Confirmed Speakers

Friday, June 28

Saturday, June 29

 


Friday, June 28

Ken Druse

Ken Druse
Award-winning author and photographer

Ken Druse is a celebrated lecturer, and an award-winning author and photographer, who has been called "the guru of natural gardening" by the New York Times. He is best known for his 20 garden books published over the last 25 years.

The American Horticultural Society listed his first large-format work, The Natural Garden (Clarkson Potter, 1988), among the best books of all time. His book Making More Plants (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2012) won the award of the year when it was first published from the prestigious Garden Writers Association.

That group gave Ken's 2013 stunning book, Natural Companions, the gold medal for photography and the silver for writing. In 2015, Ken won the gold medal for photography for his magazine article in Organic Gardening magazine. In 2016, his latest book, The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change, won the GWA's gold medal for writing.

The Smithsonian Institute announced the acquisition of the Ken Druse Collection of Garden Photography, comprising 100,000 images of American gardens and plants, when he moved from his 1873 Brooklyn brownstone in 2013.

The Garden Club of America presented Ken with the Sarah Chapman Francis medal for lifetime achievement in garden communication.

Alan Branhagen





Alan Branhagen
Director of Horticulture, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Alan J. Branhagen is Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where he supervises capital improvements, horticulture and natural resources, plant curation, facilities, and information technology. For over 20 years he was Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City's Botanical Garden and prior to that he had a nearly decade-long duty as Deputy Director of Resource Development for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District in Rockford, Illinois. Alan Branhagen received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University with emphasis on planning, plants and design with nature. He wrote The Gardener's Butterfly Book in 2001 published by the National Home Gardening Club and has written articles for Fine Gardening, Missouri Gardener, Missouri Prairie Journal, Landscape Maintenance and Restoration and Management Notes. In November 2016, Timber Press published his book Native Plants
of the Midwest
. (I just signed a contract with Timber Press for a new book that will be an offset of the prior: The Midwest Native Plant Primer: 225 Plants for an Earth-friendly Garden). Beyond public garden management, Mr. Branhagen is an all-around plantsman and naturalist (specializing in botany, birds and butterflies) and travels throughout the Midwest and the country visiting gardens and natural areas. He grew over 1,500 taxa of plants at his Missouri garden "Luna Ridge" nestled on 6 acres of woodland and meadow. He is in process of creating a new garden on 2.5 acres overlooking the Minnesota River Valley in Chaska, Minnesota (I've already recorded 120 species of birds and have almost 800 taxa of plants).

Julie Weisenhorn

Julie Weisenhorn

Extension Educator and Associate Extension Professor
University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science

2 Hour GARDEN DESIGN Workshop

Minnesota native Julie Weisenhorn holds master’s degrees in visual communication and horticulture from the University of Minnesota where she taught landscape design and served as state director of the Extension Master Gardener Program. As an Extension horticulturist, Weisenhorn has statewide responsibility for horticulture teaching, research and outreach with special focus on plant selection and sustainable residential landscape design. Recent research included Flowers for Pollinators (z.umn.edu/flowers) study on annual flowers and Pollinators for food studying annual flowers and pollination of bell peppers. Weisenhorn coordinates and regularly appears on the popular WCCO Radio Smart Gardens show (Saturdays, 8-9am, AM 830), and released the second version of the Plant Elements of Design plant selection database (http://www.landscapeplants.extension.umn.edu/). In her own words, “This is the best job I have ever had.”

Gary Johnson


Gary Johnson
University of Minnesota

50 Minute TREES Break Out Session

Gary is Professor and Extension Professor of Urban and Community Forestry at the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources. He directs the Urban Forestry Outreach Research and Extension lab and nursery, has been with the University since 1992, and directs the Urban and Community Forestry Curriculum at the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources. And he loves Minnesota. And he loves Master Gardeners.





