Pollinator Project Rogue Valley is directed by an all-volunteer board.
We joined together to promote the health of pollinators and people
- for our food systems and ecosystems - in our communities and beyond.  
Working together, we can save our pollinators.

Cara Cruikshank

Cara has been an enthusiastic environmental educator for 25 years. Since her teenage years of protesting nuclear energy, she’s been passionate about living in and protecting the natural world. She worked on the Navajo Reservation helping elders resist forced relocation due to uranium and coal mining and subsequently earned a Master's Degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. In Washington State, she dedicated herself to protecting Puget Sound and it's marine life 

by co-founding the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council and tackling water quality issues. To further her work, she co-founded the non-profit organization EcoSolutions and the Oysters For Salmon project, focusing on pesticides, stormwater, pollution prevention, and salmon protection. She loves teaching community groups and children about protecting local ecosystems because they are home to so many amazing insects, animals, and aquatic life. In Southern Oregon she’s also been active in the anti-GMO campaign, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, Community Rights, and also helped design a Stream Smart website for the Rogue River Watershed Council.
She’s passionate about how natural yard care and organic agriculture would drastically reduce the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, which is one of the best ways to help fish, wildlife, and pollinators survive the onslaught of humanity’s disastrous impacts.

Cara is a co-founder of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley and honored to serve as Vice-President.

Cecile Shohet

Cecile, born and raised in New York City,  unexpectedly discovered a big joy for botany while taking her very last four-credit course at Queens College.  Shortly afterwards, living in the Negev desert in Israel while researching predator-prey relationships with a desert ecologist, she realized that nature and wildlands had became part of her. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Botany from Arizona State University, Cecile moved to SW Oregon in 2000 to be the district botanist for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Cave Junction, honored to be a botanist in an area renowned for its

plant rarities due to the unusual serpentine geology. 
In 2005, Cecile formed Calypso Botanical Consulting, subsequently working on many projects throughout the West to document rare plant species.  But her scientific interests are not limited to plants - she has worked on projects for the desert tortoise and blunt nosed leopard lizard; coordinates Rogue Valley Audubon’s annual citizen science project, the Medford winter resident raptor run; and is currently taking a year-long course about the rare California red-legged frog.

Cecile is excited to help create an educational program with PPRV, having dabbled in teaching throughout her adult life. In her twenties, she worked as an interpretive Park Ranger in Central Park, taught earth science, was a houseparent, and for a year was principal at the back-to-the lander Petrolia High School, where the school year began with a ten-day backpack and ended with a six-week cross-cultural trip to Mexico.  

Cecile is enthusiastic about what can be created at PPRV, and the opportunity to help people imagine and collectively create more native habitat for pollinators, birds, reptiles, and mammals — and enjoy the results.

Kristina Lefever 

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Kristina moved to the Rogue Valley in 2012 and immediately became enamored with the region's flora and fauna, especially our pollinators. At the same time, she began learning about the unprecedented decline of all pollinators and the associated implications for our food system and eco system. She and her husband turned their barren property in Ashland into a pollinator garden, with many native plants, trees - and dandelions - but of course it's never finished.

Kristina loves talking about our native bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, beetles, and hummingbirds, and the plants and habitats that best support them. She also loves connecting to people who shares the dream that everyone's yard or landscape will include a little or a lot of pollinator habitat, even if it's just a pot of nepeta (catmint) on the porch.  As her knowledge of native plants (and Latin!) continues to grow, she is even more passionate about growing, sharing, and planting the native annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that create the habitats that best support our region's native pollinators, and thus, all the creatures that depend upon them.

Kristina is available to make presentations on the subjects of pollinators, pollinator gardens, and beneficial insects in the garden.

Kristina is honored to serve as president of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley. She also serves as chair of Bee City USA Ashland, is a board member of Beyond Toxics, and is a certified Jackson County Master Gardener.

Kyle Poling

Kyle has been growing and saving seed from a vast array of plants for the past 15 years. His background and experience 
includes work in the nursery trade, on various local farms, and two years of education thru SOU's discontinued Certification in Botany. 

Kyle has a special connection with Southern Oregon's native flora, and enjoys growing a broad diversity in his own garden - over 150 native species! 

This love of native plants and their intricate connection with all the various species of pollinators led him to begin rearing several species of moths and butterflies, as well as become a backyard beekeeper. His hope is that everyone in our region can learn to appreciate the environmental importance, landscape potential, and especially the beauty, of our native plant species that support our native pollinators. 

Kyle is pleased to serve as Secretary of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.

Patricia Burnham

Pat moved to Southern Oregon in 2018, very happy to come to this slower-paced, smaller, and greener locale after  living in Los Angeles. Before retiring, Pat spent many years working in corporate accounting and financial reporting. Upon moving to Oregon, she discovered her interest in native plants and pollinators, which led her to Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, where she realized her work experience would be useful and she could continue learning about the critical role that pollinators play in our ecosystems.

Pat is delighted to serve as Treasurer for Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.


Dolly Warden 

Dolly is a co-founder of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley. We are honored to have Dolly serve on our Advisory Board, following her position on our Board of Directors, where she served as Treasurer. Dolly's vision and commitment to human and environmental health has led her down many paths over her long life.

