Our Speakers

Erin Smith

Erin Smith is a clinical herbalist and ethnobotanist and has been studying medicinal plants for over 25 years. Bringing together her passion for plants and cultures, she received her MSc in Ethnobotany with distinction from the University of Kent in Canterbury, where her thesis focused on women’s knowledge of traditional medicine in Morocco. For ten years she worked internationally with indigenous communities on various issues surrounding traditional medicine, natural resource management, community-based conservation, and traditional knowledge. She was Head Researcher for a joint project with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and Wageningen University in Netherlands on a project that explored livelihoods, female-headed households and the use of plant resources in Tigray, Ethiopia.  She worked with Global Diversity Foundation in the UK and Morocco and is the former Managing Director of Global Diversity Foundation – North America. She was an independent consultant and worked internationally on diverse projects and for diverse organizations, including The Organic Center and Global Initiative for the Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health and is currently Education and Sustainability Manager for WishGarden Herbs. She has taught internationally on herbal medicine, ethnobotany, and the human/nature relationship for over ten years and has spent more than twelve years living and working abroad in more than twenty countries. She is the creator of Plant-Passionate Living™, an interactive program designed to help people find greater health and vitality through a deeper relationship with plants.


Linda Black Elk

Linda (Catawba Nation) is an ethnobotanist specializing in teaching about culturally important plants and their uses as food and medicine. Linda works to protect food sovereignty, traditional plant knowledge, and environmental quality as an extension of the fight against hydraulic fracturing and the fossil fuels industry. She has written for numerous publications, and is the author of “Watoto Unyutapi”, a field guide to edible wild plants of the Dakota people. Linda is the mother to three Lakota boys and is a lecturer at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota.


mars%20pic_0Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with almost fifty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, and The School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Arise, Envision and Unify Festivals, and The Mayo Clinic. She blogs for the Huffington Post and Care2. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild.  Brigitte is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Home Reference to Holistic Health and Healing, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal TeasRawsome! and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. DVDs include Sacred Psychoactive, Herbal Wizardry for Kids of all Ages, Natural Remedies for Childhood Ailments, Overcoming Addictions, and Natural Remedies for Emotional Health. Her latest project is a phone app called iPlant. Brigitte and her daughter, Sunflower Sparkle Mars run Herb Camp for Kids in Boulder, Colorado. Brigitte’s other daughter is world famous activist/yogini-actress/ international model, Rainbeau Mars. Please check out www.brigittemars.com.


mindy-4244-214x300Mindy Green

Mindy Green has founded and owned several herb and essential oil businesses focusing on botanical therapies, aromatherapy education, skin care and product development.  She is a nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and esthetician, and served as committee chair for botanicals in cosmetics for the American Herbal Products Association. She has worked in the Integrative Resource Center of the Anschutes Cancer Center at the University of Colorado Hospital, co-led a botanical expedition to the Amazon for the American Botanical Council of Austin, TX and lectured in the south of France.  Mindy teaches clinical aromatherapy to medical professionals at the Center for Integrative Medicine (U AZ.) and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (CA), She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, U MN, and Metropolitan State University, Denver.  A prolific writer and international lecturer, she has authored several books and over 65 magazine articles on herbs essential oils, healthy lifestyle and holistic skin care. Mindy studied the advanced uses of essential oils at Purdue University, and has worked in the botanical research division of R&D as Clinical Aromatherapist for the Aveda Corporation. She is a long-time environmental activist and served two terms on board of the non-profit United Plant Savers; she thrives by constant learning and teaching. You can learn more about Mindy at her website  www.greenscentsations.com.


10524640_815322561840419_2607456272890196906_nIan Sanderson

A member of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, Ian hails from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Ian has been involved in Outdoor and Experiential Education for 15 years, working for various organizations including the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, the Santa Fe Mountain Center’s Native American Emergence Program, the Denver Indian Center, the Environmental Center at CU Boulder, and Naropa University.  Currently, Ian is devoted to providing facilitation, education, and training through custom programs that inspire reconnection to self, community, and the rest of the natural world by utilizing the convergences in Indigenous, Eastern, and Western traditions as a means to realize empowered personal development and socio-ecological change. When he’s not fretting about how the term “Decolonization” can arise into the common vernacular, he can be found doing the following, sometimes simultaneously: Trying to figure out the urban homesteading thing with his partner Rachel Balkcom, honing his skills in the woods, building something, cooking something, or at the Boulder Quest Center, where he teaches and trains in the martial art of To Shin Do ninjutsu.


