Catching Up with Conservation: CPC Annual National Meeting

In May, the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) held the Annual National Meeting in San Diego, California. Hosted at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wildlife Safari Park, the event brought together hundreds of scientists from various institutions throughout North America and the United Kingdom to share and discuss progress on plant research and conservation projects.

Held over 2.5 days, the event celebrated the 40th anniversary of the CPC and featured 5-minute lighting talks and group discussions, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of laboratory facilities and horticulture departments of each host site.

As a founding garden of the CPC, Bok Tower Gardens was one of the institutions distinctly acknowledged during the National Meeting’s opening remarks for its integral contribution and early support that has allowed the CPC network to grow to over five times since 1986. Keynote speaker and CPC co-founder Don Falk also made note of Bok Tower Gardens’ decades-long partnership and shared some delightful anecdotes of him and Bok President David Price, during the early stages of the CPC.

The 2024 CPC National Meeting centered on the theme of innovation. The lighting talks provided insight from a breadth of topics from science communication and 3-D printing to advanced studies in genetic modeling. Other highlights of the event include the discussion of RaMP-UP, a grant-based mentoring program dedicated to developing the next generation of bio scientists and conservationists, and updates regarding collection permitting on federal lands. The 2025 CPC National Meeting will be held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis, Missouri.

Article by Cheryl Peterson, Conservation Program Manager and photos by Chico Rivera, Rare Plant Specialist

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