Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 27, 2018

San Francisco CNPS Speaker Schedule

Upcoming Monthly programs for the San Francisco CNPS – June through November 2018

Everyone is welcome to attend membership meetings in the Recreation Room of the San Francisco County Fair Building (SFCFB) at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. The #71 and #44 buses stop at the building. The N-Judah, #6, #43, and #66 lines stop within 2 blocks.
Before our programs, we take our speakers to dinner at Chang’s Kitchen, 1030 Irving Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Join us for good Chinese food and interesting conversation. Meet at the restaurant at 5:30 pm. RSVP appreciated but not required. If you wish to notify, please call Jake Sigg at 415-731-3028.

June 7, 2018 THURSDAY, 7:30 PM
Tiny and Tough: Rare Plants of Mount Tam’s Serpentine Barrens
Speaker: Rachel Kesel

Among the rare vegetation types found on Mount Tamalpais, serpentine barrens present plants with some of the harshest soil conditions for growth. For much of the year it appears that these areas of pretty blue rock and soil are indeed barren. However, several rare annual plants make a living in this habitat, including some endemic to the Mount Tam area. In addition to serpentine barrens, adjacent chaparral and grasslands host rare perennial species equally as tough as the tiny annuals, if far larger in size.

Land managers across the mountain are monitoring a suite of ten rare plants found in serpentine barrens to better understand their distributions and population fluctuations over time. Known as the Serpentine Endemic Occupancy Project, this effort is one of many cross-jurisdictional endeavors of the One Tam initiative. This talk will examine a variety of serpentine plants as well as the rare plant monitoring and conservation work of One Tam.

Rachel Kesel is the Conservation Management Specialist for One Tam. Leading invasive plant early detection and rare plant surveys across the mountain, Rachel thrives on a good search. She honed her research and field skills at University College London while obtaining a Master’s in Conservation. She has a fondness for grasses and the bounty of Bay Area biodiversity more generally. When she’s not hiking or walking her dog, Rachel is probably biking and, even then, looking at the flora around her.

July 5, 2018 THURSDAY, 7.30 pm
An overview of California’s natural world – Conservation and Restoration
Speaker: Obi Kaufmann


The greatest tool we have in defending California’s natural world, its biodiversity and its ecology, is an informed citizenry. Public policy is beginning to respond to an new upwelling of desire, as evidenced by hugely popular land trust organizations and non-governmental organizations to protect, restore and safeguard the whole, living portfolio of our unique and endemic systems across the Golden State. Transcending political polarizations, Californians are coming together to address long-standing, environmental remediation projects on a local and regional level. This geographic inventory of conservation, the list of projects in play and at stake from the Klamath River to the Salton Sea is extensive as it is exciting. New visions of conservation and post-environmentalism are emerging in response to the changing culture and represent a new kind of hope for our endangered ecosystems. How do we build a path forward so that we leave California at the end of the 21st century in better shape than we left it at the end of the 20th?

Obi Kaufmann is a naturalist, a painter and the author of the best-selling California Field Atlas (Heyday books, 2017). A systems-thinker by inclination, Obi’s cartography balances ecology and aesthetics as driving and orienting forces across California’s largest, living networks of earth, air, fire and water.  An avid conservationist, Obi Kaufmann regularly travels around the state, speaking on issues of ecological restoration and preservation to such groups as the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland center, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, The Anza Borrego Foundation, The Mono Lake Committee, the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Friends of the River in Coloma.

August 2, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM
Urban Tree Ecology & The Rhizosphere – Tree Anatomy Below Ground
Speaker: Ted Kipping

Trees co-evolved with a rich ecological support system over many eons. As people have migrated into our increasingly densely populated and denatured cities, we have attempted to bring some of the trees with us – not always successfully. With a tad more insight and understanding, we can do a lot better. Come see for yourselves.

