Christina Owen headshot
Christina Owen, director of UW Botanic Gardens.

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) is proud to announce the appointment of two new leaders for the research, education and outreach programs of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UWBG). The UWBG includes the programs and facilities of the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Washington Park Arboretum, the latter of which is in partnership with City of Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Arboretum Foundation. Christina Owen has been named the director of UWBG, starting September 13, and SEFS Professor Josh Lawler is the new faculty director of UWBG.

Owen will provide overall leadership for the programs, facilities and staff of the UWBG. She will also take the lead on strengthening the organizational and community partnerships that are so central to the work of the organization. She comes to UWBG and SEFS with a love for all things plants and extensive experience bridging science management, communication and public engagement. She previously served as a program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There, she developed and managed grants in research and development, with a focus on leveraging discovery science and innovation for smallholder farmers in low-income countries. Her work focused on addressing pest and disease threats to crop production.

Josh Lawler
Josh Lawler, faculty director of UW Botanic Gardens.

Lawler has been a professor in SEFS since 2007, specializing in climate change impacts, conservation science, landscape ecology, nature-human interactions and wildlife science. He has led the Center for Creative Conservation and is currently director of the University’s Nature and Health Initiative, a program of Earthlab. His appointment as faculty director includes appointment as the Orin and Althea Soest Chair in Urban Horticulture, and his work will focus on supporting, sustaining and advancing the academic research and teaching programs of the organization in partnership with Owen.

Read more at UW SEFS »