About Our Speakers
Dr. Christine Casey has a Ph.D. in entomology from UC Davis and has 30 years’ experience working on integrated pest management of ornamental plants. She recently became interested in one important group of beneficial insects — bees — and joined the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven six years ago. She manages all aspects of the Haven including plant curation, outreach and social media, and education programs. Chris also conducts research to evaluate ornamental plants for their value as bee forage.
Loren McIrvin is recognized as a leader in transforming how commercial landscapes in the San Francisco Bay Area are maintained by pioneering a holistic and team approach to landscape asset management. He is both an experienced practitioner and instructor or environmentally conscious practices who is guided by the conviction practices who is guided by the conviction that managing landscapes in a sustainable way is both pragmatic and responsible for all stakeholders. He has a passion for education, solving problems, and getting things done. His forward thinking approach to reducing chemical use and conserving water is leading a shift in our local industry. Loren holds licenses and certifications as a General Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Expert Certified Water Manager, ISA Certified Arborist, Bay Friendly Landscaper, IA (CLWM), CLIA, CIC, CID, NALP (CLP, CLT).
Loren has been a member of the faculty at UC Davis since 2002 and serves as the Cooperative Extension Specialist in Environmental Horticulture. This appointment is held jointly with the Department of Plant Sciences (80%) and the Landscape Architecture Program in the Department of Human Ecology (20%). He is Co-Director of the UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance that provides outreach and technical training to greenhouse and nursery growers. He is also Co-Chair of the UC ANR Nursery & Floriculture Workgroup, member of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Nursery Advisory Board and the Department of Water Resources Landscape Stakeholder Advisory Group, and serves on the Statewide UC Master Gardener Advisory Committee. During the spring and summer quarters of 2014 and 2016, he was the Acting Director of the UC Master Gardener Program.
Dr. Oki’s research and outreach activities focus on water issues in urban landscapes and greenhouse and nursery production. His research examines runoff from both nursery and urban sources and evaluates methods to reduce runoff volumes and the pollutants in it. He also evaluates the water use of landscape plants to develop information used for urban landscape water budgets. Dr. Oki is part of a national research project modeling water movement in nurseries to identify optimal pollutant control and water conservation methods. He studies the biological treatment of nursery runoff utilizing slow sand and vegetated filters to remove plant pathogens so the water can be reused for irrigation, the use of microcalorimetry to assess plant tolerance to salinity, and nitrogen use of plants in nursery production systems.
Dr. Oki’s Ph.D. is in Ecology (2002) from UC Davis. His dissertation research quantified the effects of salinity on rose stem elongation rates. He also holds an M.S. in Plant Science from UC Riverside (1976) where he worked in plant tissue culture studying the role of chromosomal proteins in cell differentiation. His B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture (1974) is from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Loren is a third generation member of a nursery family and prior to receiving his doctorate, he worked as a grower at a family nursery and greenhouse in the Sacramento area.
Tom Bressan is the Founder of The Urban Farmer Store, a 35–year-old company with stores in San Francisco, Mill Valley, and Richmond, selling efficient landscape irrigation and lighting to landscape professionals, homeowners and municipalities.
Over 35 years ago he wrote a manual on drip irrigation in the landscape. He has presented papers at The Irrigation Association Annual technical conferences as well as the International Micro Irrigation Conference. Over his career he has given thousands of talks on many aspects of efficient water use to a wide range of audiences. He has served on a number of non-profit boards and advisory committees.
An early adopter of LED technology, he has worked with options from many sources with the goal of making lighting an efficient, reliable and profitable part of the landscaping industry.
Join Richard Hayden, Garden Director at the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, as he lays out the simple steps to creating a habitat friendly garden abuzz with life and color. Formerly the Head Gardener at the Nature Gardens, a 3.5 acre wildlife habitat garden at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Hayden will share his hands on experience planting and maintaining a biologically active and beautiful environment.
He has enjoyed a 25 year career as a landscape designer, and his richly textured and vibrant ‘living landscapes’ have been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and Martha Stewart Living magazines among others.
He served as the President of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Los Angeles District from 2011-12 and currently serves on the board of the Bay Area District of APLD and the Western Horticulture Society.