Sixth Annual Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Conservation Symposium

Posted on Oct 11 by SEASONS Magazine

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Courtesy Photo.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG) is presenting the 2017 Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award, to Dr. Susan Mazer, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The award is presented at the Sixth Annual Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Conservation Symposium on Friday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Barbara City College Fé Bland Forum (721 Cliff Dr.).

“As a leader in research and conservation of native plants, the Garden presents the Pritzlaff Conservation Award to recognize global trailblazers in the field,” says Dr. Steve Windhager, SBBG Executive Director. “The Symposium connects the public and on the ground conservationists to leading thinkers who might otherwise only be accessible in an academic or professional setting.”

Members of the public are welcome to attend the Symposium, which focuses on understanding and conserving biological diversity. It features an expert panel discussion focused around the topic: “Innovative Ways of Exploring Biodiversity: Embracing Big Data, Technology, and Citizen Science.”

Dr. Susan Mazer is a champion for plants and furthers understanding of plant evolution, while training and inspiring the next generation of plant protectors.

Dr. Mazer co-founded the California Phenology Project and Project Baseline, two large collaborative projects that help citizens understand what climate change has in store for the seasonal cycles of wild plants and plant diversity. She engages legions of students and citizen scientists to contribute observations critical for detecting the effects of climate change on wild plant species.

This energetic speaker and highly dedicated mentor inspires students to love plants through her classes. More than 200 undergraduates have contributed to her field, greenhouse and lab-based research, and she has taught and trained students in Thailand, Peru, China and Costa Rica.

Dr. Susan Mazer, courtesy SBBG.

She applies her research to further the conservation of some of the rarest plant species in the region, and to inform the design of habitat restoration efforts. Her current field research in California is exploring the effects of drought on the evolution of wild populations of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii) and Farewell to Spring (several species of Clarkia).

“The Pritzlaff Conservation Symposium is a wonderful opportunity to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds who all share an interest in nature,” says Dr. Mazer. “It’s inspiring to be together with like-minded people who feel a sense of responsibility towards conserving plant diversity, and this symposium provides a chance for us to learn from each other, to act collectively and to ignite change.”

For a list of conservation leaders speaking at the Symposium or to register for this event, please visit sbbg.org/symposium, or call 805/682-4726 ext. 102.

Students can register for free thanks to sponsorship from the Santa Barbara City College Foundation.

Lohana Richmond 

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