Instructors

Juan Barba is a Practicing and Consulting Arborist and the Owner of Juan J. Barba & Associates, Consulting Arboricultural Services. Climbing trees professionally since 1977 and based around a B.S. from the University of Arizona in Landscape & Environmental Horticulture, Juan has vast knowledge of southwestern environmental, cultural, disease and insect problems. He has lectured around the country and has taught at Pima College and presented at the University of Arizona and at several innovative landscape programs for contractors and designers.

José Cano graduated from the Universidad de Chihuahua Mexico with a major in Fruit Science in 1973 and worked 4 years in the department of Agriculture in Aguascalientes Mexico.  He moved to the USA in 1977 and worked in several nurseries in plant production in California and Oregon and moved to Arizona in 1994. He is currently a Maintenance Supervisor for Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation and holds Arborist and Nursery certifications.

Paul Connolly graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a BFA in Graphic Design. He is a Licensed Contractor with over 20 years of experience in the landscape industry. His landscape designs have been featured in a various outdoor living magazines and received numerous local and international awards for his creative and sustainable landscape designs. He is a founding member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) Arizona Chapter. Paul was named “2013 International Landscape Designer of the Year” by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Bill Haldeman has lived in Tucson since 1982 and has 29 years of commercial horticultural experience, the last 20 seasons with the Tucson Airport Authority. Bill is currently the Senior Landscape Specialist with TAA. He has various credentials from ACLA, OPM, Rain Bird & University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. One of his goals is to empower those on his team with knowledge through learning from the industry’s leading experts.

Dr. David Kopec has served as the Extension Specialist in Turfgrass management since 1985.  His research interests include Weed control, overseeding, spring transition, water use, use of alternate grasses, varietal development and special topics relative to desert turfgrass management.

Deborah North is a native of Arizona. She entered the Master Gardener program in 2004. Her love of gardening has developed into a full-time job and a part-time volunteer activity.  She is committed to teaching people how to grow sustainably using organic methods.

Carl A. Olson recently retired as the Associate Curator, Lecturer, Assistant in Extension Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona where he worked  since 1975. He taught courses in Aquatic Entomology, Insects and Humans, and Insect Taxonomy. His work in extension included writing or coauthoring numerous bulletins on subjects from Cockroaches to Giant Palm Boring beetles, scorpions to insect repellents, teaching Master Gardeners and botanical garden docents, and has appeared on many ‘Desert Speaks’ programs. He is also the author or co-author of several books on SW arthropods provides invaluable information about arthropods to the general public and professionals around the United States and sometimes Mexico and Central America.

Raymundo Ocampo is passionate about the plants he’s nurtured at the 80-acre Westward Look Resort in Tucson over the past 24 years.  A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Ocampo worked a year in the resort’s kitchen before transferring to landscaping.  He immediately contacted University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to learn everything he could about this desert environment.  He learned his xeriscape lessons well and now teaches some of the Spanish-language SmartScape workshops.

Lincoln Perino, owner of Ethos Rainwater Harvesting & Erosion Control is a second generation Tucsonan with a love for the desert. Lincoln earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona in Sustainable Land and Water Studies and has been involved in Rainwater Harvesting projects since 2006. Lincoln has guest lectured for the University of Arizona Rainwater Harvesting classes and is currently an instructor for the Pima County Cooperative Extension’s WaterSmart program and the Tucson Water Incentive course. In his spare time he can be found on the soccer fields or in the mountains with his dogs.

Dr. Ursula Schuch is a Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. She teaches undergraduate students, advises graduate students, and regularly presents seminars and workshops for professionals in the horticulture industry. Topics include training in horticultural practices and risk management for nursery and specialty crop producers and landscape personnel. Dr. Schuch’s research is focused on production and management of arid plants, salinity tolerance, and irrigation requirements of landscape plants.

Greg Starr graduated from the University of Arizona in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and in 1985 with a Master of Science in Horticulture with a special emphasis on botany. The author of several books, Greg has traveled extensively in Mexico and the southwestern United States to study the plants for their potential landscape use in desert regions of the world. He has also traveled to South Africa in search of potential landscape plants for southern Arizona. Greg is also the owner of Starr Nursery, specializing in Agaves and related plants as well as other succulents and new introductions from arid and semi-arid regions around the world.

Marcus G. White, founder and president or Casa Blanca Horticultural Services, Inc., came to southern Arizona from New Mexico in 1992 because he was attracted to Arizona’s interesting and diverse plant material.  Employed in the ornamental horticulture industry in southern New Mexico and Arizona for over 26 years, Marcus obtained his bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and Recreational Areas Management in 1987 from New Mexico State University, followed by a Masters in Horticulture in 1990.