Perhaps you have seen colorful, bushy, leafy, or scaly lichens clinging to oak trees or covering rocks. Lichens are all around us, and they have fascinating stories to tell! These incredible organisms are diverse, highly adaptable, and play important roles in the ecosystem such as supporting wildlife. During this exploration in the field at Pepperwood, you will learn to better understand what lichens are, where they grow, how they reproduce, and how to identify them. Expert lichenologist, Jesse Miller, will enlighten you with the biology, ecology, and identification of these weird and wonderful composite organisms. After this class will be sure to notice lichens of all shapes and sizes almost everywhere you go!
This event includes a slow-paced hike, of 1-3 miles on varied terrain. It will go on in light rain, though heavy storms will cancel. All events will align with the current Sonoma County and state health orders and guidelines for group activities to keep everyone safe during COVID-19. In case of cancellation due to weather or health safety measures, refunds will be offered. This event will be limited to a small group of participants per current group gathering requirements. Masks and social distancing will be required. Our bathroom facilities are sanitized before and after visitor groups.
We highly recommend that you watch our recorded class presentation, A Lens on Lichens – featuring Jesse Miller before you join us in the field. This video will give you the background you need to dive right in during our hike! Find it on our YouTube channel here.
Jesse Miller has worked as a botanist and lichenologist across California and the Pacific Northwest for many years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, where he studied the effects of habitat connectivity on grassland plant communities. He is currently a lecturer at Stanford, where he teaches ecology classes, including inquiry-based courses that engage undergraduates in real world ecological research. Jesse’s research interests include the effects of global change factors such as altered fire regimes on lichen and plant communities. Jesse loves sharing his passion for the natural world with others and enjoys contributing to Northern California’s growing community of lichen enthusiasts.