Scientist Lecture Series: Reach Out, Encourage and Mentor Black Students Interested in Science

Holden Forests & Gardens second scientist lecture in the Growing Black Roots: The Black Botanical Legacy series was with Dr. Morgan Halane from the National Park Service. Dr. Halane shared a deeply personal look at his experience as a Black person navigating interest and study in the field of science with nearly 150 participants on Zoom and YouTube. His talk is eye-opening and important. Dr. Halane’s call to action for science teachers, college advisors, and other people working in the field of science is to really see Black students and people of color who are interested in this course of study and to reach out, encourage and mentor.

You can view Dr. Halane’s one hour talk here:

For engaging, virtual teacher resources for students, click here:

About Dr. Halane

Dr. Halane’s research has investigated aspects of plant immunity in legumes and the model plant Arabidopsis, and the molecular biology of citrus greening disease. This work focuses on understanding how plant immune responses are triggered by exposure to pathogenic proteins. He continued his research on plant immunity as a POSTECH Korea Research Fellowship from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), eventually bringing his research skills to the biotech industry at Aanika Biosciences. Beyond his research, Dr. Halane’s diverse skill set also speaks to his interest in outreach, including a BA in English literature with a thesis focused on depictions of adaptation in film ‘When “Loosely Based On” Becomes “New”: Defining the Limits of Adaptation in the Film Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’.

About Black Botanists Week

Black Botanists Week, a Twitter campaign that took place in July 2020, “to promote, encourage, create a safe space for, and find more Black people who love plants” went viral, reaching thousands of viewers and attracting Black Botanists from around the globe. The participants received an outpouring of support and requests for collaboration through their newly created #BlackBotanistsWeek Twitter account and website . Media coverage of this movement included such outlets as WNYC news, Cape Talk Radio, Newzroom Afrika and The Daily Item. The organizing committee strives to leverage these collaborations to fund a Black Botanists Week Scholarship to support underrepresented groups in pursuing botanical fields.  

Save the Date for the next lecture with Nokwanda P. Makunga, PhD. Associate Professor at Stellenbosch University, Department of Botany and Zoology Of plants and people: From the past to the present, December 9, 2020 , 7PM EST. Click here to register.