Anders Vidstrand

Anders Vidstrand


Science Technician

I grew up with plants: my father’s vegetable garden at every house we rented, the wild plants of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts where I lived and visiting botanical gardens around Arizona and California. I earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at UC Berkeley focusing on environmental design and vernacular design, writing my thesis on education. In the Summers I took woodworking and welding at Laney College and longed to use my hands and my mind together. I worked the last few years at UCB as the lab technician for the architecture wood and metal shop at College of Environmental Design, and for their facilities remodel. Around this time I began rekindling my interest in plants; worked as a substitute teacher and a farm tour guide and started a garden from scratch at Barrel Springs Ranch in the Mojave Desert. I have engulfed myself in plants and gardening ever since. I worked as a Fire Lookout for the Forest Service in Arizona and then as caretaker for the Peralta Hacienda in Oakland.

I moved back to Oakland to study at the Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Department. Within a year I went from being a student, to working as a summer intern, to being hired as part time science technician. My interests here are in Permaculture and organic gardening and urban agriculture and rare fruit growing. I align myself with the growing urban agriculture and food justice movement and want to further Merritt College’s involvement with that movement. I spend the hours of my job maintaining the grounds and facilities, supporting labs, and growing as many plants as possible. I spend my free time as a propagation volunteer and maintaining the 55th Street Community Garden, and serving on the Board of the North Oakland Land Trust.

FacStaff Category: Part-Time Instructors and Staff.