College News

Butterfly researcher metamorphosizes into new Arboretum director

Karen Oberhauser accepted a new role as UW-Arboretum Director.

Karen Oberhauser accepted a new role as UW-Arboretum Director.

Image By: Courtesy of UW-Madison

Monarch butterfly researcher Karen Oberhauser accepted a new role as UW-Arboretum Director— a role renowned conservationist and former UW-Madison professor Aldo Leopold once held.

A UW-Madison graduate, Oberhauser said she is excited to return to campus and work with the Arboretum faculty.

“My foray into publications documenting the history of the Arboretum, beginning with conservation giants that include Aldo Leopold and John Curtis, as well as interactions with the current staff, have made it clear to me that past and present individuals associated with the Arboretum share these [monarch conservation] passions,” Oberhauser said in a statement.

Oberhauser’s job acceptance comes in the middle of Earth Week. In honor of the holiday, Wisconsin Public Radio listeners got to listen to Professor Emeritus Stanley Temple read some of Leopold’s radio transcripts from “College of the Air” last Sunday.

According to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences website, Leopold started his series shortly after joining the UW-Madison faculty. In “College of the Air,” Leopold urges rural landowners and farmers to conserve natural environments for wildlife.

The website said many of Leopold’s broadcasts are lost, but Temple found some of his transcripts.

As for Oberhauser, her new position will begin next fall.

“I look forward to working with the amazing Arboretum staff to strengthen connections between the Arboretum, the rest of the University of Wisconsin community and the people of Wisconsin,” Oberhauser said.

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