Educating on extinction

LIHUE — “Gingering Through Southeast Asia” is the topic of a lecture Jan. 20 by botanist David Lorence.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Kauai Community College Campus Center in Puhi. It is the first lecture in the 2015 collaborative series “Balance of Nature,” presented by the National Tropical Botanical Garden and KCC.

Lorence will lead the audience on a virtual trek through the dense forests of Borneo and peninsular Malaysia in search of rare, wild gingers.

Senior research botanist at NTBG, Lorence is a leading authority in the study and collection of Zingiberales, an order of plants that includes gingers, heliconias, bananas and other families. He will introduce Southeast Asia as a region rich in wild ginger diversity but one facing extinction threats from logging, oil plantations and other developments that lead to habitat loss. He will share the important role botanical gardens and organizations like NTBG play in their survival.

The “Balance of Nature” lecture series is one of many collaborations between NTBG and KCC.

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