Sean has been leading the Center’s seed propagation and native plant growing operations for 13 years. As nursery manager, he supplies plants for the Center’s gardens — which showcase more than 800 species of Texas native plants — as well as for plant sales and gardening initiatives with community partners.
He has been involved in landscape restoration efforts that include assisting the Nature Conservancy in growing about 500 endangered star cacti, as well as growing 300,000 loblolly pines to aid the Texas A&M Forest Service in restoring the Lost Pines forest near Bastrop, Texas, which was devastated by wildfires in 2011.
Sean is currently spearheading the Center’s milkweed seed germination and growing project as part of a national effort to reverse the decline in monarch butterflies. He started the Center’s native plant seed collection program in 2007, when he also received the Native Plant Society of Texas’ Lynn Lowery Memorial Award for his work on endangered plant propagation. Southern Living named Watson “Outstanding Southerner” in 2009 for seed collection trips to promote conservation, and its eponymous magazine produced an article about the Center’s seed collecting program. Coverage of his work has also appeared in Texas Highways magazine.
Watson received a bachelor’s in ecology, evolution and conservation with a minor in microbiology from The University of Texas at Austin. His expertise is in seed collecting and propagation, native plant horticulture, seed bank management, landscape restoration and environmental design consulting.