By providing leadership in an area of science that is accessible to all sectors of society, the International Center for Tropical Botany (ICTB) provides tremendous opportunities for university outreach. The Center will build on existing community and school outreach programs initiated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s The Kampong and other Miami partners.


Tropical Botany Course

In Summer 2015, FIU affiliate professor Dr. Walter Judd, an internationally respected tropical botanist, taught an intensive month-long course on the biology and systematics of tropical plants. Fifteen students from as far as Singapore, Jamaica and Puerto Rico as well as from around the U.S. participated. Unique in the U.S., this is a practical course to train botanists in how to identify tropical plants, a vanishing but essential skill. In 2016 Professor Judd and ICTB Director Dr. Chris Baraloto are planning additional courses in tropical botany.

Teacher Enrichment Workshop for AP Environmental Studies

With funding from Mr. Doug Kinney (National Tropical Botanic Garden board member and Kampong Board of Governor Emeritus), the Center hosted a week-long training program at The Kampong for Miami Dade High School Science Teachers in June 2015. Dr. David Black of Groton School, an authority on school science teaching, led the course in collaboration with FIU STEM Transformation Institute and FIU Teach. The course was applauded by Dr. Larry Feldman, Vice Chair of Miami Dade County School Board, who recognized it as a model for science based training of high school teachers. The success of the teachers’ workshop is in large part due to the effective collaboration between the Kampong staff, ICTB faculty and the FIU STEM and FIU Teach teams.

EcoAcademy @ The Kampong

The Center hosted its first summer camp at the Kampong in June in partnership with Florida International University’s School of Environment, Arts and Society. The week’s activities turned The Kampong into a living laboratory where campers followed in the footsteps of David Fairchild by exploring for plants and spices, participated in scavenger hunts, collected plants for herbarium pressings and learned how to take nature photographs. Campers planted a butterfly garden with Interim Director Mike Maunder and learned about the role of water in the Everglades by building an aquifer with Everglades Foundation Director of Education Jennifer Diez. Marine science activities were a favorite, with the help of FIU Environmental Coordinator Nicholas Ogle.

FIU International Center for Tropical Botany