California’s diverse flora is generally attributed to its complex array of climatic, topographical, and geological influences. At a finer scale, local ecological heterogeneity can provide niches and refugia for rare and endemic flora, the preservation and maintenance of which are at the heart of numerous local and regional conservation efforts throughout the world. In Sonoma County, straddling the juxtaposition of marine and interior climates, the 3200-acre Pepperwood Preserve cradles a microcosm of North Coast Range topography and plant life—canyons, slopes, and rocky turrets splashed across a melange of geological substrates and soils that support grasslands, chaparral, woodlands, forests, and wetlands, including habitats significant to a number of rare and locally endemic plants, including Napa false indigo, Jepson’s leptosiphon, oval-leaved viburnum, and redwood lily.
In this field course, we’ll explore the Preserve’s botanical diversity and challenge ourselves to accommodate a more holistic ecological perspective—incorporating what we know with what we don’t—on the evolutionary history, the “anthropocene” present, and the future of the native flora. We’ll discuss monitoring and management efforts at Pepperwood, and consider just what humans can or should do in terms of species and ecological conservation, sharing our individual and collective thoughts about the conservation implications for wild landscapes at the urban edge.
Workshop fee ($360 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium, $400 for the general public) includes lodging and meals from Friday evening through Sunday lunch. Participants may camp or use a comfortable sleeping porch. Potable water, flush toilets, and showers are available.
Please register by April 1, 2013. To register, contact the Jepson Herbarium at (510) 643-7008 or go to