What causes Margaret Lowman to leap out of bed each morning is the opportunity to explore, research, and conserve global forests; mentor the next generation (especially women and minorities) in sustainability and forest stewardship; and educate diverse audiences through storytelling.
Her personal goals are to mentor 10m kids, sell 10m books, speak in front of 10k corporate leaders, conserve 10m acres of forest, and establish ten walkways in ten high biodiverse forests, where women and indigenous families can earn a sustainable income from ecotourism and not logging.
She is driven to educate leaders about the value of trees, so welcome opportunities to address corporate directors, CEOs, politicians, and decision-makers/disruptors to communicate the importance of healthy forests.
Lowman’s passion for science and exploration began as a little girl and subsequently defined her life’s work. She became a pioneer in the field of forest canopy science and am now considered one of the world’s first “arbornauts” or explorers of the canopies. Founding a new science, she designed hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration to solve mysteries in the world’s forests, especially insect pests and ecosystem health. She now leverages her international network and exploration, seeking best practices to solve environmental challenges.
The nickname, Canopymeg, was bestowed by Bob Ballard of Titanic fame, when they were chief scientists for the Jason Project, and spoke to millions of middle school students during their virtual expeditions to the canopy and ocean floor, respectively. Lowman recently formed Canopymeg Inc. as a platform which spawns science communication activities (e.g. speaking, board roles, books, etc.) as well as non-profit activities (e.g. TREE Foundation and Mission Green). Other nicknames over the years have included "the real-life Lorax" (from Dr. Seuss) by National Geographic, and "Einstein of the treetops" by the Wall Street Journal.
Currently, Lowman serves as Executive Director/Founder of TREE Foundation in Sarasota, FL, established in 2000 as a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to link local underserved children to nature, and promote tree research, education, and exploration. She launched Mission Green, to build 10 canopy walkways in the world’s highest bio-diverse forests over the next 5 years. This project partners with renowned oceanographer, Sylvia Earle, who founded Mission Blue to save ocean "Hope Spots," whereas Lowman is focused on conserving rain forest biodiversity "Hot Spots." Her new book, a memoir called “The Arbornaut: Exploring the 8th Continent In the Trees Above Us,” aims to inspire girls to seek careers in field biology, published in 2021 with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She recently served as a visiting professor for the National University of Singapore; research professor for the University of Sains Malaysia; adjunct professor at Arizona State University; and National Geographic Explorer.
After completing a Ph.D. program in Sydney in 1983, Lowman remained in Australia for eight years demystifying rural eucalypt dieback epidemics and serving as the co-manager of a fifth-generation family-owned Merino sheep and cattle business. Returning to the U.S. in 1991, she became CEO of Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, FL, growing its operation to profitability and then ranked as one of America's Top Ten Botanical Gardens. Following this, Lowman was recruited into three academic/leadership positions: New College of Florida as their inaugural director of environmental initiatives; North Carolina State University to direct the construction and launch of the Nature Research Center; and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco as Inaugural Chief of Science and Sustainability to “reinvent museum science.” She returned to Florida in 2019 to launch Mission Green and focus on global forest conservation with TREE Foundation.
Over the past 40 years, Lowman’s work in forest canopy science involved groundbreaking work in 46 countries and all seven continents; co-chaired 5 international canopy conferences; and authored over 150 scientific publications and 9 books on forest science and sustainability. Her first book, “Life in the Treetops,” received a cover review in the NY Times Sunday Book Review. Championing an awareness about how forest conservation is critical to the survival of humankind also led her to serve as a sustainability consultant for green business initiatives including Tommy Hilfiger Foundation, Rolex Corporation, and The Habitat (Malaysia). She has served on multiple non-profit boards with education or sustainability missions: The Explorers Club, Earthwatch Institute, San Francisco Urban Tree Council, Ecological Society of America, Pacific Forest Trust, New College of Florida, Leadership Florida, Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Scientific American, National Science Foundation Advisory Committees, Environmental Change Institute (Oxford University), National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and Williams College.
Lowman actively pursues bottom-up conservation activities including community initiatives for schools, corporations, and teams to manage local resources more sustainably: climate change advisor to the Florida cabinet, local tree planting programs in multiple countries, science book distribution to African and Amazonian school kids, and citizen science activities for communities. She loves speaking to all ages - which she refers to as “K-thru-gray” – ranging from webinars, commencement addresses, to “meet-a-scientist” for youth. Her academic training includes Williams College (BA, Biology); Aberdeen University (MSc, Ecology); Sydney University (Ph.D., Botany); Tuck School of Business (Executive Management Program), and Stanford University (Ald0 Leopold Leadership Program). She was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar to both India and Ethiopia.
Lowman’s outside interests are diverse. She is the proud mother of two wonderful boys who grew up climbing trees around the world with their scientist-mom. Carolyn Shoemaker named an asteroid after her, comprising 16 acres circling Jupiter (16304 Lowman). Her exploration across 46 countries has exposed her to amazing insects, including a love of “entomophagy” (yes, cooking bugs!). She enjoys birding, beaches, reading non-fiction books, and “all things nature,” with a personal motto of “no child left indoors.”
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Meg Lowman for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Meg Lowman speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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