Clearly urgent timeline for action, and public gardens have a significant role to play. Understanding the landscape of botanical capacity can help inform how gardens chart their future work so they can more strategically and actively fill critical gaps in the future.
Use as segway to say that without interest understanding and appreciation we won’t have any support for botanical capacity. May be better to put this at the end.
Carpe Plantas! Strategic Actions All Botanic Gardens Can Take to Advance Plant Conservation Kramer
Growing botanical capacity in public gardens Andrea Kramer Executive Director Botanic Gardens Conservation International US American Public Gardens Association Annual Conference Atlanta, GA June 5, 2010
Today’s talk <ul><li>Why botanical capacity is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Status of botanical capacity in the US </li></ul><ul><li>How public gardens can use results to identify needs and strategically fill gaps </li></ul>
Defining botanical capacity What it is: The human, technological and institutional resources that support botanical education, research and management. What it does: guides sustainable use & effective management of the nation’s critical life resources, providing a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect ecosystems, the natural and managed environment, wildlife, and human health and well-being. Research & Application Management & Monitoring Education & Training
Without botanical capacity… <ul><li>We won’t be able to effectively tackle: </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation of ecosystem services </li></ul><ul><li>Food security </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative energy production (e.g. biofuel) </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat management & restoration </li></ul>
Public garden capacity <ul><li>Education, training and outreach summary statistics for U.S. public gardens (BGCI’s GardenSearch database). </li></ul>20,000 volunteers (N = 69 gardens) Number of volunteers engaged in activities over 17 million (N = 79 gardens) Number of visitors annually 89 gardens Education programs for visitors 35 gardens Education programs at university-level 52 gardens Education programs for K-12 students 383 staff (N = 50 gardens) Number of education staff 121 gardens Have an education program Summary data as of April 2010 GardenSearch field
Public garden capacity <ul><li>Plant conservation and research summary statistics for U.S. botanic gardens and arboreta (GardenSearch database). </li></ul>www.bgci.org/garden_search.php 15 gardens Have an urban environment research program 19 gardens Have a plant systematics/taxonomy research program 21 gardens Have a restoration ecology research program 28 gardens Have an invasive species biology research program 31 gardens Maintain a plant ecology research program 63 gardens Maintain a plant conservation program 27 gardens Have a seed bank 15 gardens Have a micropropagation/tissue culture facility 32 gardens Have an herbarium Summary data as of April 2010 GardenSearch field
Botanical capacity assessment project <ul><li>Identify critical gaps in botanical capacity and make recommendations to fill them </li></ul><ul><li>Nationwide survey and workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals involved in botanical education, research, or land management in government, academic and private (incl. non-profit) sectors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>to Chicago Botanic Garden, partnering with Botanic Gardens Conservation International US </li></ul>
2009 Survey 102 out of 235 non-profit survey takers were from public gardens
Botanical Capacity: Education <ul><li>A growing need for botanical education & training </li></ul>
Botanical Capacity: Education Data Compiled From National Center for Education Statistics
Botanical Capacity: Education <ul><li>Nearly ½ of university faculty survey takers said botany courses in their department had been cut in the past 5-10 years. </li></ul><ul><li>A majority of faculty and graduate students were dissatisfied with botany courses offered by their college or university. </li></ul>
Classes missing from curriculum * * * * * * * * Nearly 25% of non-profit staff teach university-level courses, and courses they teach match up almost exactly with those most needed. In most cases, a larger proportion of non-profit staff teach these courses than faculty (green asterisks).
Botanical Capacity: Research & Management <ul><li>Top management issues requiring research </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive species control </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat & species monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat management, restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem function & services </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining species diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Rare plant conservation & recovery </li></ul>
Botanical Capacity: Research & Management <ul><li>Staff shortages: 94% of all federal government respondents said their agency did not have enough botanically trained staff to meet its current management/research needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: US Geological Survey (USGS) science to guide management of ~400 million acres of public lands, but very little botanical capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wildlife scientists at science centers in western US outnumber botanical scientists by over 20 to 1 </li></ul></ul>
Botanical Capacity: Research & Management <ul><li>Non-profits are filling critical gaps in areas of identified need, but much more needs to be done </li></ul>27% Teacher training 28% Habitat restoration training 29% Plant phenology data collection/interpretation 31% Outreach community gardening programs 33% Ecological training 39% Seed collection and storage 42% Science consulting 44% Population habitat monitoring 45% Sensitive species conservation 48% Botanical training 52% Invasive species identification/monitoring Non-Profit Organization (n = 190) Service provided to partners
The necessity of outreach <ul><li>We need to be much better and more strategic at communicating the fact that plants are not optional (especially to policy makers and the public). </li></ul>Without this, we won’t be able to stop (let alone reverse) the current decline in botanical capacity
Recommendation for non-profits <ul><li>Be aware and proud of the key gaps in botanical capacity that your institution and public gardens are filling today, and let the world know about it </li></ul><ul><li>Strategically grow your organization’s ability to help fill future gaps </li></ul>
Recommendation for non-profits <ul><li>Seek out cross-sector collaboration: let potential partners know about your organization’s unique botanical capacity, and how it can help fill gaps in theirs </li></ul>
Get Involved: www.bgci.org/usa/makeyourcollectionscount
Acknowledgements and Contacts Andrea Kramer [email_address] Advisory Board: Dr. Patricia DeAngelis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dr. Kent Holsinger, University of Connecticut; Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Center for Plant Conservation; Rachel Muir, US Geological Survey; Peggy Olwell, Bureau of Land Management; Dr. Kristina Schierenbeck, California State University, Chico; Dr. Larry Stritch, US Forest Service; Dr. Marsh Sundberg, Emporia State University Workshop Participants: Dr. David Burney, National Tropical Botanical Garden; Mary Byrne, Seeds of Success, Bureau of Land Management; Dr. Chris Dionigi, National Invasive Species Council; Dr. Christine Flanagan, U.S. Botanic Garden; Holly Forbes, Univ. of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley; Dr. Kakoli Ghosh, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.; Dr. Robert Gropp, American Institute of Biological Sciences; Dr. Kay Havens, Chicago Botanic Garden; Dr. Patrick Herendeen, Chicago Botanic Garden; Dr. Kent Holsinger, University of Connecticut and Botanical Society of America; Dr. Tom Kaye, Institute for Applied Ecology; Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Center for Plant Conservation; Dr. Susan Kephart, Willamette University; Dr. Andrea Kramer, Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S.; Dr. Gary Krupnick, Smithsonian Institution; Olivia Kwong, Plant Conservation Alliance; Dr. Nancy Morin, Flora of North America; Dr. Greg Mueller, Chicago Botanic Garden; Rachel Muir, U.S. Geological Survey; Christopher Mulvaney, Chicago Wilderness; Peggy Olwell, Bureau of Land Management; David Pivorunas, U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Eric Ribbens, Western Illinois University; Nicola Ripley, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and American Public Gardens Association; Dr. Kristina Schierenbeck, USDA - ARS & California State University, Chico; Dr. Sedonia Sipes, Southern Illinois University; Dr. Larry Stritch, U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Marshall Sundberg, Emporia State University; Dr. Bruce Young, NatureServe; Dr. Barbara Zorn-Arnold, Chicago Botanic Garden Project Staff: Dr. Kay Havens, Chicago Botanic Garden, Dr. Andrea Kramer, Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S., Dr. Barbara Zorn-Arnold, Chicago Botanic Garden