife team have presented many local seminars and classes in beekeeping and the importance of honeybees. Worked as a state apiary inspector for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Elected as a director for the American Beekeeping Federation and was awarded the first "Beekeeper of the Year" in Illinois in 2003.

Ed Lyon

Ed Lyon
Director of Allen Centennial Gardens, the botanical garden for the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Owner of Spellbound Garden Writing & Consultation, writing for professional and public audiences. Lectures and teaches extensively in the upper Midwest.

Peggy Macnamara.jpg

Peggy MacNamara
Art instructor and author. Served as artist-in-residence at the Field Museum and as adjunct associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Janet Macunovic
Professional gardener, author (Designing Your Gardens and Landscape; Caring for Perennials), educator (founder, Michigan School of Gardening), and columnist (The Michigan Gardener, Fine Gardening, GardenAtoZ.com).

Michelle Maestre
Container gardener.

Cathy Jean Maloney
Garden historian, author and guest lecturer; author of Chicago and Its Botanic Garden: The Chicago Horticultural Society at 125.

Tamara Mannelly

Tamara Mannelly
Certified healing foods specialist and holistic health coach, M.Ed., H.H.C. Specializes in digestive health, fermented foods, real food, essential oils, and detoxing the home.

Clare Cooper Marcus
Professor emerita, University of California, and principal of Healing Landscapes in Berkeley, California. Co-editor of Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations. Writes frequently for Landscape Architecture magazine.

Jodi Mariano

Jodi Z. Mariano
RLA, senior associate at Teska Associates, Inc. B.F.A. from the School of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and M.F.A. from the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago. Member of the American Society of Landscape Architect. Experience in urban planning, landscape architecture, and architectural design.

Mark McMahon

Mark McMahon
Artist, nationally and internationally renowned for his on-location drawings and paintings. Director of Ceramic Tile Murals and artist-developer of a series of hand-colored silkscreens.

Kerry Mendez

Kerry Mendez
Garden designer and guest lecturer specializing in time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants, and sustainable practices.

Leo Melecio
Grounds supervisor, Chicago Botanic Garden. Plant care and garden maintenance expert.

Gabriel Mercado
Certified landscape technician, licensed commercial pesticide operator, and landscape construction foreman with several years of horticulture and landscape experience.

Jose Mercado
Residential maintenance and project coordinator, Rosborough Partners, Inc. More than 16 years of horticulture and landscape experience. Certified landscape technician and licensed commercial pesticide operator.

Jesus Montoya
Senior construction foreman, Rosborough Partners, Inc. More than 25 years of horticulture and landscape experience. Certified landscape technician, licensed commercial pesticide operator, and member of Rosborough's safety and training committee.

Raul Montoya
Construction foreman, Rosborough Partners, Inc. More than 25 years of horticulture and landscape installation experience.

William Moss
Master Gardener, environmental scientist, horticulture educator and "greening." Writes articles for MyOrganicGardeningBlog, Moss In The City, and William's Web. Has appeared on television as host of HGTV's Dig In and as a CBS Early Show greening correspondent, and as a QVC gardening guest.

Gregory Mueller

Gregory Mueller
Ph.D., chief scientist and Negaunee Foundation vice president of science at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Internationally known mycologist and former curator of fungi at the Field Museum for more than 23 years. Co-author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States.

Kimberly Mullarkey
Artist and art instructor. Signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and international and regional art exhibitor.

Jennifer Murtoff
Owner of Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consulting, specializing in successful and responsible raising of backyard chickens.

Patricia Nakon
Founder of Northwest Yoga and instructor for the yoga and meditation programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Inspiring teacher and health advocate and popular conference presenter on yoga, meditation, and health and wellness.

Steve Nakon

Steve Nakon
Founder of Northwest Yoga and instructor for the yoga and meditation programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Inspiring teacher and health advocate and popular conference presenter on yoga, meditation, and health and wellness.