The Rhizosphere – Tree Anatomy Below Ground shares the amazing insights and lab work of the late Dr Alex Shigo, a giant into tree research and some of his worldwide colleagues. Hopefully his discoveries and images will blow your mind. Devotee, Ted Kipping, will be “channeling” Dr Shigo’s discoveries. It will improve your understanding and success with trees.

Ted Kipping grew up roaming the wild places in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. He studied Natural History at Columbia University. He was privileged to work with Jake Sigg at SFBG/Strybing Arboretum before starting his own tree shaping company in the Bay Area four decades ago. Ted has consulted for seven botanic gardens and lectured at thirteen. He has been published widely, has led over one hundred field trips and is a Life Member of many organizations including CNPS.

September 6, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM
Cutting Back, a “Natural Pruning” demonstration
Speaker and Demonstration: Leslie Buck

Join us for a “natural pruning” demonstration by Leslie Buck, who specializes in pruning landscapes over time so naturally you can’t tell they’ve been touched. Leslie will demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques you can apply in your gardens by using pre-cut branches of native plants. She will also give a brief reading from her garden memoir, “Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto,” published by Timber Press, describing her adventures with garden craftsmen in some of the most wild (rather than sheared), and beautifully pruned native gardens in the world—gardens tended with heart.”

Cutting Back earned a NYTimes book review, Washington Post and SF Chronicle articles and an interview by the NPR Program, Cultivating Place—links to this “interview:  and a “photo diary” of Kyoto gardens can be found on her website: Leslie will have books for sale, but you can also bring pre-purchased books ordered from local bookstores or Amazon for her to sign if you wish.

Leslie Buck has been an aesthetic pruner and garden consultant (designing established gardens) over two decades. Her own gardens were featured in May 2018 on the Bringing Back the Native Garden Tour (see photos on her public Facebook personal page or Instagram). She trained at Merritt College, holds a fine arts degree from UC Berkeley and Bordeaux School of Fine Arts and for many years did native plant excursions with Stew Winchester. Leslie has worked, taught and volunteered in hundreds of landscapes including Tassajara Zen Monastery and Portland Japanese Garden. In 2000, Leslie trained with Uetoh Zoen, one the the oldest and most highly acclaimed landscape companies in Japan—a three season journey which became Cutting Back.

October 4, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM
Re-Oaking Silicon Valley
Speaker: Erica Spotswood

In this report, we investigate how integrating components of oak woodlands into developed landscapes — “re-oaking” — can provide an array of valuable functions for both wildlife and people. Re-oaking can increase the biodiversity and ecological resilience of urban ecosystems, improve critical urban forest functions such as shade and carbon storage, and enhance the capacity of cities to adapt to a changing climate.

November 1, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM
Northern California Black Walnut: A tree with many stories
Speaker: Heath Bartosh

Despite previous research and study, the original distribution, subsequent radiation, and genetic identity of the northern California black walnut (Juglans hindsii) remains a source of considerable perplexity and debate. This confusion is confounded by the perception that some northern California black walnut trees may be hybrids with other native or non-native Juglans species. To get a clearer understanding of the northern California black walnut’s historic and current distribution as well as the rate of hybridization throughout a larger portion of its range, researchers, including our speaker Heath Bartosh, inventoried specimens in a number of counties and performed genetic testing on the trees. With information from the study, an informed decision can be made on the future conservation status of this native tree, which is currently recognized as rare. Heath will summarize what we know about northern California black walnut’s past, present, and future, focusing on work done by a collaborative group of people interested in this mysterious native tree.

Heath Bartosh is co‐founder and Senior Botanist of Nomad Ecology, based in Martinez, California, as well as a Research Associate at the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley. After graduating from Humboldt State University, Heath began his career as a professional botanist in 2002 and has been an earnest student of the California flora for the past 15 years. In 2009, he also became a member of the Rare Plant Program Committee at the state level of CNPS. His role on this committee is to ensure the rare plant program continues to develop current and accurate information on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of California’s rare and endangered plants, and help promote the use of this information to influence plant conservation in California.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: