core faculty    
Karen Aguiar Trinity Ava Jen Bredesen
Bryan Bowen Kaytee Casey Courtney Fischer
Jamie Grime David Hoffmann Terri Jensen
Gail Julian Rebecca Maxfield Jason Miller
Autumn Summers    
guest faculty    
7Song Susan Blanc Tim Blakley
Candis Cantin Kiriajes Denise Cooluris ND Diana De Luca
Jim Hall Kathleen Harrison Sage LaPena
Lily Mazzarella Pam Montgomery Larkin Morgan
Daniel Pinney Shad Reinstein Karyn Sanders
Kara Sigler Christa Sinadinos Tamara Wilder
other guests    
Leslie Gardner Cascade Anderson Geller Charmoon Richardson


Core CSHS Faculty

Some of the core CSHS Staff members Gail Julian, David Hoffmann, Leslie Gardner, Jason Miller, Terri Jensen, Karen Aguiar, Autumn Summers and Rebecca Maxfield.

karen aguiarKaren Aguiar
herbal medicine maker

Karen has been making botanical medicines full-time for 15 years. She is co-owner of The Herbal Apothecary a full-line herbal pharmacy and co-organizer of the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, a conference on the medicinal, culinary and craft uses of plants.

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trinity avaTrinity Ava
With a fascination for the world of plants since childhood, Trinity’s mission is to inspire and empower individuals with the effectiveness of the herbal tradition. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Trinity’s user-friendly herbal seminars offer a dynamic synergy of Eastern and Western herbalism, Ayurvedic principles, use of essential oils as medicine and clinical experience. She teaches at the California School of Herbal Studies, Bastyr University, various herbal conferences and is a certified clinical herbalist, aromatherapist, yoga instructor and a lifelong student of movement. She currently serves as a consultant for the natural/herbal product s industry. Trinity is infatuated with the unadulterated art of living creatively. For more information: back to top>

Bryan Bowen Bryan Bowen
Msc Clinical Herbalist

Bryan likes to have one hand in science and the other in the earth. He has spent the last eight years studying medicinal plants through ecological farming & gardening, medicine making, botany, physiology, clinical skills and theories of herbal medicine. Bryan enjoys seeing clients and finds inspiration in people, plants and the rhythms of nature. His studies include Tai Sophia Institute, CSHS and Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. back to top>

jen bredesenJen Bredesen
herbalist, CMT

Jen brings nearly 2 decades of experience working with Plants in the field & garden, kitchen, classroom, clinical and first aid arenas into her teaching. She weaves bodywork, ayurveda & western herbalism into her clinical practice in Sebastopol. Jen has been sharing 1st aid skills in the NCWHS Wellness Tent for over a decade. An avid kitchen chemist, she loves to work with fermentation & sustainable living practices, and is a local pioneer in home-brewing herbal beers. She is the mother of an infant daughter. back to top>

kaytee caseyKaytee Casey
Kaytee brings her heart to CSHS with her care of the buildings. A clean space reflects more light while supporting clarity of mind. She has a deep love of Emerald Valley and is grateful to witness the healing transformations that the land and school facilitates for students year after year.

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diana de lucaCourtney Fischer
herbalist, MS, CNS

Courtney finds plants and their medicine to be intriguing as well as offering a meaningful connection to the earth and what it means to be alive. Many years ago she was first inspired by the medicinal plants in her own backyard, in awe that they not only had the ability to rouse various helpful effects within her when consumed but that this medicine was also so accessible—she has been inquisitively learning about plants, the human body/mind, and healing ever since. She began her herbal studies at Motherland Botanical Sanctuary and CSHS, and then went on to receive her Masters in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health.
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Jamie GrimeJamie Grime
Jamie has spent a good amount of his adult life working as a gardener of various sorts, from landscaping to maintenance gardening and keeping his own garden. His great love for plants and plant based healing brought him to Emerald Valley in early 2011. Since then a beautiful love affair with Emerald Valley has blossomed and the nurturing comfort of the valley has provided a generous home. He is most fortunate to be spending the majority of his time in the great outdoors with his hands in the dirt, assisting Leslie with the upkeep of the paradise that is the CSHS educational garden. This, punctuated with periods of time spent care-taking the land and buildings that house the school.
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david hoffmannDavid Hoffmann
B. Sc., F.N.I.M.H.

