Meet Our Partner Biologists

  • Isabel Nazarian

    Growing up in rural Ohio, Isabel developed an early love for native plants and local ecosystems. She assisted in her first restoration project at the age of 15 and volunteered at nearby park districts. She graduated from Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources specializing in environmental science and ecosystem restoration. Isabel spent years in honey bee research, caring for over 100 hives around Ohio while conducting research on pesticides and analyzing CRP. She has also worked in ecosystem restoration, helping to execute WRP and other contracted plans through vegetation management, seed selection and seeding, erosion control, tree planting and more. With Pollinator Partnership, she is here to help landowners access all the resources they need to implement pollinator conservation on their land. Isabel is based in central Ohio and offers assistance to the Midwestern region. Contact her for assistance navigating NRCS programs, locating monetary and educational resources, questions about site preparation, species suggestions, best management practices, planning assistance or if you aren’t sure where to start! Isabel will also be putting together trainings, workshops, and outreach events for producers to better understand how they can incorporate pollinator habitat on their land while reaching their goals.

    Midwest Assistance Request Form

  • Lacey Smith

    Lacey graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Geoscience and a Master’s degree in Forestry, with emphasis on understory biodiversity. After graduation, she worked as a Pollinator Specialist/Partner Biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WV DNR) and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Lacey joined Pollinator Partnership in 2023 as the Northeast Regional Partner Biologist. In this role, she works in joint capacity with NRCS to promote, coordinate, and implement conservation efforts that relate to pollinator conservation (site visitations, creating native seed mixes, and planning for Wildlife Habitat Plantings, Tree/Shrub Establishment, Conservation Cover, and other pollinator related conservation practices) on private lands. Lacey also provides pollinator related educational outreach and training to NRCS staff, producers, partners, and landowners through in-person and virtual events for rural, agricultural, and urban agriculture environments. Lacey is located in central New York but provides assistance throughout the northeast.

    Northeast Assistance Request Form

  • Sarah Gardner

    Sarah Gardner is a passionate advocate for pollinator conservation, dedicated to protecting the vital role that pollinators play in our agroecosystems. With a Master’s from Utah State in Biology with an emphasis in Pollination Ecology, Sarah has spent over a decade researching and promoting pollinator-friendly practices. As the Western Regional Partner Biologist with P2 and the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS), she has provided expertise for conservation planning development and implementation that support pollinators and pollinator habitats in and around the working lands of the Western United States. Her understanding of pollinator biology, habitat restoration, Farm Bill programs, and sustainable agriculture has allowed her to effectively collaborate with farmers, landowners, and conservation partners alike. The Partner Biologist position encompasses a unique intersect of education and outreach, where Sarah enjoys promoting pollinator health, biodiversity and ensuring the sustainability of our food systems. She especially appreciates any opportunity to discuss the finer points of safeguarding pollinators for future farming generations

  • Sophia Sorboro

    Sophia graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Environmental and Conservation Biology and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies. After graduating college, Sophia completed two conservation-focused years of service with AmeriCorps and then worked as a Watershed Coordinator for a Soil Water Conservation District. Through these roles, Sophia provided technical assistance, conservation planning support, and environmental education and outreach to urban and rural communities across Summit, Tuscarawas, and Columbiana counties. As Pollinator Partnership’s Ohio Partner Biologist, Sophia assists traditional, small, specialty, urban, and other producers across eastern Ohio with establishing pollinator friendly habitat by providing Farm Bill application and conservation planning support. Sophia conducts site visits, provides follow-up resources including but not limited to: maps, habitat drawings, seed mixes, site preparation and management direction, connections to local and federal conservation agencies, and federal program application assistance.

  • Mary Welz

    As a naturalist and plant enthusiast, Mary is passionate about the conservation of pollinators and the native plant communities they depend upon in her home state of Indiana. She earned a BS in Biology at Indiana University and studied Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. Among her professional roles, she worked for an ecological service provider, served as a Regional Specialist for State of Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management, and prior to joining Pollinator Partnership, worked as the environmental educator for Sycamore Land Trust. Through these positions, she conducted administrative support for native plant nursery operations, provided habitat planning and maintenance technical assistance, and engaged various audiences through nature interpretation and land stewardship volunteer opportunities. As P2’s Indiana Partner Biologist, Mary now assists small, specialty, urban, and other agricultural producers across the state of Indiana with establishing pollinator friendly habitat by providing Farm Bill application and conservation planning support. She also works to create educational content to feature wildlife habitat success stories and promote conservation practices that benefit pollinators and other wildlife. After hours, Mary delights in tending her vegetable garden, restoring her home landscape with native plants, and volunteering to 'wrangle' invasive plants.