Dr. Matt Ritter grew up in rural Mendocino County, California. After earning a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from U.C. Santa Barbara, he attended U.C. San Diego for a Ph.D. in plant biology. He’s a botany professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, where he lives with his wife and two children. He’s the author of several books, including a new guide to California’s flora, California Plants: A guide to our Iconic Flora (www.pacificstreetpublishing.com). He also wrote the funniest and best-selling guide to California’s urban forest, A Californian’s Guide to the Trees among Us (Heyday, 2011). His writing has appeared in several magazines, including a regular column on tree diversity in Pacific Horticulture. He won the Cal Poly’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the International Society of Arboriculture Award for Excellence in Education. He is the California Coordinator of the American Forests Big Tree Registry, studies California’s native plants, and trees that escape cultivation, particularly Eucalyptus. He’s an avid woodworker, mason, and gardener.
Misti Little is gardener, creative, and outdoor enthusiast interested in deepening her connection to nature. She founded The Garden Path Podcast in 2015 to interact and share knowledge with other gardeners. In 2018 she began Orange Blaze: A Florida Trail Podcast to educate the hiking community about the little-known but beautiful Florida National Scenic Trail. She thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2010 and the Florida Trail in 2011 and currently lives near Houston, Texas with her husband and son.