Kristin Haskins, Ph.D.

Executive Director, ext.114

Kris started with The Arboretum in 2006 after a three-year post-doc at Northern Arizona University (NAU) working in a mycorrhizal ecology laboratory. After growing up in New Hampshire, Kris moved to Lexington, KY where she completed her B.S. and M.S. in Biology at The University of Kentucky. She then attended NAU for her dissertation work in piñon-juniper ecosystems. Currently, her research interests include conservation ecology of rare plants, restoration ecology and developing native plant materials for re-vegetation. Kris completed co-editing a technical book in 2012 on plant reintroduction entitled, Plant Reintroduction in a Changing Climate: Promises and Perils, with her dear colleague Dr. Joyce Maschinski. Dr. Haskins lives happily with her husband, two boys, two horses, two dogs and twelve chickens. In her rare spare moments, she enjoys horseback riding, reading juicy fiction novels, and playing with her kids.

Kirsten Mead Finance Manager Photo

Kirsten Mead

Finance Manager, ext.109

Kirsten is virtually a native of Flagstaff, having lived here since she was seven years old.  She graduated from Northern Arizona with a BS in Criminal Justice.  For nearly 10 years Kirsten owned and operated a successful scrapbook/craft store, where she was allowed to expand her creativity and accounting skills.  When her daughter was heading to college, she left the creative world for university accounting, which led to The Arboretum. Kirsten and her husband Don (a true Flagstaff native) have an adult daughter and a menagerie of dogs and cats.  They enjoy hiking around Flagstaff and Sedona, kayaking and paddle-boarding in northern Arizona’s waterways and traveling to beach destinations.  Kirsten loves mixed media art and attending art retreats, reading novels, podcasts, hanging out with family and chasing sunsets.

Sheila Murray

Research Botanist, ext.112

Sheila’s main interests are the rare and endangered plants of the Colorado Plateau, and she contributes to The Arboretum’s mission by collecting, growing, and studying these native plants. Sheila grew up in the small ghost town of Jerome, AZ and has always had a love of the outdoors. She moved to Flagstaff to pursue a career in the natural sciences, and received her B.A. in Environmental Sciences from Northern Arizona University. She has been on the plant research track at The Arboretum since 2001. When she finds free time, she enjoys river rafting, hiking, cross-country skiing, creating botanical illustrations and indulging in other forms of artwork. Most of her free time activities inevitably include botany in some fashion.

Michael Finney

Facilities Manager

A Flagstaff native, Finney grew up enjoying a childhood lived in the areas canyons, woods and creeks.  Finney holds both a BFA in Museum and Community Education and a BFA in Studio Art Photography from the University of Arizona. He is currently an Arizona State University Masters Candidate in the Fulton School of Engineering.

Matthew Harrison

Grounds Supervisor

Matthew has been in Flagstaff since 2008 after completing his BA in Communications and Media Arts in Connecticut. He loves the great outdoors and exploring the native flora and fauna of the Colorado Plateau, which has led to endless adventures. An avid hiker he’s covered most ground from Phantom Ranch to the summit of Humphrey’s Peak. Matthew likes to travel and loves discovering new places and learning about different cultures and customs. He has traveled to 47 states in the US and many, many foreign destinations.  Locally he is exploring Pueblo culture and trying to learn Hopi dry farming techniques. When not at the Arb, he runs a small custom woodworking business and is a certified Luthier. He is currently building handmade acoustic archtop guitars from recycled materials. Matthew likes to relax by his 6000 gallon Koi pond at home, which he built himself over two summers. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, cooking, photography, spending time with his wife, dogs, cats and chickens.

Tony Holle-Smith

Grounds Assistant

Tony has lived in Flagstaff for as long as he can remember and has been visiting the Arboretum since grade school. He has frequently worked for the Arboretum’s wedding coordinator in the past and has been employed as the Arboretum as a grounds assistant since early summer 2020. He helps maintain the gardens, paths, and exhibits, and - along with the rest of the grounds department - keeps the property from becoming unkempt or overgrown. He loves Northern Arizona and feels a deep connection with the land where the Arboretum is located. He likes to spend his free time walking his dogs, practicing graphic design, and relaxing with his girlfriend and family.

Cassidy Gale

Cassidy Gale


A native of New England, Cassidy grew up in Massachusetts and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. She attended college in Vermont and multiple international universities; studying a range of subjects from ethnomusicology to environmental sustainability, ultimately receiving a BA in Environmental Studies. She spent many years in New England managing a three generational farm, being lead horticulturist at a premiere garden center, as well as running her own landscape design and installation business focusing on native species. She and her husband landed in northern AZ to begin building on their off grid property several years ago. When she is not growing and researching Colorado Plateau plants, she is usually out exploring and adventuring in the southwest with her husband, dog, and cat.

Jason Fisher

Grounds/Horticulture Assistant

After graduating college in small town Pennsylvania, Jason first ventured out west for a 6 month season with the conservation corps, but quickly fell in love with the Southwest and found it difficult to leave. Before joining the Arboretum, some of Jason's favorite jobs have been assisting as a field technician for a research ornithologist, working on a biodynamic garlic farm, and serving as an outdoor classroom educator for a school to farm project. He is excited to see the way the Arb joins his passions for research, conservation, gardening, and education all under one roof. Outside of work, Jason loves spending time by the water, exploring new forms of art, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Helena Murray and Dog

Helena Murray

Education Programs Director

Helena came to Flagstaff from Simi Valley, CA to obtain her BS in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University. While going to school, she worked as an early childhood educator and became passionate about working with children. She is thrilled to combine both of her passions in her role with The Arboretum. She loves the focus on environmental education that The Arboretum provides the Flagstaff community. In her free time, she loves to go on adventures with her husband and two dogs. Helena also enjoys getting into a good book, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and soaking up the sun.

Leighann Emo

Office Assistant

Leighann grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a BA in English: Professional Writing. After living and working in Phoenix for five years, she moved north to Flagstaff and joined The Arboretum’s team in 2020 as the Office Assistant. Leighann turned her longtime love for plants and flowers into a small online loose leaf tea business called Floral Pleasure Tea Co. In her free time you can find her camping deep in the forest, blending her own tea, or hiking around with her dog, Ruby.

Devon Schmitt

Marketing Assistant

Devon grew up along the East Coast and in Colorado before moving to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University. She is graduating with a BS in Advertising and a minor in Business Administration this spring. She has always wanted to pursue a career in art and design, which led her to The Arboretum in 2019, first as an intern and then as the Marketing Assistant. Whenever she has free time, you’ll likely find her with a paint brush in hand, going on hikes, or finding new places to eat at in Flagstaff.

Alexis Holle

Wedding & Banquet Coordinator

Alexis Holle has lived in Flagstaff since 2000. After graduating from Southern Illinois University with a BFA in Painting, she headed west in search of an artistic and open-minded community in which to raise her then infant son. She found what she was looking for in Flagstaff, and has been an active member of the downtown cultural scene ever since. In addition to her artistic roots, she has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, having worked for several restaurants and catering companies over the years. She was also the owner and proprietor of Sundara, a boutique, art gallery, coffee house and music venue formerly located in downtown Flagstaff, from 2007-2013.


Current job and internship openings are listed below. If you are interested in an internship with us not listed, please contact our Executive Director at

To apply for a position please submit, electronically: 1) A resume, 2) A letter of interest in the position, and 3) Up to three references with contact information to: and thank you for your interest!

General Application