We have Thomas Mirenda coming in March for our regular monthly meeting. Tom has extensive knowledge on all aspects of orchids. Tom will be presenting his talk titled "The Smithsonian Orchid Collection". The presentation is a survey of the history of the Smithsonian orchid collection, who started it, how it flourished, its ups and downs, exhibitions, plans and goals for the future.
We have a correction to Tom’s talk. He will be presenting his talk titled "Orchid Hunting in Central America". This presentation is a journalistic travelogue type view of his orchid journeys in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama highlights habitats of several orchid species, giving great insight into how to grow them.
We will be hosting Tom at The DoDo restaurant starting at 5:30 pm before the meeting. The DoDo restaurant is located at 1355 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City.
Tom Mirenda has been the Orchid Collection Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution for the last 10 years.
There he cares for and curates an extremely diverse collection of orchid species and hybrids from all over the world. His position includes developing and producing huge educational exhibits using the collection plants that last up to 4 months and visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Trained originally as a Marine Biologist, Tom made the switch to plants and orchids in his late 20s while living in Hawaii. Since then he has worked with orchids at NY Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and an extensive private collection at Greentree Estate in Long Island. Tom was also the floor manager at the New York International orchid Show for many years during this period. For the last 6 years, Tom has contributed two columns each month for ORCHIDs magazine and is developing a new book based on those writings. Tom travels frequently around the US and internationally making presentations to diverse audiences, from scientists to the general public, about orchid ecology, pollination biology, and strategies for orchid conservation. He is passionate about seeking collaboration between the worlds of Botanic Gardens, the hobbyist community, commercial growers and scientists to work together toward the goal of protecting orchids and their habitats. Currently working on a project to coordinate and centralize North American orchid conservation efforts, Tom hopes to extend the influence to other parts of the world where orchids are imperiled.