Brian Schwingle
Tree Insects and Disease Specialist, Minnesota DNR

50 Minute TREES Break Out Session

Brian Schwingle is the Minnesota DNR's forest health specialist for central and southern Minnesota. His expertise is in diagnosing what is wrong with trees and monitoring broad scale trends in forest canopy health. Before his time in Minnesota, Brian worked for the Wisconsin DNR for 7 years, also as a tree health sleuth. He had earlier stints with the USDA Forest Service in Alaska and with Oregon State University Extension Forestry. Brian earned an M.S. in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Saturday, June 29

Marla Spivak

Dr. Michael Engel

Research Centers - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute Distinguished Professor & Senior Curator

Michael S. Engel is a Research Affiliate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is also University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Senior Curator of Entomology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Dr. Engel is the author of Innumerable Insects: The Story of the Most Diverse and Myriad Animals on Earth (Natural Histories) and coauthor of Evolution of the Insects, and author of numerous entomological treatises. He has been to 40 countries, north of the Arctic Circle and down to the equator in tropical rain forests, in search of living insects and ancient fossils. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

 

Matthew Gullickson



Matthew Gullickson
Applied Plant Science MSc student, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota

50 Minute BUGS Break Out Session

Matthew Gullickson is currently a Master's of Science student in the Applied Plant Science Program at the University of Minnesota Horticultural Science department and is advised by Dr. Mary Rogers. Matthew has spent the last two years studying chemical and exclusion management strategies for spotted-wing drosophila in fall-bearing raspberries. His research interests are in integrated pest management, sustainable horticulture and agriculture, and fruit and vegetable production.  Matthew's interest in nature and plants began as a child helping in his father's garden. This led him to working at the student-managed organic garden while pursuing a B.A. in biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. After graduating in 2016, he worked for The Nature Conservancy, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, and the University of Minnesota as a field technician specializing in plant identification and prairie ecology.




Heidi Heiland

Heidi Heiland
Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens (HLG)

50 Minute GARDEN DESIGN Break Out Session

Heidi Heiland is the Chief Experience Officer for her landscape gardening company, Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens (HLG), whose seeds were planted in 1979. With support from her professional team she creates award winning ecoscapes and nourishing encounters with nature for her customers by bringing them holistic consultation, landscape design, installation plus garden design and maintenance. In 2016, they opened GrowHaus, a garden centre on a 5-acre footprint in Corcoran, which is a regenerative hub for growing, learning and thriving.

After graduating from the Constance Spry Flower School in England, Heidi continued her education and became a Certified Professional through the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) and is one of only three female past Presidents in their 90+ year history. Beyond these credentials Heidi holds a certificate in Horticultural Therapy through Colorado State University, has her PDC for Permaculture Design, and is a Professional Master Gardener. She has 3 grandkids, a golden retriever dog named Dandelion and a rescued cat named Clover.  


David Asbazs

David Abazs
Executive Director,
Extension Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

50 Minute Break Out Session

David Abazs and his family have farmed and worked in the Northeast Minnesota, region for more than 30 years. Their North Shore of Lake Superior off-grid homestead is nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains where they and a growing community of folks share the land management of livestock, orchards, forests and businesses providing wreaths, CSA vegetable shares, and renewable energy consultation. David's life has drastically changed from managing his and two other farms, Wolf Ridge Organic Farm and the OCA AgroEcology Center by accepting a full-time position as the new Executive Director of the Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. The position provides leadership to a regional Board of Directors that builds community-University connections and supports sustainability projects across Northeast Minnesota.

Abazs' extensive community engagement includes serving as an elected official in the township of Crystal Bay (community of Finland, Minnesota) for 20 years, working as a Split Rock Lighthouse keeper, the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District as a water plan coordinator, and as a former University of Minnesota Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems (MISA) and partnered with farmers and University of Minnesota faculty to research food-shed modeling efforts and food systems capacity in northeastern Minnesota. Other related research includes experiments with soil/biochar, garlic and agrophenology. Abazs also enjoys pickleball and curling:)




Mike Heger







Mike Heger
Ambergate Gardens

50 Minute GARDEN DESIGN Break Out Session

Michael L. Heger has worked in both public and private horticulture. He spent the first fifteen years of his career at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In 1985, Mike and his wife Jean opened a niche perennial nursery called Ambergate Gardens. Recently retired from the nursery, Mike now spends his time lecturing, writing and consulting on issues related to gardening in northern regions. Mike is the author of "Perennials A to Z", a series of articles that were originally published in Minnesota Horticulturist and coauthor of Growing Perennials in Cold Climates, a gardening book written specifically for the colder regions of this country. Mike served as Central Region Director of the Perennial Plant Association from 1988-1994 and currently serves as board chair for the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. He also remains active in numerous plant societies and trade organizations related to perennial flowers. He has been awarded a Quill & Trowel Communication Award from the Garden Writers Association, the Distinguished Service Award and the Award of Merit from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, the Special Service Award from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association as well as the Service Award from the Perennial Plant Association.


