Jepson Herbarium Public Programs


  The Jepson Herbarium is the epicenter of research and education on the native and naturalized plants of California. Each year, the Herbarium provides educational opportunities for a broad audience of professional and amateur botanists. Our programs and resources serve as a liaison between the scientific community and the public, a role we continue to be dedicated to in our 31st year of public outreach.


  In 2024, the Jepson Herbarium will provide educational opportunities through both Weekend Workshops and Mini Workshops. Weekend Workshops are multi-day, and mostly in-person classes. Mini Workshops are single day, virtual lectures. Every workshop provides participants with the opportunity to learn from, and ask questions of experts.

  We hope that you are excited for another season of learning about the flora of California, and that you join us for a 2024 workshop!

  The 2024 workshop schedule will be announced December 1st and Friends of the Jepson Herbarium will receive a priority enrollment period from December 1-6, 2023.

  In addition to workshops, the online resources of the Jepson Herbarium can help your study of the flora anytime and anywhere:

•  Jepson eFlora - The foremost authority on the native and naturalized vascular plants of California.
 For plants occurring in wildlands or otherwise outside of cultivation, the Jepson eFlora contains taxonomic treatments, distribution maps, illustrations, photographs, identification keys, and more.
•  Jepson Videos- Visual Guides to the Plants of California - short videos about California plants and how to identify them (YouTube).
•  Recordings from Jepson Mini Workshops - learn more about plant identification, ferns, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, seaweeds, ecology, climate change, paleobotany, and more!
•  Consortium of California Herbaria - A gateway to information for herbarium specimens housed by all 48 participating CCH members.

  The Jepson Herbarium is committed to fostering an environment that is supportive, welcoming, and respectful of all individuals and we follow the UC Berkeley principles of community.


Registration procedure: The registration procedure is explained here

Review of changes in Revisions 10 and 11 of the Jepson eFlora

February 4, 2023
Bruce G. Baldwin, Julie Kierstead, Abby Moore, Dan Potter, Rich Rabeler, Adam Schneider, and Barbara Wilson
Virtual workshop

Ever wonder why plant names change or why the Jepson eFlora is revised each year? Join Bruce Baldwin, Convening Editor of the Jepson Flora Project, and authors of newly revised treatments that have been included in Revisions 10 and 11 of the Jepson eFlora to learn more about the recent changes and why they were made. Each instructor will talk about the revision they authored, what the new treatment contains and how it differs from previous understanding of the group. Authors will also share photos and details of newly described species (if applicable) so that we can all be on the lookout for these special plants!

Updates will be provided for: Revision 10 (Acaena, Chorizanthe, Holodiscus, Sedum, and Yucca) and Revision 11 (Aphyllon, Layia, Minuartia (now Sabulina and Cherleria), and other Caryophyllaceae (esp. Silene and Atocion)

Start/End: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Course fee: $150/$180

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

California lichens

February 25 – 26, 2023
Jesse Miller and Klara Scharnagl
UC Berkeley and Marin Municipal Water District Field Site

Lichens are all around us and they have fascinating stories to tell. This two-day workshop will focus on developing skills for identifying common Bay Area macrolichens (foliose and fruticose lichens) to genus. Students will learn to recognize and distinguish between pollution-tolerant lichen communities that we often see in cities and the more pristine communities that occur in places with high air quality. After taking this course you will be sure to observe lichens, big or small, almost everywhere you go!

Saturday morning will begin with an introductory classroom session where we will cover basic lichen anatomy and terminology and discuss the roles lichens play in ecosystems, such as supporting wildlife. Saturday afternoon will be spent exploring the UC Berkeley campus and the natural areas just uphill from campus. We will collect some material to bring back to the lab in the second part of Saturday afternoon in order to practice keying and identification.

On Sunday, the class will meet on the UC Berkeley campus and then caravan to Mount Tamalpais, meeting at the Rock Spring Trailhead parking lot, for a half-day field trip so that students can observe lichens in their natural habitats. Total hiking time will be approximately 2 hours, including about 2 miles of walking. The class will then return to UC Berkeley for the afternoon for one more classroom session.

Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trip (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy but possibly in cold, wet, and windy conditions. Some uneven terrain.
Start/End: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Sunday, 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $315/$345

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Introduction to California Botany   —  

March 18 – 19, 2023
Eric Harris and Anna Larsen
UC Berkeley, Valley Life Sciences Building

Would you like to expand your botanical vocabulary and learn more about the diversity of California flowering plants? Join us for this workshop to explore the morphology of leaves, flowers, and fruits, and learn about important plants of California. Discussion will include important plant families and common weeds in the state. Workshop participants will become familiar with the characteristics and terminology frequently used in the The Jepson Manual and other plant identification guides. This workshop is designed to start at an introductory level and is appropriate for the beginning botanist, nature lover, or avid gardener. Working with fresh plant collections in the lab, we will discuss prominent characters consistent with family-level identification, looking both with the eye and through the microscope.

