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Course Listing - by Instructor

Name Biography
Seda Anac Seda Anac is a ceramist and educator based in Brooklyn. She worked in the movie industry for many years before unexpectedly finding a new path in clay. She is an advocate for the use of clay as a medium for artistic expression and she is dedicated to helping others explore the many possibilities of the art form. She works with students of all ages to help them discover the joy of working with clay and to build their own creative projects. She also partners with local businesses to collaborate on unique, custom projects and host workshops. She is passionate about making clay accessible to everyone, and she hopes to inspire others to express their creativity through the medium of clay.
Patrick Austin Patrick Austin is the plant propagator and nursery gardener at BBG. A former BBG propagation intern, he has an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, and is always interested in learning about how plants got their names. He has also worked at Greenbelt Native Plant Center, propagating native plant species for habitat restoration around the five boroughs.
Elise Bernhardt Elise Bernhardt led nonprofit cultural organizations for over 30 years before she “reinvented” to follow her passion for flowers and start Fleur Elise Bkln. She brings her background as a dancer/choreographer and her studies of Ikebana (Japanese floral design) to her own designs. In her teaching, Bernhardt combines her experience building teams and her love affair with flowers. Her workshops are calm, creative, collaborative, and joyous.
Monique Bosch Monique has built over 40 edible school and community gardens and farms, including a two-acre urban farm in Bridgeport Connecticut. These days she works as a soil health lead for CT NOFA, and runs a worm composting business with her son Justin. She studied the soil food web under Dr. Elaine Ingham, and teaches soil health, microscopy and “grow your own food” courses throughout the Northeast. Through microscopy and test trials, Monique explores the relationship between living soil and healthy, nutritious food.
Nancy Carey Nan Carey is a painter and potter. Her watercolors and sketchbooks are exhibited widely, and she teaches classes and workshops in watercolor painting, sketchbook journaling, and collage. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Kwok Kay Choey Kwok Kay Choey is an artist and tai chi instructor. He received his art education in Singapore, New York, and Europe and is proficient in both Chinese and Western painting. He has led painting/calligraphy workshops at the Metropolitan Museum and at the American Museum of Natural History and taught at Queens College, Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, and elsewhere. A practitioner of tai chi/qi gong for more than 50 years, he often participates in tai chi seminars in Asia and has instructor certification in Tai Chi for Arthritis from the Dr. Paul Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute. He practices the Yang style, tracing tai chi's martial arts origins while emphasizing its health benefits.
Kim Eierman Specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants, Kim Eierman is a certified horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, master gardener, master naturalist, and accredited organic land care professional. In addition to BBG, she teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College (where she is also on the steering committee), and several other institutions. Kim is an active speaker on many ecological gardening topics and also provides horticultural consulting to homeowners and commercial clients.
Sara Epstein Sara Epstein manages BBG's school programs and partnerships and enjoys teaching and learning about plants with everyone.
Ronen Gamil Ronen Gamil has been the gardener-curator of the Brook Garden at BBG since June 2021 and has worked as a public horticulturist in NYC since 2014. His five years at Prospect Park included three years as horticulture supervisor where he focused on design, installation, and management methods of large scale, native, low-cost, habitat plantings for pollinators and other wildlife. Ronen was trained at BBG as a horticulture intern while completing the horticulture certificate program and earlier earned degrees in art and urban design. In his three-year role teaching early childhood and elementary school, he initiated an urban ecologies program and two container vegetable gardens in 2010.
Isra Gordon
Jane Grey
Arvolyn Hill Arvolyn Hill (she/her) is a community herbalist, flower essence practitioner, and outdoor educator with a never-ending curiosity about plants and the natural world. Raised on Schaghticoke land of rural Kent, Connecticut, her love of herbalism grew after the passing of several family members due to preventable environmental illness. She studied at Twin Star Connecticut’s School of Herbalism and Energetic Studies and in 2016 opened Gold Feather, an online apothecary and flower art shop. Arvolyn is passionate about reclaiming herbalism for BIPOC communities and using herbs to build ancestral connection. She’s the manager of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, where she creates nature-centered science-exploration activities for kids. Arvolyn can be found growing herbs at her local community garden in Harlem or sharing herbal tips on Instagram @goldfeather_ Website:
Judith Hutton
Mimi Jorling Mimi Jorling is one of BBG's librarians where, among other library duties, she answers the Plant Info Line. She is a horticulturist with over 20 years' experience working in public parks and residential gardens and has an interest in medicinal plants.
