Editor of Arnoldia
Boston, MA 02130
MFA Creative Writing, University of Minnesota
BS Horticulture/Biology, Illinois State University
As the editor for Arnoldia, I work with writers to promote essential conversations about trees (and woody plants more broadly). My goal is to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship that uses woody plants as a catalyst for explorations of science and culture, history, and art. When the magazine was established in 1911 as the Bulletin of Popular Information, it served primarily as a means of describing horticultural merits of unusual plant species that had been introduced from around the world—particularly new material from China, Japan, and Korea, but also from across the United States. The content for the magazine has expanded and diversified over the subsequent century, and it’s an honor for me to work with a broad range of scholars as we continue to explore new stories about these plants.
I first came to the Arnold Arboretum as an Isabella Welles Hunnewell intern in 2009, and I returned the following year to work in the curation department, first as a curatorial fellow (2010) and then as a curatorial assistant (2010-2012). The final position centered on an archival digitization project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, during which we integrated the complete set of historic accession records and Arboretum paper maps into our modern databases. As I encountered records from teachers, bankers, and even a telegraph operator who provided seeds and plants to the Arboretum, I became especially curious about the lesser known histories of the Arboretum’s plant collections. I studied literary nonfiction at the University of Minnesota, where I began work on an ongoing book-length project about minimalist landscapes, particularly the tallgrass prairie.
- Damery, J. 2019. Hurried journey: Botany by rail. Arnoldia 76(3): 34–39.
- Damery, J. 2018. Overstory view. Arnoldia 76(2): 33–35.
- Damery, J. 2018. Hickory fever: Doing taxonomy by rail. Arnoldia 76(1): 32–43.
- Damery, J. 2018. Recalling plums from the wild. Arnoldia 75(3): 24-34.