Start/End: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Sunday, 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $315/$345

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Flora of Clear Creek Management Area, San Benito County   —  

April 13 – 16, 2023
Ryan O′Dell and Amelia Ryan
Base camp will be located in Jade Mill Campground

This workshop will explore three primary areas in the Clear Creek Management Area, San Benito County, a rugged, remote area of California. Come prepared for stunning landscapes, harsh environments, unique plants, a few long drives, and the challenges of a remote camping workshop (with no water at base camp). We intend to visit the following areas (final itinerary will depend on weather and road conditions):

  1. The New Idria serpentine mass, centered around San Benito Mountain, is 30,000 acres and one of the largest serpentine areas in South Coast Ranges. Extensive natural moonscape barrens are a distinctive feature of the New Idria serpentine. The dominant vegetation types are serpentine chaparral and conifer forest. Vernal pool basins are also present. Note that this area contains Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) and individual permits to enter will be required.
  2. San Benito Mountain peak is the highest in the Diablo Range at 5,267 ft and has expansive views to the north and west. The diverse geology and high topography (sky island) of San Benito Mountain supports several unusual and disjunct populations of species.
  3. Joaquin Rocks are pinnacles of sandstone on a high ridge east of San Benito Mountain and offer views of the San Joaquin Valley to the east. Like San Benito Mountain, the sky island of Joaquin Rocks also supports several unusual and disjunct populations of species.

This is a field-based workshop and our base camp will be some distance from the nearest services (King City - 34 miles; Coalinga - 37 miles). There will be no services available during the weekend and cell service is limited or non-existent. Field conditions will range from warm days to cool nights. Rain is possible, but not likely.

Accommodations: Camping at Jade Mill Campground. Possible overflow in Oak Flat Campground. These campgrounds have picnic tables, shade structures, and vault pit toilets. There is no water available at the campgrounds and each participant will need to provide their own water for the entire workshop.
Meals: Not provided. Participants must provide their own meals and drinks for the duration of the workshop.
Transportation: Personal vehicle (or a spot in the caravan) is required for the workshop. A sedan can make it to the campgrounds, but travel beyond there should be in a truck or SUV with good ground clearance. Please note that travel on the BLM roads is at your own risk.
Hiking: Moderate. Most of the points of interest (field stops) will be short hikes. Some areas will have stretches of steep slopes to ascend or descend.
Start/End: Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $515/$545

50 Plant Families in the Field: Monterey Bay   —  

April 20 – 23, 2023
Linda Beidleman
Hastings Natural History Reservation and Monterey Bay field sites

Are you ready to jump into botanical detective work? With a working knowledge of common plant families and comfort in using taxonomic keys, identification can be an enjoyable challenge. This workshop introduces students to the flora of the Monterey area and the techniques used to identify plants of California. Emphasis will be on learning to recognize characteristics of the area’s plant families. We will practice keying plants in the field using the third edition of the book Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region: Mendocino to Monterey (Linda H. Beidleman and Eugene N. Kozloff, 2014). A general familiarity with morphological terms is helpful but not necessary; these will be reviewed during the introductory session. The majority of the workshop will be held outdoors.

Participants may drive up to 25 miles per day to the field sites and walk up to three miles each day (easy hiking). Please note that this is an introductory workshop, geared towards beginning botanists. Participants must purchase their own copy of the book.

Accommodations: Shared rooms with bunk beds located in different houses on the property. Tent camping sites will also be available.
Meals: Catered meals from dinner on Thursday through lunch on Sunday are included.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trip (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy.
Start/End: Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – Sunday, 2:00 p.m.

Course fee: $630/$660

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Flora of San Luis Obispo County   —  

April 20 – 23, 2023
Dave Keil
Based in San Luis Obispo with travel to local field sites

San Luis Obispo County is one of California's most diverse counties. Average annual rainfall varies from more than 50 inches in the coastal mountains to 6 inches or less on the Carrizo Plain. Habitats include coastal dunes and salt marshes, chaparral, coastal scrub, woodlands, forests, grasslands, and deserts. The County's flora comprises over 2000 species and includes numerous endemics. In early spring, wildflower displays often sprinkle the fields and woodlands with splashes of color. This field course will include an introductory overview of the County's features and vegetation followed by an all-day Friday trip from San Luis Obispo to the Carrizo Plain with various stops to investigate the plant life. On Saturday we will visit various coastal communities. Sunday morning will include a trip to the closed-cone forests of Cuesta Grade. Field lectures will include recent history, major plant communities, environmental factors that determine community distribution, recognition of common taxa, and other aspects of the County's diversity. Opportunities will be available to practice keying and try out the new San Luis Obispo County flora.

