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Titan Spotlight

Bridging Nature and Technology: Fullerton Arboretum’s Digital Florilegium

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Fullerton Arboretum, the 26-acre botanical garden located on the Cal State Fullerton campus, is working on an exciting new project: a digital florilegium. 

The florilegium will consist of a website/database of the arboretum’s rare and threatened plants and feature botanical illustrations of each plant. This project, which will likely take several semesters to complete, will provide many internship opportunities for computer science, illustration and biology students at CSUF.

Interns get to spend a semester working on either programming, illustrating or writing content for the florilegium. Illustration students are tasked with creating images for 10 different rare or threatened plants. Biology students then write information regarding those plants, including why they are rare or threatened and measures to conserve the species. Computer science students build the online platform for these illustrations and content to be displayed, as well as create a digital tour that leads visitors to the plants’ locations in the arboretum. Finally, at the end of the semester, interns are responsible for participating in a reception that exhibits their work.

CSUF illustration student Karla Herrera, who interned at Fullerton Arboretum during the summer 2023 semester, created a mockup florilegium with illustrations of the plants such as the Golden Barrel Cactus, Nevin’s Barberry and Santa Cruz Island Ironwood. This mockup serves as a great foundation for what will build up to be the final product that features the work of many other students.

Fullerton Arboretum’s florilegium will be a remarkable testament to how we can use technology to advance our understanding and appreciation of nature. By combining art, science and technology it will not only create an immersive and informative experience for visitors, but it will also serve as an educational experience for student interns.

Learn more about Fullerton Arboretum by visiting their website.

Charis Hill