Report in brief: Assessing botanical capacity to address grand challenges in the United States

Andrea T. Kramer*, Kayri Havens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Botanical capacity plays a fundamental role in solving the grand challenges of the next century, including climate change, sustainability, food security, preservation of ecosystem services, conservation of threatened species, and control of invasive species. Yet critical components of botanical education, research, and management are lacking across government, academic, and private sectors. A recent nationwide survey revealed severe shortages of botanists at government agencies, a wave of upcoming retirements, and an alarming decline in botanical degree programs and course offerings at the nation's colleges and universities. Private sector organizations are helping to fill identified gaps in capacity, but need to work strategically with all sectors to ensure their sustainability into the future. If botanical capacity continues to erode at its current rate, the nation's science, sustainability, and land management agenda will suffer, opportunities to economically and efficiently solve environmental challenges will be lost, and our public and private lands will continue to degrade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalNatural Areas Journal
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • botanical education and training
  • botanical management
  • botanical research
  • plant science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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