Instructors

Juan Barba is a Practicing and Consulting Arborist and the Owner of Juan J. Barba & Associates, Consulting Arboricultural Services. Climbing trees professionally since 1977 and based around a B.S. from the University of Arizona in Landscape & Environmental Horticulture, Juan has vast knowledge of southwestern environmental, cultural, disease and insect problems. He has lectured around the country and has taught at Pima College and presented at the University of Arizona and at several innovative landscape programs for contractors and designers.

Oscar Blazquez taught at the University of Arizona, for 31 years, in programs including Interior Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.  He received his undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad La Salle and his Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona in 1982.  Oscar worked for several years in private practice as an architect for a number of firms including world renowned Legorreta Architect and Associates of Mexico City, Mexico.  Oscar is the recipient of numerous academic and professional practice awards such as the Darryl B. Dobras Award for Excellence in teaching as well as receiving the University of Arizona Academy Teaching Award three times. His students will always remember their first assignment entitled Object of Beauty as this relates to the design fundamentals of both elements and principles of landscape architecture.

José Cano graduated from the Universidad de Chihuahua Mexico with a major in Fruit Science in 1973 and worked 4 years in the department of Agriculture in Aguascalientes Mexico.  He moved to the USA in 1977 and worked in several nurseries in plant production in California and Oregon before moving to Arizona in 1994. He recently retired from his Maintenance Supervisor position with Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation, where he worked for 20+ years, and maintains his professional certifications in arboriculture and nursery. Jose loves to share his knowledge and experience through the classes he teaches for Smartscape.

Greg Corman is a landscape designer and sculptor.  His plant-related experience includes re-vegetation and restoration, wholesale and retail nursery work, landscape installation and maintenance, and landscape design.  Greg has degrees in Agriculture from the U of A and University of Maryland and, in addition to the SW of the US, has worked in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.  He started his design company, Gardening Insights, Inc., in 2002.

Samuel Orozco Graduated High School in 1983 from Caborca, Sonora, Mexico and later graduated from University of Phoenix with a BSBA in Business Administration and an MBA. Golf Course Superintendent for 16 years, worked in Arizona and Texas golf courses. Directed multiple construction and renovation projects. Worked as an independent contractor instructing for Pesticide Training Resources and the Rain Bird Academy. Currently work for the Town of Oro Valley as the Parks Maintenance Superintendent and own and operate Resol, LLC a tax and consulting services business.

Jeffrey Gilbert has over 37 years of experience with landscape management. Worked in city parks performing recreational sports field maintenance and irrigation management. Has worked as a landscape and irrigation contractor. Graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in landscape horticulture in 1988 and from the University of Arizona with a Master of Science in Soil, Water and Environmental Science in 2000. For the past 25 years has worked at the University of Arizona doing research on turfgrass and irrigation management. Also, works with the city of Tucson water department as an irrigation consultant for commercial properties. Primary interests are in landscape water management and irrigation system optimization.

Bill Haldeman has lived in Tucson since 1982 and has 29 years of commercial horticultural experience, the last 20 seasons with the Tucson Airport Authority. Bill is currently the Senior Supervisor, Maintenance Fleet and Landscape with TAA. He has various credentials from ACLA, OPM, Rain Bird & University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. One of his goals is to empower those on his team with knowledge through learning from the industry’s leading experts.

Michael Ismail

Dr. David Kopec has served as the Extension Specialist in Turfgrass management since 1985.  His research interests include Weed control, over-seeding, spring transition, water use, use of alternate grasses, varietal development and special topics relative to desert turfgrass management.

Grant McCormick, MLA, AICP, is a Campus Planner in the University of Arizona’s Department of Planning, Design & Construction, where his work includes integrating stormwater management practices and rain water harvesting techniques within campus development projects. He has participated in many local jurisdiction efforts to create water harvesting and GI/LID programs and regulations. At the UA he is also an Adjunct Professor in the Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department where he teaches Water Harvesting and Green Infrastructure. Additionally, he manages the University’s Enterprise GIS program.

