2020 - NYBG Intern Creates Virtual Tours

Gabi Schatz Stone, joined the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum for a 6 month internship from the esteemed New York Botanical Garden. Gabi is pursuing a 2-year diploma program in horticulture at NYBG's School of Professional Horticulture in New York City. As part of the diploma requirements, Gabi selected the Campus Arboretum for an internship. For her project, she wished to expand the reach of the online educational resources and share the experience of the beautiful campus grounds with people far and wide. Gabi is driven by her understanding and deep love of Sonoran desert ecology, and wanted to share this passion for plants through virtual tours.


Gabi accomplished two major projects during her time on campus:

(1.) she adapted five of the traditionally docent-guided tours into a virtual format. The goal of these tours is to show six key Arboretum highlights—edible plants, Sonoran Desert natives, campus botanical heritage, medicinal plants. 

(2.) she created a new tour featuring plants in bloom throughout the year.  The goal of this tour was to feature plants in bloom throughout the Sonoran Desert seasons.


To accomplish these projects, Gabi modified educational content from the docent-guided tours, mined our photography collection (or took photos of her own, where our library was lacking), and built a series of webpages that gives users an experience of walking through campus, examining and learning about the trees in each tour.  For the Seasonal Bloom Tours, she compliled and identified plants that could be expected to bloom during the 5 seasons, selected beautiful photography of the plants in bloom, and linked these photos to the existing rich species description content available elsewhere on the arboretum site. The latter is an especially exciting feature, as it directs more attention to the the incredibly useful educational content on more than 50 species, and it allows users to locate specimens of that blooming plant on campus.   


We are delighted to have these new virtual tours that now bring the gift of this amazing plant collection to people throughout the world. It is especially satisfying to present these in 2020, a year in which we all need nature more than ever!  


To experience the tours, see the Tour Page



September, 2020