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.
- botanical education and training
- botanical management
- botanical research
- plant science
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation