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 as we enter our 28th year of public programs.

The 2021 Jepson workshops series will be different from past years. Due to the pandemic, we will be offering virtual workshops for the first half of the year and those are announced below. We hope to offer a second series of in-person workshops after June 30, 2021 and, if we are permitted to operate them, those workshops will be announced in the spring.

We hope you will join us for another great year 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

 
   
 
   
   


The fee for each workshop is listed with the course description.

Members have priority registration from December 1 - 6, 2020.

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



Schedule of 2021 Virtual Workshops

January 30, 2021  Wonders of a dryland moss: Syntrichia from genomes to ecosystems
Workshop full: wait list only

February 13, 2021  Fiddleheads! Become fern fluent
Workshop full: wait list only

February 27, 2021  Life in the Carboniferous swamps

March 6, 2021  Angiosperm morphology for plant identification
Workshop full: wait list only

April 22 and 29 with self-guided field trips on April 24th and 25th  Exploring the ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay Area
Workshop full: wait list only

June 5, 2021  California floristics, taxonomy, and phylogenetics
Workshop full: wait list only

Workshop Descriptions

Wonders of a dryland moss: Syntrichia from genomes to ecosystems
  —  

January 30, 2021
Brent D. Mishler, Kirsten Fisher, and Jenna Ekwealor, plus guest appearances by other members of the research group

This workshop will take a different perspective than many workshops. Instead of being broadly comparative among lineages at one level, we will look at multiple levels of biological organization in one lineage, the desiccation-tolerant moss genus Syntrichia, the subject of an integrated National Science Foundation grant (https://3dmoss.berkeley.edu/). Short presentations will be given on different aspects of our project, including genomics, population genetics, reproductive biology, physiology, systematics, and ecosystem function in the biotic soil crust. These will be interspersed with activities and discussion, and will give participants an unusually holistic picture of biology and how seemingly different subdisciplines interact. Literature and other materials for use in the workshop will be mailed to participants ahead of time.

Start/End: Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Course Fee: The registration fees for this workshop will be paid for by the 3D Moss NSF grant, so there is no charge to participants (but registration is required).

Register for the wait list here

 

 

Fiddleheads! Become fern fluent   —  

February 13, 2021
Carl Rothfels and Cindy Looy

Become fern fluent! This course will be an introduction to the ferns of the world, with a focus on species that can be observed in the wild in California. We will learn the basics of fern morphology (What is an indusium? Is a frond just a leaf by another name?), fern ecology (including the spectacular desert ferns of the southwest), and fern evolution (Are ferns “ancient” plants? What are their closest living relatives? Why did all the Cheilanthes in California just become Myriopteris?). We’ll end the course with a virtual tour of the major groups of ferns and their representatives here in California. The goal is to turn all course participants into skilled fern-observers: when next you see a fern you’ll understand what it is, what it does, how it does it, and where it came from, evolutionarily-speaking. Some keying of fern specimens will also be involved.

Start/End: Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Course Fee: $75 general public and $50 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium.

Register for the wait list here

 

 

Life in the Carboniferous swamps

February 27, 2021
Cindy Looy , Ivo Duijnstee, Ben Muddiman and Carl Rothfels

The Carboniferous (359-299 million years ago) is an exceptionally interesting period in Earth’s history. Geographically, ecologically, atmospherically, and climatically, the world was unlike anything we see today. What are now Europe and America formed the Euramerican floral realm, an equatorial located landmass with little topography. In the later parts of the Carboniferous, the Euramerican region was periodically covered by widespread peat swamps. These swamps were dominated by tall lycopod trees, giant horsetail relatives, tree ferns and seed ferns, making for an alien looking, Dr. Seuss-like landscape. In this workshop you will get acquainted with the plants that inhabited these wetlands and the unusual conditions that facilitated them, and you will learn how we reconstruct these plants and their communities in incredible detail.

Start/End: Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Course Fee: $75 general public and $50 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium.