Heidi Natura

Heidi Natura
RLA, ASLA. Founder and partner of Living Habitats, a firm offering landscape architecture, ecological restoration, and fine art.

Sharon Nejman

Sharon Nejman
Senior horticulturist, Education Greenhouses, Chicago Botanic Garden. More than 30 years of wholesale and retail green industry experience. Horticulture degree from Danville Community College in commercial floriculture.

Anne Nies
Horticulture educator specializing in growing orchids indoors. M.S in plant biology and conservation from Northwestern University.

Beth Nielsen
Chief culinary officer, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, based in Waukegan, Illinois.

John Pastoriza-Pinol

John Pastoriza-Piňol
Artist and botanist. Doctorate in botany from the University Of Vigo, Spain.

Ellen Phillips

Ellen Phillips
Horticulture educator and previously extension educator in crop systems, University of Illinois Extension. B.S. in agronomy with an emphasis on soil fertility from the University of Illinois. M.S. from Iowa State University in soil management. Member of the Soil Science Society of America, the International Soil Science Society, and the American Society of Agronomy.

Gregory Pierceall
ASLA. Professor emeritus, department of landscape architecture, Purdue University, teaching site planning and landscape design for more than 30 years.

Tim Pollak

Tim Pollak
Outdoor floriculturist, Chicago Botanic Garden. Purchaser and grower of seasonal annual displays, containers, baskets, and specialty plant displays seen throughout the Garden. B.S. in landscape horticulture from Colorado State University.

Becky Porter
Artist and designer, Victor Hlavacek Florist and Greenhouses.

Barb Raue

Barb Raue
Nursery supervisor, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University.

John Raffetto
Horticulture educator. M.A. in geography and environmental studies, Northeastern Illinois University.

Elizabeth Rex
Horticulturist, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Ann Roberts
President, Anne Roberts Gardens, Inc.

Lynette Rodriguez
Horticulturist and owner, A Finer Touch. B.S. in horticulture from University of Wisconsin. Experience in designing and maintaining perennial gardens and four-season container plantings.

Allen Rokach
Expert photographer and guest lecturer known for his photographs of flowers, gardens, and landscapes. Served as staff photographer and director of photography at the New York Botanical Garden and as senior photographer for Southern Living magazine. Editorial assignments include National Geographic, Audubon, Natural History, Better Homes & Gardens, Fine Gardening, Garden Design, Garden, and Horticulture magazines, and The New York Times.

Manuel Sanchez
Grounds foreman at the Chicago Botanic Garden for more than 20 years. B.S. in industrial mechanics. Expert in engine repair, landscape construction, and landscape maintenance.

Julie Sajtar

Julie Sajtar
CA, ISA, ASLA. Landscape designer for Craig Bergmann Landscape Design.

Jordan Scherer
Tea and coffee industry expert, entrepreneur, and tea enthusiast.

Sarah Schultz
Steward of the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve, Long Grove, Illinois.

Jill Selinger

Jill Selinger
Manager of Adult Education for the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Teaches core courses in the Ornamental Plant Materials Certificate Program as well as other horticulture courses. Previously worked for Synnestvedt Nursery Company and DeVroomen Bulb Company.

Thomas R. Selinger
James Martin & Associates. B.L.A. from Michigan State University. Instructor for the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, the College of DuPage, and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.

Shawn Sheehy

Shawn Sheehy
Pop-up paper art engineer and author.

Heather Sherwood

Heather Sherwood
Senior horticulturist, English Walled Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden.  B.S. in horticulture from Iowa State University. Passion for gardening cultivated in Laytonsville, Maryland, where she worked for a cut-flower grower and a small public garden before going to college.

Bill Shores

Bill Shores
Professional gardener, Shores Garden Consulting. Specializes in intensive, small-scale gardening systems. Experience designing and running organic commercial food gardens, designing urban landscapes, and teaching intensive techniques. Works with clients to utilize indoor and outdoor urban spaces for food production, edible landscaping, and native plantscapes.

