Ron Kaufmann


Ron Kaufmann is chair of the American Orchid Society Conservation Committee, chair of the San Diego County Orchid Society Conservation Committee and secretary of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Ron has been growing orchids for more than 25 years and has traveled extensively to view orchids in the wild in Asia and South America, particularly Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia.

A marine biologist by training, Ron’s scientific work includes studies of Antarctic and deep-sea ecosystems as well as marine communities in coastal Southern California. His orchid collection began with a reedstem epidendrum and progressed to a diverse assemblage that contains mostly species orchids.

Ron has a long-standing interest in conservation and has been a member of the SDCOS Conservation Committee for nearly 25 years and chair since 2004. Since 1991, the Conservation Committee has awarded over $260,000 to support projects in 23 different countries. In 2005, Ron helped to found the Orchid Conservation Alliance, which supports the conservation of orchids through the protection of orchid habitat. He sits on the boards of the OCA, Orchid Digest, and Fundación EcoMinga (an Ecuadorian conservation organization). He also has a strong interest in aroids and is currently on the board of the International Aroid Society.

Most of Ron’s orchids are grown in a 36 x 24 foot greenhouse and several outdoor shade-covered areas around his house in San Diego. Friends have suggested that he build a second, much larger greenhouse to accommodate the many plants that often make walking through his greenhouse an exercise requiring extensive training in gymnastics and yoga to avoid serious injury. Thus far, this recommendation has not been followed, although the temptation is always there.