About Us

Kathleen Raven Wildwood

Founder and Director
Kathleen is a Clinical Herbalist and the founder and director of Wildwood Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Kathleen has studied and practiced in scientific, shamanic and Western herbal traditions for over 25 years.

The former President of the Madison Herbal Institute, she has taught classes at Meriter Hospital, UW Medical School, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, and Edgewood College. She has also spoken at national herb conferences, including United Plant Savers conferences, the Great Lakes Herb Faire, and the Southeast Wise Woman Conference.

Bringing the plants to the people and the people to the earth has been her mission since 1996.  Kathleen is known for her passion and enthusiasm for nature and herbal education, which shines through all her work.

kathleen with garden behind

Michael McClennen

Lecturer and Technical Support

Michael provides technical and logicstical support for Wildwood Institute, and also gives lectures in his areas of specialty. In his day job, he is an Informaticist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geoscience. He is the technical lead for several databases including The Paleobiology Database, of the leading worldwide repositories for paleontological data. Michael’s lectures for apprentices often highlight the evolutionary biology of plants and people.

Lauren Cahillane

Office Manager & Teaching Assistant

Lauren earned certification from Wildwood Institute as a Master Herbalist in 2016, and worked as a Teaching Assistant at Wildwood Institute in 2015 & 2016, returning in 2022 as Office Manager. Ms. Cahillane co-coordinated the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference and Mycelium Mysteries for four years, and holds a BA from Wellesley College.

Lauren applies her experience in event organization, technology and education to further the Institute’s mission and give the apprentices a great experience. Get your plants pants on, everybody!

a swarthy woman looks at the camera much like her grandmother would have done
a swarthy woman looks at the camera much like her grandmother would have done

Leslie Wright

Teaching Assistant

Leslie started learning about herbs from her grandmother when she was a little girl. She has expanded her learning with Kathleen at Wildwood Institute where she earned the Herbalist Certificate with Honors through Wildwood. She is also an energy practitioner with Reiki Level 2 certification. Leslie joined the Wildwood team in the fall of 2018 as a teacher’s assistant.