Research Learning Centers (RLC) facilitate scientific partnerships between the National Park Service and the research community. RLCs also provide science outreach and education opportunities to young, aspiring scientists. The partnership between the Boz Institute and the Southern California RLC is a perfect example of how these relationships are intended to serve the general public. Our collaborative work to understand the genetic structure of a rare and threatened native succulent plant added significant new information to the scientific literature (Ecology and Evolution), provided local land managers with a better understanding of this species status in southern California and Baja California and provided an opportunity for four young scientists to participate in all aspects of a research project. Given the great success of this venture, I look forward to continued partnering in the future.
Keith Lombardo, PhD
Director, Southern California Research Learning Center
National Park Service