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The Garden Club of Allegheny County (GCAC) is pleased to support the Botany in Action Paula Sculley Fellowship, named in memory of Paula Cook Sculley. The honorary fellowship is one of seven Botany in Action fellowships awarded to doctoral-level students conducting research in ethnobotany.

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The Paula Sculley Fellowship recognizes Paula’s legacy as a pioneer and leader as President of The Garden Club of Allegheny County where she co-founded Botany in Action, a renowned program dedicated to conservation and promoting indigenous botanical knowledge throughout the world. A passionate conservationist and horticulturist, she also served on the boards of Phipps and the Amazon Conservation Team. Paula was a tireless advocate for science education and ethnobotanical research, remembered for her caring, positive spirit and willingness to help others.

Paula was instrumental in bringing the Botany in Action Fellowship program to Phipps. Since 1995, the educational program has supported emerging plant-focused scientists through research grants and science communication training.  Fellows are selected annually based on their botany-related research objectives, academic performance, and commitment to science outreach.  The program is underwritten in part by The Garden Club of Allegheny County. 

Since its inception, the Botany in Action Fellowship program has supported 62 doctoral-level students representing 29 universities and working in 28 countries. Fellows have been stationed in locales from California to Fiji, uncovering new scientific insights on topics ranging from the role of green roofs in urban biodiversity to the effects of soil pollution.  In addition to their immersive field work, fellows' accomplishments include mentorship of other students; the creation of a botanical field guide, a photography website, and various teaching modules; and outreach devoted to making science more accessible to the public.