Demand for Botanists on Public Lands: Challenges and Solutions
Holsinger, Kent E. .
Iíll start walking your way. You start walking mine.
Engaging students in science is hard. Engaging them in botany is even harder. Many parents think that science museums and natural history are good for kids, but arenít for grownups. As educators, we need to share the wonder of scientific discovery with our students. As botanists, we need to show them how cool plants are. As mentors for students who choose botanical careers, we need to prepare them for the challenges that follow.
As academics, we have a pretty good idea of how to prepare them for life in a university or college, but most of us donít have a clue about how to prepare them for life in a government agency or any other non-academic organization. The mission-oriented focus of work in most organizations outside colleges and universities is foreign to many of us, and the constraints on academics are often foreign to those outside. The differences in focus make it difficult for academics to prepare students for non-academic careers and for non-academics to understand why students arenít receiving the preparation they need. But there is hope.
The New England Plant Conservation Program brings together botanists in state and federal agencies, private conservation organizations, and academics to discuss plant conservation in New England. In the fifteen years since it was founded botanists from colleges and universities, from state and federal agencies, and from private conservation organizations have argued about and agreed on region-wide conservation priorities. In the process the gulf between the academic and non-academic worlds has been narrowed. NEPCoP is only one example. This symposium is another. How about an annual conversation (or argument) among academic and non-academic botanists sponsored by the Botanical Society of America?
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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 062693043, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: 182/I K Barber
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 10:40 AM