Robin Kobaly

In The Garden

Robin Kobaly is founder and President of The Power of Plants and the Executive Director of The SummerTree Institute, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing new and refreshing viewpoints toward our environment, our place in it, and our responsibility to it. As a professional botanist and wildlife biologist with over thirty years of experience as an interpretive specialist, Robin designs and presents popular and highly-requested events and programs for adults and children.

Over the years, Robin has studied the indigenous native peoples in many regions and has researched, tested, and taught the uses of plants for food, medicine, tools, clothing, art, and native landscaping. Her passion for plants has led her to develop many innovating natural history programs.

Robin has developed and presented programs for television and radio broadcast as well as appearing as spokesperson for many different events focused on natural history. She has created and developed highly successful programs for The SummerTree Institute, including Saving the Ancients and Discovering The Ancients.

After receiving her Master’s Degree in Botany and Biology from the University of California Riverside, Robin traveled the world continuing her lifelong fascination with plants, birds and wildlife. Robin had a twenty-year career with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as a botanist, wildlife biologist, and natural history interpreter. As the Preserve Manager for Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for nearly a decade, Robin led the creation of an acclaimed environmental education program and extensive boardwalk system for the preserve.

Robin has worked with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to train scientists from NASA and BLM in new techniques for vegetation and soils mapping from aerial photographs and satellite imagery. She has interpreted aerial photography to determine plant species composition, cover, biomass, and productivity desert-wide in California, and integrated satellite imagery, aerial photography, and ground data to help produce the vegetation map for the California Desert Conservation Area. Robin has conducted inventories and monitored impacts to rare, threatened, and endangered plant species, and resolved conflicts between resource protection and human activities within “Watchable Wildlife Areas”, wildlife preserves, and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.

Recently, Robin served on the Independent Science Panel to provide science-based input to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) planning process and to develop recommendations to state and federal Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT) agencies for renewable energy development in the California Desert.

There’s more information here about Robin’s work at The Power of Plants.

Read about Robin’s lifelong passion for plants in her own words here Meet Robin.




 “…Robin, I look forward to years of collaboration.”

Jane Goodall


UN Messenger of Peace


“Don’t leave California without going on a tour with Robin Kobaly. She’s one of the best.”

Bruce Babbitt

Former Secretary of the Interior

Washington D. C.


“You are a legend in your own time. What an incredible touch and spirit you bring to everything near you…”

Kit Kimball

Dir., External & Intergovernmental Affairs

U. S. Dept of the Interior

Washington D.C.


“I just wish we could ‘clone’ you to other parts of the State and the Bureau.”

Mike Pool

California State Dir., Bureau of Land Management

U. S. Dept of the Interior


“Thank you, once again, for sharing your vast knowledge of natural history and your contagious enthusiasm in training our staff. We look forward to your sessions every year…”

Joshua Tree National Park


“…what a great morning we spent with you and what a treat to share your passion for nature.”

California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program


“Robin Kobaly’s environmental education program at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve received the highest public approval rating of any Bureau of Land Management site in the Nation….”

Results of Year 2000 Visitor Use Survey

U.S. Department of the Interior

Washington D. C.