Accommodations: Participants are encouraged to stay in San Luis Obispo, CA or nearby areas.
Meals: Not provided.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trips. Some roads are rocky and 2WD passenger cars are not advisable for all portions of the trip.
Hiking: Moderate.
Start/End: Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $515/$545

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

California Compositae   —  

May 6 – 7, 2023
Bruce G. Baldwin
UC Berkeley, Valley Life Sciences Building

Beginning with an overview of morphological characteristics of composites (family-wide), including a review of terms used in descriptions and keys, we will provide a synopsis of diversity within Compositae (also known as Asteraceae) and a brief introduction to recognition of tribes. Then, we will concentrate on identifying a wide diversity of spring–flowering composites, thereby gaining familiarity with the different group keys in the Jepson eFlora treatment and diving deeper into characteristics of the family. We hope this workshop will provide participants with botanical enthusiasm for California’s most species-rich family of vascular plants, which have an undeserved reputation for being especially difficult to understand. This workshop does not include a field trip. Familiarity with a dissecting microscope and experience using dichotomous keys is useful but not essential.

Start/End: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – Sunday, 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $315/$345

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Plant Diversity Documentation   —  

May 12 – 14, 2023
Susan Fawcett
The Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve, Lower Lake, CA

In the face of climate change, accelerating extinction, and conservation challenges, it has never been more important to document biodiversity. In this workshop participants will make museum-quality herbarium voucher specimens, contribute data to public biodiversity databases including iNaturalist and GBIF and hone plant identification skills leveraging both traditional resources and new technology. We’ll spend two nights in the heart of the inner North Coast Ranges, at the Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve, which protects ~7,000 acres of diverse and rare habitats, including serpentine soils, and is nestled amidst thousands of acres of public land. Serpentine deposits cover one third of the reserve, creating habitat islands that support rare and endemic plants adapted to these harsh soils, and numerous associated endemic insects.

This workshop will be especially valuable to those working on biological inventories, those hoping to document floristic diversity for research, conservation, and fun, or those hoping to practice the art and science of plant identification, collecting, and photography in a unique setting.

To fully participate in this workshop, please bring a laptop computer. We’ll be using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and the iNaturalist smartphone app and website (if you don’t have a smartphone, a digital camera will work). Please also download iNaturalist the app before arriving at the field station. And, lastly, please bring a plant press, pen, and clippers if you have them.

Accommodations: Bunkrooms (sleeping 3 to 5 people per room) and shared bathrooms. A campsite with four cabin-tents (2 beds per tent) will also be available (approximately 0.5 miles from the field station). There will also be space to set up your own tent if you prefer. The campground has picnic tables and composting toilets. There is no drinking water at the campground. Non-potable water for washing is available.
Meals: Provided by a caterer.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trips (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Moderate, possibly in exposed, rocky areas.
Start/End: Friday, 4:00 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $520/$550

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Flora of the Northern Mendocino Coast   —  

May 19 – 21, 2023
Teresa Sholars
In-person at Mendocino College Coast Center and in the field at local sites

The Mendocino Coast has a diverse flora rich in rare species and rare vegetation. In this workshop we will spend most of the time in the field, checklist in hand, looking at the incredible floral displays and rare forest types that occur along the north coast of Mendocino County. We will walk through coastal terrace flower fields, grasslands and scrub and adjacent Bishop and Shore Pine Forests. We will also spend time in adjacent redwood, grand fir and Mendocino Cypress (pygmy) forests. Part of the itinerary will depend on the winter and spring rains determining location of flowering species.

Accommodations: Not provided.
Meals: Not provided (for those that wish to join, we will have a potluck dinner on Friday night).
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trips (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy, but up to 5 miles.
Start/End: Friday, 9:00 a.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $400/$430

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Rare Plants of the Central Sierra, Fresno County   —  

July 6 – 9, 2023
Chris Winchell
Base camp at Camp Edison campground in Shaver Lake with day trips to surrounding areas

Located on the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada, the Sierra National Forest is known for its mountain scenery, beautiful lakes, and granite soils. It is also home to many rare plants and in this workshop, our focus will be exploring the local area and visiting as many different rare plant populations as possible. We will spend time in a variety of habitats such as meadows and fens, red fir and white bark forest, granitic outcrops- where we will encounter rarities such as Bolander's woodreed (Cinna bolanderi), Yosemite orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis), short-leaved Hulsea (Hulsea brevifolia), Howell's tauschia (Tauschia howellii) and more. We will also visit the 2020 Creek Fire burn scar where a number of local rare species are recovering. Come prepared for short hikes, some on unstable ground, and a few long drives on narrow mountain roads. We may get into some high elevation areas, up to 8,000 feet.

