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Getting to Know Angie Koebler

Angie Koebler

What did you do before you came to the Conservatory and what drew you to work here?

I have been a horticulturist for over 22 years. Most recently, I was the lead landscaper for the City of Saint Paul's Natural Resource Department. In that role, I co-directed the Blooming Saint Paul Program, which is the City of Saint Paul's urban beautification program. I worked with city architects, environmentalists, foresters, growers, trades and summer student crews to create and maintain downtown Saint Paul landscapes including the Hanging Basket Program. During that time, I also developed, with the help of several University of Minnesota horticulture student interns, a summer Youth Horticulture Academy for Saint Paul youth aged 15 to 21 that is still active today.   

I was also a large-scale floral artist and collaborated with the Ordway Theatre, the Huss Foundation and Flint Hills Research to create whimsical display gardens for the annual International Children's Festival. I dabble in garden magazine article writing and have published a few things. 

I was drawn to the University of Minnesota because of the world-class educational benefits and the idyllic atmosphere of the Saint Paul campus.  

What do you most enjoy about working at the Conservatory?

As a life-long learner, my joy comes from being surrounded by amazing science-minded colleagues, faculty, students and researchers, and to be entrusted to share what I learn with our Conservatory audience. To me, outreach is the most enjoyable part of our mission. We are entrusted to share the wonders of the plant kingdom with a spectacular living showcase of examples.  

What is your favorite biome or plant and why?

My favorite plant currently is a small ball cactus, Escobaria vivipara, one of Minnesota’s rarest plant species. They only occur within a 2-3 square mile area in the west-central part of the state in the Minnesota River Valley on granite outcrops. I am fortunate to be in a position to help coordinate efforts here at the Conservatory to preserve this unique species in partnership with the University Landscape Arboretum and other organizations.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

A typical morning begins with a walk through to check on the health of the plants and the working parts of the greenhouse. Every once in a while this may involve a life-saving dose of water, chemical or re-plant. Next, I check on the daily class or lab planting and delivery schedule for several semester courses put in place at the beginning of each semester. A typical day also includes coordinating and assisting with undergraduate and graduate student projects or research, and leading conservatory tours and visits with faculty, lab coordinators, researchers and partners.  

 

Posted 
June, 2020