David has been a phytotherapist for 32 years. He is the author of 17 books, including the Holistic Herbal and Medical Herbalism. He is on the advisory board of the American Botanical Council, a founding member and past president of the American Herbalist Guild and is active in the environmental & peace movements.
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teri jensenTerri Jensen
herbal medicine maker

Terri has been working with botanical medicines in a variety of capacities for over 20 years. She is an owner and medicine maker for The Herbal Apothecary. She is also a current and founding organizer of the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium.

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gail julianGail Julian
herbalist ~

Gail is as a clinical herbalist, medicine maker and teacher with 20 years experience in the clinic and classroom. Her training includes Western Herbalism and physiology, native plant use, Chinese and plant energetic systems. Her practice in Sebastopol provides clinical and herbal support for her clients and pharmacy services for other practitioners
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rebecca maxfieldRebecca Maxfield
herbalist, BA, co-director of CSHS

Rebecca came to Sonoma County 20 years ago to study at CSHS. She lived with her husband and two children on the land at the school for 16 years and now lives in Sebastopol. She worked as the medicine maker at Simplers Botanicals for 8 years and now enjoys making medicine for the CSHS pharmacy as well as being co-director with Jason Miller of CSHS. back to top>

jason millerJason Miller
environmental educator, co-director of CSHS

Jason has been living and working at CSHS for over 15 years. His currently focuses on the stewardship and maintenance of Emerald Valley. His commitment to CSHS is based on a belief that Herbalism plays an important role in building vibrant and sustainable communities.
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autumn summersAutumn Summers
herbalist, BA ethnobotany, program assistant CSHS

From her first herb class 18 years ago, Autumn has been exploring the many facets of herbalism with a focus on plant, seaweed and mushroom identification and uses and growing medicinal and edible plants. She is passionate about sharing this empowering knowledge with others in an enthusiastic, hands-on way.
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Guest Faculty

Clinical Herbalist

7Song is director of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, and Director of Holistic Medicine at the Ithaca Free Clinic in Ithaca, NY. He practices at the Ithaca Free Clinic. He has been studying the intricacies of herbal medicine for 25 years.7Song is also a botanist and naturalist. He has focused extensively on using herbal medicine in first aid situations and to help make herbal medicine affordable and accessible. Guest teacher in Roots and Advanced Class.
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Susan BlancSusan Blanc
Herbalist and Nutritional Educator

Susan Blanc is an herbalist and nutrition educator. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with highest honors in 1980, studied Herbalism for 6 years with local and national experts, and received her N.E. and N.C. nutrition certification from Bauman College. Susan offers individual consultations at her private practice in Castro Valley, teaches whole food nutrition classes at Castro Valley Adult School, and is a faculty member at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition. She has served as a consultant to the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. back to top>

tim blakleyTim Blakley
herbalist, aromatherapist & author

As the Aromatherapist for Aura Cacia, Tim Blakley provides aromatherapy education throughout North America. His 30 years experience includes authoring Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field and Marketplace, worldwide travel researching essential oil plants and herbs, and managing the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs. He has also held positions with the California School of Herbal Studies, Herb Pharm, and Frontier Natural Products Coop. Tim lives and practices aromatherapy in Hawaii. back to top>

candis cantinCandis Cantin Kiriajes

Candis has over 30 years practical experience as a clinical herbalist, gardener and teacher of Integrative Herbology. She is owner and creator of EverGreen Herb Garden and School of Integrative Herbology in Placerville, California where she grows over 250 medicinal plants. Her background includes studying with Dr. Michael Tierra and Dr. Vasant Ladextensive Western herbal studies, plant id, gardening, and the integration of Ayurvedic & Chinese healing systems for the Western Herbalist. Candis is the artist of the Herbal Tarot Deck and author of the Pocket Guide to Ayurvedic Healing.
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Denise Cooluris NDDenise Cooluris N.D.

