Research_Educational Media

The Campus Arboretum is committed to promoting the value and benefit of urban trees in sustainable desert landscapes. There are many outreach programs and resources offered to the public, and chief among them are our tree tours. We offer docent-guided tours of campus trees, as well as self-guided mobile and in-person tours. Unfortunately, while we are developing virtual tour experiences (like this one) for our most popular tours, some outreach initiatives are still restricted to local audiences. The University of Arizona has learned so much from more than 100 years of desert horticulture research, we wish to build bridges and share with those in distant desert cities so we can learn together. To this end, the Campus Arboretum is working with three exceptional staff members with diverse backgrounds and skills to research and develop interactive educational content for distribution through the web. To this end Brian, Kara, and Maria (featured below) created a impressive collection of interactive online content featuring topics important to the Campus Arboretum program.



Their work includes:

  • a new You Tube Channel with playlists featuring the myriad themes of the Campus Arboretum
  • supplemental educational resources related to the You Tube playlists. 
  • new content for social media channels (like Facebook and Instagram) and e-newsletters to promote awareness and use of the educational content.


We hope you'll become familiar with these resources and check back often as content is updated often. 


Kara Adams, Content Creator and Virtual Media Editor

Kara earned a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Currently, she combines her knowledge of life sciences with her passion for local food, and urban agriculture by spreading awareness and promoting community engagement with the Campus Arboretum through social media. Kara creates written content and educational videos that feature themes relevant to the Campus Arboretum - from its history and significance to Sonoran Desert conservation, to its modern day relevance to human and environemtal resilience. Her broad background allows her to emplhasiize the ethnobotanical significance of the campus collections and capture the myriad ways plants, people and place are connected.






Brian Rasmussen, Campus Arboretum Curator

Brian works part time as an Independent Contractor for the Campus Arboretum to provide curation support. Brian has 6 years experience working in the Nursery and Greenhouse industry and even longer growing his own collection of rare plants. His work with the Campus Arboretum involves completing an inventory of current taxa and generating a list of future species to bring into the living collections. This content will inform campus planting and allow conscious selection and placement of trees and plants best suited to campus landscape sites now and in future climate conditions. The work also supports efforts to assess and set goals relating to species diversity, create succession plans for trees in historic plantings, and provide inspiration for gardens to support university research and education.  In addition to these curatorial roles, Brian has generated interactive videos of the plants in the Mark Dimmitt Desert Plant Conservatory for our YouTube Channel to share his particular knowledge and passion for "weird plants"! 




Maria Rojas, Multimedia Specialist

Maria graduated in 2023 from the Univerisity of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with a BS degree in Sustainable Plant Systems, with Urban Horticulture Emphasis lfrom the School of Plant Sciences and a Minor in Nutritional Sciences. After working as a student for the Campus Arboretum for 18 months as a marketing and communications support, she now uses her experience to oversee the development of a series of interactive educational content for online distribution, and to create a cohesive series of newsletters to share arboretum projects, featured plants and all things "news". Maria has broad interests in horticulture with special interest in interpreting science for educational communities.