Join us Sunday, March 14 at 4 pm at the Lang Performing Arts Center to hear explorer, dedicated botanist, and talented horticulturist, William McNamara, the 2010 recipient of the Scott Medal and Award speak about issues he is passionate about and how these passions have shaped his life. Described by Robert Turner Jr. editor of Pacific Horticulture, as “one of the foremost American ambassadors to Asia. He has partnered with other gardens in the United Kingdom and the United States, strengthening international relationships while furthering the pursuit of botany, natural history and the conservation of biodiversity.”
William A. McNamara began in the horticultural industry at Wedekind’s Nusery in retail nursery marketing, and then continued at Con Mara Gardens in the landscape contracting business. These experiences culminated at Quarryhill Botanical Garden working with garden founder, Jane Jansen, where Mr. McNamara has been involved for 20 years, starting with the initial conception of ideas through continued development, to the present with a mission to advance the conservation, study, and cultivation of temperate flora of Asia. While working in a variety of roles at the garden, Mr. McNamara completed more than 20 expeditions to Asia to conserve and document valuable and endangered flora. In 2007 he was appointed Executive Director.
His efforts have done “a lot of capacity building within local scientists and communities that bridges the plant conservation society of America and China,” according to Yuming Yang, Vice President, Southwest Forestry University. Along with the California Academy of Sciences, Mr. McNamara has developed a database of Asian plants in cultivation, which has been an invaluable resource to botanists throughout the world.
Through Mr. McNamara’s leadership, Quarryhill Botanical Garden has become “a significant contemporary botanical garden of global significance,” summarizes the late Peter Wharton, curator of David C. Lam Asian Garden in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to developing ex situ collections of Asian plants at Quarryhill, and aiding the Chinese in development of their in situ preservation, his commitment to conservation includes preserving critically endangered forests and tree specimens. Most notably is the highly endangered, Acer pentaphyllum, which faces extinction in the next ten years.
Mr. McNamara graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a BA in English. In 2005 he was awarded a MA in Conservation Biology at Sonoma State University. In 2009 he was recognized by the Garden Club of America with the Eloise Payne Luger Medal. He has served on the boards of the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation and the Arboretum Associates at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum. Presently he serves as a director for the Magnolia Society International and Field Associate of the Department of Botany of the California Academy of Sciences. The Scott Arboretum proudly awards the 2010 Scott Medal and Award to William A. McNamara who, as stated by Ted Kipping, “…more than fulfills the Scott ideal of an exploring/scientist/gardener who has devoted his life and considerable personal energies to the furtherance of botany and horticulture.”
Entrance is free and the public is welcome!
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