Mike Kost

Associate Curator
(734) 647-7704

Mike Kost associate curator at Matthaei NicholsMike serves as associate curator at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum and a lecturer in the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, where he teaches a course on plant and natural community identification. As a curator he focuses on making data accessible for teaching, learning, and research on the living collections at Matthaei-Nichols, and especially on the native plants and natural areas. He has overseen the development of a new GIS-based, living collections database, open data GIS hub, and dozens of collections-focused GIS products. Formerly he served as the lead ecologist and a senior conservation scientist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory at Michigan State University Extension, where he concentrated on documenting and describing the natural communities of Michigan and working with natural resource agencies on identifying key sites for biodiversity conservation and management. In this role, he coauthored over 75 publications, including three books on the natural communities of Michigan. Earlier in his career, he managed the adult natural history education program for The Morton Arboretum, taught as a naturalist for University of Wisconsin-Extension, stewarded the Koenen Land Preserve in Milwaukee, and worked as a grassroots community organizer in Chicago and Milwaukee. He earned a Master of Science in biological sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science in public and environmental administration from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Mike loves to be active outdoors, botanizing, gardening, walking, riding, skiing, and stewarding.