In recognition of his outstanding leadership and advocacy for botanical collections and the public gardens community, Dr. Michael Dosmann has been awarded the Professional Citation Award by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). The Curator of Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum, Dosmann received the honor in late June at a ceremony during the APGA’s 39th Annual Conference in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Professional Citation Award recognizes individual achievements, skills, innovation, and potential in botany, horticulture, conservation, research, education, or administration. Indeed, as Curator of Living Collections—a post he accepted in 2007 after serving as Putnam Fellow at the Arboretum and receiving his doctorate in horticulture and ecology from Cornell University—Dosmann has made significant strides in each of these aspects of the Arnold Arboretum’s mission, and has collaborated extensively with colleagues around the world to enhance the breadth, value, and use of institutional collections for research, education, and conservation.
“As known to those in horticulture and public gardens,” said Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman, “Michael is a true plant enthusiast, a fearless plant explorer, and an international leader in the efforts to raise documentation standards for plant records in living collections. The world of public gardens is so much richer because of his tireless efforts to share his passion for plants with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Arnold Arboretum, and more broadly, with the millions of visitors to public gardens around the globe.”
As Curator, Dosmann has overseen the continuous development of the Arboretum’s collection of temperate woody plants and their associated documentation. A hallmark of this work has been his efforts to explore new strategies and tactics to improve collections management, including advancing novel field-checking and inventory protocols, improving the management of conservation-status plants, and enhancing access to historical and contemporary documentation. He has also played an important role in expanding and improving collections at the Arboretum and across North American botanical institutions, both through collecting expeditions and by assessing past exploration efforts to devise best practices for germplasm collection.
Co-founded in 1940 by Arboretum horticulturist Donald Wyman who served as its first president (1940-1945), the APGA is the premiere association for public garden advocacy, education, innovation, and leadership in North America. The APGA is committed to increased awareness and advancement of public gardens as a force for positive change in communities through leadership, advocacy and innovation. The organization’s 2015 annual conference was co-hosted by the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, and was attended by more than 800 professionals from public gardens across the United States and more than 15 countries worldwide.