Tammi HartungTammi Hartung

Tammi Hartung is an herbalist and organic farmer of more than 38 years. She and her husband, Chris, own Desert Canyon Farm in Canon City, CO where they grow more than 800 varieties of certified organic plants. Tammi speaks internationally and is the author of four books, including Homegrown Herbs and her new book Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine. She blogs at desertcanyonfarm.wordpress.com



Cat Pantaleo

Cat Pantaleo, a Certified Clinical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Forest Therapy Guide, has been a practicing Integrative Health Practitioner and Wellness Educator for 18 years, and has joyfully served as faculty at several Colorado vocational schools in the Boulder/Denver area, offers Holistic Health Consultations/Counseling, Field and Classroom Education, and Nature Connection experiences for adults and youth. Through her many years as a holistic practitioner, educator, amateur naturalist and field botanist, she has learned that true health and vitality is possible with a combination of wellness practices, including: compassionate connection with oneself and others, mindful time in nature, optimal nutrition, community, and plant medicine.  She skillfully weaves these aspects into her practice and teaching with the intention of empowering people to create optimal wellness and beauty for themselves and their communities.  In alignment with her passion, values and expertise, her current focus includes a combination of strategies that facilitate resilience, restoration, deep nourishment, cultivating inner peace and bridging the gap between the human and more-than-human worlds.


Rebecca Schwendler

Dr. Rebecca Schwendler is a professional archaeologist, amateur Celtophile, and lover of things old, wild, and botanical. She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology/archaeology at the University of New Mexico in 2004, studying personal adornment and social competition of Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in western Europe. Subsequently she learned to make mead from a graduate school friend while helping him with an archaeology project in Albuquerque, New Mexico more than ten years ago. If she had not gone into archaeology she probably would have built a career in ethnobotany so she was immediately drawn to mead making. Becoming intoxicated by mead’s taste, connection to the ancient Celts, ease of creation, and mutability, she has experimented with different botanically-based flavors since then. After moving to Colorado in late 2007 and spending over three years working for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, getting fired up about more recent history, in 2012 she became a principal investigator and project manager for a Denver archaeological consulting firm. The following year she fulfilled a childhood dream by adopting a formerly wild mustang, which led her to Three Leaf Farm.


first-porcini-6-26-12-300x209Wendy “Butter” Petty

Butter is a wandering weed lover, wild foods consultant, and worshipper at the altar of tasty treats. For her, foraging is the sweet spot where spending time outside in her beloved Rocky Mountains intersects with good eats. She is the author of the popular wild foods blog, Hunger and Thirst and a contribute to Zester Daily. She frequently consults with local chefs on how to incorporate wild foods in their menus.



Kat MacKinnon

Kat is a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, as well as a certified Bach essences practitioner through the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. She is also a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalists Guild. She currently works as the Botany course director, as well as faculty and student services coordinator for the Fundamentals and Advanced programs at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. Kat also has her own small clinical practice and runs a small endeavor, Meet the Green, through which she teaches classes on herbalism and primitive skills. She also has a blog, Discover the Green, on botany, herbal medicine, and any other information on plants she finds interesting. Though a transplant from the East Coast, Kat has a passion for working with the herbs nearest to her. Having studied forestry at Northern Arizona University, the plants, animals, and incredible harsh beauty of the Southwest are one of the great loves of her life. Between teaching and working, she spends her time wild crafting and running in the mountains, gardening in the lowlands, and medicine making in between. Her other interests include art, primitive skills, gardening, and generally geeking out on the natural world.


Faith Rodgers

Faith is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and owner of the Little Herbal Apothecary in Lafayette. Little Herbal Apothecary is a community herb shop offering a wide range of herbs, oils, teas and handcrafted skincare products. As an herbalist, Faith’s biggest passion is botanical skincare. She has spent years formulating and developing her own techniques to create natural, botanically-infused skincare products. Faith loves empowering people to create their own herbal products at home and has been teaching medicine making workshops in the boulder area for over 10 years. You can learn more about Faith, find great recipes on her blog, browse her shop, or check out her upcoming workshop schedule at thelittleherbal.com.


Sara Stewart Martinelli

Sara Stewart Martinelli

Sara Martinelli is an herbalist and professional tea blender.  She  graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991 with a degree in Anthropology, with emphasis on nutrition and the culture of food around the world.   Learning about how different foods become integral in the development of society, religion, and culture led Sara to explore the historic uses of herbs and their folkloric meanings.  After university, Sara completed a two year Herbal Medicine program at The Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder, Colorado. Sara, with her husband Lenny, also owns a number of Boulder area restaurants, including the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, The Chautauqua Dining Hall, The Huckleberry, and Zucca.  Sara also owns a small organic farm on which they grow produce for their restaurants, as well as many medicinal and magical herbs.  In 2013 Three Leaf Farm was bestowed the designation of a Botanical Sanctuary by the United Plant Savers due to their efforts to cultivate at-risk and endangered  species of medicinal plants as well as offering education opportunities through workshops, internships, and events. Sara has also created a Three Leaf Farm line of herbal products for both animals and humans, and Sara has taught numerous workshops on both medicinal and spiritual uses of herbs.


