Heather McCargo, MA, Founder and Executive Director
Heather is an educator with 30 years of experience in plant propagation, landscape design, horticulture, and conservation. A former head plant propagator at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods during the 1990s, Heather has also worked at several landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design, and has contributed to research projects with USAID, the National Gardening Association, and MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s “Growing from Seed,” Horticulture, American Nurseryman, Ecological Landscape Alliance, and many others. More locally, Heather designed the master plan for the medicinal gardens at Avena Botanicals in Rockport and was the creator of the Bay School Agricultural Arts program in Blue Hill. Heather has a BA in plant ecology from Hampshire College and an MA from the Conway School of Landscape Design.
Jen Rowland, MS, Director of Operations and Development
Originally from southern New England, Jen moved to northern New England to attend college at the University of New Hampshire, and has been drawn to the area ever since. A plant-lover and gardener, she is thrilled to work at Wild Seed Project and put her detail-oriented nature to work in developing internal systems and operations. Jen received a BS in Environmental Conservation Studies from UNH and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. She lives in Portland with her husband and goofy dog.
Anna Fialkoff, MS, Program Manager
As Wild Seed Project’s new program manager, Anna is ready to help Wild Seed Project further its educational programming, deepen relationships with partner organizations, and catalyze a movement to rewild Maine.
Anna was most recently Senior Horticulturist at Native Plant Trust’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA, where she designed and installed native plant gardens, managed interns and volunteers, and taught the public ways to incorporate native plants in their own gardens. With a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MS in Ecological Design from The Conway School, she brings with her a deep knowledge of native plant ecology, horticulture, conservation, and ecological landscape design.
Lisa Perkins, Development and Communications Assistant, is proud and excited to support and promote the Wild Seed Project’s mission with skills cultivated throughout her marketing career and volunteerism in Maine’s animal rescue community. Lisa loves engaging with and encouraging the enthusiasm of WSP members, donors, and supporters who are inspired to learn about Maine’s native plants and take part in restoring them.
Lisa Looke is a photographer who manages the image library for Wild Seed Project. Lisa has lived and traveled throughout much of the continental U.S., and settled in Maine after graduating from Bates College. Her love of photography was instilled by her grandfather and father, but it wasn’t until she met Heather that Lisa began to photograph plants. Her exploration and education of the world of native plants has been an unexpected and joyful adventure.
Marina Schauffler, Ph.D., is managing editor of Wild Seed, the annual magazine of Wild Seed Project. She is a freelance environmental journalist and editor whose work is online at naturalchoices.com. Since 2014, Marina has written a biweekly column on sustainable living, Sea Change, that is distributed to papers around Maine. She enjoys edible landscaping and serves as a volunteer Master Gardener.
Stina Kayser, J.D., President, develops, operates, and advises economically profitable and environmentally sustainable businesses. She currently serves as general counsel and principal with Urban Villages, Inc. and Bio-Logical Capital, LLC. Stina earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School and a B.A. from Marquette University. Stina is passionate about the role native plants play in our ecosystem, and is particularly excited about how Wild Seed Project helps individuals take action in their own landscapes to support native plants. She lives in Denver, Colorado, where she and her husband are active gardeners.
Greg Field, Ph.D., Treasurer, is currently the Director of Finance and Operations at the Maine Island Trail Association. In previous positions, Greg has served in Finance and Operations for other small Maine non-profits. He has served on numerous boards, most recently as Board Treasurer, then Board President at Maine Initiatives. Through his work at MITA he has learned firsthand about the spread of invasive species along Maine’s coast. Greg is an avid vegetable gardener and with guidance from his wife Ginny, he is discovering ways in which to restore native plants and habitat at their home in Yarmouth.
Ginger Laurits, PT, DPT, Secretary, started as a Wild Seed Project volunteer and joined the board upon retirement from a 44-year-long career as a physical therapist. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Simmons College and clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Utica College. Ginger has volunteered as a docent for Mass Audubon at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, which included maintaining the nature garden, and is currently a Master Gardener volunteer at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, coordinating and maintaining the native plant garden with other volunteers. She has been an avid gardener for most of her adult life, and has been enjoying growing her own native plants from seed for her home garden and the Wells Reserve.
Erin Clancy is an independent consultant and activist that helps non- and for-profit enterprises articulate and achieve their strategic and business plans, and maximize their social impact. She draws upon more than 20 years of executive experience in early stage and start-up technology ventures, leadership of small non-profit enterprises, and a Masters in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from Babson College. Erin works to motivate people and companies to take positive actions to reduce our collective environmental impact, and to develop solutions for our urgent environmental problems. Early adventures in the great wildernesses of the Everglades and the coast of Maine imprinted upon her a sense of wonder and an awareness of their fragility, and eventually led her to work in environmental advocacy, most recently as Conservation Director for the Tropical Audubon Society. She is fortunate to split her time between South Florida and Maine.
Julia Frederick is a Maine-licensed landscape architect who recently moved to Portland from Massachusetts. Since her move to Maine full-time, she has joyfully folded the mission of Wild Seed Project into her professional as well as personal life. In addition to freelance work designing native plant gardens, she works part-time with Mitchell & Associates, where she creates ecologically functional landscapes that celebrate regional native plants, support wildlife, and strengthen the relationship between those that use the landscape and local ecology. In her free time, Julia propagates WSP seeds and works on her own ecological restoration experiments: an urban fill slope behind her house and a meadow at her mountain cabin.
Suzanne Morse, Ph.D., is the Newlin Chair of Botany at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, and a visiting professor in life sciences at Norwegian University. She earned her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a post-doctoral researcher focusing on global climate change at Harvard University.
Tricia Neuhaus began working with Wild Seed Project as a volunteer and welcomes the opportunity to become more involved as a board member. She graduated from New York University and then worked as a beekeeper with the Peace Corps in Paraguay. After a quick stint in the world of finance in NYC, she raised three children and volunteered with various organizations, including Child Advocates in Houston and The Beacon Homeless Services. Tricia recently began to explore a long-time interest in plants and gardening by taking a variety of horticulture classes at Southern Maine Community College. She lives half of the year in Houston, anxiously awaiting the day each spring when she can return to Maine.
Michelle Smith began working with Wild Seed Project as a volunteer editor and is excited to become more involved as a board member. She is a freelance communications professional and has managed communications and marketing for several Maine nonprofits. She has a BA in English and Environmental Studies and an MA in American Studies. She has a lifelong interest in plants, herbal medicine, and gardening. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband and two children, where they are working to transform their lawn to a native plant garden.