Patrick is the Emmy Award-winning host, co-creator and writer of the popular ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. For over 20 years, Patrick has worked as a professional naturalist, biologist and educator. His range of experience has concentrated on botany, though he is also well-respected through his work in ichthyology, herpetology and mammalogy. Patrick is a professional naturalist, the Glenn and Heather Hilliard Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University, where his is also a faculty member in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, the director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and the Clemson Experimental Forest and an honorary member of the Clemson University Class of 1939.
Patrick received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his PhD in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. His research has been featured in both National Wildlife and South Carolina Wildlife magazines, as well as in numerous articles in The State, the Greenville News and other local and regional newspapers. In 2005, he was awarded the distinctions of Conservation Partner of the Year by the Partnership for the Blue Ridge, as well as Outstanding Classified Employee by Clemson University. He is a contributor to the book Life at the Water’s Edge, which won the 2005 Renewable Natural Resources Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement Award and has been selected to receive one of 10 South Carolina Notable State Document Awards for 2005.
In addition to hosting Expeditions, Patrick spends his time at Clemson University, fulfilling his teaching, outreach and curatorial duties. As an expert speaker, he is in demand throughout the Southeast and nation and routinely gives more than 100 public presentations annually, including the prestigious Calhoun Lecture in January of 2009, the first Clemson faculty member invited to present this address. He has also given dozens of departmental seminars at universities throughout the region. Patrick is an active member of several organizations, including the South Carolina Association of Naturalists, the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, the South Carolina Native Plant Society and the South Carolina Entomological Society. He is a member of the board of trustees for Upstate Forever, a former member of The Nature Conservancy, South Carolina, board of trustees and is on the SCDNR Heritage Trust Advisory Board Natural Areas Committee and the Craig's Pond Eco-education Committee.
Patrick’s intense interest in natural history began at a very young age. He attributes his memorization of thousands of scientific names to his grandmother, who would read him Animal Kingdom and wildflower books as a young child, including the Latin names—quite a contrast to Dr. Seuss! He spent his early childhood in the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress Swamp with his father and grandfather. Patrick and his family moved to Alleghany County, North Carolina, in 1976, where he lived a few hundred feet off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 231. Every day was spent familiarizing himself with the rhythm and diversity of his neighborhood woods, fields and streams. By the time he entered the University of North Carolina, his explorations had already documented plants formerly unknown in North Carolina.
During and after college, Patrick worked as an environmental consultant and field ecologist for UNC-Chapel Hill, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, KCI Technologies and R.J. Goldstein & Associates, curator at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and eighth grade math and science teacher. He moved to and joined the faculty of Clemson University in 2000. His research has taken him around the world in pursuit of new species of plants, and his areas of expertise are in sedge and Begonia taxonomy, natural community ecology and conservation biology.
Angel was born and raised in Ohio. She and her three children (Jessica, Emily and Alex) moved to Clemson, South Carolina, from Oakwood, Ohio, in the summer of 2013. Angel graduated summa cum laude with an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and a Certificate in Marketing. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
Angel started at the SCBG in January 2015 as Patrick’s Assistant and later became the manager of the rental program and the manager of the gift shop, as well. She now holds the position of business manager. Angel enjoys reading, cooking and baking. Given the hectic schedule of work and being a single parent, what she most enjoys is just a good night’s sleep!
John was raised on a small farm in Oconee County. His love of nature comes from the long walks he would take with his father around their farm. He was always the kid who asked too many questions about the wonders of nature. His father would always take time to answer those questions and encourage John to discover more about the world around him. His grandmother gave him the love of plants by allowing him to work alongside her in the garden and orchard on the family farm.
John started with the Garden 30 years ago as a horticulturist working on maintenance throughout the garden. He and his wife, Kim, have been married for 28 years. They have two wonderful sons Keegan and Logan. John enjoys backpacking, canoeing and fly fishing.