Accommodations: This is a field-based workshop and our base camp will be at a campground in the town of Shaver Lake. We will have several campsites reserved at Camp Edison, a full-service campground close to town. Participants may stay in those reserved sites or make their own accommodations. Field conditions will range from hot days to cold nights.
Meals: Participants must provide their own breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks for the duration of the workshop. Thursday night we will meet at a local pub in Shaver Lake and participants can order from the menu. A casual dinner on Saturday night is included (Mexican food from a local restaurant).
Transportation: Personal vehicle (or a spot in the caravan) required for the workshop. Road conditions will range from passable in a passenger car (to the campground) to possibly steep, narrow, and best traversed in an all-wheel drive or 4WD vehicle with high clearance.
Hiking: Easy to moderate and relatively short. We will be encountering wet habitats, so a second set of footwear is recommended as your field shoes may become wet. During the workshop, elevations will range from approximately 5,000 feet to 8,000 feet.
Start/End: Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $515/$545

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Sky Island Flora of the White Mountains   —  

July 13 – 16, 2023
Jim Morefield, Dylan Neubauer, and Marty Purdy
White Mountain Research Center, Bishop and Crooked Creek

The White Mountains are located at the southwest corner of the Great Basin floristic region, and their geologic and habitat diversity, high relief (spanning 3,950-14,246 feet elevation), and proximity to the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert all contribute to an unusually rich and well-documented flora of over 1,100 taxa. They are also known for the oldest living trees, the highest point in Nevada, and the third highest peak in California. By mid-July, the subalpine and alpine floras are coming into their peak blooming periods.

Through driving tours (up to 50 miles in a day) and easy to moderate hikes (up to 4 miles), participants will have the opportunity to explore the southern half of the White Mountains, observing and identifying diverse plants and learning to recognize various geologic and ecologic settings that influence species distributions and adaptations. Thursday morning, we will start from Bishop and stop at several points up the elevation gradient to our weekend base station at Crooked Creek (10,000 feet). Friday and Saturday will be spent visiting wetland and upland sites in various geologic settings at elevations up to 13,000 feet, depending on seasonal conditions. Sunday morning will include additional field time before our final lunch stop as we leave the mountains.

COVID-19: All participants will be required to be vaccinated and fully boosted.

Accommodations: Shared dormitories with bathrooms (participants must bring their own linens). The Crooked Creek field station is at 10,000 feet and some of the field sites are a little higher. To prepare for the conditions of high elevation, participants are encouraged to spend the Wednesday before the workshop at an intermediate elevation.
Meals: Provided by field station.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trip. Vehicles must have good clearance and sturdy tires (including spare!). High clearance 4x4 with extra passenger space preferred. Carpooling is encouraged.
Hiking: Easy to moderate (but at high elevation). If we go up any steep and/or rocky hillsides, it will be slow while we look at plants, and the distances will be fairly short.
Start/End: Thursday, 10:00 a.m. (in Bishop) – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $650/$680

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Introduction to Poaceae   —  

November 3 – 5, 2023
J. Travis Columbus
Virtual workshop

“I am the grass; I cover all.” —Carl Sandburg, “Grass”

Prominent in plant communities throughout California, the grass family, Poaceae, is the state’s second most diverse plant family (after Asteraceae). Its California members include cool-season and warm-season species, annuals and perennials, natives and exotics, and widespread dominants and rare endemics. This workshop will provide a better understanding of this ubiquitous, species-rich family. Participants will be instructed in detail on the vegetative and reproductive features of grasses. Aspects of anatomy, physiology, and ecology will also be addressed. Most of our time will be spent learning to use the identification keys in the second edition of The Jepson Manual. Special attention will be given to difficult couplets and taxa. In addition, participants will learn how to identify common genera by using diagnostic characteristics.

Note: This is a virtual workshop. Each participant will be sent a box of grass samples to work with during the workshop. Participants need access to a computer, Zoom, and a dissecting microscope.

Experience required: Some previous plant identification.
Start/End: Friday, 9:00 a.m. – Sunday, 3:00 p.m.

Course fee: $430/$460

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

Mushrooms and Mycorrhizae of Mendocino   —  

December 8 – 10, 2023
Klara Scharnagl and Teresa Sholars
Mendocino Coast College in Fort Bragg and surrounding field sites

The north coast of California is considered to be one of the best places in North America to find both large numbers and diversity of fungi. We will be dealing primarily with the fleshy reproductive structures that most of us recognize as ″mushrooms.″ Mendocino and Fort Bragg, in the heart of mushroom territory, are ideal locations for this introduction to the systematics and ecology of California mushrooms. Through lectures, slides, and keying, we will emphasize the family and generic characteristics needed for identification. Both in the laboratory and in the field, students will learn some of the common, edible, and toxic mushrooms found in the area. Many of the mushrooms we will encounter are mycorrhizal: we will introduce students to the biology and ecology of mycorrhizal fungi, including their interactions with plants and host specificity. Two main references will be used in the class:

  1. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California (2016) by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz. Ten Speed Press
  2. California Mushrooms (2015) by Dennis E. Desjardin, Michael G. Wood, and Frederick A. Stevens. Timber Press

The following are also very helpful: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (2009), by Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati; Mushrooms Demystified (1986) by David Arora, is a good reference but has out of date nomenclature (names and classification).

