A-Z Career Lab: Botanist

IN A NEW SEGMENT FROM OUR PARTNERS AT C-E-T AND THINKTV, WE HEAD TO THE CAREER LAB, TO LEARN ABOUT ANOTHER CAREER IN IN THE GROWING FIELD OF PLANT SCIENCE.

[I Can Be Anything I want to Be A-Z: Botanist]

FLASH: According to my research into the career of Interior Designer, adding plants to the Lab will make us all a bit more happy.

TI: Ohh, are we adding things to the Lab that make us happy? What about a working kitchen so I can really get hands-on with careers in the culinary arts?

CHARLEY: Ti, by my calculations, your mind is in your stomach, 99 percent of the time.

TI: At least I spend the other one percent, sharing what I’ve learned… and tasted.

FLASH: Oh, that reminds me: Plant Food.

(A friendly CHIRPING sound, followed by an announcement - woman’s voice) Attention. Attention. The Office of the Alphabet is calling with an urgent career request. Please stand by.

FLASH: I guess it’ll have to wait.

CHARLEY: Sounds like kids are hungry for more career ideas!

TI: Brilliant! We’re looking into a career that starts with the letter B. I wonder which one?

CHARLEY: Bookkeeper?

FLASH: Baseball player!

TI: Baker. Maybe one who makes delicious, gluten-free brownies?

CHARLEY: There he goes again.

FLASH: (reads aloud) Botanist? Who’s been researching “botanist”?

CHARLEY: That sounds familiar. Isn’t that like a plant doctor?

TI: Oh, I’ve got that one. It’s more like scientist who studies plants. To learn more, we’re going to talk to Suzanne York, who’s a botanist at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

CHARLEY: Hi, Suzanne!

SUZANNE YORK: Hi, Lab Squad!

FLASH: So…tell us about what you do as a botanist.

SUZANNE YORK: I work at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife. And here, we study endangered plants, and how to conserve them. So just like animals, plants can become endangered and even extinct if we don’t help save them. Botanists are important because everything around us has to do with plants. The clothes that we wear, the makeup on our face, the food that we eat. The medicines that we take. It all has to do with botany and with plant science. And so by understanding these things, we’re better able to take care of our bodies and better able to take care of the world around us.

CHARLEY: That sounds awesome. But besides conservation, what other types of things do botanists do?

TI: Suzanne, do you ever get to go to the Amazon rain forest?

SUZANNE YORK: I’ve never been to the Amazon, but I have been to the tropics. I did my research in Panama and Costa Rica, and I studied tropical woody vines, so think Tarzan vines.

FLASH: What’s your favorite thing about being a botanist?

SUZANNE YORK: My favorite thing about being a botanist is that we can work with plants that are endangered and are on the brink of extinction, and we can study them, and understand them and try to conserve them. We can take parts of the plant and we can store it in liquid nitrogen, which is very, very cold. It’s called cryopreservation. And we can store those pieces of the plant in a frozen garden for many, many years. And then if we ever need more of that plant, we can take it out, thaw it, and then we can grow as many different types of that plant as we need.

CHARLEY: Thanks for talking to us, Suzanne!

SUZANNE YORK: Thanks so much! Good luck in the Career Lab!

TI: Here… you can use this to keep an eye on your plants as they grow.

CHARLEY: And we can use these plants to show kids all about being a botanist.

FLASH: I knew adding plants to the lab would make us all a bit more happy…..Now to feed my new curiosity.

TI: Did someone mention food?

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN EXPLORING NEW CAREERS – YOU’RE IN LUCK!

NEXT SEASON WE’LL BE REGULARLY STOPPING BY THE CAREER LAB, TO MEET MORE PROFESSIONALS WITH SOME FASCINATING JOBS.


Instructional Links


Website Article: USDA, Living Science, Botanist (Plant Biologist)

Classroom Resources: PBS LearningMedia, Plants

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