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Current Instructors

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


NameBiography
Karen Bell Karen Bell holds an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to BBG, she has taught photography at the New School, the International Center of Photography, FIT, and Seton Hall University. Her photographs have been exhibited and collected throughout the U.S., including the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, and Ellis Island Museum.
Marna Chester Marna Chester is a multidisciplinary artist who creates paper installations for commercial and private clients. Her work has been exhibited at the Wild Bird Fund Gallery, Rye Arts Center, Voelker Orth Museum, on the television series Gotham, and at Bergdorf Goodman. This past summer she was an artist-in-residence on Governors Island through NYC Audubon. She has taught paper sculpture workshops at Yeshiva University Museum, Rye Arts Center, Creative Center, Brooklyn Brainery, and Au Papier Japonais in Montreal. A native New Yorker, she has a BFA from Alfred University and an MPS from Pratt Institute. Follow her on Instagram @marna_chester.
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.
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.
Adam Negrin Adam Negrin is a PhD candidate at Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, where he is working on the phytochemistry of Theobroma cacao and caffeine-containing Ilex species.
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.
Mari Pombo Mari 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.
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.