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Amateur naturalists have been indispensable to scientific research throughout history in the study and documentation of Earth’s biodiversity. The creation of The New York Botanical Garden—and the programs of study that followed—helped lay the foundation of the field of ecology in America, and now connect legions of people to plants through public participation, incorporating a unique humanities approach. Moderated by Dr. Brian M. Boom, Vice President for Conservation Strategy at NYBG, this symposium will bring together five speakers to discuss various approaches to environmental scholarship. Their conversation will explore the democratization of science—using exciting and easily accessible new technologies—to engage an increasingly diverse force of citizen scientists locally, regionally, and globally in advancing knowledge and environmental stewardship, and encouraging all to think critically about the importance and urgency of conservation action.