The Spartan Garden: Manager

Greetings! My name is Candace Russo, and it is my pleasure to introduce myself as the Linus Pauling Institute's Healthy Youth Program Garden Manager. My first project will be coordinating the development of the Spartan Garden at Corvallis High School with the students, working with teachers to incorporate garden activities into the school curricula, and helping to get the produce from the garden onto students' plates.

Candace in the garden

I have a Master's of Science in Soil Science from Oregon State University (OSU) with a minor in Horticulture, and a Bachelor's of Science in Biological Sciences from Michigan Technological University where I also received a Teaching Certificate. My graduate work at OSU involved researching soil quality in agriculture (a path I chose because I believe that healthy soil leads to healthy food). During graduate school, I earned a Fellowship in the National Science Foundation's GK-12 Rural Science Education Program, where I developed science enrichment activities and taught them to elementary school students in Albany, Oregon. These activities focused on their school garden, and included designing insect traps, exploring their soil’s profile, and experimenting with different mulching techniques.

My professional experience combines more than fifteen years of experience in natural resources and environmental education. Most recently, I worked as an Environmental Outreach Specialist on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, to develop educational materials and coordinate volunteers to protect natural resources through service learning. Other professional experience includes the Education and Information Specialist at the Northwest Habitat Institute in Corvallis, Oregon; Instructor of "Landscape Plant Materials" at Linn-Benton Community College; Teaching Assistant in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at OSU; Biological Science Technician with Dynamac, at the EPA’s Western Ecology Division in Corvallis, Oregon; Science Teacher at Summer Impressions Day Camp in West Bloomfield, Michigan; and Greenhouse Worker at Nissila’s Greenhouse in Hancock, Michigan.

I am looking forward to sharing my passion for science and education while working with CHS students, teachers, parents and community partners on the Spartan Garden, and hope my previous experience will enhance this exciting project. Hope to see you in the Garden!

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