Dolly enjoyed helping her father with the beehives when she was a young girl, where she learned the valuable lesson that one can work for the good of all. She is a member of the Oregon State

Beekeepers Association, and honored to be one of the first graduates of the College of the Melissae in Ashland. She is a member of the Talent Garden Club, and board member for the Cascade Girl Organization.

Dolly initiated the Bee City USA "movement" in the Rogue Valley by realizing her dream to have her hometown, the City of Talent, designated the second Bee City USA in the universe!  Dolly served as Chair of Bee City USA Talent until her retirement, and continues to serve as an inspiration and mentor for the Bee City USA's that followed, now over 125 to date. She also supported the formation of Bee City Canada!  
Dolly received her Masters Degree in Library Science at Kent State, later earning her Master of Divinity Degree, paralegal certification, and a Certification in Permaculture. She has also worked in human services, founding the Initiative for Trafficking Survivors in Dallas, and has founded and worked in programs for immigrants and survivors of torture. Dolly speaks Spanish.  

Patrice Hanlon

Patrice is a horticultural consultant and educator who has been immersed in plants and the healing benefits of nature since she was a child. Her love of nature began while gardening with her parents and exploring the creeks and  forests in Pennsylvania. Throughout her horticulture career she has written articles on nature, gardening and herbs; created garden curriculum; designed interpretive walks

focused on ethnobotany, pollinators, native plants and herbs that were enjoyed by all ages. These experiences inspired Patrice to successfully manage a variety of public and private gardens for more than 20 years, including The Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek, and the Pollinator Garden for the City of Walnut Creek.

Patrice moved to Southern Oregon in 2019, where she is planting seeds for her next adventures that will incorporate her love of designing therapeutic gardens, and creating classes with a focus on plant-based activities, walks in nature, meditation and art that help to foster a sense of community, gratitude and communion with the earth. 

Dr. Ramon (Ray) Seidler

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Dr. Ray) grew up in the southern California desert area East of Los Angeles. Because his closest friend lived more than five miles away, he spent much of his time hiking and riding a scooter into the adjoining mountains, where there were many miles of dirt roads and trails to explore. Upon entering college, he discovered his love for biology, graduating from California State University at Northridge with a B.S. in Biology. Dr. Seidler received his Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University

of California at Davis. He conducted molecular biology research at the Texas Medical Center in Houston for two years, supported by a National Institutes of Health Fellowship before joining the Microbiology faculty at Oregon State University. In 1985 he joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a senior research scientist, where he studied the risks associated with the environmental release of genetically engineered organisms and properties of the weed killer 2,4-D.

Ray volunteered extensively in his home town of Corvallis in various capacities including as a 4-H leader for some 20 years. In 2012 he married his talented and artistic wife Julia, who is a retired toxicologist and professor from Honduras.

Dr. Seidler has been twice awarded the National US EPA Bronze medal for service and meritorious research; served on the US EPA scientist promotion board for all EPA scientists; been elected to Phi Kappa Phi honorary; been listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering; and co-founded and edited Molecular Ecology, a science journal dedicated to cutting edge research in this field. He is a former president of the agricultural honorary society Oregon State University chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, and co-chaired the US EPA field team to monitor the first-ever environmental release of GMO microorganisms.

Dr. Seidler is a member of or a leadership committee participant for a number of nonprofit organizations and advisory groups, providing guidance and expertise on a range of environmental issues, including soil health, climate change, and the risks to people and pollinators from exposures to toxic pesticides. Dr. Seidler is available to make public presentations on these topics.

Kristi Mergenthaler


Kristi is a botanist and naturalist based in Talent. As Stewardship Director at Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, she helps conserve and care for pollinator habitat and natural areas throughout Southern Oregon. Kristi is also the volunteer outreach coordinator with the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon, which means she often takes long hikes through beautiful meadow and montane plant communities, and shares lots of photos on social media with other native plant lovers. She has a special affinity for native bees, especially

the bumble bees, and learned a lot from the esteemed Dr. Robbin Thorp. She loves volunteering with The Xerces Society's Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas.

Robert Coffan


Robert has lived in the Rogue Valley for 25 years, passionately enjoying his research into the biodiversity of this basin - from the springs gushing from the headwaters of the Rogue on the flanks of Mt. Mazama, to the hills and rivers where our Western Monarchs stop and rear their young during their fantastic migra-

tion. Robert is fascinated by the beauty and life processes of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators, and has joined forces with others to help restore their habitat and bring the population back.  He shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with students, colleagues, children, clients, landowners, decision makers, and volunteers, and continues to learn from each of them.  Robert never loses sight of the importance of preserving and caring for this beautiful and diverse part of the world we call home on planet Earth.  Humans are a part of it all.  Together we can add value to our natural resources, and facilitate community growth and change. Robert's knowledge and perspective comes from his experiences as:

  • Chair and Co-Founder, Western Monarch Advocates

  • Co-Founder, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

  • Owner, Katalyst, Inc. 

  • BS in Hydrology/Hydrogeology

  • Former Adjunct Professor, Southern Oregon University. 

  • Former Chair, Rogue Basin Partnership

  • Proud Grandpa

  • Community Volunteer: Coyote Trails Nature Center, Northwest Seasonal Workers Association

Pollinator Project Rogue Valley does not discriminate or tolerate harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, national origin or any other status or basis prohibited by state or federal law.