Hi! 👋 I am a field botanist and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner working in the Chicago region. At Northwestern University, I studied environmental sciences with a focus on plant biology and conservation. After that, I worked for 8 years at an ecological consulting firm with projects for government agencies, non-profits, and private clients located throughout the Midwest. I now work for the Chicago Park District as part of the Environmental Conservation and Engagement team.

Aside from studying and restoring natural areas, one of the things I most enjoy is helping the average person realize that natural spaces, even in urban areas, are diverse, beautiful, and worthy of our protection and care.

Looking for a speaker?

I’m happy to speak about or teach workshops on the following topics. Get in touch!

  • habitat restoration → planning, implementing, and monitoring prairie, wetland, savanna, and woodland restoration projects in the Midwest United States; performance standards for ecosystem restoration assessment; seed and plant mix design
  • plant identification → intro to botany; Midwest US flowering plants including native and non-native species, invasive species, tree and shrubs; tools for plant ID; taxonomy; botanical terminology
  • iNaturalist → intro to iNaturalist, all-day indoor/outdoor iNaturalist workshops, using iNaturalist for citizen science projects, advanced iNaturalist tools

If you’ve got ideas or opportunities, shoot me an email!

—cassi

Kankakee mallow Iliamna remota
cassi saari Palmisano Park Chicago Park District Natural Areas
Elymus canadensis Rainbow Beach

“You are an excellent writer and editor. Your suggestions are absolutely spot on. Very few science/ecology types are.”

“Thank you cassi for the breadth of your knowledge and your desire to share it with others.”

“Thanks again for your kindness in every single interaction I’ve had with you. In a world with too much hostility, it really stands out and has a profound impact.”