by Bonnie Isaac
Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) was well represented at PA Botany 2018. The 4th Biennial Pennsylvania Botany Symposium took place on November 2nd and 3rd at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. CMNH staff were there in full force. PNR Director John Wenzel, Post-Doctoral Fellow Mason Heberling, Botany Collection Manager Bonnie Isaac, and Botany Curatorial Assistant Sarah Williams attended in addition to over 200 other people. This event features a day of workshops followed by a day of presentations. CMNH Botany folks were involved in both the workshops and the symposium talks. Williams & Isaac assisted workshop leaders, Heberling was a student in one of the workshops, and Wenzel was a symposium speaker. CMNH Botany volunteer Joe Isaac was the instructor for the workshop for Botanical Consultants.
John Wenzel’s presentation highlighted some of the exciting things going on at Powdermill Nature Reserve and CMNH integrating botany and technology. John showed the crowd some of the cool techniques developed at PNR for forest study using drones and computer simulation of trees as well as introducing them to the new AR Perpetual Garden App available for free in app stores. This app helps people learn about the effects of the deer population on an environment. It shows how the forest should look compared to how the forest looks when deer are over abundant. The app features Woodland In Balance vs. Woodland Out of Balance Scenarios along with dialogue to explain the differences and why they differ.
CMNH Botany has been active in this event since its inception in 2012. We hope to see more people attend this conference on plants and how important they are. You can find more information for this conference and other plant related items at PABotany.org.
Bonnie Isaac is the Collection Manager in the Section of Botany. Museum employees are encouraged to blog about their unique experiences and knowledge gained from working at the museum.