Desert Botanical Garden’s mission is rooted in science. Two of the organizations four pillars, Research and Conservation, are the foundation of what the Garden was built on and shape how the Garden continues to grow. While these components play a substantial role in the longevity of the Garden, they continue to be a best kept secret.
“For a long-time the paradigm was that scientists did their work and published their work, but they didn’t spend a lot of time sharing their findings with the public. The conventional wisdom was that the work would speak for itself,” says Dr. Kimberlie McCue, acting director, research, conservation and collections.
The Garden’s Research department is full of scientists who are making an impact on a national and global scale, but that impact is not readily known outside of the scientific world. Some ways the Garden’s influence is recognized globally:
- Plant Physiology – researching the response desert plants have to climate change. By understanding which plants can survive in different climates it can help plan food and medicinal plants that will thrive in increasing temperatures.
- Seed Banking – banking seeds and research on how to grow plants from seeds. Collecting seeds does no good if we are not able to grow them. The Garden continuously contributes to the body of knowledge on how to grow plants successfully.
- Conserving Cactus – the cactus family is the fifth most threaten group of living things. As part of the International Union for Conserving Nature (IUCN) the Garden is leading the global efforts to develop a plan to preserve cactus around the world.
- Kew Garden’s State of the World’s Plants – Kew has identified places around the world where the flora is not as well understood. Mexico and Baja have made the list. As an expert in the flora of this region, the Garden will play a significant role in increasing the global knowledge of this area.
Science plays a significant role in our daily lives and the future impact of science can only be imagined. It is because of this reason the Garden is supporting the March for Science. On April 22, scientists around the country will leave the lab and march into the streets to demonstrate their passion for science and to sound a call to support and safe guard the scientific community.
“Science has been made a partisan issue and when things become political then it becomes ideological and that’s not what science is at all. Science has no ideology, other than to try to answer questions with the best information possible. And when new information comes along you revise your conclusions as suggested by the data,” says McCue.
By supporting science, the Garden is supporting its mission and the scientific community that continues to act in the best interest of the public.