Meet the Staff

Brett Hall — Arboretum Director

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext: 123

I was born and raised along the Central California coast, mostly in the Monterey Bay region. In the early 70's, I worked at my family's landscaping and garden design business. I was an undergrad at UCSC and worked at the Arboretum, graduating with a BA in Natural History and Biology. I started on the staff in October 1975 and became garden manager in 1976. My duties have evolved over the past 30 years into my current position. I oversee the horticultural staff and my role with that is increasingly as an advisor/coach, as well as working to get them the resources they need to succeed. I am continuing to play an active role in the development of many of our collections and have traveled overseas and throughout the West to accomplish this. I have been very fortunate to spend 30 years working in the Arboretum developing collections, planting gardens, and working with our wonderful group of staff, students and volunteers. My special interests include many of our collections but I plan on focusing considerable effort in the development of our native plant program and the California Province Gardens. I enjoy working with dedicated volunteers who have a genuine interest in botany and horticulture. [Brett is now President of the California Native Plant Society.]

Administrative/Programs/Education Staff

Susie Bower — Administrative Operations Manager

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext: 102

As a new student, I "found" the Arboretum in 1977. Seeing the strange blooms, I literally ran back to upper campus, thinking I had stumbled on a secret alien experiment. In January, 2000, I took the Volunteer Training classes and began propagating, helping at events and plant sales, volunteering at Norrie's, and serving on the Arboretum Associates (now Friends of the UCSC Arboretum) Board. I was hired at the Arboretum in Spring 2002. Currently, I coordinate office functions such as phones and walk-ins, accounts payable and receivable, memberships and gifts. I also help coordinate volunteers for events, plant sales, and the numerous volunteer programs at the Arboretum.

Stephen McCabe — Director of Research

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext: 106

I have enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for plants starting at a young age, then through work as a naturalist in Pinnacles, Año Nuevo, and Yosemite, and since 1985 here at the Arboretum. Part of the satisfaction I get from work here are the successes achieved by the wonderful community of volunteers, students, and staff working towards a common goal. We work on tours, signs, the website, educational events, the library, native plants, and succulents. We raise money through plant sales and the Dried Flower and Succulent Wreath Sale.

I coordinate Arboretum research done by students and professors from UCSC and other institutions. I help TAs and professors use the garden for classes. I write grants, press releases, and for publications. My horticultural and conservation research is on natives and succulents, and my botanical research is on the genus Dudleya. I have taught UCSC courses

Curatorial Staff

Helen Englesburg — Nursery Manager

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext.: 121

I graduated from UCSC in 1991 with a BA in Biology with an emphasis on plant sciences. I began working at the Arboretum in 1984 as a student employee. In 1989, I was hired to do propagation and manage the nursery. My responsibilities include propagating and raising plants for the gardens and collections, especially the Australian and South Africa Gardens. I work with a wonderful group of volunteers, propagating and growing plants sold at Norrie's and at Arboretum plant sales. I also coordinate volunteer work sessions in Ruth and Shirleys' Flower Garden, our cut flower garden. I also work with Stephanie and the local chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers in maintaining and caring for the Rare Fruit Garden.

Melinda Kralj — Curator of Australian Collection

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext.: 124

I graduated from UCSC in 1978 with degrees in Biology & Art. I worked at San Lorenzo Garden Center for over a decade. While working at the nursery, I began volunteering at the Arboretum, and was hired in 1989. I take care of the Australian Collections. Most of my time is devoted to the Slosson Gardens and the Banksia Field. This year (2006) we will begin exciting and challenging work on an Australian Rock Garden. In the future, I would like to devote more time and energy to give the Eucalyptus Grove the attention it deserves. Every Thursday morning, a dedicated, hard-working group of volunteers called the "Aussie Weeders" contribute their hard work and creativity to making the Australian garden more beautiful.

Thomas Sauceda — Curator of New Zealand Collection

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext.: 126

I received a Bachelor of Arts in the fields of Biology, and Environmental Studies, UCSC 1985; and subsequently studied Spanish at Cabrillo College. I began to work at the Arboretum as a student in 1981. I became the Curator of the New Zealand Collection in 1987. My work involves all aspects of the New Zealand collection, which includes the Ed Landel's New Zealand Garden. This involves anything from noxious weed removal to giving tours of the garden. I am also involved with the development and maintenance of the Chilean Collection. I have traveled to New Zealand and Chile to collect plants and to gain a better understanding of native plant communities. I oversee students and volunteers that work on garden maintenance—mowing, weeding, pruning, irrigation, plantings, and nursery work—potting, propagation, and more. I am very grateful for all their hard work and always welcome more help.

Rick Flores — Curator of California Natives Collection

Phone: 427-2998, voicemail ext.: 122

I began working at the Arboretum during my senior year at UCSC. In 1997, I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies. After a few years of doing general garden maintenance, I was named to my current title. My job includes all aspects of the care and maintenance of the California native plant gardens and nursery; including collection and propagation of native plants from the wild, acquisition of native plants through nurseries, garden design, labeling and record keeping. Opportunities for volunteers within the Native Plant Program include helping to maintain the gardens and cultivating plants in the nursery.