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Research Geneticist Richard Olsen to Speak about Urban Forest


March 21, 2012
Press Release #12-042

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Richard Olsen, research geneticist at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., will deliver a talk about the urban forest on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 from 4:40 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in room 106 in Schaefer Hall at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The talk is part of the Natural Science and Math Colloquium series and is co-sponsored by the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association as part of its Arbor Day activities.

Olsen’s presentation will address the role of city sprawl in drastically increasing the urban forest at the expense of the natural forest. The talk will provide a historical perspective on planting the urban forest, a discussion on the rise and fall of particular forest species, and on why some native tree species are not planted in the urban forest. Olsen will also explore the urban forest’s impact on native trees, highlighting current research at the U.S. National Arboretum with regards to the effects of breeding and selecting native tree species.

An edible tree and bush planting led by Superintendent of Grounds Kevin Mercer and his team at St. Mary's College of Maryland will follow the talk. The planting, co-sponsored with the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association by the student group, EcoHouse, will demonstrate proper installation techniques and tips for success. It will take place at 6 p.m. in the greenspace adjacent to Daugherty-Palmer Commons.

Dr. Olsen's talk and the planting afterwards are both free and open to the public.