Michelle Spetner



Michelle joined Arterra in 2015, appreciating the unique, beautiful, and mindfully designed landscapes crafted by an incredible team she learns from constantly.

Michelle’s fascination with nature began in the Santa Monica Mountains, hunting for bones and lizards among the coastal sage scrub. Design came later with the help of an architect mother, the quality of light in LA, and many hours in the wash of ink and solvents at the print studio. She went on to receive her bachelor’s in printmaking from UC Santa Cruz, at home between the ocean cliffs, meadows of native bunch grasses, and towering redwoods. She has printed at studios around the world (including Buenos Aires, Havana, Melbourne, and Quito) as part of a yearlong exploration with a backpack filled with camp gear, printing supplies, and a trusty thumb to get around.

After working as a gardener for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, she found the landscape architecture program at Merritt College and has been hooked ever since. She finds the intersection of creativity, surprise and practical problem solving completely refreshing. She has been described by close friends as a “plant nerd,” a label she rocks proudly. 

When away from the desk, she can be found appreciating fresh food, hot springs, intaglio printmaking, the retained heat of boulders, and the wind against her face while bicycling.