Accommodations: Not provided. Participants are encouraged to stay in Fort Bragg, CA or nearby areas.
Meals: Not provided.
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trip (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy but possibly in cold, wet, and windy conditions.
Start/End: Friday, 1:00 p.m. – Sunday, 12:00 p.m.

Course fee: $400/$430

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

MINI-WORKSHOPS (all virtual)

Registration procedure: To enroll in a workshop, please fill out the interest form (link at the end of each course description). Approximately 30 days before the mini-workshop, you will receive an invoice for workshop fee. Payments must be made online. Please contact Avery Ligon ( to make alternative payment arrangements.

This mini-workshop series has been subsidized with an award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and we are pleased to offer the workshops to participants for a reduced fee of $25/workshop.

Biodiversity challenges: Floristics, taxonomy, and phylogenetics

February 11, 2023
Bruce Baldwin

Floristic studies provide a detailed inventory of the plants occurring in a particular area. Phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary relationships among organisms and taxonomy, the science of classifying organisms, come together in reference guides such as The Jepson Manual and the online Jepson eFlora. This workshop will review taxonomic changes in the Jepson eFlora, the phylogenetic bases for the revisions, and describe evidence for the changes.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Spatial phylogenetics

March 11, 2023
Brent Mishler and Israel Borokini

Spatial phylogenetics uses the geographical ranges of taxa, along with a corresponding phylogeny, to take an evolutionary view of biodiversity. This method shifts the focus from species alone to the whole tree of life. Areas with unique concentrations of biodiversity can be discovered, evolutionary and ecological processes that generate patterns of biodiversity can be studied, and conservation priorities on the landscape can be established. This workshop will start from the basics and build up the concepts, methods, and applications of spatial phylogenetics.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Fungal communities, their dynamics, and their interactions with plants

March 25, 2023
Tom Bruns and Else Vellinga

Fungi are diverse and critical components of all terrestrial ecosystems, but, unlike plants and animals, the roles and behaviors of fungi are often poorly known. This workshop will start with a brief introduction to fungi and the ways that their unique morphologies allow them to interact with their environments and play unique roles. Three types of fungal communities will be discussed in more depth: 1) ectomycorrhizal communities that form mutualistic associations with the roots of many temperate trees; 2) wood decay communities that form parasitic, commensalistic, and saprobic interactions with trees, and 3) dung communities that form saprobic interactions and are exquisitely adapted to colonize rich resources that are unpredictably deposited in time and space.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Deep Time: Paleobotany and plant evolution

August 26, 2023
Cindy Looy

This course will serve as an introduction to the evolution of plants and terrestrial ecosystems. We will follow the evolution of major plant groups from the invasion of land to the end of the Paleozoic (252 million years ago). One ecosystem we are going to focus on is the iconic Carboniferous peat swamps. These communities covered vast areas of what is now the US and represent the last forest biome dominated by spore plants instead of seed plants. You will get acquainted with the groups that inhabited these wetlands and the unusual conditions that facilitated their prominence, and you will learn how we reconstruct these inhabitants and their communities in incredible detail. In addition, we will interpret how major environmental changes unfolded across landscapes in the past and how plants have shaped the outside of our planet.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: California ecology and conservation in the 21st century

September 16, 2023
Gregory Arena

With all its incredible diversity, the flora of California is the legacy of a myriad of biotic and abiotic forces. A walk in the woods and fields is not only an opportunity to experience the splendors of our natural world, but to witness the story of how life has adapted and transformed across time. Through this course we will investigate the astounding wealth of plant life and ecosystems found in the greater Bay Area by exploring a mosaic of natural history, living and non-living environmental factors that underlie ecological theory, and how this story presents itself in the physical form. We'll also consider plants and their environment in a context of anthropogenic impacts such as climate change, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, and what this means for conservation and land management.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Documenting Botanical Diversity: observations, specimens and field sketching

September 30, 2023
Susan Fawcett

As climate changes and biodiversity losses accelerate, species occurrence data become increasingly valuable, and are critical for informing conservation policies and priorities. In this course, we will focus on some of the uses of Big Data in biodiversity research and how citizen scientists can contribute to our collective knowledge by making excellent observations using tools like iNaturalist. In addition to taking photos, making herbarium specimens and sketching plants in the field are both great ways to gain intimate familiarity with a plant. I will cover some basic techniques using iNaturalist, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Google Maps to: 1) create maps for finding organisms in the field; 2) automate data collection for specimens using iNaturalist, 3) use Word and Excel to make herbarium specimen labels from iNaturalist observation data, and 4) cover best practices for specimen preparation. Lastly, I provide some tips for plant ID and discuss the joys and benefits of field sketching.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

Life on the edge: Extreme environments, climate change, assisted migration, and refugia

October 21, 2023
David Ackerly

This course will provide an introduction to the science of climate change and how California’s native flora has responded to a changing climate over multiple time scales. We will examine the emergence of the Mediterranean-climate zone and the biogeographic assembly of the native flora, the evidence from the pollen record on how California vegetation responded to oscillations of the ice age, the stewardship of California’s landscape by Native Americans, and the interactions of climate, land use, and colonization since the arrival of European and American settlers.

