Search committee chooses 3 finalists for UW Arboretum director

Icke Boardwalk winds from the woods through a wetland area north of Teal Pond as pictured in an aerial view of the snow-covered University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum during winter on March 13, 2013. The photograph was made from a small plane looking north. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW–Madison)

Icke Boardwalk winds from the woods through a wetland area north of Teal Pond as pictured in an aerial view of the snow-covered University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum during winter on March 13, 2013. The photograph was made from a small plane looking north. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW–Madison)

Three finalists have been named for the UW–Madison Arboretum director position. The director will report to Marsha Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education.

Selected by a seven-member committee chaired by Christopher Kucharik, UW–Madison professor of agronomy and environmental studies, finalists for the position are:

  • Ellen Damschen, associate professor in the Department of Zoology at UW–Madison. Damschen’s research interests are in determinants of plant community diversity and how global change affects plant communities. Damschen will give her public presentation, “Understanding the future of plant communities by linking experiments, data, scientists, and stakeholders,” at 9 a.m. on Feb. 16.
  • Randy Jackson, professor in the Department of Agronomy at UW–Madison. Jackson’s research interests are in structure and function of managed, semi-natural and natural grassland ecosystems. Jackson will give his public presentation, “Ecological restoration research and deployment for a 21st century land ethic,” at 9 a.m. on Feb. 13.
  • Karen Oberhauser, professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. Oberhauser studies monarch butterflies and works with teachers and pre-college students in Minnesota and throughout the United States using monarchs to teach about biology, conservation, and the process of science. Oberhauser will give her public presentation, “All hands on deck: Conserving a flagship species,” at 9 a.m. on Feb. 20.

The presentations provide an opportunity for each candidate to share his or her vision for the position. Presentations will be held in Room 1111 at the Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall. Feedback about finalists can be provided online.

“The UW–Madison Arboretum is known world-wide for efforts in restoring critical landscapes such as prairies and wetlands, and enriching lives through research such as studies into climate change impacts and stormwater runoff,” says Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Marsha Mailick. “It’s also an important destination for the local community as a place to explore and learn. I am looking forward to the next step in the process in choosing a new director for the Arboretum and I am very thankful for the work of the search committee and, in particular, committee chair Christopher Kucharik.”

“The Arboretum director position generated a high level of interest that led to a diverse pool of strong applicants originating from UW-Madison and abroad,” says Kurcharik. “The search committee is excited about the Arboretum’s future given what we have already heard from the finalists.”

CVs for the finalists are available at the Office for the Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education website.

Contact: Natasha Kassulke (608) 219-8042, natasha.kassulke@wisc.edu

From the UW News story by Natasha Kassulke, February 2, 2017

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