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Local Nature: Who’s Who in the Oaks

October 1, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what kinds of oaks dot California’s golden hills and line our fertile valleys, providing our state’s most diverse habitats? Well, help is at hand. Author and naturalist Kate Marianchild will teach us to identify Northern California oaks by their acorns, cupules, leaves and galls. You will learn how to distinguish a valley oak from an Oregon oak from a blue oak. If time permits, Kate will share some cool facts about oaks, such as their co-evolutionary relationships with California scrub-jays and caterpillars.


Kate Marianchild, naturalist and author of the award-winning bestseller Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oaks

Kate has a background as diverse as the nature she loves. She currently leads walks, gives talks, teaches classes and speaks up at county supervisors’ meetings in defense of oak woodlands and wildlife, and in support of climate change activism. She is also the author of a two-sided, full-color, laminated oak identification field guide that you can purchase from her before or after the event if you wish.


No previous experience or knowledge is required. This event is recommended for ages 16 and up.

Kate asks that you collect one or more acorns, with their caps, from one or more species, and have them with you during the Zoom meeting. The acorns can be green or brown, from the tree or from the ground. If the cap falls off, tape or glue it to the acorn so the acorns and caps won’t get mixed up. They will help you as Kate walks us through tips on identifying oak species.

Zoom meeting details will be sent to you upon registration. If you have not used Zoom before, please allow time to download and install the application before the event. Please log-in a few minutes early, as it may take more than one attempt if servers are busy.

This event is being held in partnership with the Anderson Valley Land Trust.

How to Sign Up

Register at the link below. Each participant should register separately. Registration is free.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.


October 1, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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Danya Winterman