Michael Heim

Michael is the founder of Enso Farm & Forage. He has lead forays for the Denver Botanic Gardens, Center for Integrative Botanical Studies, & the Boulder Living Arts School. He was even so fortunate to take a group of chefs from all over the United States on a culinary foray on behalf of the 2014 annual Chef’s Collaborative Summit. That same year he was invited to present at the annual Bioneers Conference at CU Boulder exploring the exciting topic of myco-remediation & what possibilities fungi has to offer for building soil integrity & it’s overall importance to successful ecosystems. In 2014 he produced and facilitated a 2-day medicinal mushroom workshop with Robert Rogers, author of The Fungal Pharmacy and revered herbalist based in Alberta Canada. In 2015 Michael studied lab technique and mushroom cultivation under Dr. Daniel Tura at Aloha Medicinals in Carson City, NV. He has taught mushroom cultivation classes for Boulder High Country Mushrooms, The Growhaus, & Cow Town Grangers. 2016 was his busiest year to date; leading identification workshops for the Denver Botanic Gardens, The Living Arts School, Hatch Lab, the Walking Mountain Science Center based in Avon, Colorado, & Swedish based Fjallraven Outdoor Gear.  If that isn’t enough, Michael has worked in the culinary field for over 16 years with many years of experience working with wild mushrooms in that context. He is a proud member of the Colorado Mycological Society.


Lauren Stauber

Lauren is a community herbalist who found her way to plant medicine among skyscrapers and asphalt through her own path of healing. In 2003, after 35 years in New York City, she moved to Boulder, Colorado in search of teachers. In 2004, she attended her first herbalism course with Brigitte Mars. A few years later, she planted her first garden with the help of a friend. In 2009, she graduated from Paul Bergner’s North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. She also gave birth to her son and only child that year. She continued her studies with Sean Donahue who guided her to much greater intimacy with the plants. In 2011 she started working and teaching at Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary where she has formulated teas, oils, and aromatherapy blends for thousands of customers. She’s taught classes on herbal approaches to physical pain and emotional support, medicine making, bioregional herbalism, plant-based incense making, as well as classes for children. In 2016, she completed a two year introduction to Ayurveda through the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine, and in 2017, a certificate in Rocky Mountain Field Botany through the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. Lauren is fascinated by the beauty, complexity, and mystery of life, and the interconnected forces of healing within all life. She is grateful to have her feet on this path, and honored to be in service to her family and community as an herbalist.


Phylleri Ball

Phylleri is a fiber artist with a passion for natural dyeing and farm-raised wool and Mohair. Her love of plant medicine began in 1979, when studying with Rosemary Gladstar at the California School of Herbal Studies. Phylleri and her family moved to Pennsylvania in 1998 and established Steam Valley Fiber Farm, where they sustainably raised 100 head of Border Leicester Sheep, Colored Angora Goats and Nubian Goats for 17 years. Their livestock were raised organically, with botanical and homeopathic medicine for herd health care. Phylleri’s fiber arts skills include, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crocheting and felting. In 2014, Phylleri and her husband, Dr. Gregory Pais, N.D., sold their farm and moved their dairy herd to the mountains near Nederland to live with their two sons. Phylleri’s Colorado business, Three Sisters Weaving, reflects the strong sisterly influence and support of her two sisters who also are weavers. The long hours once spent farming are now dedicated to making goat cheese, high elevation gardening, weaving, dyeing and playing Celtic music.


Martin Ogle

Martin Ogle received B.S. and M.S. degrees in wildlife Biology from Colorado State Univ. (1982) and Virginia Tech (1984). He was Chief Naturalist for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, 1985 – 2012.    In 2010, Martin was awarded the Krupsaw Award for Non-Traditional Teaching by the Washington Academy of Sciences for outstanding teaching in informal and non-academic settings. In 2012 – Martin received the Arlington (VA) Green Patriot Award for outstanding work in sustainability. In 2012, Martin moved to Louisville, CO with his wife, Lisa, and his twins, Cyrus and Linnea and started his own education and consulting business, Entrepreneurial Earth, LLC. He works as a contractor with Lafayette Open Space, leading the development of the education and outreach program. Martin was born and raised in South Korea.


Isa Down

Isa Down draws inspiration for her art from nature.  A self-taught artist, Isa delights in finding the whimsy in a flower petal as much as she does in learning new techniques.  When she isn’t drawing, Isa can be found running after her toddler, writing parenting articles, gardening, and studying for her graduate classes.  You can follow her art on Instagram @isadowncreative