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UW-Madison Arboretum director named

April 26, 2017 GMT

Karen Oberhauser, a monarch butterfly researcher from the University of Minnesota, has been named director of the UW-Madison Arboretum.

Oberhauser, who got a bachelor of science degree in natural science education from UW-Madison, comes to the university from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, where she has been a professor and conservation biologist.

She will begin as Arboretum director Oct. 1. She succeeds Donna Paulnock, who has served as interim director since 2012, when director Kevin McSweeney stepped down to return full-time to teaching.

“Having spent my entire childhood and many intervals since then in Wisconsin, I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the UW-Madison Arboretum,” Oberhauser said in a statement.

“I believe that the connections my research, outreach and teaching promote between monarchs, humans and the natural world encourage meaningful conservation action,” she said.

At the University of Minnesota, Oberhauser has chaired the steering committee of the Monarch Joint Venture, a collaborative effort of more than 60 organizations working to promote the sustainability of healthy monarch populations.

Her lab leads a citizen science project that engages volunteers in tracking monarch populations. Oberhauser has developed a comprehensive science education program called Monarchs in the Classroom.

Oberhauser began her teaching career as a biology and chemistry teacher at Onalaska High School in Wisconsin.

She received a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Harvard University and a doctorate in ecology and behavioral biology from the University of Minnesota.

“She is an outstanding scientist, and throughout her career, she has shown a strong passion for conserving biodiversity and making connections between humans and the natural world to promote conservation actions,” said Marsha Mailick, UW-Madison vice chancellor for research and graduate education.

Oberhauser is the eighth director of the Arboretum since it was dedicated in 1934.

The Arboretum is a field research and teaching laboratory situated on 1,200 acres in Madison and Fitchburg and 15 outlying properties covering more than 500 acres.—See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/arboretum-director-search-underway/#sthash.nyXCaN6u.dpuf