People and Gardens

Curatorial staff at the UC Davis Arboretum received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the 30th Annual ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC) in San Diego, California, attended by nearly 15,000 people from all over the globe. The Arboretum received this honor for the vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Arboretum was selected from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide. Mary Burke and Brian Morgan have been leading a nationwide team of botanical garden and zoo staff, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to build a GIS that will help garden staff manage living collections of plants more effectively and efficiently. The long-term project goal is to help make these scientific collections—including the many wild-collected plants held within these gardens—more accessible to conservation scientists worldwide. Over 150 zoos and botanical gardens are currently involved in the project led by the UC Davis Arboretum. For more information on UC Davis Arboretum, click here.


The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is pleased to announce that Dr. William (“Ned”) Friedman will be the Arboretum’s next director. Ned comes to the Arboretum from the University of Colorado where he serves on the faculty in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology. In addition to his Arboretum appointment, Ned will be a tenured professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. For more information on The Arnold Arboretum, click here.


Marijke Hecht, director of education for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, is an honoree of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council's 40 Under 40 awards and the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project's 40 Under 40 awards. Hecht leads the Parks Conservancy's efforts to utilize the parks as classrooms for people of all ages and backgrounds. This includes the redevelopment of the Environmental Center at Frick Park and the design and installation of over a dozen outdoor learning spaces for families. She is also responsible for managing the Parks Conservancy's educational programming and volunteer activities. For more information on Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, click here.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) granted Marie Selby Gardens $133,025. Thanks to the grant, Selby Gardens’ Center for Tropical Plant Sciences and Conservation jumps into the 21st Century with the establishment of its new Molecular Research Program. This new program, a two-year start-up project, will provide Selby scientists with cutting-edge resources needed to conduct plant identification, classification and conservation research. Dr. John R. Clark, head of Molecular Programs and director of the Gesneriad Research Center at Selby Gardens and other Selby scientists will conduct molecular-based studies on the plant families Gesneriaceae and Orchidaceae, two focal research plant groups at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. These research projects will address relevant questions in epiphyte diversification and conservation, and utilize molecular-based methods in conjunction with traditional techniques to answer them. For more information on Marie Selby Gardens, click here.
(Photo of Dr. John R. Clark by Eric H. Roalson)


A new entry gate, designed by local artist and blacksmith Reuel Darling, was installed this summer at the Clovis Botanical Garden.  The gate features three-dimensional, larger-than-life California poppies The wrought iron gate reflects the garden's mission of displaying native and water-wise landscaping appropriate to California's hot Central Valley and educating the public about low-water landscape alternatives. For more information on Clovis Botanical Garden, click here.


Holly Harmar Shimizu, executive director of the United States Botanic Garden, was honored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Science with a 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award. The award recognizes alumni for their achievements and provides opportunities for recipients to interact with the college's faculty, students, and other alumni. For more information on United States Botanic Garden, click here.