Happy 2015!!! I hope your holidays were as good as mine.
ArbNet is a fantastic program... it is both an accreditation process and a community for arboretums. I helped develop content for their website. This work entailed writing case studies about innovative conservation programs such as Montgomery Botanical Center’s work with cultivation of rare plants, and China's Kunming Botanical Gardens which works to conserve plants species with extremely small population sizes. I also got to read and write-up mini-reports about endangered trees and oaks! Morton Arboretum is an incredible place, and if you are in the Chicago area, you should go there.
The other organization, EcoMyths, was after my own heart. The goal of EcoMyths is to make science accessible through humor, and emphasizing that you should do One Green Thing. This message is powerful, because often, in the environmental world, you can get bogged down with all of the things you could, or should, be doing to save the planet. That can be counterproductive, because not unlike what happens to most diets this time of year, you get really overwhelmed, say ‘forget it’, and go back to doing nothing. Taking baby steps is an easy and great way to start treating the earth better.
With EcoMyths I wrote a blog about my love for plants (aside from my parents, the oldest love in my life), and I am finishing up my actual ‘myth’: Medicine doesn’t grow on trees. Given that 25% of all medications are derived from plants, and that 80% of the world uses herbal medicine, that myth is BUSTED. I’ll post the link here when it is up. I was able to interview Aurélie Jacquet, a fellow Phipps fellow, great researcher, and an amazing friend.
I am going to be going to the Chicago Wilderness Society’s Wild Things Conference on January 31st. Chicago is a hotbed for people who love the environment, and want to treat it right! I am going to be ‘live tweeting’ the event for EcoMyths (@EcoMyths @WildThingsChi). In my excitement, I made some images to post on the big day (see above)… but you all get the first look! It is going to be a great way to make contacts. I am looking forward to graduating and starting my outreach career in the windy city.
What is in store for February? …lots of writing, data analysis, and making progress on my dissertation.