Shelly was born in Santa Cruz, grew up in Sonoma County, and came right back to town the day she graduated high school. She went to UCSC for Sociology and has been working as a counselor for former foster youth since graduating. Shelly also took time off to do a bunch of wwoofing (world wide opportunities on organic farms) in New Zealand, Oregon, Hawaii, and around Europe.
This experience was driven by a huge interest in growing food, and most recently she worked on a sustainable agriculture certificate through Shone Farm. Shelly also works periodically for a few wineries in town helping out in the cellar when her friend winemakers need a hand. In addition to all this, she currently propagates succulents and rare house plants for a local nursery.
While these jobs all keep her busy, she is “very excited about her newest work here at the museum!” As a Visitor Service Representative, Shelly can be seen at the front desk of the Museum, primarily on Fridays. Her favorite things at the Museum are the beehive and its outdoor spaces.
Not surprisingly, she is most interested in botany and soil health and is inspired by nature’s tendency towards diversity and connectedness. Specifically, she is fascinated by mycorrhizae’s role in fungi/plant relationships, and the dynamic complexity of soil ecosystems.
“I am excited about the potential soil has to store carbon through regenerative farming practices, and plan to continue my education in this subject,” says Shelly. Next time you see Shelly at the Museum or around town, join us in welcoming her and be sure to nerd out with her about plants.