In the second half of the workshop, we will examine the methods and models used to project the impact of future climate change in California, focusing on plant biodiversity. We will then discuss the state’s commitment to ′30x30′ (conserving 30% of California’s lands and waters by 2030), and how conservation efforts are adapting to the effects of climate change. Participants will be asked to consider likely impacts in their own communities and how to address concerns about equity of access to parks, housing, and transportation, and how to manage parks to achieve biodiversity conservation in a changing environment. Come prepared with your own questions about climate change for fruitful group discussion on the topic.

Start/End: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Course fee: $25

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

About Our Instructors

David Ackerly is the Dean of the Rausser College of Natural Resources and has a joint appointment in the departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. Current research in his lab examines drought tolerance of native tree species, potential impacts of climate change on plant communities, and post-fire forest dynamics following the 2017 northern California wildfires. His research is used to inform strategies of biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change, with a focus on California parks and open space.

Gregory Arena is a lifelong Californian and a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley where he studies the physiological ecology of California's coastal grasslands. Prior to his time at UC Berkeley, Gregory worked in restoration ecology and rangeland systems at Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore.

Bruce G. Baldwin is Curator of the Jepson Herbarium and Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Bruce received his Ph.D. in botany at UC Davis in 1989. His research emphasizes systematics (including the use of biosystematic, molecular, and phylogenetic methods) of Californian vascular-plant groups, especially our native Compositae. He is Convening Editor of the Jepson Flora Project, which has produced The Jepson Desert Manual (2002), the second edition of The Jepson Manual (2012), and the online Jepson eFlora since he arrived at UC Berkeley in 1994.

Linda Beidleman has an M.S. in biology from Rice University. She is co-author of Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region and Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park. She has worked with the California Native Plant Society, especially as co-supervisor for the CNPS East Bay plant nursery. Linda has taught short flora and ornithology courses for the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Israel Borokini is a postdoctoral research scholar in the Mishler Lab, following his Ph.D. work in the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is interested in the spatiotemporal distribution of biodiversity and identifying the drivers of diversification, particularly in the Afrotropical rainforest. Israel uses a suite of methods, including ecological niche modeling and spatial phylogenetics, to investigate the dynamics of vegetative communities, biological invasions, plant diversity, and distributions.

Tom Bruns is an emeritus professor in the University and Jepson Herbaria. His research focuses on fungal ecology and systematics, and he is best known for his work on fungal community structure in ectomycorrhizal and post-fire systems. He taught a variety of fungal courses at UC Berkeley, including California Mushrooms, and Biology of the Fungi, and he won awards from Mycological Society of America the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley for his teaching efforts. He has been involved with local citizen science groups where he helped spearhead efforts to document our local fungal flora.

J. Travis Columbus is a Research Scientist at California Botanic Garden (formerly Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden) and Professor of Botany at Claremont Graduate University. He earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, where he studied Bouteloua (Poaceae) and related taxa. His current research focuses on the evolution and classification of grasses and buckwheats (Polygonaceae).

Susan Fawcett is a research botanist and curator of ferns at the University and Jepson Herbaria, a National Geographic Explorer, and a faculty member at the University of Michigan Biological Station, where she teaches field botany and botanical illustration. Her current research is focused on phylogenomics, taxonomy, and historical biogeography of the fern family Thelypteridaceae. Susan received her doctoral degree from the University of Vermont where she worked in the Barrington/Sundue Lab.

Eric Harris has taught multiple courses in botany, most recently Introduction to California Plant Life and Origins and Evolution of Food Plants through the Integrative Biology Department at UC Berkeley. Eric has a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and works at SureHarvest, a company that specializes in consulting and software solutions for sustainable agriculture.

David Keil received his B.S. (1968) and M.S. (1970) from Arizona State University and Ph.D. (1973) from Ohio State University. He was a biology professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo for 39 years, teaching courses in general botany, plant taxonomy, field botany, and biogeography, while also serving as Director of the Robert F. Hoover Herbarium. His field studies have resulted in over 38,000 collection numbers, and most of the specimens are housed in the Hoover Herbarium. Dave has made significant contributions to The Jepson Manual Project. He authored the Key to California Plant Families and served as the editor and primary author of the Asteraceae in both editions of The Jepson Manual (1993, 2012). He was one of the editors for the second edition of the manual and continues to serve as an editor of the Jepson eFlora. He has also edited Madroño and Systematic Botany Monographs. Four taxa have been named in Dave’s honor: Ancistrocarphus keilii Morefield, Erigeron inornatus (A. Gray) A. Gray var. keilii G.L. Nesom, Wedelia keilii B.L. Turner, and Chrysanthellum keilii B.L. Turner. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the California Native Plant Society. He is first author of the newly published second edition of Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County, California (2023).

