Environmental Biology, Washington University in St. Louis
Diana is responsible for The IUCN Red List of Oaks initiative at the Morton Arboretum. The goal of this program is to assess the threat level of oaks around the word. Oak-dominated ecosystems all over the world are disappearing, and many species are threatened with extinction. Less than half of the world’s roughly 425 oak species have been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the most comprehensive and widely accepted process for evaluating the global threat status of plant and animal species. Diana compiles biological, ecological, and demographic information on the worlds oak trees in order to evaluate their conservation status. She works with the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist group to prioritize Oak species for ex situ conservation collections and for potential protection under policy measures.
In Sue’s role as ArbNet Coordinator she works with the arboretum community worldwide developing communication channels and facilitating information exchange, collaboration, and dialogue. Sue also coordinates the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program that focuses on quality, standards, and thresholds providing guidelines, models, expertise, and inspiration so that the entire arboretum network is stronger, more connected, and together is advancing the quality and capacity of tree-focused gardens.
Emily Beckman is currently leading a US Forest Service-funded gap analysis to assess conservation needs of U.S. native oak species, in partnership with BGCI US. Emily is interested in developing and applying species distribution models for use in conservation planning and in using ArcGIS to effectively present distribution data to communicate key messages to targeted audiences. Emily’s work contributes to conveying the importance of living collections for the conservation of exceptional species, such as oaks, as well as the need for global collaboration to conserve the most vulnerable plant species. She is interested in addressing questions key to using conservation resources most effectively, such as “What metrics should be used to rank species with the ‘greatest need’ for conservation action?” and, “How should the ‘right’ actions for each species be pinpointed?” Emily hopes to bring these questions together in a tree conservation gap analysis pipeline that can serve as a broader tool for efficient and effective conservation planning, both in-situ and ex-situ, across institutions. Emily also seeks to understand the relationship between agriculture and the health of native environments in the United States, with a focus on the role of hands-on work with farmers in connection to governmental programs and regulations, as well as corporate industries involved in the agriculture sector.