Arctic Flora to be Topic of Next Native Plant Society Meeting Print
Our Blue Earth - Our Blue Earth
Written by Liz McDowell   
Monday, 02 February 2015 17:59

group1 The Western Mountains Chapter of the Maryland Native Plant Society will hold its regular meeting at Frostburg State University, Compton Science Center, Room 327, on Tuesday February 17th at 7:00 pm. The guest speaker will be Dr. Sunshine Brosi, Frostburg State University Biology Department. Her presentation titled “The Brief Blooms of Alaska: Iñupiat Above the Arctic Circle” will begin immediately following a brief chapter meeting. The public is welcome to attend.


Ethnobotany students and staff pose for a group photo at their base camp near the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Dr. Sunshine Brosi, Frostburg State University, can be seen in the center of the back row in a blue jacket.


Last summer Sunshine Brosi taught a field based ‘Introduction to Ethnobotany’ course through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Chukchi College. The two week course took place on a fish camp outside of Kotzebue, Alaska, thirty miles north of the Arctic Circle. Dr. Brosi will describe the flora of the tundra above the Chukchi Sea and along the Noatak River, the largest undisturbed watershed in North America. Dr. Brosi will share stories from Iñupiat Elders and the inclusion of plants into traditional meals and medicine.


Sunshine Brosi, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Frostburg State University where she has worked since 2007. Sunshine coordinates the Wildlife and Fisheries, Interpretive Biology and Natural History, and the Ethnobotany Majors. She teaches forestry and botany courses and researches tree species at risk due to exotic pests and pathogens and conservation of non-timber forest products. Sunshine is from Berea, KY and has a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College, a MS in Forestry from the University of KY, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of TN. Sunshine lives in Garrett County with her husband and two children.


Directions: From I-68 take exit 33 (Braddock Rd & Midlothian Rd exit). Follow Braddock Road approximately 1.3 miles to stop sign. Turn left onto Park Avenue. Drive a short distance and turn left, following signs for the Compton Parking Lot.


The Maryland Native Plant Society promotes awareness, appreciation, and conservation of Maryland's native plants and their habitats, working to preserve Maryland's natural heritage through education, research, advocacy and service activities. MNPS sponsors programs, workshops, field trips and an annual conference. Membership is open to all who are interested in Maryland's native plants and their habitats. For more information, visit


The Western Mountains Chapter has formed to expand the efforts of MNPS on the Allegheny Plateau and Ridge & Valley physiographic provinces of the central-Appalachians. Residents of western Maryland, nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and anyone else interested in learning more about and conserving the native plants of this region are invited to join. For more information contact Liz McDowell, Chapter Coordinator, at 301-895-3686.   

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