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Current Instructors

Click on an instructor's name to see the classes he or she is teaching.

Dana Bourne
Rebecca Bullene Rebecca Bullene is a botanical designer specializing in both interior and exterior landscapes. She is the founder of Greenery NYC one of the leading urban horticultural design companies in NYC.
James Johnson
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.
Will Lenihan Will Lenihan is an assistant gardener 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.
Phil Macaluso Phil Macalusco is an assistant gardener at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A graduate of the Horticulture internship and certificate program at BBG, Phil has worked for four years on the Garden's ground crew. Before joining BBG, he worked for two years as a gardener in the conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden. His major interest is sustainable maintenance of public green spaces in urban environments.
Janis Napoli After receiving her degree in horticulture, Janis Napoli spent the first part of her career working in nurseries in South Jersey, learning about ornamentals species up close. After completing a BBG Horticulture internship, she joined the staff as an assistant gardener. She is currently the horticulture supervisor for Prospect Park, where she works in the ornamental areas of the park and oversees a small, hardworking team of gardeners. Janis has been gardening her entire life and loves to be outdoors.
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.
Irene Pease Irene Pease, aka the Friendly Neighborhood Astronomer, enjoys sharing views through her telescopes to passersby on busy sidewalks and under darker skies in Prospect Park. In addition to astronomizing around Brooklyn, she teaches physics at York College, CUNY, and produces the Hayden Planetarium video blog, Skylight. Irene is a frequent presenter and cohost of Astronomy on Tap NYC and a presenter for Hayden Planetarium's Astronomy Live series.
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.
Margarita Poulson Margarita Poulson, BBG's curator of interior displays and Washington Avenue gardens, makes unique jewelry pieces using botanical materials, a passion she discovered and embraced as a Horticulture intern at BBG. She draws inspiration from the cultural traditions, folklore, and natural history of the seeds, bark, stems, and flowers she incorporates into her work. Margarita enjoys sharing and exploring her craft while teaching the Art of Botanical Jewelry Making at BBG and NYBG.
Nathaniel Whitmore Nathaniel Whitmore grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and began harvesting wild medicinal herbs as a teenager. He is well known as an expert forager and has been teaching about wild plant and mushroom identification for over 15 years. He practices shiatsu (acupressure) and herbal medicine at Worker Bee Community Acupuncture in Milford, Pennsylvania, where he is helping to develop a domestically sourced Chinese herbal apothecary. He also practices and teaches in several locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including at ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism.
Travis Wolf