Lisa Roberts is an educator, writer, curator, artist, planner, and ex-administrator. Her career has focused largely on museums and museum-like institutions, particularly of a botanical nature.
She studied at the University of Chicago, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy of science, master’s degree in religious studies, and Ph.D. in history of culture. Most of her work in recent years has centered on developing unorthodox ways to help people experience and care for the natural world, with a special interest in artistic and technological media. In 2006 she founded naturalia, inc., which provides consulting services to museums, gardens, parks, and nonprofit organizations.
Prior to this, Dr. Roberts spent ten years as the director of Garfield and Lincoln Park Conservatories for the Chicago Park District where she helped develop a model public/private partnership and innovative programming intended to resuscitate the aging facility and revitalize the Garfield neighborhood. As a result of her efforts, she was named one of seven Chicagoans of the Year in 2002 by Chicago Magazine. Subsequently, she was invited to Casablanca, Morocco, to direct a similar effort, working with community members and local politicians to renovate and program a major public park.
Dr. Roberts spent the early part of her career at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Field Museum of Natural History. She is the author of From Knowledge to Narrative: Educators and the Changing Museum as well as numerous publications about the history and philosophy of museums and museum education. She has lectured and taught widely about a range of subjects related to the public dimension of museums. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Museums and Social Issues and has served as an advisor to a variety of civic and community organizations over the years. Roberts likes to bike, read, and travel far and wide. Despite her intense advocacy for all things green, she does not garden.
Contributions to Humans & Nature:
- My Walk on the Wild Side: An Urban Safari
A City Creatures blog post.