Dale Sievert

Gilbert Smith

Gilbert Smith
Co-owner of Arborsmith, Ltd. University-educated, ISA certified arborist who has been caring for trees on the North Shore of Chicago for more than 40 years. Smith has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens' Do It Yourself magazine for his own home garden.

Lesley Bruce Smith

Lesley Bruce Smith
Co-owner of Arborsmith, Ltd. University-educated, ISA certified arborist who has been caring for trees on the North Shore of Chicago for more than 40 years. Smith has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens' Do It Yourself magazine for her own home garden.

Dave Sollenberger

Dave Sollenberger
Seed bank conservation specialist for the Seeds of Success National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank. Chicago Botanic Garden restoration ecologist of the Dixon Prairie for 25 years. B.S. in botany, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Tom Soulsby

Tom Soulsby
Senior horticulturist, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.A. in business management and administration, Bradley University.

Mary Ann Spina

Mary Ann Spina
Teacher, writer, and counselor specializing in guided meditation walks.

Greg Stack
Extension horticulturist providing leadership in horticultural programming for both homeowners and commercial horticulturists with emphasis in the area of herbaceous ornamentals. B.S. and M.S. in ornamental horticulture from the University of Illinois. Actively involved in the development of horticulture websites, flower show exhibits, and youth horticulture programs.

Jim Steffen

Jim Steffen
Ecologist, Chicago Botanic Garden.

Marcy Stewart-Pyziak
Horticulturist, The Gardener's Tutor.

Kathe Stoepel
Graphic designer and print designer, Lake Forest Library.

Cathy Thomas

Cathy Thomas
Propagator at the Chicago Botanic Garden. B.S. from Northwestern University.

Kay Thomas

Kay Thomas
Japanese ink painting instructor. B.A. from Duquesne University, with extensive Japanese ink painting and Chinese painting, watercolor, oil, crafts, and other experience.

Karen Thomson
B.S. in horticulture from Iowa State University. Owns and operates a home-based business called Thomson Topiaries, L.L.C. Specializes in giving lectures and workshops on topiary construction and care.

Tom Tiddens

Tom Tiddens
Plant health care supervisor at the Chicago Botanic Garden and certified arborist. M.S. in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois and B.S. in engineering from Northern Illinois University.

Greg Trabka
New product development manager, Ball Horticultural Company, M.B.A. in supply chain management from Michigan State University and M.S. in horticulture from University of Agriculture, Poland.

Tom Trausch
Artist, TWSA master status.

Jeffrey True
Vice president of operations, Hursthouse, Inc., Landscape Architects and Contractors. Degree from the University of Illinois in ornamental horticulture. Frequent lecturer at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, College of DuPage, and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.

Frances Vail
Art instructor.

Edward Valauskas
Lecturer in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University, where he teaches classes about the history of the book, information policy, and technology.

Tom Weaver

Tom Weaver
Assistant horticulturist, Dwarf Conifer and Waterfall Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden. B.A. in horticulture from the University of Minnesota.

Patsy Welch
Artist and educator. B.F.A., painting, cum laude, University of Tennessee. Advanced study of painting and fresco, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France. M.Arch., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Has taught watercolor classes at the Evanston Art Center, the Suburban Fine Arts Center, and Hull House.

Bim Willow

Bim Willow
Furniture maker and author specializing in natural willow furniture design. Author of six instructional books about building rustic furniture.

Sharon Yiesla

Sharon Yiesla
Owner, Sharon Yiesla, Horticulture Services. Horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Lake County Extension. B.S. in horticulture, Purdue University. M.S. in horticulture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Author of Shade Trees for the Central and Northern United States and Canada.

Mark Zampardo

Mark Zampardo
Ph.D. Professor emeritus of horticulture at the College of Lake County, where he served as the coordinator of horticulture for 28 years. Author of A Landscaper's Guide to Perennial Flowers, as well as numerous horticultural magazine articles.