In Spring 2012, Dr. Brett Jestrow (curator of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Herbarium), lends a hand to Dr. Hong Liu (FIU-Fairchild Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth and Environment of FIU) with her upper level undergraduate course, Restoration Ecology. Dr. Jestrow joined the class to a pre-restoration site at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus and supervised students in plant collection and identification protocols. Students also had a chance to tour the herbarium at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and to develop plant identification skills from Dr. Jestrow. Images below: Dr. Jestrow providing training to the students in plant collection and plant identification.
On Saturday February 18th, 2012, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosted its first-ever symposium on tropical biology. The one-day event, which was co-organized by Dr. Kenneth Feeley (FIU/FTBG) and Dr. Albert Uy (University of Miami), featured a series of talks by tropical biologists working at FIU and UM as well as a keynote address by Dr. Scott Robinson of University of Florida. The audience included 120+ scientists, educators, professionals and students all sharing the common goal of increasing our understanding and appreciation of tropical plant and animal communities. The symposium was intended to create a foundation for future collaborations between researchers and students at the different institutions as well as from across the broader community of tropical biologists and will be followed by future seminars and discussion groups. Images: bottom left (group photo at the Visitor Center of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden); bottom right (Dr. Ken Feeley delivering his lecture).
On Thursday February 16th, 2012, Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (FIU/Fairchild) delivered a talk at the The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. This was the former home of Dr. David Fairchild. The talk was entitled: "Following the Steps of David Fairchild in the Canary Islands". This talk is the result of a joint research project involving Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Nancy Korber, Janet Mosely, and Marianne Swan) and the Jardin Botanico de la Orotava (Dr. Arnoldo Santos-Guerra) in the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Image below, participants of the second expedition of the Utowana to the Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, December 25, 1927). From left to right: D. Fairchild, J. Whitehouse. J.M. Dalziel, A.V. Armour, H.H. McKinney, F.W. Schultz, and F.M. Whitehouse. Courtesy of the Fairchild Tropical Garden archives.
William Cinea founder and first Director of Les Cayes Botanic Garden (Haiti) visited Fairchild between January 6 and 7. During this visit he was hosted by Brett Jestrow and Melissa Abdo. One of the main aims of this trip was to plan a workshop on plant systematics of tropical plants, in partnership with the colleagues from the National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic. Our herbarium curator Brett Jestrow will be one of the instructors of this workshop. Les Cayes Botanic Garden has plans to establish the Fairchild Challenge as an environmental educational program. A joint conservation project focusing in the critically endangered palm Pseudophoenix lediniana has been established between the National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic, the Montgomery Botanical Center, USDA, FIU, and Fairchild. This palm is confined to a single locality in southern Haiti and the project is being funded by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (see below).
Starting on Friday February 3rd, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Scott Zona [Curator of Wertheim Conservatory of Florida International University (FIU)] will join our Herbarium Curator (Dr. Brett Jestrow) during our monthly plant identification workshops. As a reminder, the first Friday of the month (between 1:00 and 4:00 PM, see additional news in the June 2011 section below) the doors of the herbarium (located at the CTPC, 11935 Old Cutler Road) open to our school teachers and Fairchild members to help them to identify any particular enigmatic plant. This includes weeds, ornamentals, natives, and crops.
Carlos Martel from Museo de Historia Natural de Lima will be hosted by the Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) between February 1st to March 15th. Carlos will be performing his studies with our colleague Larry Noblick (MBC palm biologist) on flower producing-scent structures. The study is being also conducted in collaboration with Fred Stauffer from the Botanic Garden of Geneve (Switzerland). We are pleased that part of this research Carlos will be undertaken using the facilities of the CTPC plant anatomy laboratory where Carlos will be making histological preparations. Thanks to Ken Feeley for sharing space of his lab for this study and to Brett Jestrow to help Carlos to settle in the lab.