Meg Lowman

2023 Walter R. Smith Visiting Scholar Series

Please join us as we welcome Meg Lowman, Author of:The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

Tuesday, April 25, 2023 | 7:00pm

SUNY Corning Community College | Main Dining Room

(Also Streaming Live on Zoom)

Register for this Event

Margaret “Meg” Lowman Ph.D., known affectionately throughout the world as “Canopy Meg,” is a global pioneer in forest canopy ecology. She is one of the world’s foremost “arbornauts” — someone who explores and studies the vast forest canopies that make up what Meg has termed the Earth’s “eighth continent.” A tireless educator, strong advocate for girls, women, and minorities in science, Meg has published numerous books, is a sustainability advisor, contributes to boards, and speaks widely and frequently to diverse groups, schools, and international symposiums and conferences. In her own words, Meg describes her passion for the treetops as "Saving trees and all that lives in them"

Meg LowmanThe nickname, Canopy Meg, was bestowed by Bob Ballard of Titanic fame when they were chief scientists for the Jason Project, and spoke to millions of middle school students during virtual expeditions to the canopy and ocean floor, respectively. Other nicknames over the years have included "the real-life Lorax" (from Dr. Seuss) by National Geographic and "Einstein of the treetops" by the Wall Street Journal. She recently formed Canopymeg Inc. as a platform that spawns science communication activities (e.g. speaking, board roles, books, etc.) as well as non-profit activities (e.g. TREE Foundation and Mission Green).

Currently, Lowman serves as the Executive Director and Founder of TREE Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Sarasota, Florida, whose mission is to link local underserved children to nature, as well as promote tree research, education, and exploration. Lowman launched Mission Green to build 10 canopy walkways in the world’s highest bio-diverse forests over the next five years. This project partners with renowned oceanographer, Sylvia Earle, who founded Mission Blue to save ocean "Hope Spots," whereas Lowman is focused on conserving rainforest biodiversity "Hot Spots."

Her new book, a memoir called “The Arbornaut: Exploring the 8th Continent In the Trees Above Us” aims to inspire girls to seek careers in field biology (2021; Farrar, Straus & Giroux Publishers). Additionally, Lowman has recently served as a visiting professor for the National University of Singapore; a research professor for the University of Sains Malaysia; an adjunct professor at Arizona State University; and a National Geographic Explorer.

The Arbornaut: Exploring the 8th Continent In the Trees Above UsAfter completing a Ph.D. program in Sydney in 1983, Lowman remained in Australia for eight years demystifying rural eucalypt dieback epidemics and serving as the co-manager of a fifth-generation, family-owned Merino sheep and cattle business. Returning to the U.S. in 1991, she became CEO of Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, growing its operation to profitability and ranking as one of America’s top-ten botanical gardens.

Lowman was recruited into three academic/leadership positions: New College of Florida as its inaugural director of environmental initiatives; North Carolina State University, to direct the construction and launch of its Nature Research Center; and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco as Inaugural Chief of Science and Sustainability with the mission to “reinvent museum science.” She returned to Florida in 2019 to focus on global forest conservation with TREE Foundation and MISSION GREEN.

Over the past 40 years, Lowman’s work in forest canopy science involved groundbreaking work in 46 countries and all seven continents. She has co-chaired five international canopy conferences and authored over 150 scientific publications and nine books on forest science and sustainability. Lowman’s first book, “Life in the Treetops,” received a cover review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Championing an awareness about how forest conservation is critical to the survival of humankind also led Lowman to serve as a sustainability consultant for green business initiatives with the Tommy Hilfiger Foundation, Rolex Corporation, and The Habitat (Malaysia). She has served on multiple non-profit boards with education or sustainability missions: The Explorers Club, Earthwatch Institute, San Francisco Urban Tree Council, Ecological Society of America, Pacific Forest Trust, New College of Florida, Leadership Florida, Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Scientific American, National Science Foundation Advisory Committees, Environmental Change Institute (Oxford University), National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and Williams College.

Lowman has actively pursued bottom-up conservation activities, including community initiatives for schools, corporations, and teams to manage local resources more sustainably: climate change advisor to the Florida cabinet, local tree planting programs in multiple countries, science book distribution to African and Amazonian school kids, and citizen science activities for communities.

The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us is available at the SUNY CCC Bookstore, located in the lower level of the Commons Building.

Click this link to access the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at SUNY Corning Community College

Learn more about the Walter R. Smith Visiting Scholar Series and past events, by clickING this link

Register for the 2023 Walter R. Smith Visiting Scholar Series, featuring Meg Lowman

*Registration closes on Monday, April 24*

This event is free and open to the public

Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at  7:00pm

SUNY Corning Community College / Main Dining Room - Commons Building and streamed live via Zoom

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