From Sunday, March 3 through Sunday, March 10, Ambler Arboretum EarthFest will be celebrating Seed Your Future’s Green Career Week.

Visit us here each day to learn more about the different career paths you can take if you’re interested in pursuing a career in horticulture.

Kathy Salisbury
Ambler Arboretum of Temple University

Kathy Salisbury’s job as the Director of the Ambler Arboretum, “is to guide the direction and the decision-making of what happens here in the gardens to ensure that it is a place that’s safe, relevant, useful and valuable to the faculty, staff, students, researchers and the community who use this place for a variety of reasons.”

“I love working here because I get to spend my days out in the beautiful gardens. The people I work with are amazing, they are smart and creative and talented and have all kinds of perspectives and experiences,” she said. “I get to work with students, and I get to be around students. Part of my job includes teaching, so I get to see how this space is used as an outdoor classroom everyday and I have freedom and flexibility to try new things and experiment and learn from those opportunities.”

Stephanie Bross
Gardens Manager
Ambler Arboretum

Stephanie Bross, Gardens Manager for the Ambler Arboretum, is in charge of ensuring that all of the maintenance is taking place within the Arboretum, “making sure all the horticulturists have what they need to get their jobs done and making sure all of the student workers and volunteers have what they need.”

“I enjoy working here because it’s a beautiful, historic arboretum. I learn new things every day here,” she said. “The people and volunteers here are awesome. It’s great working at an educational institution where students can come in and learn from our arboretum. I truly get a feeling of fulfilment from my job — we’re planting trees for the future following the tornado, which is thrilling an exciting.”

Mike Hitchings
Lead Horticulturist
Ambler Arboretum

As Lead Horticulturist, Mike Hitchings has the opportunity to design, implement and maintain various garden spaces.

“My job includes working with student gardeners, volunteers from the surrounding community and I’ve also had the opportunity to help teach a landscape management class. I enjoy working here because I get the chance to work outdoors most of the time,” he said. “I work with a really great team that oversees various aspects of the Arboretum and I get to learn from them. It’s also great to work with some really cool volunteers and student gardeners. I have the opportunity to be creative in designing spaces that can not only be appreciated now but also in the future.”

Anne Brennan
Plant Records Curator
Ambler Arboretum

As the Plant Records Curator for the Ambler Arboretum, “the heart of my job is managing our database of all of the plants that grow in the Arboretum,” said Brennan.

“I like to tell people that I’m like a plant librarian. I need to know what we have, where we have it and where it’s growing, ideally where it came from, when it was planted, why we have it, and using that information to make those connections between the plants we have and determining gaps in our collection that we may need to fill,” she said. “I love working with information and making those connections, gaining a better understanding of what goes on around me. The fact that the work also takes me outside into the gardens really is a perfect combination for me.

Sam McGuriman
STEM Programs Specialist
Ambler Arboretum

As STEM Programs Specialist for the Ambler Arboretum, “my job is to come up with all educational programming that we do at the Arboretum, whether that is community programming for families, for adults and children or if it’s for programming for schools K through 12,” said Sam McGuriman.

“There are a lot of reasons that I enjoy working here. I really enjoy the creativity that my job involves — I have a lot of opportunities to come up with and create new programs and develop programs from the ground up,” she said. “I also really enjoy being able to work outdoors and use the outdoor space as my classroom. It’s really nice to be able to develop programs that are meant to be held outside and being able to share my love for the outdoors with other people.”

Benjamin Snyder
Tyler School of Art and Architecture Greenhouse Education and Research Complex

Benjamin Snyder didn’t have to go far to get far.

“I started out as a student in Temple’s Horticulture program coming here in 2013. I graduated in three and a half years and then got hired at the Greenhouse about two months after that,” he said. “Here at the Greenhouse, I’m responsible for managing day-today operations, which includes taking care of our plan collection of 1,700 different types of plants, organizing with professors and faculty members for course use and also maintaining the facilities, making sure that everything is operating correctly.”

Working in the Greenhouse, Snyder said, “is great because there is such a variety to what I can do.”

“We have an indoor tropical collection and we have an outdoor research garden and food production,” he said. “There are always classroom and research projects taking place as well so there is a lot of variety within the day all within horticulture.”  

Drew Schoen
Horticulture Technician
Ambler Arboretum

Horticulture Technician Drew Schoen is “the tree specialist here at the Arboretum,” he said.

“I take care of the trees, maintain them, plant them, and remove trees that have passed on. I enjoy working outside, being with my wonderful coworkers, giving back to and helping out the community and helping rebuild this Arboretum,” he said. “I’m able to provide input and help to redesign some of the garden spaces. Definitely working outside is one of the greatest parts of the job; being able to do what I’ve always been passionate about every day.”

Sam Makler
Nursery Manager
Collins Nursery
Ambler Arboretum

While Sam Makler is the most recent addition to the Ambler Arboretum team, he’s no stranger to Temple University Ambler. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture Landscape Architecture program.

“While I was completing my degree, I was doing traditional landscaping and from there I was able to do ecological restoration, growing plants for restoration while I was finishing up my degree. That journey then led me back to this amazing opportunity with the John Collins Nursery at the Ambler Arboretum,” he said. “My job will encompass the whole spectrum of work that will go into running the nursery, everything from the business side to growing the plants. I’m very fortunate in that I’m able to work with growing plants and specifically growing native plants and that cycle is always an enjoyable process from seed to full-grown plant — there’s always a lot of excitement.”

Lisa Blum
Adjunct Instructor of Horticulture
Tyler School of Art and Architecture

Lisa Blum currently teaches students at Temple majoring in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture.

“Right now, in the spring semester I’m teaching Horticulture Business Management and in the fall, I teach Applied Plant Physiology, which focuses on how plants react to stress,” she said.

Blum said she loves teaching “because my students and I tend to share a passion for plants and how important they are and how they are so important for the planet and us.”

“I really get a charge when I watch students progress from not knowing any name of any plant to not only knowing the names but knowing how to use them and design them and have ideas and solve problems,” she said. “Not only in the classroom but then when they graduate, we continue those relationships in their successful careers.”

Joe Imszennik
Facilities Manager
Temple University Ambler

As Facilities Manager for Temple Ambler, Joe Imszennick’s job is to “maintain all of the buildings and grounds for Temple’s Ambler Campus, including the athletic fields.”

“I do like working outside so working at Temple Ambler I’m able to take care of a campus throughout all four seasons,” he said. “During the summer and the spring, we’re taking care of the athletic fields, in winter we’re dealing with snow removal and all year round we’re focused on building and grounds maintenance. It’s an everchanging job, which I like.”