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Press Releases

The communications office of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin provides media with timely, accurate information about the Wildflower Center. Below are recent press releases related to Center events and to staff expertise on conservation practices, native plant gardening, nature education, and native plant resources and research findings. For more information or photos beyond those on the newsroom site, please contact:

    Media Manager
Barbra Rodriguez

May 22, 2012

New Plant Conservation Manager

A botanist with 13 years of experience in natural resources conservation has joined The University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as its manager of plant conservation.

Dr. Karen Clary spent four years at Texas Parks & Wildlife in the Wildlife Habitat Assessment Program.  The work included evaluating the environmental impact of development projects on natural resources in Central and West Texas.

Before that, she served as lead botanist for eight years at the Texas Department of Transportation. Clary helped monitor the impact of road projects on natural resources, including rare and endangered plant species. She became TXDOT’s lead biologist during her last two years, overseeing statewide agency compliance with the Endangered Species Act and other legislation.

Clary has taught botany classes through the Wildflower Center’s Go Native U program since 2009. She previously spent two years as an adjunct professor and lecturer at UT, Southwestern University and St. Edward’s University. In addition, she taught native plant and botanical subjects at UT from 1988 to 1997.

Clary began her career in archeobotany, where she researched the origins of agriculture and prehistoric plant use of Native Americans in the New World.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.  Her thesis work revealed plants used by ancient Anasazi in New Mexico, and she also co-founded the Castetter Laboratory for Ethnobotanical Studies while there.  In 1997, Clary received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas where she studied the taxonomy, biogeography and speciation patterns of yucca plants. 

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