2024 Symposium

Plant Diversity and Viability in Uncertain Times

8-9 January 2024 with Workshops on the 10th
California State University, Chico
Bell Memorial Union Auditorium (In Person) and Online

Northern California Botanists will host its 12th botanical symposium on January 8-9, 2024 on the campus of California State University in Chico. The sessions will also be available online. Optional workshops will be held on Wednesday, January 10. A 2-day schedule of presentations by working botanists will include sessions on Vegetation Classification, Climate Change, Grassland Restoration, Bryophytes, Locally Rare Plants, Now the Good News, New Discoveries, and a session of Lightning Talks.

Two workshops will be held on Wednesday and will include a field trip/workshop on the Soils, Landforms, and Vegetation of Big Chico Creek Canyon and Beyond by Andrew Conlin with the Chico Soil Survey Office, Natural Resources Conservation Service and a field trip/workshop on “Heritage Growers Source Identified Native Seed Production Facility Tour” by Pat Reynolds with Heritage Farms.

See the Program and Workshop Page for more information.

2024 Keynote Speaker: John Vollmar

The 2024 Symposium Keynote Speaker will be John Vollmar.  John is the President/Principal Ecologist for Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting. The subject of his talk is “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.

The Keynote Address will follow the banquet on Monday evening, January 8, 2024 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Although the banquet requires a paid ticket, the Keynote Address is open to all.

Registration is Now Open

Mail-in registration is open now with this 2024 Registration form.

Online registration is available here.

Registration Fees for 2024 Northern California Botanists Symposium at CSU Chico (In-Person)

Fees cover admission, daytime refreshments and hors d'oeuvres at the Monday evening reception. The reception includes a no-host bar.

Regular Registration through Dec. 15/ Late registration – After Dec. 15 and at the door. Payment is optional for speakers.

  • Member:  $185 Regular Registration / $210 Late Registration
  • Non-Member:  $215 Regular Registration / $240 Late Registration
  • Student:  $50 Regular Registration / $70 Late Registration

Registration Fees for 2024 Northern California Botanists Symposium – Online Streaming

Regular Registration through Dec. 15/ Late registration – After Dec. 15 and at the door.

  • Member:  $75 Regular Registration / $100 Late Registration
  • Non-Member:  $100 Regular Registration / $125 Late Registration
  • Student:  $25 Regular Registration / $40 Late Registration


Northern California Botanists invites sponsorship for our 12th Symposium to be held on 8-9 January 2024 at California State University, Chico. Your help is very important and allows us to keep our registration rates low, support student attendance, and keep our important programs moving forward. See the Sponsorship Page for more information.

Lightning Talks Session

This year we are again offering a 5 minute per talk session.  Consider giving a talk if you:

  • Are working on a project about Northern California and want to give us a quick update.
  • Are aware of an issue of concern or growing need in the botanical community.
  • Want to promote something exciting.
  • Need to hire people for an upcoming botanical project.
  • Have discovered something novel and interesting while working on a project.
  • Know of new laws or regulations that the community should know about.
  • Want to update about what your organization is doing in Northern California.

If you are interested in giving a lightning talk, contact kkaczynski@csuchico.edu by November 15th with the following information: Your name, organization, one to three sentences about the topic of the talk, and the best way to contact you. Please also include if you are a Dean Taylor awardee. If you are chosen to give a talk, you will be contacted by November 28th.