Scott joined Lurie Garden as director in January 2015. Prior to leading the Lurie Garden team he served as Manager of the Oak Park Conservatory for the Park District of Oak Park. Scott also has several years of experience as a dean and faculty member teaching horticulture and sustainable agriculture in community colleges, experience in the plant biotechnology industry, and spent time as a field ecologist in southern Florida for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Illinois College and a doctoral degree in ecology and horticulture from the University of Florida. He has a deep passion for connecting plants, people, and places—subjects that drive his interest in public gardens and parks as settings to teach about the natural world.
Scott is currently writing a book about using ecology and natural areas management techniques in the management of public gardens and parks, of course featuring Lurie Garden. He is also co-authoring a book on the scientific history of the native orchid conservation movement in North America, and has authored over 40 scientific papers and dozens of other publications on topics such as plant propagation, conservation, and ecology. As a hobby, he enjoys growing species orchids at home and volunteering with numerous community gardening and green space development projects.
Office Hours: Full Time, Monday – Friday