The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is a one-of-a-kind network of conservation partners, collectively known as CPC Participating Institutions (PIs; now including more than 65 institutions), that collaboratively work to save the imperiled plants of the United States throughout their native range. CPC PIs 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 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 is headquartered at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California, in partnership with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, a CPC Participating Institution.

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.

The Results

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.

Annual Report

We invite you to review our 2020 Annual Report as we continue to work towards saving more plants.

View our 2020 Annual Report

Meet the Team

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.

President & CEO

Dr. Joyce Maschinski is President and CEO of the Center for Plant Conservation and fulfills a dual role as Director of Plant Conservation for San Diego Zoo Global. In these capacities, she leads efforts to conserve endangered plants locally, regionally, and nationally. Joyce oversees the National Office operations and staff. She guides development of core programs, expands plant conservation best practices, and coordinates national and international outreach to train plant conservation professionals in support of our mission to prevent the extinction of rare plant species.


Maureen Wilmot

Vice President, Operations & Advancement

Maureen Wilmot oversees the operations and advancement of CPC, ensuring a financially healthy organization. As Managing Editor of the monthly newsletter, she works to create greater awareness about the work of CPC and saving rare and endangered plants. She brings more than 25 years of experience in government and non-profit management, fundraising, communication and outreach, marine science, and environmental policy to the organization. Her goal is to help organizations be resilient, sustainable, effective and impactful.


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.


Shannon Fowler

Program Manager

Shannon Fowler serves as project manager for the Applied Plant Conservation online course, in addition to supporting 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-centered content with storytelling to engage, promote, and garner support.


Kelly Carlin

Administrative Assistant

Kelly Carlin provides administrative support to the CPC network and coordinates the logistics of the National Meeting. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from California State University San Marcos. Plants have been an important part of Kelly’s life; she grew up working at her family’s plant nursery in San Diego and is passionate about conservation.


Christa Horn

Contributing Editor, CPC Newsletter

As contributing editor of the CPC newsletter, Christa Horn interviews conservation officers in the CPC network and tells their plant saving stories through short form articles. In her primary role as Conservation Program Manager for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, Christa coordinates of California Plant Rescue, a collaborative of botanical institutions united in the goal of seed banking the flora of the Golden State.


Joe Davitt

Visual 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 Academy


Caroline Iacuaniello

Digital Media Assistant
Caroline “Ruby” Iacuaniello ensures that CPC’s educational media reaches a wide audienceShe is responsible for managing video & newsletter content on CPC Rare Plant Academy and publicizing the new platform on social media. Ruby also serves the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance – Conservation Science as a research associate specializing in plant conservation genetics.


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.

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