- Cultivation, interpretation and study of herbs
- Engaging with visitors
- Working closely with staff, volunteers and students
- Garden photography
I began my gardening career at Cornell Botanic Gardens in 1991, following my first career as an art teacher. My formal studies in art strongly influence my approach to the garden as an art form. I was also very fortunate to have been mentored for several years by former gardener Diane Miske, whose garden aesthetic continues to influence my work. I assumed the management and curation of the Robison York State Herb Garden in 2005. I am continually drawn to this garden as it beautifully embodies the enduring connection between people and plants, with its diverse collection of useful plants that are rich with cultural significance.
Herbs have continued to be relevant to humankind throughout the ages and are a link between the past and the present. A subject that is of particular interest to me is the study of medicinal plants from ancient times and their intersection with current biopharmaceutical and medical research. I have given garden tours on this subject and been a guest speaker for several classes at Cornell University, including Introduction to Ancient Medicine, Medical Ethnobotany, and Health and Humanities. Another topic that I have researched extensively is the historical use of native medicinal plants among the Haudenosaunee people.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in art education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.