Register for this workshop here

 

 

Angiosperm morphology for plant identification   —  

March 6, 2021
Bruce G. Baldwin and Susan Fawcett

Join us for this beginner's guide to botany. This course welcomes those who would like to expand their knowledge of plants. Students will learn the basic concepts of plant morphology and the terminology needed to identify plants using botanical keys like those in the second edition of The Jepson Manual and the Jepson eFlora. We will cover the entire plant body, including stems, roots, leaves, flowers, and fruits!

Start/End: Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Course Fee: $75 general public and $50 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium.

Register for the wait list here

 

 

Exploring the ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay Area   —  

April 22 and 29, 2021
  with self-guided field trips on April 24th and 25th
Paul V.A. Fine

This workshop will take participants on a journey through four ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning with a virtual tour of each location, Dr. Fine will provide insights into the local species, their adaptations, and the communities they live in. Over the weekend, participants will venture out on their own to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Marin Municipal Water District, and Mount Diablo State Park where they will take guided hikes with trail maps and narrative text written for numbered stops. Specific observations will be recorded along the way. To conclude, participants will regroup on Zoom where Dr. Fine will answer specific questions and talk in depth about the importance of soil types, habitat specialization, and local conservation efforts.

Start/End: Two Thursdays, 6:30 pm – 8 pm. and self-guided field trips on April 24th and 25th

Course Fee: $75 general public and $50 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium.

Register for the wait list here

 

 

California floristics, taxonomy, and phylogenetics   —  

June 5, 2021
Bruce G. 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 recent and upcoming taxonomic changes in the Jepson eFlora, the phylogenetic basis for such revisions, and describe evidence for recent changes, as well as a more general discussion of how California plant taxonomy has evolved with the rise of phylogenetic tools and approaches.

Start/End: Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Course Fee: $75 general public and $50 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium.

Register for the wait list here

 

 


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.

Ivo Duijnstee is an adjunct assistant professor in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. With a background in plant ecology, marine ecology, and a Ph.D. in geosciences studying the paleoecology of foraminifera, Ivo's research interests have successfully dodged straightforward classification. For the time being, aspects of various interests have now coalesced in Paleozoic plant ecology, ecophysiology and evolution— using plant fossils, plant fossil data sets and experimental paleobotany to answer questions about the developing newfangled terrestrial biosphere in the Paleozoic and its relations with the Earth System.

Jenna Ekwealor is a Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution Data Science Lab. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2020 where she studied eco-physiology of dryland mosses in the genus Syntrichia. Her research interests also include the influence of life history on population dynamics and adaptive evolution to extreme environments.

Susan Fawcett is a research botanist at the University and Jepson Herbaria 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 recently received her doctoral degree from the University of Vermont where she worked in the Barrington/Sundue Lab.

Paul V. A. Fine is a professor at UC Berkeley and has been in the Department of Integrative Biology since 2007. His research investigates the origin and maintenance of Amazonian rain forest tree diversity. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, he headed west for undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, and went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Read about his popular course "California Ecosystems" here.

Kirsten Fisher is a professor of Biological Sciences at Cal State LA, where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2004 and her research interests revolve around the molecular ecology of a desert moss species, Syntrichia caninervis. She is the curator of the CSLA Herbarium and a Research Associate at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden.

Cindy Looy is a plant ecologist who tumbled down the rabbit hole of deep time. As a notorious subject hopper her interests are all over the place. However, most of her research is on the response of plants and plant communities to major environmental changes in the Late Paleozoic and their evolutionary consequences. Although she likes almost all things green, even after they stopped being green 100s of millions of years ago, she has a soft spot for conifers and lycopods.

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.

Ben Muddiman is a graduate student in the Looy lab. He interested in paleoecology and evolution, particularly the 450 million year history of fire and its role in the evolution of plants. He is also interested in the dispersal of plant communities in response to past periods of significant climate change, and related impacts on plant evolution.

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).