Posted: 10/8/2018 | Print Friendly Version

Date: Oct. 8, 2018

At the Missouri Botanical Garden: Susan Baron,, 314-691-2628; Catherine Martin,, 314-577-0286

At Miami University: Jamie Bercaw Anzano,, 513-529-8575




Missouri Botanical Garden Announces New Master’s Degree


(ST. LOUIS): The Missouri Botanical Garden and Miami University have announced that the university is accepting applications now for a master’s degree that includes study locally through the Garden.


St. Louis-area graduate students can earn the degree by taking coursework online and through field study at the Garden and in and around St. Louis. Students will engage firsthand in the Garden’s renowned sustainability and conservation programs while improving their communities through collaborative learning and action. The first Garden cohort will begin coursework in summer 2019.


The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master’s degree, created in 2009 by Project Dragonfly at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, brings together premier zoos and other community learning institutions from across the United States. The Garden is the AIP’s first Master Institution that is a dedicated botanical garden. At the Garden, students will work with researchers, join field projects with local conservation and sustainability organizations and design their own hands-on investigations at Garden locations. Students will learn about conservation directly from experts and work together to develop new approaches to local conservation efforts.


“This program will change the game for local educators and others interested in conservation in St. Louis in a big way,” said Sheila Voss, Vice President of Education at the Missouri Botanical Garden. “They’ll be joining a network of peers who are embracing global sustainability goals as the framework for local action. Ultimately, this program is about empowering more people to shift their perspectives and their practices in ways that result in greater biodiversity, ecological health and human well-being. People interested in ecological change and action, including educators and teachers, can lead the way. That’s huge, and it’s needed now more than ever.”


            AIP students will have the option to take one of Project Dragonfly’s Earth Expeditions courses to apply toward their master’s degree. These field courses offer extraordinary learning experiences at conservation and education hotspots in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas, on topics such as human-wildlife interactions in Kenya, orangutan conservation in Borneo and Buddhism and conservation in Thailand.


The Garden joins the following U.S. organizations as an AIP Master Institution:


• Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

• The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

• Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

• Denver Zoo

• San Diego Zoo Global

• Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo

• Woodland Park Zoo


“We’re incredibly excited to welcome our first AIP student cohort at a botanical garden,” said Lynne Myers, co-director and founder of Project Dragonfly. “We couldn’t imagine a better institution to join the stellar group of AIP institutions that have come together to improve human and ecological communities. We’re really looking forward to working with the AIP students and MBG in St. Louis.”


About Project Dragonfly - Since it began as a project funded by the National Science Foundation in the mid-1990s, Project Dragonfly has engaged millions of people through inquiry-driven learning media, public exhibits and graduate programs worldwide. Dragonfly is based in the biology department at Miami University.


About Miami University in Oxford, Ohio - The 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranks Miami University the top public university in the nation for undergraduate teaching. Miami occupies the No. 5 spot overall, in good company with Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown and Rice universities. Miami has ranked in the top five on this list of universities for the past eight years. Established in 1809, Miami University is one of the eight original Public Ivies.



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The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 159 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.