The Maryland Native Plant Society

2022 Board of Directors

President: Sujata Roy

Vice President: vacant

Treasurer: Lauren Hubbard

Secretary: vacant

Board of Directors

Vanessa Beauchamp
Allen Browne
Judith P. Fulton
Karyn Molines
Christopher F. Puttock, Ph. D.
Cassie Sherman-Marks
Rod Simmons
Jil Swearingen

Upcoming Board Meetings

Biographies

Vanessa Beauchamp. Baltimore County. Current Board Member; Plant ecologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University. She received a B.S. from the University of California, Irvine and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Arizona State University. Her research looks at the effects of invasive plant species and habitat restoration practices on native plant communities. She has conducted research in forest, wetland, and riparian habitats in the mid-Atlantic and throughout the western United States. At Towson, she teaches Botany, Wetland Ecology, Community Ecology and an introductory course in Ecology and Evolution.

Allen Browne. Montgomery County. Current Board member; retired Informaticist, National Library of Medicine, NIH; MS & PhD-ABD in sociolinguistics; certificate in Natural History Field Studies, Grad School USA/ANS.

Judy Fulton. Baltimore County. Judy specializes in native plants, invasive plants and ecology, as the founder and principal of EcoPlant Consulting. Her expertise includes selection of appropriate native plants for specific ecoregions and growing conditions, and management of invasive plants. She provides recommendations for transforming degraded properties from landscapes dominated by invasives to healthy ecosystems with native plants. She consults for both individuals and groups, and teaches workshops for organizations such as the University of Maryland Extension, the Maryland Master Gardeners, the Natural History Society of Maryland, and the Irvine Nature Center. Although her principal loves are native species and healthy ecosystems, she is also actively engaged in the invasive species arena. As chair of the Committee on Invasives Lists for the Maryland Invasive Species Council (MISC), she is implementing the Mid-Atlantic Invaders Tool and has coordinated a major update of MISC’s invasive species lists of plants, insects, other animals and pathogens. Additionally, she acts as an invasive plant expert on various legal cases. Judy serves on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council. In a previous life, she earned a Harvard MBA and spent over twenty-five years in the business world, including as CEO of a start-up medical device company. The Daily Record selected Judy as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 1998, 2001 and 2004, and inducted her into its Circle of Excellence.

Treasurer, Lauren Hubbard. Montgomery County. Current Board Member; Owner of Native By Design, LLC. With a particular interest in the preservation of genetic diversity in native plant populations, Lauren has served on the founding board of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative and has launched a project called Butterfly Bandwagon to promote the use of native plants in home landscaping. Lauren is a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional, Weed Warrior, and Master Gardener. She has worked with Howard Ecoworks, Muddy Branch Alliance and Urban Ecosystem Restorations providing program support, community outreach, and grant writing and managementservices that support ecological restoration and stewardship.

Karyn Molines. Charles County. Membership Chair; Past President, Vice Presidet, Secretary, Fall Conference Chair; Southern Maryland Chapter. Division Chief, Calvert County Natural Resources Division. Received her BS in Zoology from University of Maryland, College Park, MS in Environmental Science & Policy from Johns Hopkins University and Certificate in Natural History, Grad School USA/ANS.

Christopher F. Puttock, Ph.D., Prince George’s County Current Board Member; Chair (2019-2021) Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG); Executive Director (2009-2011, 2013+) Chesapeake Natives, Inc. (CNI); Board Member (2006+) Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation (HCAF); Research Associate (2008-2020) National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution; President (2012) Botanical Society of Washington. Broad interests include local ecotype native species, landscape restoration, pollinator habitats, and wetland plants. PHD in Plant Systematics – Gardenieae (Rubiaceae), flora writer in Asteraceae, and currently working internationally on environmental solutions mitigating an overheating world.

President, Sujata Roy, Montgomery County. Current Treasurer; Instructor for Spring & Summer Wildflower Identification and Botany for Naturalists, Grad School USA/ANS; certificate in Natural History Field Studies; Field trip leader for ANS; Naturalist with Montgomery Parks; interested in habitat preservation.

Cassie Sherman-Marks. Baltimore City. She manages a project that tracks non-native invasive plant observations through iNaturalist and serves as a Weed Warrior through the city forestry department. Cassie is best known in native plant communities for founding and moderating Maryland Area Gardening for the Environmentally-Conscious (MAGEC), a native plant gardening group that supports over four thousand active members in better stewardship of Maryland's environment and ecology. Cassie's professional background is in marketing and communications, and she is currently working to lead nineteen other volunteers to start a new website called Nimblewill, which she hopes will foster community among ecologically-motivated gardeners around the US. Cassie holds a Bachelor's Degree in (roughly) Philosophy and the History of Math & Science from St. John's College, Annapolis, and a Masters in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago - both programs based on the reading, analysis, and discussion of difficult texts that have been formative to society as we know it. Her education prepared her well to communicate the value of niche causes to the uninitiated and help others navigate difficult conversations better.

Rod Simmons. Northern Virginia. Rod is a plant ecologist who has worked extensively in the fields of conservation biology, natural resource management, and ecological restoration for nearly 30 years. He is a Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; former contract botanist for NatureServe, National Park Service, and others; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs. He is the author of numerous technical reports, papers, and articles, and has published in scientific journals. He is a member and a past president of the Botanical Society of Washington, a past president of the Maryland Native Plant Society, serves on the board of the Virginia Native Plant Society, and is a regular field trip leader for all of these organizations. He is a frequent lecturer on native plants, natural communities, ecological restoration, and other related topics. He is the Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Secretary, Jil Swearingen. Prince Georges County. Jil is president of In the Weeds Consulting. She studied at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station and then George Mason University, earning a M.S. degree in Biology; her research was on ant-mediated seed dispersal of spring ephemeral wildflowers. While working for Montgomery County Parks 1989-1995, she became keenly aware of invasive plants and started the MCP Exotic Plant Working Group and Weed Busters volunteers program. Over the next 22 years, she continued her work on invasive species for the National Park Service: she served as Chair for the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group; created and developed the Weeds Gone Wild website, WeedUS Database of Invasive Plants of Natural Areas in the U.S., and Weed Busters Certification and Training program; and founded the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council. In collaboration with Chuck Bargeron, Technical Director for the University of Georgia's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, she co-developed the WeedUS website, the Invasive Plant Atlas of the U.S. website, and the Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network app. Jil is lead author of Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas and is currently working with Judy Fulton on the Mid-Atlantic Invaders Tool database and website. She is a long-time member of MNPS, has served on the board, helped coordinate six conferences, served as 2021 Secretary and is Editor for the society's newsletter Marilandica since spring 2021. Jil lives in Cheverly, Maryland.

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