Botany Ambassador Program
In 2018, the California Botanical Society launched a new program to inspire future botanists, and help build the communication and professional skills of current botany scholars.
We invite students of all levels as well as postdocs to participate in the program.
Botany ambassadors develop and exchange teaching materials, and visit local schools, botanic gardens, museums, and outdoor education venues to give short lessons introducing K-12 students to botany and informing them of botanical careers.
Ambassadors can also assist in judging botany projects presented by budding K-12 scientists at California science fairs in coordination with Justen Whittall, Madroño Editor.
Ambassadors “translate” recent Madroño articles into non-technical summaries, stories, and news briefs for general audiences, posted on the Society’s website and published in the Society’s digital newsletter, Nemophila.
In addition, graduate student and postdoc ambassadors can sign up to peer review Madroño manuscripts.
With this program, we aim to inspire student interest and awareness of botany as a career, and to facilitate the professional training of current botany students. Those interested in participating or supporting this program should contact Danielle Black, our Outreach Coordinator.
Introduce Botany to the K-12 Classroom
Botany Lesson Forms
Botany Ambassadors can work with local schools, gardens, museums and parks to implement botany lessons for K-12 students. Please let us know if you need help initiating this process in your area. Here are a few lesson plans for K-12th grade classrooms to introduce botany:
Bay Area Scientists in Schools lesson plans
California Native Grasslands Association lesson plans
Ecological Society of America: Kids Into Discovering Science (KiDS)
Jepson Herbarium Videos: Visual guide to the plants of California
My Cozy Garden: The Life Cycle of Plants
Plantae: A global community and knowledge hub for plant scientists
San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy
SerenataFlowers.com: Botany Games and Resources for Kids
#wildflowerhour: Wild Flower (Half) Hour podcasts of wild plants from Britain and Ireland
Create New Botany Lessons
We also welcome new lesson contributions. To create or contribute botany lessons to our program, please email Danielle Black.
Get started with our Botany Lesson Template:
Interested in sharing your information with other Botany Ambassadors and botanical institutions?
Sign up and contact others using this list:
Interpret Madroño articles
The Society invites members (including undergraduate and graduate student members) of the Society to write non-technical summaries, stories, and news briefs for general audiences that “translate” recent Madroño articles, which will be published in our digital newsletter, Nemophila, and on our website. If you wish to serve as a botany ambassador interpreter, please refer to the Madroño summaries sheet to make sure other ambassadors have not chosen the same article. After you write a draft you will be paired with another member to swap summaries for an informal peer editing process. Please also refer to the following instructions:
Review Madroño Manuscripts
The Society invites graduate student and postdoc members of the Society to hone their critical skills as reviewers of Madroño manuscripts. Ambassadors will be working with Justen Whittall, the Madroño Editor, and will learn from the reviews provided by other reviewers as well as from the Editor’s final decision. If you wish to participate as a reviewer, please fill out this form: