Abstract Detail



Donald J. Pinkava’s legacy – the ASU Herbarium in the Sonoran Desert

Hodgson, Wendy C. [1].

Donald Pinkava’s extraordinary influence at the Desert Botanical Garden and Myself.

Donald Pinkava was well known for his commitment to plant studies, especially Cactaceae and Asteraceae as well as Southwestern floristics. He was also committed to his students, being firm but kind, always pushing us to a higher level. Simply put, we worked hard for him because of our love and respect for him. Dr. Pinkava had a tremendously positive influence on me, changing my life forever.  In the 1970s, as a wildlife biology major (one of only three women at that time, all of whom were discouraged to pursue such a degree and career), I was required to take Arizona Flora, taught by Dr. Pinkava.  He and his class provided me the tools and encouragement to make a career change, focusing on botany as a graduate student. Dr. Pinkava also encouraged me to pursue botanical illustration, providing me the idea for my thesis—Edible Plants of the Sonoran Desert North of Mexico.  I expanded this illustrated work to include all of the Sonoran Desert, which the University of Arizona published in 2001. This thesis launched me on a path as an ethnobotanist; in addition, I became a life-long student of Southwest floristics and Agavaceae and Cactaceae systematics. As a graduate, I and other students took field trips to the Desert Botanical Garden, as part of a Arizona Cactus seminar he taught. Thirty-eight years later, we and other friends/colleagues Dr. Pinkava mentored produced the beautiful Cactaceae treatment for Intermountain Flora, a project asked of us due in very large part to his expertise.  On what seemed a natural transition, under his leadership several DBG researchers and outside collaborators began the Cactaceae of Arizona project, a publication we will dedicate in his honor and memory.  Dr. Pinkava also inspired me to pursue herbarium curation, as well fieldwork and collecting herbarium specimens with great care, including those within the difficult and often under-represented Cactaceae and Agavaceae. Dr. Pinkava’s botanical legacy lives on with his publications, collections and students he inspired and mentored. Every plant we collect, study, or describe as new to science, is done in the spirit of Dr. Pinkava who gently prodded us on to become better botanists and better persons


1 - Desert Botanical Garden, Research, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, USA

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:578
Candidate for Awards:None


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