Melissa joined Xerces in 2022 as the Donor Engagement Specialist, working with the Membership team. She is a "retired" young farmer with over a decade of expertise in urban farming, agroforestry, garden design and education. Before joining Xerces, she worked as a horticulturist at Leach Botanical Garden. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Portland State University and has worked with a number of environmental non-profit groups throughout her career. Melissa's experience working both behind the scenes and in the field has informed her commitment to biodiversity preservation, and her love of plants informs her enthusiasm for invertebrates and their crucial importance to all ecosystems.
Melissa and her family live in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys gardening, singing and playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends.