Misc. Work

These opportunities allowed me to facilitate relationships with plants in order to address food security, mental health, historical understanding, and increase the appreciation of plants.

Museum Collaboration

Ethnobotanical Analysis of San Isidro Labrador, 1866 for the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Recording accessible to guests via QR code aiming to connect permanent collections to the featured exhibit: Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii (Feb 24 –May 21, 2023).

San Isidro Labrador, 1866Joaquín Castañón (Bolivian, active mid-19th century)

Toronto Hindu Temple

Working with Dr. Shannon Novak (Professor of Anthropology, Syracuse University) supporting research with an Indo-Guyanese immigrant community in Toronto, Canada, utilizing my experience as an ethnobotanist and a photographer.

Worshipers gather to manifest and honor their deities through offerings of sound, smoke, food, and bodies for the gods to temporarily inhabit. A devotee stands at the back to explain the ceremony to curious onlookers and to offer permits to police officers if called to the scene.

Food & Refugees 

I managed the Baltimore, MD branch of the New Roots Program with the International Rescue Committee which addresses problems found in refugee populations in 14 locations across the United States.

In addition to community gardens, New Roots also spearheads farmers market partnership programs, mental health programming, nutritional education, backyard gardening support, general health education, garden training, and community engagement.

Note: I deliberately chose not to include any images with refugee’s faces in order to respect their privacy.

Tea Industry

Using a gaiwan (盖碗; /ˈɡaɪwɑːn/), a traditional lidded cup used for tea assessment while in Fujian, China.

One of my favorite experiences was working for a California-based high-end Chinese tea import and distribution company. In this position, I spent ten-day in Fujian, China meeting with tea producers.

Although brief, this position allowed me to see the vast ways people interact with a single plant. An everyday aspect of the job was sitting with clients, brewing tea that could be vastly changed by: harvest time, harvest location, plant age, processing method, age, etc., to find the one combination that the client enjoyed most.

Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been one of the most important plants throughout human history and has far-reaching impacts, historically, socially, economically, and culturally.