Kathy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but was raised in Europe. She lived in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and England. She graduated from Cincinnati Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Business/Ornamental Horticulture. Her passion for gardening came from her mother and grandfather. Kathy has a son who will graduate from Clemson with a degree in Computer Science, a niece/inherited daughter who is attending Warren Wilson University in Asheville, and an amazing husband.
Kathy was a retail store manager with Frank’s Nursery and Crafts for 18 years, operating a $3million/year nursery and craft store. She was responsible for customer service training for all district employees for nine stores, management trainees, and had highest payroll to sales ratio out of 260 stores. She moved to South Carolina in 1988, and was the Horticulturist for Keowee Key for 10 years. She thought she had a great job, but then she got the job of Landscape Manager at the S.C. Botanical Garden where she is responsible for maintaining and installing landscaped areas within the Garden, as well as student hiring, coordinating, and payroll. Now she feels she has the best job!!
Natural Heritage Garden Manager
Allison was born in Florida but raised in various cities east of the Mississippi before her family settled in Greenville, South Carolina, during her high school years. Her love of the outdoors was instilled by her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, who owned a farm in Chester, South Carolina. She obtained her Bachelor of Music from Furman University and Master of Music Education/Music Therapy from the University of Georgia in 1996.
Allison was a special education music teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, for 14 years before deciding to attend Clemson for a master’s in plant and environmental sciences. She first started working in the South Carolina Botanical Garden nursery in 2012 for a year and a half before transferring to the landscape crew. Around the time she was finishing her degree, she was hired as the Natural Heritage Garden Manager in the fall of 2016. Allison enjoys giving tours, teaching classes and learning something new at the South Carolina Botanical Garden every day.
Education Program Coordinator
Sue began at the Garden as the office manager in 1999, having relocated from Atlanta. At the time she was working on her PhD. in history at Binghamton University, New York.
Sue was born and grew up in England and her family is still there. As a young adult she was able to live in New Zealand and Canada for some time. Sue has a BA and MA in history, but has always loved gardens and gardening. Her grandparents and parents were avid gardeners.
While at the Garden, her interest in education was tapped and she began working with the Garden’s Director of Education, Lisa Wagner, helping her with her programs and then developed her own programs and interests. One of the most influential developments for Sue professionally has been able to take part in the South Carolina Master Naturalist and the Southern Appalachian Master Naturalist Programs. She has developed a Garden Naturalist Program for adults and Junior Naturalist Program for children. Sue has been able to use her history background to open the Hunt Cabin to the public more frequently.
Education and Resource Coordinator
A native of Greenville, SC, James is a Clemson graduate and received his MS in Environmental Education from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH. James worked for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Charleston, SC before returning to Greenville as the Sustainability Associate at Furman University. He was the Community Forester/Certified Arborist for TreesGreenville and joined Clemson University last year in the Planning and Design Office. He started his current position in March of this year and enthusiastically brings his passion for environmental education and outreach to the South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Clemson Experimental Forest.
Shannon Barrett is the landscape architect for the South Carolina Botanical Garden. She coordinates land use planning, wayfinding, water conservation initiatives, garden design and implementation, and site project management. She teaches sustainable garden design studios for the Horticulture Department at Clemson University. She also provides support visitor experience services for the Clemson Experimental Forest.
Garden Facilities Manager
Spencer Waldrop is originally from Pickens, South Carolina, but now lives in La France, South Carolina, with his wife and daughter. He worked for Clemson University as part of Clemson University Facilities for seven years before coming to the South Carolina Botanical Garden in 2016. Spencer has a strong mechanical background, as well as years of experience in facilities management.
Plant Collection Manager
Trent is a South Carolina native, having grown up in both the Midlands and the Lowcountry before moving to Clemson for college. Trent studied horticulture at Clemson University and graduated in 2015. He has been involved with the South Carolina Botanical Garden since 2014, when he was a student worker, and was hired as a staff member in the spring of 2016 as the Desert Garden Manager and the Plant Collection Manager. Trent enjoys exploring the mountains and other natural areas where he can keep seeing new things and learning about plants and the ecosystems in which they are found.
