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Instructors

Susie Bartz holds a degree in geology from SBCC, and works as a technical research assistant at the Museum of Natural History, helping publish the maps of legendary geologist Tom Dibblee. As a geology educator, Susie works with community organizations to bring an awareness of earth science to the general public in outdoor settings.

Dr. Sherwin Carlquist, Professor Emeritus at Claremont Graduate School and Pomona College, is a research Botanist at SBBG. He was named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1973 and holds awards from such prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian Institution and the California Academy of Sciences. His extensive list of publications centers on studies of island botanical life, but also includes monographs on plant anatomy, structure, and evolution.

Mary Carroll holds a Master’s degree in Botany and is a former SBBG Director of Education . She conducts botanical surveys, performs research for the UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve, leads botanical field trips, and teaches classes in botany and ecology. She enjoys opportunities to share her knowledge of the plant world with both novice and advanced students at Westmont College and at the Garden. 

Fred Emerson holds a Ph.D. in wildlife management from Cornell University and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University.  He has taught, conducted research, and managed natural resources for both state and federal agencies as well as universities. He has enjoyed 2 careers: 1) wildlife biology and 2) emergency and internal medicine. He is especially interested in the interfaces of human health and the health of our environment.

Bob Haller is Professor Emeritus at UCSB and Botanist at the Garden. He is an acclaimed plant geographer, has studied plants of Mediterranean regions, and is an expert on California pines.

Sally Isaacson is a former Director of Education at the Garden.  She holds a B.A. in natural sciences, an M.A. in botany, and teaching credentials. She worked at the Garden for over twenty years and has taught at a variety of levels for 30 years. 

Steve Junak, the Garden’s Herbarium Curator emeritus, is an active researcher and expert on the flora of the islands of California and Baja California.  He holds an M.A. in botany, has led field trips for more than 25 years, and has co-authored several books on the Channel Islands. Look for Steve’s trips to the Channel Islands for unique botanical experiences.

Mme. Sokyo Kasai is the Tea Master of Tea House Shin Kan An at the Garden. She graduated from the Urasenke Chado School master course in Kyoto, Japan and holds the title of associate professor. She has three decades of experience in the art of tea ceremony, and has presented lectures and demonstrations at the UCSB Art Museum, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Antioch University, and various private functions.

Jo Ann McGeever Metzger is a local artist whose work has been featured in national exhibitions. She holds a B.A. in history and Spanish and an M.A. in education. She is an avid plant lover.

Bob Muller is a Research associate and the former Director of Research at the Garden. He is a plant ecologist and taught ecology and dendrology for many years at the University of Kentucky. His research interests are in plant community ecology and long-term change in community composition and structure. Look for his newly revised edition of Trees of Santa Barbara, co-authored with Garden Instructor Bob Haller.

Bruce Reed was raised on an organic farm in the Lompoc valley, and received his B.A. at Westmont College. He has traveled widely since, gaining his experience in the retail nursery industry as a manager and grower. For the past few years, Bruce has been immersed in the native plants of California while working as the Nursery Manager for the Garden’s retail nursery. Stop by the nursery and ask Bruce about the plants and products available.

Cathy Rose, formerly an English teacher at Crane School, is an experienced amateur botanist who serves at the Garden as a docent and leads botanical excursions in season to her specialty areas: Yosemite, Anza-Borrego, and the Eastern Sierra.

Nancy Vivrette earned a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology at UCSB, taught at UC Berkeley, and was a seed analyst at Ransom Seed Laboratory until her retirement this year. She is a current Research Associate at SBBG.  Along with her husband  Bob Haller, she is updating the conifer section for the revised Jepson Manual. Nancy is also an avid birder.

Dieter Wilken is the Director Emeritus of Conservation at the Garden. His varied interests include taxonomy, hybridization in relation to ecological distribution, life history studies, and floristics. He is the co-author of Ceanothus with Dave Fross (Timber Press, 2006).