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The History, Science, and Art of the Lewis and Clark Herbarium

May 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


The History, Science, and Art of the Lewis and Clark Herbarium | Thurs, May 9, 2024 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET | On ZOOM

Click HERE to RSVP for the Zoom link

Please join us for a nutritious lunchtime discussion about the herbarium sheets of Lewis and Clark. The American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and the Museum for Art in Wood are joining history, science, and art in this collaborative talk. We’ll learn about the history and science of these sheets and how they came to Philadelphia and we’ll also hear from artist Gina Siepel about her experience creating a herbarium for her current exhibition, To Understand a Tree

Don’t miss this unique and fascinating opportunity to dive into the Lewis and Clark Herbarium.

*Pictured above is a herbarium sheet by Meriwether Lewis, 1804, of Nicotiana quadrivalvis.

Ali Rospond

Herbarium sheet by Meriwether Lewis, 1804, Artemisia frigida Willd.

Ali Rospond is the Education Programs Manager at the American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum (APS).  Ali creates, coordinates, and implements intergenerational, school, outreach, and informal adult programming at the Society. She has also worked as an educator at the Independence Seaport Museum. Ali holds an M.A. in Museum Education from the University of the Arts and a B.A. in History/Political Science from Rutgers University.




Dr. Rick McCourt

Herbarium Shhet by Meriwether Lewis, 1804, of Quercus macocarpa Michx.

Dr. Rick McCourt has been a botany curator at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University since 1996 and a professor in the Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science (BEES) Department since its founding at Drexel University in 2012.

Professor McCourt’s research program targets the biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and systematics of green algae, specifically green algae that are among the closest living algal relatives of land plants. In addition, he curates the plant collection of the Lewis and Clark expedition and has written about the history of the botanical results from their journey. Rick’s contributions are widely recognized; he is the author and co-author of over a hundred highly cited articles published in prominent, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

McCourt worked for six years at the National Science Foundation as a program director in the Divisions of Biological Science and Education and Human Resources. He also served as president and chair of the Board of Trustees for the Phycological Society of America and other environmental organizations. Before coming to Drexel, Rick was a faculty member at DePaul University in Chicago; he taught evolutionary biology and ecology courses and mentored graduate, undergraduate, and co-op students in his laboratory.

Rick writes for popular magazines such as Discover and Outside; he has also co-edited the book The New Science Journalists with Ted Anton, a professor of English at DePaul University.

Earlier in his career, Rick worked as a science journalist and reported on science, sports, and arts at National Public Radio. In 1985 he won the AAAS Westinghouse Award for Science Journalism in Radio for a series on aquaculture broadcast on NPR.

Gina Siepel

Living Material I, Red Oak Seedling from the exhibition Gina Siepel: To Understand a Tree. Photo by John Carlano

Gina Siepel is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and woodworker, based in Greenfield, MA (Pocumtuc land). Their artistic practice reflects an engagement with place, history, queer experience, and ecology, and their work integrates conceptual concerns and craftsmanship with a focus on wood as a natural and a cultural material. Gina’s works have been shown in museums and galleries nationally, she is currently a MacLeish Field Station Artist-in-Residence at Smith College, and a 2023 recipient of a Teaching Artist Cohort Grant from the Center for Craft.




Questions? Please contact Katie Sorenson, Director of Outreach and Communications, at [email protected]. If you don’t find your ticket with the Zoom link in your inbox, please check your junk folder.


May 9
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Museum for Art in Wood
American Philosophical Society
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University


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