New conservation programs for NM native plants

On Wednesday November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the NM Museum of Natural History (1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque), the public is invited to a program on new conservation programs for New Mexico’s native plants presented by restoration ecologist Melanie Gisler.
Melanie will provide an overview of several new initiatives underway by the Institute for Applied Ecology’s Southwest Program including: a regional native plant materials project to increase the availability and diversity of native seed for large scale restoration projects, a project to enhance native milkweed populations and other nectar species for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, a “Native Plants of New Mexico” ecoregional curriculum for high school students, and support for a new statewide conservation strategy for New Mexico rare plants. She will share examples of similar projects from Oregon that will be adapted to New Mexico’s unique environment and landscapes. The collaborative roles of multiple local conservation agencies and organizations are stressed, as these relationships are important to the story of success.
Melanie Gisler is the director for the new Southwest Program of the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) located in Santa Fe.  She received her Master of Science degree in botany from the University of British Columbia and Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico.  For the last fifteen years at IAE, she has led regional native plant materials development programs as well as recovery projects for rare plants and butterflies.  She was the former director for the Habitat Restoration Program.  Prior to joining IAE, Melanie worked in botany and restoration ecology for several public agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, Pacific Northwest Research Station of the Forest Service, NRCS Los Lunas Plant Materials Center, and the City of Austin’s Zilker Botanical Garden.

A short chapter meeting precedes the talk.  Native plant books will be on display and available for purchase.  This free public program is sponsored by the Albuquerque Chapter, Native Plant Society of New Mexico.  More information about the organization is available at www.npsnm.org.

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