Julie Kierstead Nelson
USDA Forest Service
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
How to Use Your Botanical Superpowers for Good
Botany students emerge from graduate programs with proficiency in skills related to their chosen field of study. These usually include laboratory skills, data collection, analysis and scientific writing, and may also comprise plant identification, public speaking, and teaching experience. To make the best use of graduate students’ expertise in botany to make a positive difference in conservation of native floras in nature, a working knowledge of government agencies and how to inform and influence them is essential. Over half of all the land in California is public land! Understanding the differences between regulatory and land management agencies at the state and federal levels will make your communications more successful. Establishing relationships with the people that manage and regulate the lands where your research subjects grow can not only make your research better; it can also improve the likelihood that your favorite plants will continue to thrive on public lands.