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For Immediate Release: Thurs., Sept. 14

Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/638-6008 ǀ

Phipps Conservatory Announces Paula Sculley Fellowship
A former trustee of Phipps and co-founder of Botany in Action, Paula played a vital role in bringing the Botany in Action Fellowship program to Phipps.

Pittsburgh, Pa. —  Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has announced the Paula Sculley Botany in Action Fellowship, named in memoriam of Paula Cook Sculley. The honorary fellowship is one of six Botany in Action fellowships awarded to doctoral-level students, and will specialize in ethnobotany research and education.

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 organization dedicated to conserving plants and 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. Now in its 17th year, the educational program supports 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 50 doctoral-level students representing 25 universities and working in 24 countries. Current fellows are 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.  

Today, Phipps’ Botany in Action Fellows will present the results of their field research studies during Science Communication Workshops held at Phipps, sharing their knowledge and findings with area high school students.    

On Sat., Sept. 16, they will lead Phipps’ Members-only event, Peek Behind the Petals, providing an insider’s view into the program and sharing their fascinating scientific discoveries.  Learn more here. Fellows will also discuss their new findings in interactive displays at Phipps during the Tropical Forest Congo Festival on the same day from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., open to the public.

For more details on Phipps’ Botany in Action Fellowship program and profiles of current fellows, visit


About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more:

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