Paul Keim Paul Keim, who holds a BFA from Pratt Institute, is a full-time printer and colorist and an avid birdwatcher and naturalist. He belongs to the Brooklyn Watercolor Society and the Brooklyn Bird Club, where he has served as president.
Colin Kirk Colin Kirk graduated from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The University of Georgia with a concentration in Horticulture. He has spent close to 10 years working in various areas of the horticultural industry in New York City, including green roofing, green infrastructure, and urban landscaping. He is currently a gardener at Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.
Barbara Kurland Barbara Kurland is BBG's director of Learning and Partnerships, where she manages school programs and teacher-training programs as well as partnerships with other institutions. She holds a BA from Vassar College and an MA from Lehman College, CUNY, both in biology, and before joining the Garden in 1989, she taught middle and high school science in the New York City public schools.
Will Lenihan Will Lenihan is the curator of the Native Flora Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the former curator of Natural Science at the Staten Island Museum. He is a graduate of BBG's Horticulture Certificate Program and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh's Ecology program. He is also a lifelong carnivorous plant enthusiast.
George Lozfeski George Lozefski is the laboratory manager and field & education/outreach coordinator at the NYC Urban Soils Institute. As a dedicated and passionate scientist and educator, he conducts environmental research at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and teaches geoscience courses at Brooklyn College. Lozefski conducts soil science and soil testing workshops and provides training in soil quality test evaluations for academic and community settings. The institute’s mission is to analyze urban soils for contaminants and provide general soil quality analysis and resources for optimizing soil health for urban agriculture. He also conducts research in green infrastructure including stormwater capture, soil structure, infiltration, water and soil quality, and biogeochemistry. He received his B.S. in geology from Queens College and an M.A. in environmental science from Brooklyn College.
Allison Maletz Allison Maletz is a contemporary watercolor and mixed media artist, with degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She has exhibited her work widely in Europe and the U.S. She has also taught people of all ages and currently leads classes in painting, drawing, illustration, installation, and professional practices for artists at Parsons School of Design, Marymount Manhattan College, and various continuing education courses in NYC.
Jake Nager Jake Nager graduated from the BBG horticulture internship in 2018. After working in private arboriculture, Jake gained his ISA certification and returned to BBG as an arborist in 2019.
Molly Nash Rouzie Molly Nash Rouzie is a Brooklyn-based naturalist specializing in botany. She spent a decade gardening for NYC design and installation companies and still offers freelance consulting services to designers and garden owners. Molly received a certificate in botany from the New York Botanical Garden in 2018 and now leads Meet Your Green Neighbors plant identification and appreciation tours at Green-Wood Cemetery and urban flora expeditions citywide.
Dawn Petter Dawn Petter teaches classes about the art of plant-based healing with the aim of making herbs and herbal medicine applicable to people's daily lives. She incorporates her training from Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism with her natural creative flare. In addition to teaching, Dawn works as a herbalist and flower-essence practitioner, leads herb walks, and runs an online apothecary shop called Petalune Herbals.
Isa Rodrigues Isa Rodrigues (she/her) is a textile artist and educator currently based in Brooklyn and Lagos, Portugal. She works mostly with weaving and dyeing, inspired by natural phenomenas, handmade textile processes, and sustainable materials. She is also interested in art education as a means to create community and preserve material culture. Isa is a founding team of the Textile Arts Center (TAC), where she has worked as co-executive director for the last six years. From 2010 to 2016, she developed the project Sewing Seeds, creating and activating natural dye gardens in empty lots and community gardens in Brooklyn, and she’s currently a consultant for the Pratt’s Natural Dye Garden. Isa teaches weaving, natural dyeing, and other surface design techniques at TAC, RISD, Ox-Bow, Pratt Institute, and other venues.
