David Michener

David Michener is an Associate Curator at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

David Michener was a teaching curator

at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts when we met him. He was working to properly identify the thousands of plants, as well as teaching horticulture and botany classes. We were so impressed with his clear explanations and depth of knowledge that we drove to the Arb one fall day in 1990 hoping to persuade him to come do a talk for a conference we were arranging in Michigan. What a pleasant surprise to be told, "Oh, but he just relocated to Michigan, to the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens!"

So, we turned around and caught up with him in Ann Arbor. We've been friends ever since. There is no more helpful, practical or credible person to talk to when you need to sort out a plant issue, and we always come away revitalized by his endless enthusiasm.

David currently serves at University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and  Nichols Arboretum on two interdepartmental academic committees: Museum Studies Program Faculty Advisory Committee and the 2009-10 Museum Theme Year Steering Committee for the School of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He also advises students on specific projects such as Practical Experience, serves on various graduate student committees, and in the new undergraduate museum minor. In addition, he manages students to create interpretation for our collections and GPS data mapping of our living collection. Both of these projects are working to create a web-based interactive plant database.

David holds a B.A. with Highest Honors in Botany from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Botany from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. David is the author of numerous technical reports and papers, many for agencies. He is a long-serving member and past chair of the Editorial Committee for The Public Garden.

David is the co-author of Taylor's Guide to Groundcovers, and he has coauthored articles in Horticulture magazine. He co-founded a landscape design firm in Massachusetts and still helps in designing when he can, and his own garden has appeared in several publications, and he is a popular public speaker. David has led garden-study tours in Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and North America.