This project includes research, travel to, and photography of some of the oldest herbaria and botanical gardens, which are located in Italy. Beginning 500 years ago, scientists and amateur artist/scientists began collecting plants and preserving them in herbaria, as well as growing plant specimens in botanical gardens, performing an essential conservation and scientific role. All life depends on plants, but currently scientists estimate that one third of all flowering plant species are threatened with extinction. Herbaria and gardens are modern-day arks, safeguarding species and saving resources on which we may someday depend.I would travel to approximately 6 botanical gardens (many of which have important herbaria) photographing their structures and their collections of living and preserved plants. This body of work would offer a testament to the human mind and imagination. Extremely aesthetic, these sites and objects (plants preserved in jars, drawers, and mounted to paper), are both curiosities and inspirations, as well as valuable scientific material. There are numerous photography books detailing famous Italian gardens, but little photographic evidence and documentation of Medieval and Renaissance botanical gardens.My resulting photographic artwork would highlight the extraordinary way the sites and plant collections and represent and respond to life, providing a model for artists and scientists to comprehend the world, inspire each other, and experience the environment. My photographs would testify to the way in which scholarly work can overflow disciplinary boundaries and point to the commonalities in the practices that produce both art and science.