Dave grew up in Rome, Georgia, and gained a deep appreciation of nature from tagging along with his father, fishing in creeks and lakes and the woods surrounding their home. He began working in horticulture while studying to be a high school English teacher at Berry College. He taught high school for four years, but working indoors was not to his liking. Therefore, Dave returned to horticulture and spent many years in the residential landscape world in Colorado, Tennessee and Alabama, as well as at a small university in northern Colorado, before moving to Atlanta to work for the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Working in Atlanta further fostered Dave's love of public gardening. He worked there for seven years as a senior horticulturist before coming to the South Carolina Botanical Garden as the Arboretum Manager in January of 2017. Dave and his wife live in Walhalla and love the Upstate and all that it has to offer.
Garden Educator for the Melody Garden
Rebecca was born and raised in the rolling bluegrass hills of Kentucky, where her parents introduced her to the magic of nature and an appreciation of music. She graduated with her degree in Geology from NCSU in 2009, and has been a lifelong musician and songwriter. She worked as a geologist for many years until she moved with her husband (curator of the Bob Campbell Geology Museum) and 4 year old daughter to Clemson in the fall of 2015. The moment she stepped into the Garden, she was inspired to create a nature-based outdoor children’s music program called the Melody Garden, where spirits are free to dance with the butterflies and sing with the birds! Rebecca loves playing stringed instruments with friends, sewing, gardening, rock hounding, songwriting, hiking, cooking, and generally loving life through child-like eyes.
Dr. Smith was formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois and at The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center on the campus of Duke University in Durham, NC. Dr. Smith received degrees from Western Kentucky University (BS-Geology) and the University of Texas at Austin (PhD-Paleontology).
Dr. Smith is a vertebrate paleontologist with broad interests in the evolution of birds with particular areas of focus including combined phylogenetic analyses (building 'family trees' of birds), divergence time estimation (dating phylogenetic trees), and avian anatomy. Dr. Smith has presented his research and done paleontological field work in locations across the USA, South America, Europe and Asia.
Dr. Smith is responsible for managing and updating the geological and paleontological collections and exhibits at the BCGM as well as leading tours of the BCGM and field trips to collect geological and paleontological specimens. Adam is involved in initiatives to enhance linkages between Clemson University faculty and students, SCBG, and BCGM, and to increase visitorship and membership to the BCGM.
Curator of Education
Allison first began working at the Garden in 2007 coordinating Sprouting Wings, a gardening and nature-based-learning program for elementary aged children funded by the late Bob and Betsy Campbell. Working with Sprouting Wings was one of the most gratifying experiences she has ever had, and it further confirmed her desire to help people, especially children, learn about and connect with nature.
In 2011, Allison began serving as the Interim Curator of the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and as the Membership and Gifts Manager for the Garden and Museum, in addition to working alongside Kendra Vincent to develop educational programming for children and families. Since that time, the Membership Manager and Museum Curator positions have been filled, allowing her to work full-time as an Education Program Coordinator and expand her program offerings. Working full-time in education allows Allison to utilize her training in Biology, her love of plants and nature, as well as her experience with minerals and fossils. She also manages the registration database for educational programming and special events.
Kendra has been involved with the SCBG for 21 years both as an employee and a volunteer. During her time as a Clemson student she became involved with Sprouting Wings, a children’s gardening program, and from there decided that she wanted to stay in this field. Kendra loved being able to help children learn from new experiences in nature and also be able to use the natural world as a tool for therapy.
Kendra received her BS in Horticulture in 1996 and then a MS in Therapeutic Recreation in 1998. While completing her Master’s she was the Sprouting Wings coordinator for the York Place Children’s Home, a residential treatment facility for children. Then for many years she worked with Sprouting Wings in local schools during after school programs. In 2007, Kendra began working with Allison Jones, as the York Place Sprouting Wings Coordinator and assisted Allison with the SCBG based Sprouting Wings Program. In 2011 she was able to move to the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and, along with Allison, has been expanding the education program at the museum and the SCBG education programming as a Garden Educator.
Richard Porcher, Jr.