Julie Kierstead has spent her career promoting the discovery, enjoyment, and conservation of the flora of the western United States. From 1989 through 2019, she was Forest Botanist for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California. Before that, she started the Berry Botanic Garden Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Julie’s current focus is to encourage exploration and understanding of the Klamath Mountains flora. In recent years, she has collaborated on publishing several newly discovered plants of the Klamath Mountains, including Shasta huckleberry (Vaccinium shastense), Shasta maidenhair fern (Adiantum shastense), Shasta fawn lily (Erythronium shastense), and and Minnesota Mountain onion (Allium incomptum). She instigated a taxonomic overhaul of the stonecrop (Sedum) section Gormania, resulting in a 2022 revision of the group in the Jepson eFlora. In 2019, Julie discovered a distinctive new species of Phacelia from the mountains of western Shasta County, soon to be published under the name Phacelia damnationensis. Julie has contributed over 2,300 free-use photos to CalPhotos and many hundreds of voucher specimens from the Klamath and Cascade Ranges to California herbaria. She is a member of the Rare Plant Program Committee at the state level of CNPS and sits on the Board of Directors of Calflora. Julie teaches Jepson field workshops in the Klamath and Cascade Ranges of northern California.

Anna Larsen is a Senior Botanist in the Natural and Cultural Resources department at AECOM in Oakland where she supports Bay Area land managers in natural resource management; mitigation; and restoration planning and performance monitoring. She has a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. Anna has taught courses and workshops in California plant life, general biology, plant morphology, California plant families, and the biology and geomorphology of tropical islands.

Cynthia Looy is a professor in the Department of Integrative biology at UC Berkeley and is a plant ecologist who investigates the response of Paleozoic plants and plant communities to environmental change during periods of mass extinction and deglaciation, and the possible evolutionary consequences. Her primary research is focused on several aspects of the end-Permian biotic crisis and its aftermath, and the transition from a glacial-dominated world to an ice-free one during the Late Carboniferous to the Middle Permian. Her studies strongly rely on an interdisciplinary approach combining quantitative palynological and paleobotanical data with organic geochemistry, isotope analysis, marine paleontology, biostratigraphy, ecology, and plant physiology.

Jesse Miller has spent many years working as a botanist and lichenologist across California and the Pacific Northwest. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in integrative biology with an emphasis in plant ecology. He is currently a lecturer at Stanford, where he teaches ecology. His research interests include studying the effects of global change factors such as altered fire regimes on lichen and plant communities. Jesse loves sharing his passion for the natural world with others and enjoys contributing to Northern California’s growing community of lichen enthusiasts.

Brent D. Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria as well as distinguished professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, where he teaches courses in phylogenetics, plant diversity, and island biology. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984. His research interests are in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, especially the diverse moss genus Syntrichia, as well as in the phylogeny of green plants, spatial analysis of biodiversity, and theory of systematics.

Abby Moore is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma in the Microbiology and Plant Biology Department and the Oklahoma Biological Survey and curator of their Robert Bebb Herbarium (OKL). Abby received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, in 2010 working with Bruce Baldwin. Her Ph.D. research focused on Grindelia (gumplants) in the Asteraceae and she treated that genus for the second edition of The Jepson Manual. Her postdoctoral research was conducted in the Alps at the University of Mainz and focused on members of the Caryophyllaceae.

Jim Morefield found love at first sight for the White Mountains while attending Deep Springs College between 1979-1981, which was followed by a B.S. in Botany and Geology at Northern Arizona University in 1986, and Ph.D. in Systematic Botany, focusing on Stylocline and other Asteraceae, at Claremont Graduate University in 1992. He spent the next 30 years as Lead Botanist for the Nevada Division of Natural Heritage. In retirement, he continues to pursue interests in the flora of the White Mountains, rare plants of the Great Basin, and the desert flora of North America. He contributed treatments of several genera of Asteraceae for both the Jepson Manual and the Flora of North America North of Mexico.

Dylan Neubauer is a self-taught, self-employed botanist/botanical editor based in Santa Cruz and has spent nine summers botanizing in the glorious White Mountains. Since 2015, she has been working on an annotated checklist of vascular plants in the vicinity of the UC White Mountain Research Center Crooked Creek Station and over that time has made ca. 1200 botanical collections in the area.