Carey Russell Carey Russell is a naturalist, educator, filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. He holds a master’s degree in forestry with an emphasis in landscape ecology, and is a certified interpretive guide, and a licensed guide and master naturalist in New York State. He has worked for the U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, Discover Outdoors, and Khangi Nuruu National Park in Mongolia. Recently, he founded the Dendro Lab, a platform designed to improve the public’s relationship to nature through tree identification, which will include an online course, workshops, and podcast. As a filmmaker, he has been a frequent collaborator with director Terrence Malick (The New World, The Tree of Life); and directed and photographed the documentary series Tibetan Stories. Also a photographer, Russell recently published his first monograph, The New Arcadians, about the formative experiences of youth and nature at summer camp.
Frank Schellace Frank Schellace is an urban beekeeper, artist, and sociologist. In 2018 he approached his local community garden, Q Gardens Community Farm, wanting to learn about bees for a sculpture, and found them to be an infinitely fascinating story of social organization, evolution, and craft. He now co-coordinates the apprenticeship hives at Q and conducts outreach workshops with his traveling hive.
Georgia Silvera Seamans Georgia Silvera Seamans is an urban and community forester with field experience in Boston, Oakland, and NYC. She is also an independent researcher and freelance writer. Her research has been published in the journals Urban Forestry & Urban Greening and Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, and she has bylines in Popular Science and Audubon magazines and on the website Urban Omnibus. She is the founder of Local Nature Lab and directs the organization’s Washington Square Park Eco Projects initiative. Silvera Seamans is a co-organizer of #BlackBotanistsWeek.
Michael Stewart Michael Stewart is a photographer and video artist. His portfolio shows an artist trying to slow the world down from its dizzying pace. Through photos he is able to tame loud and bustling urban scenery into quiet and thoughtful moments of stillness. He strives to express our collective and hurried attempts at establishing intimacy with unfamiliar figures and locales. Since 2019, Michael has been Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s staff photographer and video producer. He has a degree in media for global citizenship and a certificate in film studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He won Best Documentary at the 2010 and Best Experimental Film at the 2012 UMass Amherst Film Festival. Michael’s work can be seen at and on Instagram @mjstew00.
Valerie Striar Valerie Striar has cultivated a longtime practice of mindfulness meditation and is certified with Ithe Inner Strength Foundation and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education for Teens, iBme. She has completed trainings with Tara Brach; Jack Kornfield; Mindful Schools (the eight-week MBSR training), Compassion Cultivation Training, created at Stanford University; and yoga and trauma-informed training with The Lineage Project. Valerie currently teaches a weekly yoga and meditation class at Chan Space and is a guest teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School, where she leads high school students in mindfulness meditation practice. She is also a mentor with Access Mindfulness and volunteers at Pillars Recovery Center. Valerie is a Master Practitioner, facilitator, and advisor with Narrative 4, a national and international organization that brings people together in story exchanges to foster empathy, understanding, and connection. Valerie has taught yoga in the Iyengar tradition for over 25 years. Her classes are restorative in nature and combine imagery and visualization inspired by the natural world. Since 2014, Valerie has led seasonal walking meditation at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Valerie is also a performing dance and theater artist.
Mike Troy Brown
Travis Wolf Travis Wolf is an ISA-certified arborist and has been an arborist at BBG for 15 years. He graduated from NYBG’s School of Professional Horticulture in 2006 and worked at several other parks and gardens prior to joining BBG.
Julianne Zaleta Julianne Zaleta is a professional herbalist, aromatherapist, and natural perfumer. As the proprietor of the Brooklyn-based Alchemologie Natural Perfume, she crafts artisanal and bespoke perfumes as well as aromatic and therapeutic remedies and elixirs for a wide variety of ailments. She is a certified aromatherapist as well as a licensed massage therapist and meditation teacher.