The following is the InsideNPS article highlighting the exhibit I created for the Cabrillo Natural Resources Team. Though the project’s broader theme is Pollination, this exhibit seeks to connect the public with one of the park’s main science projects, the endangered Shaw’s Agave. Not only does this exhibit support President Obama’s 2015 Pollination Memorandum, but it also utilizes art, science, and technology to connect people to their park. The Pollination Project will debut August 1st, 2015. Many thanks to the extraordinary team that helped me put this together.


By: Alex Warneke

Pollinators are vital agents to approximately three-quarters of the 240,000 flowering plants around the globe. With an estimated impact on over 35% of the world’s agriculture, our fate and that of these pollinators are intrinsically linked. And they are in trouble…

hand pollinating2Scattered across the landscape of Cabrillo National Monument, the conspicuous Shaw’s Agave (Agave Shawii) portrays a perfect example of the plight of global pollinators and the consequences of their decline to those that rely on them. Despite the large aggregation of Shaw’s Agave at Cabrillo National Monument, there have been little to no new individuals discovered here. This severe disconnect has lead Cabrillo biologists to investigate who exactly is pollinating these plants and are they successful? This compelling narrative provided the ideal backdrop for Cabrillo’s newest exhibit, “The Pollination Project.”

In accordance with the 2015 Presidential Memorandum to protect pollinators, their habitat, and inform the public on these issues, this unique exhibit focuses on visitor education regarding pollination issues and what Cabrillo scientists are doing to investigate pollinators and their habitat decline in the framework of the park’s focal species, Shaw’s Agave. A fully collaborative effort between the National Park Service, Cabrillo National Monument Park Partners, and the San Diego Natural History Museum, “The Pollination Project” will be on exhibit for the entire month of August and again next June to celebrate National Pollinator Week. Regular events will be held for the whole family throughout the month including scientist interactions, DIY butterfly gardens, as well as a special Jr. Ranger Program known as “The Pollinator Protectors.”


Our ultimate goal for this project was to create a compelling and interactive learning environment for park visitors. We wanted to translate the current science at the Monument in a way that was attainable to everyone, while inspiring the public to action.

To catch the latest buzz on “The Pollination Project,” please visit Cabrillo National Monument on Facebook and Instagram.

@CabrilloNPS #thePollenProject #CabrilloNationalMonument #FindYourPark

Exhibit Highlights:

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