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Garden+ Lecture Series: Rhoda Maurer

Approaching Nature from the Slant: A Journey Towards Understanding our Shared Humanity

An accomplished horticulturalist shares wisdom not just about plants but on spirituality, social justice, sustainability, environmentalism, and finding wisdom in different worldviews.   Rhoda Maurer narrates her journey as a horticulturalist and photographer to find a connection with nature that restores a sense of awe, mystery, and wisdom to our lives. Solutions to complex global challenges cannot be found without looking deeply within ourselves and the relationships we tend with the land, other people, and all living beings. From the interconnectedness of science, art and wellness to the question of what the new social purpose of botanical gardens should be, Maurer will braid together insights on art, science, community, and the relationship between humankind and “Nature with a capital N.”

Photo by Jay Potter, courtesy of the Ithaca Times

About the speaker

Rhoda Maurer is Plant Growth Facilities Manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, which is dedicated to sustainable science for life and hosts more than 400 research, teaching and outreach projects year round. She served as Director of Horticulture for Cornell Botanic Gardens, where she was responsible for curating more than 40,000 plants representing across 450 acres of arboretum and botanic gardens and setting a vision for the program with an eye towards conservation and sustainability. Previous posts included managing the research greenhouses at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY and serving as the Assistant Curator at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She has trained at The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Washington and the Royal Horticulture Society’s Garden at Wisley in the United Kingdom.  She recently completed a Masters of Arts in Science in a Changing World from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, inspired by a desire to scaffold an appreciation of how horticulture, art, and awareness of our environment add value to people’s lives across cultures and disciplines of study.

Maurer recently sat down with the Garden’s Training Center Director, Kristin Faurest, to speak more about her work. Find the interview, here.

The Garden+ lecture series places the Japanese garden in bold and inspiring new contexts by bringing designers, authors, practitioners, and researchers to the Garden to share fresh ideas.  Come experience original perspectives, thought-provoking research, and new creative work. We bring presenters from around the globe to shed new light on how gardens connect to subjects as diverse as spirituality, technical innovation, architecture, culture, design, and society — all made more resonant with the  Garden itself as a backdrop. Garden+ is a presentation of the International Japanese Garden Training Center, which is supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.