Winter Introductions: New Staff and New Roles

Five people standing in a row in front of birch and evergreen trees on an autumn day.

Left to right: Petrina Giese, Anne Pearce, Jady Carmichael, Annie Isenbarger, and Josh Goldman

Over the past several months, the Arboretum has welcomed three new staff members and had two staff members transition into new roles.

Josh Goldman joined us in spring 2023 as associate director. Before coming to the Arboretum, he worked in auxiliary services administration in various positions with UW Extension, UW Colleges, and at UW–Madison. Josh also recently began serving as interim administrative director following Karen Oberhauser’s retirement from the Arboretum in November. Josh enjoys his work here, saying, “There is always something new and interesting going on at the Arb! I am honored to support the rich legacy of the Arboretum and all the incredible work that the staff here does every day.”

Petrina Giese began working at the Arboretum as an administrative specialist in summer 2023. Previously, she spent a decade working as an administrative assistant and supervisor in the healthcare industry. Petrina is grateful to be using her skills to support her favorite place in Madison and to have shifted her career in the direction of conservation and restoration. “Applying my office management, human resources, and process improvement skills in support of my inspiring, mission-driven colleagues has been incredibly rewarding,” Petrina shares. “I’ve also enjoyed gaining new financial experience, and I look forward to further developing that area of expertise.”

Jady Carmichael started working at the Arboretum as a communications specialist in September. Before joining the Arboretum, she worked for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey as an online content editor. Jady has also been a freelance science writer for the geoscience news magazine Eos. She is excited to use her background in environmental and science communication in support of the Arboretum’s mission. Jady says, “The Arboretum is a special place and a unique organization that does an incredible variety of work. I’m looking forward to learning from my colleagues’ diversity of expertise and sharing the Arboretum’s stories with the broader community.”

Moving on to staff who began new roles at the Arboretum, Anne Pearce initially joined the education unit in early 2023 as the adult and community engagement coordinator, and in October she became the education program manager. Anne brings over ten years of experience in environmental education and natural resources outreach to her new leadership role. She had also volunteered at the Arboretum as a restoration team leader for five years prior to becoming a staff member. Discussing her new role, Anne says, “I am excited to continue working with a fantastic group of colleagues, including our dedicated naturalists, to continue to facilitate experiences through which people connect with each other and the natural world.”

Finally, Annie Isenbarger first joined the Arboretum in 2021 to work with the international citizen science program Journey North. In October, Annie moved into the role of citizen science coordinator in the research unit. This new role builds on Annie’s participatory science work with Journey North as well as her extensive background in education and public outreach. “I’m excited to further develop Arboretum citizen science programming that engages a wide range of participants,” Annie says. “My hope is that, through our citizen science projects, participants will create a deeper understanding and connection to the natural world, thus cultivating a relationship that works toward conservation and protection, now and for future generations.”

—Arboretum staff