2024 Symposium

Plant Diversity and Viability in Uncertain Times

Northern California Botanists hosted their 12th botanical symposium on January 8-9 on the campus of California State University in Chico. Optional workshops/field trips were held on Wednesday, January 10.  This event included both In-Person and Virtual options.  Sessions included: Climate Change, Bryophytes, Vegetation Classification, New Discoveries, Meadow and Grassland Restoration, Local Floras, Now the Good News, and Lightning Talks. A dedicated Poster Session was held on Tuesday morning.  We will be posting videos of the talks in the near future.  Scroll to the Poster Session section for pdfs of many of the posters presented at the Symposium.

We couldn't do this without our Sponsors!  Thank you to everyone who donated and helped put the 2024 Symposium on.

Congratulations to our Student Poster Winners!

  • First Place - Charlotte Miranda, San Jose State University
  • Second Place - Amy White, University of California, Merced
  • Third Place - Daniel Toews, University of California, Merced

Symposium Presentations

Videos of the talks are available below.  Abstracts of the talks can be found in the Symposium Program starting on Page 9.

Session 1: Climate Change
     Session Chair: Russell Huddleston, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9

Session 2: Bryophytes
    Session Chair: Ben Carter, Director of the Carl W. Sharsmith Herbarium (San Jose State University and Drought Mitigation Specialist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Session 3: Vegetation Classification
    Session Chair: Teresa Sholars, Professor Emeritus, College of the Redwoods

Session 4: New Discoveries
Session Chair: Len Lindstrand III, Sierra Pacific Industries

Session 5: Lightning Talks
    Session Chair: Kristen Kaczynski, California State University, Chico

Keynote Speaker

Session 7: Grassland Restoration
    Session Chair: Jane Van Susteren, California Board of Forestry

Session 8: Local Floras
    Session Chair: David Magney, Principal Biologist, Althouse and Meade, Inc.

Session 9: Now the Good News
    Session Chair: Joe Silveira, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Retired

Poster Session

Below are links to some of the posters presented at the symposium. Poster abstracts can be found in the Symposium Program starting on Page 23, listed alphabetically by presenting author name.

Fens, Fire, and Forest Management: Effects of the Dixie Fire on Sierra Nevada Fens. Bilodeau, C., Adelstein, E., Keever, M., Rodriguez, K., Jurjavcic, N., and Butler, N.

Eliminating Foliar Endophytic Fungi from Quercus lobata Leaves for Studying Priority Effects in Leaf Litter Fungal Communities.  Avila, D., Bolinas, T., and Cobian, G. M.

The Evolution and Implications of the Range Limits of a Sierra Nevada Foothill Endemic, Mimulus glaucescens.  Biscoe, A.

Challenges in Identification of Tuolumne iris (Iris hartwegii ssp. columbiana), mariposa clarkia (Clarkia biloba ssp. australis), and Small’s southern clarkia (Clarkia australis) on the Stanislaus National Forest, Tuolumne County.  Brillante, P., Beyerl, T., Violett, S., and Whittington, T.

Landscape Level Botanical Management in an Industrial Timberland Environment: Development of the County Line Botanical Management Area.  Cashman, G., Lamphear, D., Budesilich, M., and Shedlock, A.

Convergence and Divergence in Restored Riparian Overstories and Understories along the Sacramento River, California.  Constantz, B., Holl, K., and Stella, A.

Fierce Urgency: On the Fly Development of a Coast Redwood Drought-Response Monitoring Program on a College Campus. Geary, M., and West Valley College Plant Biology Students.

Special-Status Plants and their Relationships with Roadsides. Kang, H.

Corallorhiza trifida, Rediscovered in the Lake Tahoe Basin, after a Century. Kieffer, C.

A Habitat Suitability Model for Monotropa uniflora (Ghost pipe) on Green Diamond Resource Company Timberlands in North Coastal California. Lamphear, D., Cashman, G., Budesilich, M., and Shedlock, A.

Preliminary Evaluation of Effects of Dixie Forest Fire on the Ephemeral Geophytes, Dicentra uniflora and Dicentra pauciflora (Papaveraceae) at Three Long-Term Study Sites in Butte County, Northern California. Mackey, H. E. Jr.

Differential Local Adaptation Detected in Soil Generalist, Erysimum capitatum, Across California Serpentine Exposures. Miranda, C.

The Influence of Drought and Warming on Lupinus nipomensis:  Implications for Survival, Morphology, Reproduction, and Microbial Communities. Nguyen, P., Luong, J., Meyer, R., and Loik, M.

A Prickly Pappose Tarplant Success Story: Disturbance in the Delta. Rodriguez, K., Bilodeau, C., Applequist, E., and Keever, M.

Thank you to our Symposium Sponsors!

  • Ascent Environmental, Inc.
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • California Botanical Society
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC)
  • California Native Grasslands Association
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - State Office
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - Dorothy King Young Chapter
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - Mount Lassen Chapter
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - North Coast Chapter
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS) - Shasta Chapter
  • Carol Witham
  • Friends of the Ahart Herbarium
  • Halkard Mackey
  • Hedgerow Farms
  • Heritage Growers / River Partners
  • HDR, Inc.
  • Julie Kierstead
  • Kleinfelder
  • Lawrence Janeway
  • Linnea Hanson
  • Madrone Ecological Consulting
  • Nomad Ecology
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Sierra Pacific Foundation
  • Dr. Stephen Rae
  • Stillwater Sciences
  • Tom Parker
  • WRA, Inc.

2024 Keynote Speaker: John Vollmar

The 2024 Symposium Keynote Speaker was John Vollmar.  John is the President/Principal Ecologist for Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting. The subject of his talk was “The Heart of Conservation - Engaging Human Passion for Conservation Success.”

Beginning with seed funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and East Merced Resource Conservation District in 1998, John Vollmar has worked over the past 25 years to conserve the expansive and rich vernal pool landscapes of eastern Merced County. These mostly intact landscapes are contiguous with the vast blue oak savannas and woodlands of western Mariposa County. Together, they create a Great Valley-Sierra Nevada Foothill block of mostly private natural lands connecting with two national forests, Yosemite National Park, and beyond. Protecting Merced County’s vernal pool-grasslands is an essential component to conserving a contiguous, functional habitat corridor from the Great Valley, through the Sierra Nevada, to the Great Basin. But, how do we achieve meaningful, landscape-scale conservation, especially in areas with numerous private landowners? Working with landowners, land trusts, environmental consultants, mitigation buyers, and others, Mr. Vollmar has gained a unique perspective on how we achieve such conservation over time, and the critical role of human passion at its core. Building on this understanding, and analyzing data on geologic formations, rare species occurrences records, predicted habitat modeling for these species, and other factors, he and colleagues at Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting recently published a reference manual and user’s guide for the ‘Conservation of Great Valley Vernal Pool Landscapes.’ It is intended to inspire, motivate, and guide ongoing conservation of these special habitats throughout the Great Valley. Mr. Vollmar will present a history of his work in eastern Merced County, key lessons learned along the way, and a walk-through of his recently published conservation guide as a model for others to consider in their pursuit of conservation interests, in the Great Valley and elsewhere.