Julie Weisenhorn

Julie Weisenhorn
Extension Educator and Associate Extension Professor
University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science

50 Minute GARDEN DESIGN Break Out Session

Minnesota native Julie Weisenhorn holds master's degrees in visual communication and horticulture from the University of Minnesota where she taught landscape design and served as state director of the Extension Master Gardener Program. As an Extension horticulturist, Weisenhorn has statewide responsibility for horticulture teaching, research and outreach with special focus on plant selection and sustainable residential landscape design. Recent research included Flowers for Pollinators (z.umn.edu/flowers) study on annual flowers and Pollinators for food studying annual flowers and pollination of bell peppers. Weisenhorn coordinates and regularly appears on the popular WCCO Radio Smart Gardens show (Saturdays, 8-9am, AM 830), and released the second version of the Plant Elements of Design plant selection database (http://www.landscapeplants.extension.umn.edu/). In her own words, "This is the best job I have ever had."

Lee Frelich

 

 

 

Lee Frelich
University of Minnesota

50 Minute TREES Break Out Session

Lee E. Frelich is Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology. He received a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. Frelich teaches courses in Forest Fire Ecology and Landscape Ecology on St.Paul Campus. Frelich has authored more than 170 publications with 230 coauthors from 23 countries, including major works for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. His research has been featured in the news media over 450 times, including such venues as The New York Times, Newsweek and National Geographic. Frelich has provided consulting services on forest management for The U.S. Army, Air Force, National Forest Service, and National Park Service. Current research interests include large-scale fire and wind, earthworm invasion, effects of deer and moose browsing, and climate change in temperate and boreal forests.

 

Monica Randazzo


Monica Randazzo
Researcher in the Urban and Community Forestry Outreach, Research, and Extension (UFORE) University of Minnesota

50 Minute TREES Break Out Session

Monica Randazzo is a researcher in the Urban and Community Forestry Outreach, Research, and Extension (UFORE) Nursery and Lab at the University of Minnesota, where she first began working as an undergraduate research assistant in 2015. For many years before and throughout college, Monica worked as a nanny and has always had an interest in teaching and working with children. She is currently a graduate student in the Natural Resources Science and Management program at the University of Minnesota, studying the impacts of urban natural resource workforce development and training programs. 


Larry Weber

Larry Weber
Teacher, Author and Naturalist

50 Minute BUGS Break Out Session

Larry Weber, Teacher, Author, Naturalist

Larry is a retired teacher of 40 years. He ontinues to teach with the Minnesota Master Naturalists.

Author of several books including: Spiders of the North Woods; Web Watching ,a guide to webs and the spiders that make them; Butterflies of the North Woods; Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods; Webwood; In a Patch of Goldenrods; Backyard Almanac; Minnesota Phenology.

He writes weekly Nature Column for the Duluth News Tribune and is one of the of the founders of the Minnesota Phenology Network.

 

Jeff Johnson

Jeffrey L. Johnson
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

50 Minute TREES Tour

Jeffrey L. Johnson has been a Trees and Shrubs Specialist at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for over 30 years.  He currently maintains the Hueg Lilac Collection, Pillsbury Shade Tree Exhibit,  Bailey Shrub Walk, Haggerty Pine Walk, generic tree and shrub collections around 3-Mile Drive, shrub evaluation trials, and long term shade tree evaluation plantings.

 

 

Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson
Writer and Photographer

50 Minute BUGS Break Out Session

Bill Johnson is a native Minnesota writer and photographer.  Having backgrounds in Entomology, Botany and photography it wasn't long before all three came together to become Bill's lifelong passion.

His images have appeared in over 1000 national and regional books and magazines, and he was a contributing columnist with Horticulture Magazine where, for 8 years, he wrote the column 'Insect ID'. He has also written articles for Birds & Blooms magazine, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan Gardening magazines and Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.

He is currently the National Director for Region V of the GardenComm International organization, formerly the Garden Writers Association, which comprises 13 states from Minnesota to Texas.

 

Dan Griffin




Dan Griffin
University of Minnesota

50 Minute TREES Break Out Session


Dan Griffin is faculty in the Department of Geography, Environment & Society and is affiliated with the Center for Dendrochronology, the Quaternary Paleoecology minor program, the Undergraduate Honors Program, and the AISOS Lab. He teaches courses in biogeography, climatology, climate change, and dendrochronology. Griffin's research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the NOAA Climate and Global Change Program, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the University of Minnesota. Griffin's Google Scholar Profile is here.






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