Full or Part-time
United States of America
Years in the field:
20 – 25 Years
Areas of Expertise
Curatorial/Collections, Education, Events, Research & Evaluation, Volunteer Programs
I developed a love for nature as a young child while exploring the woods behind my grandma’s home. A fondness for plants was seeded in me around that same time, as well. Hours spent on outdoor adventures as a youth led to my decision to pursue a career in Biology.
My career began at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH). My position at CMNH provided the perfect opportunity to absorb a diverse wealth of knowledge and sharpen professional skills. My job at the Museum required me to be both a field botanist during the growing season and a Lab manager the rest of the year. The duel nature of those roles necessitated that I be equally at home working knee deep in a wetland or working in a lab environment where my responsibilities entailed the detail-oriented care of a scientific Botanical research collection (the Herbarium).
As a Field Botanist, I worked alongside other professionals in the field conducting botanical inventories and vegetation surveys. A typical field season may entail conducting vegetation surveys to assist in monitoring the progress of a restoration project. Other surveys were used to assess the health of a wetland, the data from which would aide in securing grant funds for protection of the wetland. I also participated in stewardship activities such as building 12-foot-high deer exclosures to monitor the impact of deer populations on native plant communities. Working in a diverse array of habitats, I gained the knowledge and understanding of the different local natural ecosystems and the functions they provide in the landscape.
As a Collections Manager, I oversaw the Herbarium collection and managed the Botany Lab. I worked with volunteers to curate the collection. I scheduled visitors, maintained the Herbarium database, and provided data to researchers and conservation organizations. My responsibilities included data entry, preparation of specimens, and required attention to detail. I identified plants both as part of my research and for the public. My job necessitated that I be flexible, adaptable and able to step into roles not part of my typical job duties such as: staffing tables for Museum or community outreach events, giving tours of the Herbarium to University classes, occasionally putting together and giving presentations on Botanical topics for organizations such as Master Gardener groups, or occasionally teaching a Plant Identification workshop.