North Carolina Botanical Garden
Event

Annual Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture

 

The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative: Charting a New Course for Conservation in the 21st Century

with Dwayne Estes, Executive Director, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative

Sunday, April 7, 2019

2:30 PM-3:30 PM

Free; preregistration required

Reception to follow

 

Many of our favorite native wildflowers are species adapted to open, sunny, grassy habitats, and while we use some of these plants horticulturally, their native stocks have dwindled. Grassland loss is the single greatest conservation issue currently facing eastern North American biodiversity. Southern grasslands are nearly extinct and the species that depend on them are fading fast.

 

Join us for a fascinating and stereotype-shattering tour of North Carolina's natural landscapes just a few hundred years ago: bison, prairies, and sun-loving wildflowers. What are the challenges these landscapes face and how can we get back these landscapes that form important components of our natural and cultural heritage of North Carolina?

 

The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI) is a collaboration of leaders in international biodiversity conservation led by the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for Field Biology, in partnership with the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Roundstone Native Seed, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Tennessee Plant Conservation Alliance, and soon to include many others.  SGI seeks to integrate on-the-ground conservation, education, outreach, and research, along with the administration of grants, to create innovative solutions to address the multitude of complex issues facing Southeastern grasslands, the most imperiled ecosystems in eastern North America.

 


Register



Registration open until 4/7/2019 2:30 PM.


About the Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture

Every spring the Garden offers a lecture focused on native plants and their conservation and ecology. The lecture series was initiated in 2000 with a gift from Botanical Garden Foundation Board member Nancy Preston. Mrs. Preston wanted to honor her mother, Evelyn McNeill Sims, on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Mrs. Sims was educated at UNC-Greensboro and later moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, with her husband and daughter. Wildflower excursions in the mountains surrounding Kingsport were a favorite activity for Mrs. Sims, who eventually became a volunteer guide at Bays Mountain Nature Park.


About the Speaker

Dwayne Estes serves as executive director of the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative. He is a Full Professor of Biology, Director of the APSU Herbarium, and Principal Investigator for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology. In January 2017, he co-founded SGI with colleague, Theo Witsell. Under his leadership as director of SGI, the fledgling organization has secured more than $2 million dollars in funding, and in the past five years he and his collaborators have been awarded three grants from the National Science Foundation. Dwayne’s research interests include the flora, ecology, history, biodiversity, and biogeography of the Southeastern U.S. with emphasis on grasslands. He has published 20+ publications and co-authored the Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee published in 2015 by the University of Tennessee Press. He enjoys mentoring his six graduate students and working hand-in-hand with a dedicated SGI team. He has been active in building diverse support for Southeastern US grasslands conservation, including bringing together philanthropists, government agencies, non-profits, corporate and small-business partners, private landowners and ranchers, historians, educators, and citizen scientists.



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Location

Reeves Auditorium


Allen Education Center, Building A
100 Old Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27517