Partnership to increase pool of plant biology experts

Two ASU faculty talking and walking on Desert Botanical GardenAlthough plants are an essential species in our ecosystem – sustaining us by contributing oxygen, food, medicine, materials and fibers – we experience a shortage of plant experts that can help conduct research to inform important biodiversity conservation efforts. To address this shortage of experts, ASU's School of Life Sciences launched a new master’s degree program in plant biology and conservation in partnership with the Desert Botanical Garden. “Plants are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem,” said Julie Stromberg, a senior sustainability scientist and director of the program. “Unfortunately, people don’t really think about the fact that plants contribute oxygen, the food we eat, the materials and fibers we use, as well as medicines. As a society, we need to look at plants as the key elements that sustain us, spiritually as well as in more tangible ways.”