The Chapel Hill Garden Club
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 – Virtually via Zoom
“Adapting to a Changing Landscape and Plant Conservation Programs at the NCBG”
Damon Waitt, PhD & Michael Kunz
Damon Waitt will update us on what has been happening at the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) since the pandemic began. Mike Kunz, NCBG’s Conservation Ecologist, will follow with an overview of the Garden’s plant conservation programs.
Damon Waitt is the Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Professor of the Practice in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Damon is responsible for overall leadership and management of the NCBG and for ensuring that the Garden fulfills its mission to advance the conservation of plants and create a sustainable relationship between people and nature. Before coming to NCBG, he was Senior Director and Botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. He is on the board of the Center for Plant Conservation and is chair of the Board of North Carolina’s Plant Conservation Program. Damon holds a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas in Austin, an M.S in Botany from Louisiana State University Baton Rouge and a B.S. in Biology from Tulane University.
Michael Kunz is the Conservation Ecologist at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Since 2005, he has worked on stewardship of natural areas, curation of a seed bank for rare plants, and management of the native plant materials program. Additionally, he researches and works on the reintroduction and recovery of imperiled plants throughout the Southeastern US. Mike has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests are in population ecology, biogeography and conservation of rare plants.