Dr. Denise Cooluris is an integrative family physician and a California native having returned from an era in the Pacific NW. After graduation from Bastyr University medical school, she was chosen as one of six national candidates for the family medicine residency program at Bastyr Center for Natural Health. On completion of her residency, she was invited as adjunct clinical faculty at Bastyr University, where she proudly trained students to transform into doctors of integrative medicine. She has interned with the Highline Cancer Center in Burien, WA., Family Medicine Service in Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Oncology Center of Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Planned Parenthood, and aside public health officials in a wide spectrum of community health settings, including Kenya..
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diana de lucaDiana De Luca

Diana draws upon her rich Sicilian heritage and love of all things edible and aromatic to share her passion for the green world. She is the author of Botanica Erotica and teaches delicious herbal workshops throughout the country.
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jim hallJim Hall
herbalist, MA, CMT

Jim Hall comes from a family of spiritual healers and has been intensively involved in various holistic healing modalities since 1979. He holds a master's degree in Holistic Health Education from John. F. Kennedy University and has studied with healers from a variety of traditions, including Michael Moore, Kashaya Pomo elder Lorin Smith, Karyn Sanders, Chanchal Cabrera, and medical intuitive Laurie Schyriver. Jim currently teaches at the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville CA and at the Ohlone Center for Herbal Studies in Berkeley CA. He also has a private herbal and energy healing practice, specializing in alternative treatments for cancer and soul retrieval. He lives in Santa Rosa and can be reached at back to top>

kathleen harrisonKathleen Harrison
ethnobotanist, artist, photographer

Kathleen researches the relationship between plants and people, with a particular focus on art, myth, ritual, and spirituality. She teaches at the California School of Herbal Studies, Sonoma State University, New College of California, and across the country. She has done fieldwork in Latin America for over 25 years, and is the director of Botanical Dimensions, a non-profit project dedicated to exploring the human relationship to medicinal and shamanic plants.
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kathleen harrisonSage LaPena
herbalist, ethnobotanist

Sage LaPena is an herbalist trained in both Traditional Native American and Western Herbalism protocol. Certified as a Clinical Herbalist since 2006, Sage began her training in the ways of plants as a child, working with Traditional Healers and respected Elders from local tribes of Northern California. Sage has been teaching the uses of California native plants for over 30 years and is a guest lecturer at UC System schools as well as several Herbal schools in California. As a member of American Herbalist’s Guild, United Plant Savers, California Native Plant Society and a board member of Herbal Anthropology Project, she holds herself to a standard of respect, reciprocity and responsibility in the collection and dispensing of all plant material and herbal products made from them. Through her company, Mountain Thistle Botanicals and Consultation, Sage utilizes her skills as an herbalist and educator to foster proactive health and wellness in the native community with presentations on metabolic syndrome, diabetes management, healthy eating with traditional foods and nutrition awareness.
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lily mazzarellaLily Mazzarella
MS - Herbalist

Lily has been a practicing Clinical Herbalist and board-certified Nutrition Specialist for over 10 years. She is owner and lead practitioner at Farmacopia, an integrative clinic and herbal apothecary in Santa Rosa, California. Lily’s practice is informed by scientific study, traditional constitutional systems, attention to the latest research, and an intimate knowledge of the “character” of hundreds of herbs, foods and nutrients. She began her herbal education at Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca, and went on to receive her Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Over the course of her career she has served as a consultant for various organizations, including the Ceres Project, Sonoma County Indian Health Services and Premier Nutrition Labs. Since 2006, she has been sharing her knowledge and passion for herbal medicine as a core faculty member at CSHS.
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pam montgomeryPam Montgomery

