Sylvia M. Taylor

Adjunct Assistant Professor


PhD, University of Michigan (Botany)
MS, University of Michigan (Botany)
BS, Eastern Michigan University (Chemistry)

(734) 763-4570


As an adjunct assistant professor since the mid-1980s, I have seen my department evolve from traditional single resource management education, to integrated ecosystem management and policy study, to lively interdisciplinary and outreach connections regarding basic resources. My own professional career has followed similar development. My undergraduate degree in chemistry, followed by a graduate degree in plant ecology, followed by doctoral research on the life histories and population genetics of Ash Trees, all contributed to my ability to scientifically administer Michigan’s Endangered Species Program for the MDNR beginning in 1978. During that period I became qualified as a Certified Wildlife Biologist. In 1985 I transferred to a field position as district wildlife supervisor where I partnered with the district forester to oversee State land management in 9 Northern Lower Michigan counties. Throughout these years I was an active member, later chair, of the Michigan Natural Areas Council. I retired in 1991 to return to my research at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and to several consulting contracts.

I am currently an active member of the Stewardship Network and of the national Natural Areas Association, which presented me the 2015 George B. Fell award, their highest honor. Yet In good physical condition in my 80s, my primary focus is in natural areas protection and management. I enjoy leading U-M Students and volunteers on invasive species management/field trip days to Horner Woods. My 14 years of service on the technical advisory committee for the Washtenaw County Natural Areas Program, 13 years on the Augusta Twp. Farmland protection board and two terms on the Ann Arbor Green Belt commission put me in close contact with local natural area issues for both non-profit organizations and local governments. I look to assist students with studies concerning natural areas policy and management.

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