Team and Mission
CPC safeguards rare plants by advancing science-based conservation practices, connecting and empowering plant conservationists, and inspiring all to protect biodiversity for future generations.Sign up for newsletters
The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is a one-of-a-kind network, uniting plant conservationists from botanical gardens, arboretums, and other plant-focused organizations that collaboratively work to save the imperiled plants of the United States, its territories, and Canada, throughout their native range. CPC Participating Institutions maintain the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants, a living conservation collection of imperiled plants, by working to collect and manage living seeds and plants, advancing our understanding of threats as well as means to save these species, and by communicating with partners within the CPC network to ensure that all are using the best and most up-to-date means possible to Save Plants.
Greater than the sum of its parts, the CPC network of Conservation Partners saves more plant species together than would ever be possible alone. This is done through the timely sharing of information, data, and expertise, and facilitated by the community of practice that is CPC where the world’s experts regularly convene to discuss and apply methods that result in far greater numbers of plants saved from extinction.
The CPC National Office has been headquartered at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California since 2016, in partnership with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, a CPC Participating Institution. CPC is grateful for the support of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and is proud to partner with their plant conservation team on various initiatives, including the Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana ssp. torreyana) restoration project at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
How we Save Plants
We work hard to continually advance the science of saving rare plant species.
We apply this science to save imperiled plant species.
We advocate on behalf of our collective efforts to Save Plants and promote the value of plants to humankind.
Why We Save Plants
Without plants there would be no us. Plants are integral to our quality of life and essential to our very survival. Plants clean the air, water and soil and provide food, clothing, medicine and shelter for the Earth’s 7 billion human inhabitants. Plants also hold an immeasurable intrinsic value, providing beauty, tranquility and escape from an ever increasingly chaotic world. Integral to the world’s ecosystem, plants and their incredible diversity make life as we know it possible.
To date, we now have over 40% of North American imperiled plants (2,000 of 4,400 kinds) secured in the CPC National Collection. We have active research programs going on in dozens of organizations in the U.S., all working to overcome conservation challenges for the remaining two thirds of imperiled North American plants. Challenges such as seed storage, plant propagation and preservation/recovery of species in the wild, are all being addressed by CPC partners.
CPC’s model of collaborative work and a shared responsibility to Save Plants, a world first, has been used as the basis for other national and global efforts. Our guidelines, developed over decades of intensive collaborative work, are used by many organizations and plant conservationists around the world to Save Plants.
We invite you to review our 2021 Annual Report to learn about recent initiatives and conservation milestones achieved in our mission to Save Plants from extinction.
Meet the Team
Carlos L. de la Rosa, Ph.D.President and CEO
Dr. de la Rosa brings wide-ranging experience in nonprofit conservation leadership, research, and practice to his role as President and CEO of CPC where he oversees CPC National Office operations and staff to further our mission to prevent the extinction of rare plant species. Dr. de la Rosa has over 30 years of experience in research, professional and community education, and conservation leadership including work in the United States, Central and South America, and southern Africa. Linking these experiences is Dr. de la Rosa’s extensive involvement in and commitment to the protection of biodiversity by establishing sustainable ecosystems through rare and endangered plant and animal conservation and habitat restoration, and working with communities and governments to improve natural resources management systems.
Katie Heineman, Ph.D.Vice President, Science & Conservation
Dr. Heineman is dedicated to improving access to biological data for conservation research and promoting synthetic research among botanical institutions. Her research applies of data science to plant collections records to develop smarter strategies for collections prioritization and to uncover patterns in rare plant storage behavior in seed banks. She is the project manager of CPC Rare Plant Academy, an online platform that integrates CPC’s Best Practice guidelines with videos and online discourse. She also develops and maintains the web databases for the CPC National Collection and California Plant Rescue seed collections initiative.EMAIL
Shannon Fowler, M.A.Director of Communications & Public Programs
Shannon Fowler manages marketing and communications initiatives, supports advancement and fundraising activities, and serves as project manager for the upcoming Applied Plant Conservation Course. She also serves as the managing editor of CPC’s monthly newsletter and supports web-based educational communications on the Rare Plant Academy. Shannon brings to the team over ten years of experience in the museum industry, and a passion for blending mission-driven content with storytelling to engage, promote, and garner support.EMAIL
Tina StanleyConservation Program Associate
Tina Stanley is a recent graduate from Princeton University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As Conservation Program Associate, she assists with database management for the CPC National Collection and California Plant Rescue seed collection initiative, in addition to aiding research projects and data analysis. Tina also assists in the development of the online Applied Plant Conservation course and supports CPC’s marketing and communication efforts by developing content for monthly newsletters and social media platforms. She is passionate about accessible scientific resources, outreach, and education, and hopes to expand her knowledge in plant conservation and research.EMAIL
Matora Fiorey, Ph.D.Administrative Specialist
As the Administrative Specialist, Matora Fiorey supports plant conservation on the business side of the organization. She supports day-to-day operations, the CPC Board of Trustees and the national conference. Matora brings a unique background of over 15 years of experience as an administrator of a small nonprofit charter school and an organic chemistry background. She is dedicated to meaningful organizations and thrives when giving back to the community.EMAIL
Joe DavittVisual Media Liaison
Joe Davitt has five years of conservation botany expertise as research associate in the San Diego Zoo Native Plant Seed Bank. For CPC, Joe draws upon the conservation experience of his “day job” to create storyboards & edit content for the instructional videos that populate CPC’s IMLS funded learning platform CPC Rare Plant AcademyEMAIL
With your help we can safeguard more of the unique plants in peril and in need of protection by adding them to the National Collection and conserving them in the wild.Donate Today