Sept 28-29, 2012 - American Bamboo Society 2012 Annual Conference, Austin, Texas
Summit Park, Panama
Summit Park, Panama

Summit Park: Panama Bamboo Education, Restoration and Conservation.

The story of bamboo conservation in Panama funded by a grant from AZH/BOTA (Association of Zoological Horticulture and Bamboo of the Americas).  

BOTA’s Gib Cooper and Mike Bostwick, Curator of Horticulture for the San Diego Zoo, teamed up to fund renovation of the “Bamboo Walk” first planted By F. A. McClure in 1946.  Part of the work was to map out and complete identifications in the collection. Panama is rich in native species. 

Jorge Lezcano, a graduate student, emerged via a meeting with the national herbarium director. Jorge completed two collection trips that added to the herbarium and the new native bamboo collection. The bamboo community and Summit Park are working together to expand use of the facility for education and research.

The presentation will include a brief history of BOTA projects from developing the Mexican national native bamboo collection, the Andean bamboo collection in Quito, Ecuador and our newest project underway in 2012 with Dr. Teresa Mejia:  The Chiapas Bamboo Diversity, Conservation and Uses Project.

The Chiapas Bamboo Diversity, Conservation and Uses Project.
The Chiapas Bamboo Diversity, Conservation and Uses Project.
Gib Cooper
Gib Cooper

Gib Cooper is Executive Director of Bamboo of the Americas (BOTA), a 12 year old conservation and education program dedicated to the native bamboo species of North and South America. BOTA is a non-profit under the administration of the American Bamboo Society (ABS). Over this time the group implemented a university level grant program to help students accomplish fieldwork for research projects in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Panama. BOTA projects include the establishment of native bamboo collections, bamboo eco-tours and field activities in Mexico, Ecuador and Panama.

Gib’s training is in biology and landscaping. He was a licensed California landscape contractor and vocational horticulture instructor for Mendocino County Schools and Community College district. Along with the volunteer conservation activities Gib is active in managing a national bamboo mail order nursery and is director of bamboo science for CO2 Bambu, a “green” bamboo startup company based in Nicaragua. His current projects with the company include resource analysis and developing reforestation projects using Guadua bamboo species, the American timber bamboo, in Nicaragua, Haiti and Martinique.

Gib is a lifetime honorary member of the ABS. He has been a member since 1981 with activity in the Southern California, Northern California, Pacific NW and the former Oregon Bamboo Association chapters. He was the ABS Vice President for 6 years. He now devotes all his volunteer time to education and rescuing the endangered bamboo species of the Americas. For the last three years he has expanded his bamboo conservation work by joining the Association of Zoological Horticulture (AZH). Gib and Mike Bostwick, Curator of Horticulture at the San Diego Zoo, have teamed up to manage AZH bamboo conservation grants in Panama and Mexico.

For more information visit: - !/groups/43910032745/

Gib Cooper
Gib Cooper

Gib Cooper

28446 Hunter Creek Loop

Gold Beach, OR 97444

Bus. Tel (541) 247-00835, FAX (541) 247-0835

Cell 541-373-0712


Age: 59


• Owner at Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery

• Director of Bamboo Science at CO2Bambu

• Executive Director at Bamboo of the Americas (BOTA)

1986-Present: Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery, Owner and Manager

Owner and manager of the national mail order nursery specializing in marketing bamboo plants, books, hardware, bamboo products, landscape design and consulting service.

2007-Present: CO2BAMBU, Director of Bamboo Science. Nicaragua.

Company consultant and co-owner to develop and sustain Nicaraguan bamboo resources. Duties include resource assessment, project planning, fieldwork, marketing, technological experience and networking.

1999-Present: Bamboo of the Americas, Executive Director http://www.bamboooftheamericas

Director and co-founder of the non-profit conservation action organization established to ensure the sustained viability of native bamboo species throughout the Americas. Native bamboo plants and habitat are disappearing rapidly. A solution is to cooperate with and assist regional botanic gardens, ecological institutions and governments by establishing living and herbarium collections in partner countries.


• Marketing Specialist at Lake County/Mendocino Community College Dist., California Geothermal Agricultural Park Manager

• Project Manager at Mendocino College, California Geothermal Greenhouse

• Horticulture instructor at Mendocino County, California Superintendent of Schools, Regional Occupational Program

1990-1992 California Geothermal Agricultural Park, Manager/Marketing Specialist

Marketed Agricultural Park leases to commercial greenhouse operators and maintained geothermal and irrigation supply systems. Project leader and instructor who managed and developed curriculum for Mendocino College. Initiated program expansion.

1987-1989 Mendocino College, California Geothermal Greenhouse Project Manager

Managed geothermal greenhouse construction, conducted market and curriculum surveys leading to the development and implementation of the instructional program for students. Initiated program expansion.

1987-1979 Mendocino County, California Superintendent of Schools, Regional Occupational Program, Horticulture instructor


• Dominican College, California

• University of California Extension, Berkeley, California

• Sonoma State University, California

• San Diego City College, California

• San Diego Mesa College, California


• California Community College Instructor Credential # 124 C00 001

• State of California Teaching Credential # TC 323054

• State of California, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Class C-27

Contractor License #308846, 1975-1981


• 2005-2008 Recent presentations to 1st and 2nd National Bamboo Congress of Mexico and 3rd Latin American Bamboo Symposion in Ecuador

• Board Member, Oregon Bamboo Association, 2002-Present

• Founder and Executive Director of Bamboo of the Americas (BOTA),

2000-Present, Projects include:

o National Bamboo Collection of Mexico 2003-2005

o BOTA-Student Assistance Program 2006 - Present

o Andean Bamboo Collection in a Quito Urban Park, Ecuador 2007 to 2010

o Cloud Forest Bamboos from Mountainous Western Panama

o BOTA Eco-tours to Mexico and Ecuador

• Vice-president, American Bamboo Society, 1997-2003

• Founding Secretary, Oregon Bamboo Association, 1998-2001

• Coordinator, 1994 and 1997 Pacific Northwest Bamboo Agro-Forestry Workshop

• Contributor, International Symposium on Industrial Use of Bamboo, Beijing, China, 1992: Bamboo     and Its Use, Published by the Chinese Academy of Forestry

• Member, Second Annual Geothermal Greenhouse Conference, NMSU, 1988

• Contributor, International Bamboo Conference, Hangzhou, China, 1985: Recent Research on Bamboos, 1985, Published by the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada

• President, Mendo-Lake Chapter, California Association of Nurserymen, 1983-1984 (VP 1982-1983)

• Member, California Association of Nurserymen, Education and Scholarship Committee, 1983-1984

• Citizen Adviser, California Energy Commission, 1976

• Alternative Sanitation Research Director, The Rural Institute, 1974-1977


􀀁 American Bamboo Society (ABS) Lifetime Honorary Member

􀀁 Association of Zoological Horticulture (AZH)