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Endangered Species Expert Comes to Rescue of Hawaiian Arboretum

9 June 2005

UH Manoa associate professor of botany Cliff Morden has been named interim director at the university's Lyon Arboretum. His appointment was announced by Manoa Vice Chancellor for Research Gary Ostrander, and follows the closure of the Arboretum last September over safety concerns.

"Dr. Morden is eager to work with the Lyon Arboretum staff and other constituencies as we determine what the future holds for this incredible resource," Ostrander said. "We are fortunate to have the benefit of his counsel as we work through the process."

Morden has been at UH Manoa since 1992. His research focuses on conservation of endangered species and the evolution and geographic dispersal of native Hawaiian species among the islands.

"I'm excited to be working with a group of people that are so dedicated to the work being accomplished at Lyon Arboretum," Morden said, "and I am looking forward to addressing the challenges before us.

"The plants are the real story behind the work being done here," he added, "It is our goal to help show our communities how spectacular our native and garden plants are, how important they are to our livelihood, and how critical their conservation is to sustaining our natural resources."

Morden and Arboretum staff also put out a call for volunteers. "We are always interested in additional helping hands. Anyone who loves plants and would like to donate time to their growth or conservation is urged to call Toki Murakami at the Arboretum at 988-0456."

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