Pam received training from Empire State College in Alternative Health Education. She is the originator of Green Terrestrial Herbal Products of Vermont and was one of the founding members of the Northeast Herbal Association where she served as their president for four years. For a decade, Pam was on the Executive Council of the Board of Directors of United Plant Savers, an organization dedicated to preservation of our native medicinal plants. Pam is the originator and producer of the Green Nations Gathering for the past 21 years and has presented the Spirit Healing Conference and the Healing With Flowers Conference. She teaches workshops internationally on plant communication, Plant Spirit Healing, and Gaiacology. Pam is the author of Plant Spirit Healing; A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness and Partner Earth; A Spiritual Ecology both published by Inner Traditions and is a contributing author in Planting the Future. Pam is an herbal and plant spirit healing practitioner, as well as shamanic counselor, who offers consultations and treatments long distance and from her home at Sweetwater Sanctuary in Danby, Vermont. Visit her websites Partner Earth Education Center or Plant Spirit Healing.
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jason millerLarkin Morgan
Larkin’s experience is rooted in Western herbal therapeutics with an emphasis on plants local to Sonoma County. She has studied, taught, made medicine and held a clinical practice over the last 15 years. Larkin’s passion is education and empowerment. It is her joy to introduce people to the abundance of useful plants that are always under foot.
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autumn summersDaniel Pinney
wilderness guide

Daniel Pinney is our camping trip outfitter and guide. Daniel has 30 years experience leading trips for CSHS, Antioch College and private groups. He brings his passion for hiking, birding and music and love of the outdoors.

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Shad ReinsteinShad Reinstein
chinese medicine practitioner

I recently moved to Sebastopol and am excited to be working at CSHS. I am looking forward to combining my knowledge of Western Herbs with my experience as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. I started studying and growing Western herbs in the 1970’s in Upstate N.Y. Then in the late 1980’s I became one of the early licensed acupuncturists in Washington State. I have been teaching Chinese Medicine at Bastyr University and NW Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for about 15 years. I now practice Chinese Medicine by incorporating Sound Healing with the principles of Chinese Medicine. back to top>

Karyn SandersKaryn Sanders
clinical herbalist

Karyn has been working with plants for most of her life. She was first trained in Native American traditional plant medicine. In her mid-teens she apprenticed with a Mexican curandera and has subsequently studied with various traditional teachers as well as Western herbalists. Karyn has been teaching and practicing herbal medicine from an energetic perspective for over 32 years and is co-founder of Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine. Karyn has a live radio show, The Herbal Highway, that has aired weekly since 1996 on KPFA, 94.1FM out of Berkeley, California, on Thursdays from 1 to 2pm. back to top>

Kara SiglerKara Sigler
Western clinical herbalist

Kara Sigler has been seeing herbal clients in the San Francisco Bay Area of CA since 2006, and bodywork clients since 2012. She co-taught a three year clinical program at the Ohlone Herbal Center from 2006-2014. Kara currently leads herb walks, wildcrafting trips, and workshops at multiple venues around the Bay Area, from Forestville to Oakland. Kara has held a WFR certification since 2005 and works in the First Aid tent at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium. She makes individualized herb formulas for clients in her apothecary, and has a line of herbal products Herban Elixirs. Kara incorporates Ayurvedic pulse and tongue assessment into her sessions with clients, as well as bodywork, nutritional consulting, and emotional/energetic counseling. Kara’s interests have focused on women, queer and trans health as well as affirming that life transitions are hard for humans and that plants are amazing allies along the way. Please visit Kara’s website back to top>

christa sinadinosChrista Sinadinos
clinical herbalist

Christa is the director of the Northwest School for Botanical Studies. She has cultivated many herbalists through the two-phase professional and clinical herbalist training programs. She has practiced herbal medicine since 1994 and has studied herbs since 1989. Christa is the proprietor of the herbal extract business Alpine Meadow Botanicals. She maintains a demonstration garden containing more than 200 species of medicinal herbs. back to top

tamara wilderTamara Wilder
traditional skills educator

Tamara has taught and demonstrated traditional skills in California including the California Academy of Science in San Francisco, Oregon, Arizona and Idaho. The work of Tamara Wilder and Steven Edholm has been published in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology, in Woodsmoke: Collected Writings on Ancient Living Skills, and in their book Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning. back to top>

other guest teachers in recent years have included:
Cynthia Belew, Rosemary Gladstar, Matthew Wood, Merrilee Wisewoman, Susan Parker, Cris Amarillas, Zoë Gardner, Mitcho Thompson & others...

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