Faculty and Staff

Day-to-day operations of the School are managed by the Director, who also guides students with special group projects, plant studies, reviews, and field trips. An advisory board, composed of instructors, education and horticulture staff, and representatives from horticultural businesses, meets periodically to review school policies and curriculum.

The School, the Director, and all School faculty are licensed by the New York State Department of Education’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/) in order to fulfill their duties to students in the program.

Advisory Board
Ani Adishian
Ronda Brands
Todd Forrest
Bill Logan
Kurt Morrell
Darrel Morrison
Sarah Owens
Susan Pell, Ph.D.
Jon Peter
Kristin Schleiter
Dennis Schrader

Barbara Corcoran
Vice President for Continuing and Public Education

Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D.
Director, School of Professional Horticulture

Eric Lieberman
Manager, School of Professional Horticulture


Tolly Beck is the horticulturist at Lasdon Park and Arboretum, Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. She was formerly a horticulture educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County.

Jamie Boyer, Ph.D. is the Marian S. Heiskell Vice President for Children’s Education at The New York Botanical Garden. He holds a doctorate in Plant Biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

David Bulpitt is a principal of Brookside Nurseries, Inc., which specializes in soil mixes for horticultural use.

Wayne Cahilly is Manager of the Lionel Goldfrank III Institutional Mapping Department. He is an arborist, garden consultant, and a graduate of the Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture.

Mark Cupkovic is the Vice President for Security and Operations at the Garden, and holds a BA from Miami University, Ohio.

Deanna Curtis, Associate Curator of Woody Plants at the Garden, is an ISA-certified arborist. She holds a BS in horticulture from Michigan State University and graduate degrees in both horticulture and landscape architecture from Cornell University, where she specialized in urban horticulture.

Norka de Lima, Ph.D., received her doctorate in Botany from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. She volunteered at the Botanical Garden organizing, working on databases, and barcoding specimens of North American flora.

Alice Eckerson, RLA, holds an MLA from the University of Virginia and owns her own business in Fairfield, Conn.

William Einhorn, RLA, principal of Landscape Design Associates of Westchester, Inc., and AquaScape Pool Company, has a BLA from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse.

Don Gabel s Manager of Plant Health at the Garden. He is an ISA-certified arborist, a certified nurseryman, and has been active in the green industry for more than 35 years.

Marc Hachadourian s Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at the Garden and holds a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University. He supervises the care of the botanical collections, including an extensive orchid collection and exhibition plants in the Nolen Greenhouses.

Holly Hepp-Galvan is Adjunct Professor of Speech and Communication at Manhattan College, and Adjunct Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Bill Logan is an ISA-certified arborist, a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, founder and president of Urban Arborists, Inc., and author of Oak: The Frame of Civilization; Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth; and Air: The Restless Shaper of the World.

Gary Lincoff has taught plant studies at the Garden since the 1970s. He is the author of several books on mushrooms, including The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. In 2002 he was the recipient of the Garden’s Instructor of the Year Award.

Donald McClelland, BA, holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and is a Botanical Garden Graduate Fellow working on the genus Solanum.

Marta McDowell is a writer, lecturer, and garden designer. She received a Landscape Design Certificate from the Garden.

Kurt Morrell is Associate Vice President for Landscape Operations at the Garden, and is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.

Fintan O’Sullivan works in the Nolen Greenhouses at the Garden as a plant propagator. He is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.

Susan Pell, Ph.D., is Plant Molecular Systematist and Laboratory Manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and is The New York Botanical Garden’s Botany Program Coordinator.

Jon L. Peter, NPD, OAC is Plant Records Manager at the Garden, holds diplomas in horticulture from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and from the University of Guelph, and has more than 15 years of experience in North American public gardens.

Michael Ruggiero is the former Senior Curator of Horticulture at the Garden and a longtime instructor at the Garden. He lectures and writes on gardening topics and has authored several books, including Annuals with Style and Perennial Gardening.

Kristin Schleiter is Director of Outdoor Gardens at the Botanical Garden. She earned a BS from Cornell University.

Ryan Torres is a long-time consultant and educator. As an ISA-certified arborist and certified nursery and landscape professional, she is the horticulturist for the Town of North Hempstead, N.Y.

Mobee Weinstein, Foreman of Gardeners at the Garden, holds a BS in plant studies from Lehman College and is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.

Horticulture Rotation Supervisory Staff

Toby Adams Director of the Edible Academy

Wayne Cahilly Manager of the Lionel Goldfrank III Institutional Mapping Department

Ursula Chanse Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture

Jessica Clarke Associate Curator of Glasshouse Collections

Francisca Coelho Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions

Karen Daubmann Associate Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Engagement

Margaret Falk Associate Vice President for Landscape, Gardens, and Living Collections

Don Gabel Manager of Plant Health

Marc Hachadourian Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections

Kurt Morrell Associate Vice President for Landscape Operations

Annie Novak Manager of the Edible Academy

Jody Payne Director of the Rock Garden and the Native Plant Garden

Jon L. Peter Plant Records Manager

Eric Pioselli Foreman, Turf and Grounds

Kristin Schleiter Associate Vice President for Outdoor Gardens

Jessica Arcate Schuler Director of the Thain Family Forest

Mobee Weinstein Foreman of Gardeners