- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
It's a science-based event featuring scores of exhibits and it's an opportunity for visitors to chat with the scientists. Eleven UC Davis museums and collections will showcase their displays, ranging from stick insects to hawks to yeast cultures:
- Arboretum and Public Garden
- Bee Haven
- Bohart Museum of Entomology
- Botanical Conservatory
- California Raptor Center
- Center for Plant Diversity
- Department of Anthropology Museum
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology
- Nematode Collection
- Paleontology Collection
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection
In addition to the central exposition, several side tours are planned. Destinations: Bohart Museum of Entomology, Bee Garden, Botanical Conservatory and the Yeast Culture Collection. The newest addition?
The Texas Tree Trials project is an exciting one. In the face of climate change, what trees should we plant in the Sacramento Valley region that could might do better in our triple-digit temperatures and ensuing drought? What trees are the most resilient?
As Urban Tree Stewardship interns Akanksha Pabari and Karla Tapia of Learning by Leading write on the Arboretum website: "As climate change becomes a more urgent issue and global temperatures continue to rise, 58% of our current urban tree species are predicted to be to be unsuitable for the projected 2100 climate in the Sacramento Valley region (McBride & Lacán, 20181). To prepare for this monumental loss, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is working hard to establish a more resilient and climate-adapted tree canopy. With support from the Saratoga Horticultural Research Endowment, the Texas Tree Trials will provide the long-term research needed to adapt by testing the drought and heat tolerance of 40 new and underutilized tree species from west and central Texas. The knowledge and selections from these field trials will help the Sacramento Valley region diversify its urban forest to ensure its resilience in a changing world."
The team collected seeds from west and central Texas, referencing climate models.
Some of the trees are virtual "food banks" for insects.
"Many of the trees are keystone oaks that support tons of insects," Davis related. "There are also some flowering trees like Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) that are amazing for pollinators." Check out the full list here.
The mesquite tree, for example, attracts honey bees and native bees that forage for nectar and pollen. It's also the host plan for several species of butterflies.
"Through this research, the Arboretum and Public Garden hopes to expand the availability of promising, climate-adapted, and resilient trees to ensure that our beautiful and vibrant tree canopy continues to flourish," the Pabari-Tapla team wrote. "So next time you visit the Arboretum and Public Garden, be sure to stop by and enjoy the new planting site with all of the novel trees that will hopefully shade us for generations to come."
In the meantime, get out those walking shoes for the March 6th Texas Tree Trials Tour (TTTT)!
And if you'd like to help support the Biodiversity Museum Day Crowdfund, which ends at 12:50 p.m., Feb. 18, you can access the project at https://bit.ly/3HPhSaA. Donors can be anonymous in name or contribution, or can donate in honor of or in memory of someone. Contributions from $5 on up are welcome, said the two project managers Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology, and Rachel Davis. The goal is $5000.
"Donations will not only help us sustain the free, in-person event, it will enable our student interns to take science outreach to a whole new level," they said. "The goal of our event is to connect people from all walks of life to science and the biodiversity surrounding them. All donors will be recognized on the Biodiversity Museum Day social media accounts with a shout-out post."
The UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day is traditionally held on the Saturday of Presidents' Day weekend. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year's event was virtual, and this year's event is centrally located in the Conference Center. For more information, access the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website and/or connect with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.