Claremont High School students dove into fieldwork at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden this year. Now the group of 40 juniors and seniors in Carly McKean’s International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Societies classes are planning a celebration highlighting their research at the Garden on Friday, June 4, 2010, at 3:15 p.m. at the Garden.
The students’ research involved monitoring chaparral and dessert habitats at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. McKean asked the students to create experiments that involved two ecological tools that allow scientists to measure the abundance of organisms in an area. Projects included transect and quadrat studies to monitor the impact of introduced weed species on native plant biodiversity. The students will report on their findings to date. This is the beginning of a long-term study that will be continued in years to come by McKean’s students.
“Outdoor field studies is especially suited to engage students in science,” says Director of Education Lorrae Fuentes at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. “Observations made in the field stimulate students to produce their own questions. The results of these inquiries are often unexpected, but rarely are they uninteresting. Ultimately students gain skills and understanding needed to critically evaluate the important current issues in science and the environment.”
“This [the Garden] is such an amazing resource for us,” says McKean.
April 22, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary for Earth Day. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is celebrating Earth Day by offering Southern California gardeners 10 simple tips to help make green thumbs even greener. By using California native plants, local gardeners can reduce water bills, spruce up their garden and invest in their local environment.
“Native plantings in the landscape work with our hot dry climate without requiring a large input of resources in the way of water, pesticides or fertilizers,” says Director of Horticulture Susan Jett at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. “But the real selling point is their incredible beauty and habitat value.”
According to The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California typical landscape irrigation in hot, dry areas can account for 70 percent of the summer water use for single-family homes. These 10 steps can help reduce water usage in the garden.
The Garden was named LA Weekly’s “Best Place to Grow your Own” in the publication’s “Best of L.A. 2010” edition. The private, non-profit botanic garden is dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) also operates two native plant nurseries, one in Claremont and a second in Westwood, Los Angeles.
Jedd Birkner wrote in LA Weekly “See what would actually be growing here without watering before we arrived and started pouring asphalt and laying down PVC. Then go to the adjacent Grow Native Nursery. Buy it. Plant it. Save water. Save L.A.”
An active partner with the California Native Plant Society, RSABG displays about 2,000 taxa of California plants and has several conservation programs, including one of the largest herbariums in the U.S., an extensive seed conservation program and a living collection that includes tens of thousands of plants.
RSABG has been affiliated with The Claremont Colleges since 1951 when the Garden operation was moved to Claremont from Santa Ana. Claremont Graduate University’s Botany Program is based at the Garden.
Read more about the award at LA Weekly’s website.
You'll never look at the desert the same way!
The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is a citizen science project of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) funded in part by grants from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management.
Teams of botanists and amateur plant detectives venture out into public lands across the state to record rare plant occurrences.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden faculty and research scientists are a jet setting crew. Frequently on the go, RSABG botanists travel around the world for field research and to collaborate with fellow researchers. Here's a run down of recent trips by three research scientists.
The research undertaken by the majority of our graduate students involves field and lab work. Fieldwork can be expensive, especially when foreign travel is involved. Some laboratory research is inexpensive (e.g., gathering data on the anatomical structures of plants), but other aspects of lab work, most notably gathering DNA data is costly. For these reasons, as well as acquiring grant writing skills can be an essential part of graduate education.
Naomi Fraga, Ph.D. candidate in the Botany Department at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) and Claremont Graduate University, has been awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship. Each scholar receives $15,000 to help with the expenses related to completing their masters or doctor degrees. This year, only 21 fellowships were awarded to emerging environmental leaders who are currently pursuing advance degrees that will enable them to address critical environmental challenges.
A future exhibition at The Huntington will feature extraordinary botanical art safeguarded for decades in Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s herbarium and library collections.
Rare botanical artwork squirreled away among the pressed plant specimens in the herbarium and the library’s special collections at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is scheduled for debut as part of a temporary art instillation at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in 2013. The exhibition, under a propitious motif titled “When They Were Wild: Capturing California’s Wildflower Heritage,” is a result of a collaborative effort between RSABG, The Huntington and the Theodore Payne Foundation.
Last year the RSABG herbarium was awarded an NSF grant to process the backlog of unaccessioned specimens from Professor Robert Thorne’s botanical collecting around the world.
Thorne, emeritus curator and professor, retired after a distinguished career at RSABG. The specimens in question have been held at an off-site storage facility; they urgently need to be processed and placed in the herbarium to be properly cared for and, as importantly, to be available for researchers to study. As of this year 4,000 of an estimated total of 10,000 specimens have been prepped and are ready to be mounted.
Professor Linda Prince’s research examines two very different groups of flowering plants—members of the dicot tea family (Theaceae), and two families of the monocot ginger order: the prayer plant family (Marantaceae), and canna lilies (Cannaceae)—to further understand phylogenetic framework, to clarify evolutionary relationships among plant groups.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is pleased to welcome visiting sabbatical professors Carolyn Ferguson and Mark Mayfield, both from Kansas State University and Carlos García-Verdugo de Lucas, Fulbright postdoctoral researcher for the spring of 2011.
Carolyn Ferguson, associate professor of biology at Kansas State University and curator of the KSU Herbarium, studies Phlox, a genus of about 70 species of plants found mostly in North America.
- Sorting out the Ruellieae Family Tree
- 'Reimagining the California Lawn'
- Claremont Unified School Board honors RSABG
- Columbus Advances to Professor of Botany
- BCM Foundation Grant Helps Kids Get Outdoor Education
- RSABG Scientists at 2011 Botany Conference
- Solarization of Fay's Wildflower Meadow
- Make Room for Wildlife
- Botany Students Earn Grants
- Botanist Recognized for Outstanding Scientific Presentation
- Native Landscapes: The Albrigos
- California Native Plants: Poodle-dog Bush
- Lenz Sculpture Collection
- RSABG Hosts Invasive Plants and Pathogen Workshop
- Post-Doc Earns National Geographic Society Grant
- A Manzanita Lost and Found
- Searching for the Plant Families
- Two New DIGG Awards
- Botanists Travel Briefs
- Plant Safari
- CPC Annual Meeting 2012
- New Student Grants and Visiting Scientists
- David Rogers' Big Bugs
- Horticulture and Propagation of Native Plants at the Garden
- The Mediterranean City Conference 2012
- USFWS 2011 Recovery Champion
- Wall Awarded Important Conservation Award
- Botanizing Around the Globe
- Become a Fan of Getting Native
- Porter and Morawetz NSF Grant Awards