Cafe Botanique, January 10, 2018; 6:30-8 p.m.

Cannabis sativa: What genetics tell us about the “devil’s lettuce”
Anna Schwabe, M.S., UNC, Greely

Cannabis sativa is a multi-billion dollar crop, and yet, relatively little is understood about genetic relationships among varietals and the wide phenotypic diversity within the species. Decades of prohibition have severely delayed Cannabis research, and, as such, there are large gaps in our scientific understanding of this incredibly important plant. Multiple genetic studies show variation within strains, which is problematic for consumers expecting specific effects.

Anna Schwabe, M.S. is a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. Anna has strong connections with Denver Botanic Gardens as she is not only a graduate of the School of Botanical Art and Illustration, but she is also the former manager of the Research and Conservation genetics lab. Although she wears many hats, she considers herself an evolutionary biologist. Her current research uses a multifaceted approach to determine relationships in Cannabis sativa. Ultimately, she aims to answer questions surrounding variation observed within strains of plants that are largely propagated through cloning.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall

6:30-8 p.m.

Cafe Botanique, November 1, 6:30-8 p.m.


Ute Indian Prayer Trees
John W. Anderson, author 

This presentation is based on the book “Ute Indian Prayer Trees of the Pikes Peak Region” by John W. Anderson and published by the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS). The Culturally Modified trees are believed to have been cultivated between 150-450 years ago and are found throughout Colorado. Learn about the original inhabitants of the Pikes Peak region, their world view and history, and how these trees connect us to the richness of their culture.

John Anderson is an author, artist and consultant. He spent 10 years working in the corporate world, and before that served two-terms as the elected Sheriff for El Paso County, Colorado. Although John has travelled around the world—including several adventures on a catamaran sailing the Caribbean, three corporate security assignments into a combat zone on the Horn of Africa and landing on an aircraft carrier at sea in the Pacific Ocean—he is most fascinated by the rich history and art he has discovered in his own back yard in the American Southwest

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Cafe Botanique, October 11, 2017

Helleborus orientalis 'Ivory Prince', watercolor and graphite by Susan Gurnutte

Supplements: Are They Seeds or Weeds
Monika Nuffer, Pharm.D., Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine, University of Colorado
Join us in a discussion around the origins of medicine from botanical sources, the history of various plant uses and the continued interest in identifying medicinal properties from botanicals. Dr. Monika Nuffer will provide a brief background on some of the herbs grown at Denver Botanic Gardens, and answer questions about common herbal remedies.


 Monika Nuffer, Pharm.D. is a clinical pharmacist with expertise in Integrative Medicine.  She provides individualized consults where she evaluates and explains the safety and efficacy as well as pros and cons of different herbs and supplements patients are or are considering using. Taking her patients  complete medication profiles into account, she screens for interactions and duplications and helps to optimize pharmacotherapy treatment at The Center for Integrative Medicine (TCFIM). Dr. Nuffer holds faculty appointments at the University of Colorado in both the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine.

Wednesday, October 11, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall

Cafe Botanique, September 6, 6:30-8 p.m.

(Animas Mine Spill 2015, photo courtesy of NBC News)

Abandoned Mines across the West: Impacts on Water Quality and Current Restoration Efforts
Lauren Duncan, Abandoned Mine Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited 

Lauren Duncan describes the extent of abandoned mines across the West and how abandoned mines impact water quality. Lauren will highlight Trout Unlimited’s Abandoned Mine Lands program and share her current projects focused on restoration of abandoned hard rock mine sites across Colorado.

Founded in 1969, Colorado Trout Unlimited (TU) is the state’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization providing a voice for Colorado’s rivers to protect, conserve and restore our waters. TU’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
Café Botanique
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30-8 p.m.

Cafe Botanique, April 12, 6:30-8 p.m.

Designing Flood Resiliency
Cecily Mui

The power of water is still a vivid memory for many who experienced the Front Range Flood in 2013. Immediately following the flood, communities mobilized to bring people back to their homes and quickly repair flood damages. However, resiliency to future floods requires comprehensive planning and public education. Cecily Mui will share with you some of the long term flood recovery and resiliency efforts communities have taken to minimize future flood damages. These techniques include bioengineering, floodplain benching, and overflow channels. These recovery efforts also create opportunities to repair river systems that have long been impaired.


Cecily Mui is the Watershed Coordinator at the Saint Vrain Watershed Coalition. There she uses her skills in natural areas management and restoration to manage and facilitate flood recovery projects.

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Cafe Botanique, March 1, 6:30 p.m.

(Image by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm)

Graphic Novels Present a New Perspective on Scientific Concepts
Illya Kowalchuk, M.Ed

Graphic novels present an interesting opportunity to introduce readers to challenging scientific ideas. Combining text with images creates an easy to understand platform that appeals to a wide variety of learning styles. Illya Kowalchuk will discuss how graphic novels can enjoyably explain topics such as fantastically powered beetles, DNA and even nuclear fission.

Illya Kowalchuk, M.Ed, is the Director of Education and co-founder of Pop Culture Classroom and co-founder of Denver Comic Con. Currently, Illya designs and oversees educational programming in schools, events and correctional institutions.  
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall

Cafe Botanique, February 1, 2017

Travels of a Darwin Groupie
Michon Scott, NSIDC, Boulder

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family," Charles Darwin's dad once told him. Darwin failed to become a doctor, but he succeeded in changing how we see life on Earth. Darwin developed the theory central to understanding biology, all the while trying to live down the reputation of his quirky, libertine grandfather. Michon Scott will share her experiences on Galapagos Islands and also talk about evolution, Charles Darwin’s life, and about his grandfather Erasmus Darwin.

Michon Scott is a science writer for Climate.gov and a web designer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). In her spare time, she maintains a site about the history of paleontology and biology at http://www.strangescience.net

Wednesday, February 1, 6:30-8 p.m.

Gates Hall

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