Deborah North is a native of Arizona. She entered the Master Gardener program in 2004. Her love of gardening has developed into a full-time job and a part-time volunteer activity.  She is committed to teaching people how to grow sustainably using organic methods.

Raymundo Ocampo is passionate about the plants he’s nurtured at the 80-acre Westward Look Resort in Tucson over the past 24 years.  A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Ocampo worked a year in the resort’s kitchen before transferring to landscaping.  He immediately contacted University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to learn everything he could about this desert environment.  He learned his xeriscape lessons well and now teaches some of the Spanish-language Smartscape workshops.

Carl A. Olson recently retired as the Associate Curator, Lecturer, Assistant in the Extension Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona where he worked since 1975. He taught courses in Aquatic Entomology, Insects and Humans, and Insect Taxonomy. His work in extension included writing or coauthoring numerous bulletins on subjects from Cockroaches to Giant Palm Boring beetles, scorpions to insect repellents, teaching Master Gardeners and botanical garden docents, and has appeared on many ‘Desert Speaks’ programs. He is also the author or co-author of several books on SW arthropods provides invaluable information about arthropods to the general public and professionals around the United States and sometimes Mexico and Central America.

Lincoln Perino, owner of Ethos Rainwater Harvesting & Erosion Control, is a second generation Tucsonan with a love for the desert. Lincoln earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona in Sustainable Land and Water Studies and has been involved in Rainwater Harvesting projects since 2006. Lincoln has guest lectured for the University of Arizona Rainwater Harvesting classes and is currently an instructor for the Smartscape program’s Rainwater Harvesting and Gray Water classes. In his spare time he can be found on the soccer fields or in the mountains with his dogs.

Dr. Ursula Schuch is a Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. She teaches undergraduate students, advises graduate students, and regularly presents seminars and workshops for professionals in the horticulture industry. Topics include training in horticultural practices and risk management for nursery and specialty crop producers and landscape personnel. Dr. Schuch’s research is focused on production and management of arid plants, salinity tolerance, and irrigation requirements of landscape plants.

Greg Starr graduated from the University of Arizona in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and in 1985 with a Master of Science in Horticulture with a special emphasis on botany. The author of several books, Greg has traveled extensively in Mexico and the southwestern United States to study the plants for their potential landscape use in desert regions of the world. He has also traveled to South Africa in search of potential landscape plants for southern Arizona. Greg is also the owner of Starr Nursery, specializing in Agaves and related plants as well as other succulents and new introductions from arid and semi-arid regions around the world.

Marcus G. White, founder and president of Casa Blanca Horticultural Services, Inc., came to southern Arizona from New Mexico in 1992 because he was attracted to Arizona’s interesting and diverse plant material.  Employed in the ornamental horticulture industry in southern New Mexico and Arizona for over 26 years, Marcus obtained his bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and Recreational Areas Management in 1987 from New Mexico State University, followed by a Masters in Horticulture in 1990.

Gary Woodard has degrees in chemistry, law, and public policy studies from the University of Michigan. During a 31-year career with the University of Arizona, he conducted research on municipal water demand issues, including forecasting water demand, evaluating conservation programs, and water reuse. Upon retiring, he joined Montgomery & Associates, a water resources consulting firm, where he advises cities, water companies, developers and tribes on water issues, including rainwater harvesting (RWH). His work in the RWH demonstration site; Partnering with UA colleague Jim Riley to turn The Nature Conservancy’s Tucson complex into A RWH demonstration site; Working with UNESCO in the Middle East and North Africa to understand ancient RWH techniques and how they might be enhanced by modern materials and technologies; Guiding student research on optimal sizing of RWH systems and evaluating water quality issues; Advising a developer on incorporating RWH in a low-impact development; and Performing research for Tucson Water on the impact of RWH systems on portable demand and on how RWH system owners operate their systems.