The Latest in Learning Arboretum's New VP of Education Plans to Use Technology to Connect Visitors with the Great Outdoors
Byline: Susan Dibble firstname.lastname@example.org
By Susan Dibble
When Susan Wagner oversaw the department of interactive media and digital technology at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the museum used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach out to the public.
She also helped develop an interactive planet explorers gallery for young children that will open at Adler in the spring.
Wagner plans to bring the same creative use of technology to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle in her new position as vice president of education and information.
"I love to witness that aeaha!' moment when visitors become fully engaged and feel the drive to find out more about something they're exploring," Wagner said in a news release from the arboretum.
The Downers Grove resident who began her career as a classroom teacher will oversee the Children's Garden, education program, Sterling Morton Library, plant clinic, exhibitions and interpretation at the 1,700-acre outdoor museum.
Wagner takes over from longtime arboretum staff member Craig Johnson, who retired at the end of last year.
"I'm here to build upon that success," Wagner said. "The Morton Arboretum is a very exciting place."
Gerard T. Donnelly, the arboretum's president and chief executive officer, said Wagner was chosen for the newly created vice president position for her enthusiasm and forward-thinking as well as her knowledge of information systems.
"She has an exciting and important role in enhancing the way members, visitors and others in the worldwide community learn about trees and the environment," he said.
Wagner, who began in October, said she will look for ways to further develop programs that serve teachers and students. That might include involving them in an area tree census project in which the arboretum may participate, she said.
She'll also seek to engage the public with the arboretum's upcoming Steelroots exhibit that will open in April. Created by artist Steve Tobin, the exhibit is intended to help the public understand the hidden life of trees while intriguing them with artistic forms. …