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Current Instructors

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NameBiography
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.
Jennifer Blackwell Jenny Blackwell is curator of the Discovery Garden and Early Spring Garden. Originally from Minnesota, Jenny didn't really get bitten by the horticulture bug until she moved to New York City in 2005. After working as an intern at BBG and receiving a Certificate in Horticulture in 2008, she gardened with the compost tea masters at Battery Park City Parks Conservancy before serving as project manager for BBG's NYC Compost Project for five years. She joined BBG's Horticulture staff in 2014. Jenny is passionate about ecology and soil, and her favorite ecosystem in the Discovery Garden is the meadow.
Enid Braun Artist Enid Braun uses urban and nature landscape imagery in mixed-media drawing, pastel, and oil. She currently teaches private figure drawing in her Brooklyn studio and has taught for the Battery Park City Conservancy, the 92nd Street Y, and Cooper Union public programs. She recently taught Adirondacks Plein Air, a five-day workshop for the Tahawus Center in Au Sable Forks, New York, and has also been a visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from Pratt Institute. Check out her website for more information.
Emily Carter Emily Carter is a co-coordinator of BBG's Children's Garden. Her passion for farming and garden education started in Vermont where she led farm education programs at Shelburne Farms. She has spent many years in Maine, Vermont, and New York as both a garden teacher and an eager horticulture student. She has a master's degree in environmental education from NYU and hopes to continue to grow and learn about the wonderful world of plants.
Di Cui
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.
Joseph Giunta Joseph Giunta has led bird walks for the Nature Conservancy and the South Fork Natural History Society and taught a beginning birding course for Summer Fest. He has birded extensively in the U.S., Panama, Belize, Venezuela, and Costa Rica.
Brian Gresko Brian Gresko is a writer and the editor of the anthology When I First Held You : 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood (Penguin, 2014). His fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications, most recently Longreads . He teaches creative writing at Sackett Street and Catapult and cohosts Pete's Reading Series, Brooklyn's longest-running reading project
Hester Griffin Hester Griffin is an urban farmer and gardener. She began farming as an intern at Brooklyn Grange and then moved to Maine to work with organic farmers Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman at Four Season Farm. Hester returned to NYC to work at Queens County Farm Museum and is currently a horticultural assistant in BBG's Discovery Garden.
Michelle Inciarrano Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, both born and bred Brooklyn artists, created Twig Terrariums in 2009, utilizing their backgrounds in design, marketing, horticulture, and botany. Their creations have been in many publications and shows, including The New York Times, The Nate Berkus Show, Garden Design Magazine, and Country Living. Twig has been awarded prizes in a variety of terrarium classes at the Philadelphia Flower Show and received an Honorable Mention at the New Jersey Flower Show.
Madineyah Isaacs Madineyah Isaacs is a personal mastery and leadership coach and floral enthusiast representing Stems Brooklyn. She loves nature and helping people get back to their true nature; combining these two passions into mindfulness flower arranging was a natural step. Her career includes extensive traveling and coaching, in group settings and one-on-one, in Italy, London, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
Adriana Jamieson Adriana Jamison is a floral designer, potter, and student of herbalism at ArborVitae, based in Brooklyn. Shortly after realizing her future was destined to be among plants, she began creating vessels to hold them. Adriana leans toward a tempestuous style when designing with flowers and strives to remain true to natural textures and forms. Her greatest joy in designing is transposing the duality and unpredictability of nature.
Jie Jin Jie Jin is a mushroom grower and founder of Curiouseed, an education studio with a mission to inspire nature awareness through playful, experimental, and hands-on experiences with fungi. Jie is a member of the New York Mycology Society and a certified permaculturist. She founded the Teaming with Fungi Meetup, and has taught or spoken at GrowNYC, NYC Parks, Queens Botanical Garden, CUNY, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and AgTechX, among others. Currently, Jie is organizing Intelligent Fungi, an exhibition and workshop series as part of Governors Island's 2019 public season.