Ryan O′Dell has been a Natural Resource Specialist with the BLM Central Coast Field Office for 15 years. He has a B.S. Plant Biology and M.S. Soils and Biogeochemistry from UC Davis. He is particularly interested in edaphic endemics (extreme environments), annual plant species diversity, and plant species distributions with respect to geology, soil type, topography, and climate. He is especially interested in the plant families Onagraceae (Camissonia), Polemoniaceae (Gilia), annual Brassicaceae (Caulanthus-Streptanthus), and tarweeds in Asteraceae.

Dan Potter is Professor of Plant Sciences at UC Davis and director of the UC Davis herbarium. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991. His research and teaching interests are focused on angiosperm systematics (phylogeny, evolution, and taxonomy of flowering plants) and ethnobotany (the study of relationships between people and plants). Much of the research in his lab focuses on two major themes: 1) understanding the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of culturally and economically important taxa, encompassing the study of domesticates and their wild relatives; and 2) clarifying the taxonomic identities and conservation status of selected California native taxa. He is Rosaceae family editor for The Jepson Flora Project.

Marty Purdy has spent the last 4 years studying Eastern Sierra botany as a seasonal botany technician for the Inyo National Forest or as a graduate student at California Botanic Garden (formerly Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), Claremont Graduate University. For his 2022 master’s thesis he compiled a checklist of the vascular and nonvascular plants of Coyote Ridge and Flat, a region of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada with strong floristic overlap with alpine and subalpine regions of the White Mountains. Previous to his work in the Eastern Sierra, Marty received his Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz, killed yellow crazy ants on Johnston Atoll, and worked various biology/botany and environmental education jobs around California.

Rich Rabeler is a Research Scientist Emeritus at the University of Michigan, after retiring from his position as Senior Collection Manager at the University Herbarium. He received his Ph.D from Michigan State University in 1986, studying the Stellaria calycantha complex. His research is focused on the systematics and distribution of the Caryophyllaceae and his work on the California flora continues the long collaboration he had with Dr. Ronald L. Hartman on that family in the western United States. A current focus is playing a lead role in the Caryophyllales Project at the Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin to produce a worldwide checklist of the family.

Amelia Ryan developed a love of plants growing up on 40 acres in western Sonoma County. This led her to study botany at UC Davis and later acquire a M.S. in ecology from San Francisco State. She has been working in habitat restoration and resource management for over 20 years, having started at Armstrong Redwoods in the late 90s. She then worked at Point Reyes National Seashore on several restoration and endangered plant projects for nearly 14 years before moving to Pinnacles National Park where she has been the Vegetation Ecologist for 6 years. She first began exploring the flora of San Benito County in 2009 with Ryan O’Dell.

Klara Scharnagl is the Tucker Curator of Lichenology at the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley. Her fascination for the ecology and evolution of fungal symbioses has taken her from a master's at Florida International University on native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and salinity tolerance to a Ph.D. at Michigan State University on the latitudinal diversity gradient of lichens in the Americas to a postdoc at The Sainsbury Laboratory on the molecular mechanisms of the lichen symbiosis. Her current interests are turning towards California lichens and patterns of diversity and symbiosis along north-south and coastal to inland gradients. She is also passionate about herbarium (lichenarium!) collections and their uses in research, art, and education.

Adam Schneider is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and curator of the UWL herbarium. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2017. His research is focused on the systematics, evolution, and microbial ecology of parasitic plants, particularly in the Orobanchaceae. As part of his Ph.D. he identified host-specific cryptic diversity in Aphyllon, which has led to several taxonomic revisions over the last several years.

Teresa Sholars is a Professor Emeritus from College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, California, where she taught classes in identification and ecology of the Mendocino Coast flora, along with mushroom identification and ecology for over 40 years. She is vegetation chair for the Dorothy King Young chapter of CNPS and a retired botanical and ecological consultant. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor and Curator at the Mendocino College Coast Center Herbarium and Natural History Collection. Teresa is currently leading a group of volunteers to conduct surveys to help collect data to classify the vegetation on the coastal terraces and inland coastal redwood forests. She is author of the treatment for perennial Lupinus in the 1993 edition of The Jepson Manual, author of the Lupinus treatment in the second edition of The Jepson Manual (2012), author of the new perennial Lupinus treatment for Flora of North America North of Mexico, and co-author of the new Lupinus treatment in the Jepson eFlora.

Else Vellinga is a mycologist and research associate at the University and Jepson Herbaria. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in 2003. Her research focuses on taxonomy and phylogeny of various mushroom groups. She is actively involved in efforts to conserve fungi in various ecosystems.

Barbara Wilson

Chris Winchell has nearly 20 years of experience working as a plant, wetland, and wildlife ecologist. He is particularly interested in rare plants that occur in the central/southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Inner South Coast Range. Chris is the Rare Plants Coordinator for the Sequoia Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and frequently collaborates with Sierra Foothill Conservancy, the US Forest Service, and the Fresno State Herbarium.