2013 Annual Symposium

Sessions and Speakers

The Longwood Graduate Fellows are pleased to offer an amazing slate of speakers hailing from across North America and the UK. This diverse array of professionals from the fields of public horticulture, social cohesion, environmental psychology, and education will share their expertise with us. Join us as we explore how public gardens can integrate a broader audience into their garden and become an invaluable asset to all of society.

Please join the online discussion on twitter by using #LGPSymp


Growing the Social Role of Botanic Gardens: Reality or a chimera?

Asimina VergouBotanic gardens are currently urged to re-evaluate their purpose and become more inclusive institutions that engage with their communities to address issues of environmental and social importance. This presentation will start by explaining what the social role may mean for botanic gardens and suggest key areas in which they can develop their work. Based on research findings, it will also point out the barriers and forces for this change. Case studies from four UK botanic gardens will demonstrate how the social role can be operationalized in practice. The audience will be encouraged to debate whether addressing environmental issues in a gardens’ social inclusion project is a realistic possibility or a chimera. Asimina Vergou is the Education Programme Coordinator at BGCI. She is involved in initiatives on growing botanic gardens social role (Communities in Nature project) and teacher training on Inquiry-based science education (INQUIRE project). Asimina is trained as an Environmental Scientist, holds a M.Sc. in Ecology and her PhD research (based at Wakehurst Place, Kew) focused on botanic gardens’ collaborations with local schools and students’ environmental learning experiences.


The Evolution of a Garden: Thriving Through the Laws of Variation

MaryLynn MackThe Desert Botanical Garden has learned to not just survive, but thrive in the midst of an ever-changing social, environmental and economic climate. MaryLynn will tell Desert Botanical Garden’s story, using historical perspectives and business model applications. MaryLynn Mack, Deputy Director of the Desert Botanical Garden, serves as co-leader with the Executive Director and is responsible for the vision, planning and growth of the Institution. MaryLynn has over 25 years of strategic planning, organizational training and project development. She obtained her business degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University.


Applying Conservation Psychology to Cultivate Care for the Natural World

Louise ChawlaLouise will review the emergence of conservation psychology and issues that it addresses. She will identify strategies that promote conservation behaviors through programs for environmental education and public education, including the application of community based social marketing. She will illustrate these principles in action through the examples of an initiative to bring elementary school students and senior citizens together around the redesign and ecological restoration of a public park, and a program to increase awareness about the importance of contact with nature for health and well-being at all ages. Louise Chawla is a Professor in the Environmental Design Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder, co-editor of the journal Children, Youth and Environments, and associate director of the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement. Her interest in children’s informal learning in their communities led her to a master’s degree in Education and Child Development at Bryn Mawr College and a doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York. She has written widely on children and nature, children in cities, and the development of committed action for the environment.


The Future of University Gardens: Embracing and Expanding Our Relevance

KathleenSocolofskyThe UC Davis GATEways Project (Gardens, Arts, and The Environment), developed and spearheaded by the UC Davis Arboretum, envisions the campus landscape as a physical and programmatic gateway to sharing the riches of the university with the public. Through GATEways landscapes and programs, in close partnership with faculty and students, community members participate authentically in garden and program development. University students also expand their learning as they open up access to the academic enterprise. This model can create more ownership and support for the university garden, as well as raise its profile and relevancy both on and off campus. Mary Burke has served as Director of Planning and Collections of the UC Davis Arboretum since 2005 and, before that, as the Curator of Collections since 1982. She works closely with the Director on two campus-wide efforts, The UC Davis GATEways Project and the UC Davis Public Garden Initiative, both of which are transforming the campus landscape into innovative learning environments that celebrate and share the riches of the university with the broader public. Mary also leads a national team, the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS, that is developing new location-aware technologies for public gardens.


Can Everyone Learn to Speak Tree?

Gregory RodriquezFar-reaching demographic shifts are forcing American institutions of all kinds--from museums to sports teams, churches to universities--to rethink the way they do business. It makes sense that institutions should be sensitive to the changes in the public they seek to serve. But is there a point at which shifting outreach strategies can threaten core missions? And are we all forgetting that, over time, America changes newcomers as much as newcomers change it? Gregory Rodriguez is executive director of the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and founder of Zócalo Public Square, a Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange. A longtime columnist at the Los Angeles Times, he is also author of Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America, which The Washington Post listed among the best books of 2007.



Special Sessions


Enhance your symposium experience by participating in one of these optional opportunities after the last speaker has finished. There’s no extra charge, but group size is limited and sessions fill on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Workshop (20 to 30 max for this session):


Designing Educational Programs that Encourage Care for the Environment

Louise Chawla will begin this interactive workshop by presenting a structure of educational program features that promote caring actions for the environment. Participants will have opportunities to share questions and experiences about ways to integrate these features into programs. The workshop will close with resources and ideas for evaluating outcomes


Tours with Longwood Professional Horticulturists:


Orchid Extravaganza

Go behind-the-scenes of Longwood Gardens’ Orchid Extravaganza and get a glimpse of the expertise and creativity that bring these amazing displays to life.


Plant Research and Production

This special, behind-the-scenes tour provides a snapshot view of the active horticultural research programs led by Longwood’s own scientists.


Spring Bulbs

Explore the thousands of early blooming spring geophytes with Longwood’s horticulturists as they guide you through their outdoor display gardens.


University of Delaware Logo