Jepson Herbarium Public Programs


Bruce Baldwin identifying a plant Tejon Workshop, 2018 Class in the White Mountains Margriet Wetherwax examining a plant

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. The program serves as a liaison between the scientific community and the public, a role we continue to be dedicated to in our 28th year of public programs.

We hope you will join us for another season of learning about the flora of California!

We also hope our online resources will be helpful in your study of the flora.
Jepson eFlora
Jepson Videos
Consortium of California Herbaria


A message to our Friends about the Jepson Workshop program.

Many of us are ready to get back in the field and we have good news - we will be offering in-person workshops in 2022! The program will be announced shortly after Thanksgiving - keep your eye on your email and be sure your membership is up-to-date because members will receive one week of priority registration.

This Fall, we will be offering four virtual events for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium. These open MICroscope nights will give participants a chance to talk with the instructors and ask in-depth questions. Each session will begin with a short lecture or keying session and then transition to questions and discussion. There is no cost for these events - we hope you can join us!

To join the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium, please click here.

Schedule of Fall 2021 OPEN MICroscope nights (virtual)

September 22, 2021, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm  
Bruce Baldwin will lead a virtual keying session of one of the Bay Area’s tarweeds. Members will learn some of the important characters needed for identification and how to evaluate them. Ever wonder what "phyllaries ½ enclosing a ray ovary" means? Or, "how do tarweeds survive and flower in the hottest, driest time of the year?" This will be your chance to find out!
Member registration


October 20, 2021, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm  
Klara Scharnagl will give a brief introduction to one of the more common California lichens and how to recognize it. She will discuss its morphology and ecology and review some basic terminology. Have lichen questions? Klara has answers!
Member registration


November 3, 2021, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm  
Carl Rothfels will discuss some of the recent changes in fern taxonomy and why the changes were made in the Jepson eFlora. He will then dissect a fern and show some of the features needed for identification. What is a false indusium and how do you tell how many times pinnate a fern frond is? Tune in to find out!
Member registration


December 1, 2021, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm  
Brent Mishler will talk about bryophytes and their biology, and share new information resulting from his integrative project on the moss clade Syntrichia that ranges from genomes through systematics and physiology, to the important ecological role these mosses play in fragile biotic soil crust environments in drylands around the world. All questions are welcome, anything from basic biology to species concepts are all fair game!
Member registration

Virtual Workshop


November 5 – 7, 2021
J. Travis Columbus

Prominent in plant communities throughout California, the grass family, Poaceae, is the state’s second most diverse plant family (after Asteraceae). Its 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 Jepson eFlora. Special attention will be given to difficult couplets and taxa. In addition, participants will learn how to identify common genera by using diagnostic characteristics.

This workshop will take place entirely by Zoom. Each participant needs to have access to a dissecting microscope in their home or office. Each participant will be sent a set of dried grass samples to identify during the workshop.

Some previous plant identification preferable.
Start/End: Each day from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Course Fee: $350/$380

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



About Our Instructors

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 Berkeley in 1994.

J. Travis Columbus is a Research Scientist at 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).

Brent D. Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria as well as a 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.

Carl Rothfels is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Curator of Pteridophytes at the University and Jepson Herbaria, UC Berkeley. A recent transplant to California, he was born and raised in southern Ontario (Canada), and received his Ph.D. from Duke University. His research focuses on the evolution of ferns and lycophytes, with particular interests in the fern family Cystopteridaceae, desert ferns in the genus Notholaena, and the processes of polyploidy and reticulation (hybridization).

Klara Scharnagl is the Tucker Curator of Lichenology at the University & 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.