IC Orchid Conservation Program Receives $50,000 Gift

By Benjamin Cox on May 27, 2020 at 9:41am

Illinois College’s orchid conservation work has received a major gift. A $50,000 gift from the American Orchid Society Dorothy Nieter Trust will support the IC Orchid Recovery Program’s orchid conservation work in Illinois. IC Professor of Biology Lawrence Zettler said in a press release yesterday that the gift will allow for a lot more student research to happen in labs at the college over the next 3-5 years. Zettler says that he plans to connect with landowners and state and federal agencies to learn where the conservation need is greatest and how IC students and partner institutions can get involved.

The Orchid Recovery Program works not only across the state of Illinois but has taken place in Palau, Madagascar, Ecuador, and Cuba. More than 100 undergraduate students have contributed to the program’s work over the course of more than two decades. The American Orchid Society gift has already funded a summer student position. Fegor Imieye, an international student majoring in biology, was unable to return to her home country of Nigeria for the summer and will assist Zettler with orchid research.

Zettler says he was glad to receive the gift from the American Orchid Society for the college. He said that the reason he is still in orchid conservation today was because of a society gift to him over 30 year ago as a graduate student that helped fund his research and jump start his career. For more information about the program visit ic.edu/biology/orchidrecovery.