Nearly 300 students in the 7th-9th grades from schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, along with teachers and other adults, have taken “Wallace Walks” through UCLA’s Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden this year.

The educational tours are led by UCLA graduate and undergraduate students in ecology and evolutionary biology and are part of UCLA’s Alfred Russel Wallace Centennial Celebration, a series of events honoring the distinguished naturalist and scientist who co-discovered, with Charles Darwin, evolution by natural selection. Although Wallace is not widely known to the public today, he was arguably the world’s most famous scientist in the early 1900s.

On Wednesday, May 14, students from the agriculture program at L.A.'s Paul Revere Math, Science and Technology Center learned from their UCLA guides about how plants adapt to different temperature zones. Following the garden tour, the group walked to UCLA’s Fowler Museum, where they learned how to view cultural specimens in much the same way that Wallace examined plant, animal and cultural specimens more than 100 years ago.