Susan Carpenter

Senior Outreach Specialist

Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education | UW-Madison Arboretum

Hometown: Madison, WI

Susan Carpenter is the native plant gardener at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum. Since 2003, she has worked with students and community volunteers to maintain and monitor a 4-acre garden representing the plant communities of southern Wisconsin. She also leads a conservation project that involves students and the public in documenting and studying native bumble bees, including the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee, Bombus affinis. A graduate of Stanford University, Susan earned her MS in Botany and MS in Science Education at UW–Madison. Her professional interests include plant ecology, ecological restoration, pollinator conservation, and science education.


  • Native plants are the basis of sustainable, diverse, and beautiful gardens supporting pollinators, beneficial insects, and wildlife. These gardens thrive without fertilizers, pesticides, mowing, or supplemental watering. We will share garden examples, plant sources, and practical tips for garden care.

  • Discover the life history, ecology, and healthy habitats of Wisconsin’s native bumble bee species. We use photography to document and monitor these important pollinators. Learn to identify the species that live in your region, and how you can help with pollinator conservation.