As a research and education arm of Harvard University and through its partnership with the Boston Park System, the Arnold Arboretum is strongly committed to offering lifetime learning opportunities to the public. To provide leadership in this arena, the Arboretum is pleased to announce that Dr. Daphne Minner has joined the staff as Director of Public Programs.
“One of the great benefits of the Arboretum’s 131-year partnership between the City of Boston and Harvard University is the opportunity to provide deeply meaningful outreach to the Boston area,” said Arboretum Director and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology William (Ned) Friedman. “From Head Start programs, through K-12 STEM education initiatives, and adult and visitor education for lifetime learning, sharing the Arboretum’s resources is an essential part of our mission, and we are thrilled to have Daphne join us to increase the scope and impact of these efforts. With her impressive history of leadership in science education, and her passion for natural history and biodiversity, she is uniquely prepared to help us share our world-class landscape and collections with the public in innovative ways.”
The Director of Public Programs provides leadership and management for the Arboretum’s formal and informal enrichment programming. Working with the managers of these programs and through collaboration with external groups both at Harvard and throughout the region, Daphne will design, implement, and evaluate a diverse portfolio of programs to increase public understanding and appreciation of arboreta, living plant collections, and the plant kingdom in general.
“As a neighbor and dedicated gardener, the Arnold Arboretum has meant a great deal to me as an extraordinary place to explore, learn, and reflect on the natural world,” Daphne said. “I am very excited to work with staff and our partners at Harvard and beyond to expand and deepen the educational opportunities that arise through the unique strengths of the Arboretum’s living collections and beloved landscape.”
Daphne brings nearly two decades of experience in science education research and evaluation to her new post. Most recently, she served as Senior Associate for Abt Associates in Cambridge, and prior to that Senior Research Scientist at Education Development Center in Waltham, consulting on educational projects with a host of clients nationwide including the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, and the American Museum of Natural History. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University, she taught courses in human development and family studies and conducted extensive research on educational programs. She has presented as an invited speaker on the topics of science education, research, and evaluation, and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications and books.
Daphne received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware, and a master’s degree and PhD in human development and family studies from The Pennsylvania State University. A lifelong plant and gardening enthusiast, she is a graduate of the New England Wild Flower Society’s Native Plant Studies Certificate Program, and monitors rare and endangered plants in Massachusetts as a Plant Conservation Volunteer.