Aimee Kirby Aimee Kirby is the founder and creative director of Ferox Studio, a garden and floral design firm working in the Northeast and beyond. She sees gardens and flora not only as a thing of beauty but also as opportunities to embrace natural media as art and functional installation. Aimee specializes in projects focused on pollinator palettes, soft textures, and layered multiseasonal appeal.
Keiko Kitazawa Koch Keiko Kitazawa is Japanese tea instructor and the Secretary General of Omotesenke Domonkai, Eastern Region, USA. She leads demonstrations in the NYC metropolitan area and the Philadelphia area.
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.
Celeste McMickle Celeste McMickle, founder of Celestial Solutions, has been working with plants and design for over a decade. She is trained as an architect and has always been passionate about the relationship between the built and natural environments. Celeste received her permaculture design certificate in 2017 and has integrated this design philosophy into her professional work as a New York-based gardener and sustainability consultant.
Leda Meredith Leda Meredith is an ethnobotanist who specializes in edible and medicinal plants and sustainable food systems. She is the author of several books, including Northeast Foraging and Preserving Everything. She also writes a wild edible plants blog for Mother Earth News and posts her adventures in food and botany online at Leda Meredith: The Forager's Feast.
Sokyu Mitani Sokyu Mitani is a first-degree instructor for the Japanese tea ceremony school Urasenke Konnichian. She teaches at the Urasenke Tea Center in Manhattan and the Nippon Club cultural center. She also has demonstrated the art of the tea ceremony at the New York Philharmonic Young People's concert, Hunter College High School, and the Japan Society. She holds a B.A. from the Tokyo University of Art and Music.
Robert Moss Robb Moss is a freelance florist and floral instructor at BBG and the New York Botanical Garden and also teaches classes for local gardeners and social clubs.
Krissie Nagy Krissie Nagy has been making and selling her whimsical kokedama at the Brooklyn Flea since April, 2013. She is also the owner of BK Bumpkin, an ecological garden design/build firm based in Brooklyn. When Krissie isn't building a garden or making a moss ball, she is usually cooking meals at home and feeding her pet worms the kitchen scraps.
Anna Paltseva Anna Paltseva is a soil scientist at the Urban Soils Institute and Brooklyn College Analytical Center. She working toward a doctorate degree in earth and environmental science with a concentration in geology from CUNY Graduate Center, where her research focuses on urban soil contamination and bioavailability of heavy metals in urban soils. Besides at BBG, the Russian native has taught at Brooklyn College and at the New York Botanical Garden.
Cheryl Paswater Cheryl Paswater is a Brooklyn-based certified fermentationist , educator, and health coach, who after a near-death experience turned to holistic medicine for help. After radical diet and lifestyle changes, she started teaching fermentation, old-world food preservation, healthy eating, sustainable food, and holistic health. She runs a popular fermentation project and CSA called Contraband Ferments.
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.
Maria Elena Pombo Maria Elena Pombo is the founder of Fragmentario, a creative studio based in Brooklyn, where she uses plants to color fiber and create unique textile goods; she also offers dye services and workshops on natural dyes. A fashion design graduate from Parsons School of Design and former designer at Michael Kors, Mari has been studying natural dyes independently for more than four years and has taught workshops in Italy, Spain, Germany, and New York City.
Carla Naomi Rodriguez
Nigel Rollings Nigel Rollings is a designer and builder of gardens in the New York area and has taught classes at BBG since 1995. He won the Association of Professional Landscape Designers Silver Award for residential garden design in 2006.
Adele Rossetti Adele Rossetti is the illustrator of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Discovery Garden interpretation consoles and a fellow of the BBG Florilegium Society. She has an MFA in painting and an MS in history of art, design, and architecture from Pratt Institute. She has taught art extensively and has received numerous honors and awards, including a 2016 Fulbright Scholarship. She is also a lecturer, scientific illustrator, private art tutor, and exhibiting artist.
Virginia Shou
Maeve Turner Maeve Turner's position as curator of the Herb Garden represents her return to BBG, after an earlier stint in 2007 as a Horticulture intern. In between, she worked for a private gardening company and for five years as a gardener at the High Line. Maeve credits her two years after college working at Morning Glory Farm, on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, with giving her a fondness for growing vegetables and fruits.
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.