North Coast CNPS

Archived Evening Programs

Previous evening programs and Wildflower Show presentations are available on our YouTube Channel.

icon 6Wednesday, Jan 8, 2022 7:30 p.m.

Restoring Watersheds in Prairie Creek

Restoration of the Prairie Creek watershed, from its headwaters to its confluence with Redwood Creek, has been a major focus for Leonel Arguello, Program Manager for Resource Management and Science for Redwood National and State Parks. Join this experienced practitioner for a wide-ranging view of habitat management in our precious redwood forest.


icon 6Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Research on Forest Trees, California Pitcher Plant, and Lichens

tree_coreThree recipients of our chapter's research grants share their research and findings:
Sophia Lemmo (pictured) measured and cored trees in 54 plots throughout our heavily timbered, diverse mountains to learn what died, what survived, and what regenerated before, during, and after the 2015 drought. Megan Teigan sampled many pitchers of California Pitcher Plant in three fens to study the bacteria living there and digesting the insects trapped by this carnivorous plant. And in the dramatic, botanically and geologically rich setting of the Horse Mountain Botanical Area Sarah Norvell focused on the lichens, documenting all species of macrolichens she encountered in hopes of creating a species checklist for Six Rivers National Forest.


icon 6Wednesday, Nov 10, 7:30 p.m.

Our Treasured Coastal Prairies, Ecology and Maintenance

ghostpipes smallCoastal prairies make up a thin sliver of existing grasslands in California but are important in supporting wildlife, pollinators, and carbon sequestration and in providing natural beauty for Californians. Despite their small size, they can host greater species diversity than interior areas due to summer fog influence. Justin Luong, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz and a director of the California Native Grassland Association, has recently surveyed 36 coastal prairies to see what happened after restoration efforts. He will show examples of the prairies and their flora, enumerate the many threats to them, and report the results of management efforts. Climate change, drought, and local adaptations, all enter the story.


icon 6Wednesday, Oct 13, 7:30 p.m.

Marvelous Mycoheterotrophs: The Beauty and Science of Floral-Fungal Freeloaders"

ghostpipes smallIf you've ever been fascinated by a waxy, alien looking plant, you may have been enchanted by a marvelous mycoheterotroph! Mycologist and teacher Leah Bendlin of Oregon Mycological Society will discuss how these strange-looking plants depend upon fungi and how we know it.  She will also introduce some local species and tell how they might help in successful mushroom hunting!


September 8, 2021 Wednesday

Zoom Webinar: An Exploration of Coastal Plant Communities and the Journey to Heal them at Seawood Cape Preserve.

orange flower

Join preserve steward Jessie Bunkley for a photographic exploration of several north coast ecosystems found on The Wildlands Conservancy's Seawood Cape Preserve, including spruce-fir and redwood forests and coastal scrub. Learn about the interplay between native and invasive species, and ongoing efforts to restore ecosystem function and balance.


April 24th - May 2nd, 2021

Spring 2021 Wildflower Show Presentations

A Story of Rock in Green and Orange with geologist and educator Mark Bailey, who explains what "serpentine soils" are and where to find them.
Serpentine Plant-Soil Relations: A World View with Nishanta Rajakaruna, botanist of inhospitable soils at the Geoecology Lab at California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo), giving an overview of what we know about serpentine plants from here and away.
Serpentine Botanical Wonders with energetic field botanist and author Dana York
Serpentine Treasure in Six Rivers National Forest with U. S. Forest Service Botanist John McRae 
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Zoom Webinar: Serpentine Ecology: Wacky soils build glorious places.

Where mantle rocks are found on the earth’s surface, you will also find exquisite landscapes, red rocks, and rare plants. Serpentine ecology is the science that describes the interactions between mantle-derived soils  (serpentine/ultramafic soils) and plants and animals. In the Klamath-Siskiyous, we are lucky to have significant “wacky soils”. Kristi Mergenthaler will lead a broad discussion while also highlighting some of the special places and plants in Oregon’s portion of the Klamath-Siskiyous. Kristi is a botanist, the stewardship director of Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, and a long-term volunteer with the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

Zoom Webinar: Putting the Forest Back into Forestry


At van Eck Forest in McKinleyville, the Pacific Forest Trust has pioneered ways to pay for vital forest outputs like water, habitat, and climate while also reducing regulatory burdens.  Laurie Wayburn, the dynamic executive director of the Trust, will show what this new kind of managed forest looks like, compared to "standard" practice of managing forests solely for timber and fibert, and explain the central role of managed forests in combating climate change.


Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Zoom Webinar: Our Precious Prairies  

Pacific reed grass
in a grazed
coastal prairie

Coastal Prairies are a diverse habitat that sequesters carbon, prevents erosion, and increases groundwater retention.  They are under siege by conifer encroachment, fire suppression, land use changes, and agricultural development.  Hugh McGee and Veronica Yates of the Mattole Restoration Council will explore the values, threats, and restoration efforts to conserve these stunning, valuable, and diminishing communities. 


Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

Zoom Webinar: Forest Highway 1: Flowers, Insects, and Vistas

Feb2021 DWildearth
Photo by D. Wildearth
Feb2021 AWallace
Photo by A. Wallace
Titlow Hill Rd. (off  Highway 299 west of Willow Creek) leads to Forest Highway 1, the entrance to a botanically exciting world and an invigorating mountain experience in Six Rivers National Forest.  The serpentine soils, numerous rock outcrops, and west-facing grasslands all support interesting plants, and the vistas are stunning.  CNPS members Pete Haggard, Carol Ralph, Ann Wallace, and Donna Wildearth will present their favorite photos collected in this Horse Mountain-Grouse Mountain corridor over many seasons and many years.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

ZOOM Webinar: Growing and Appreciating California Succulents in the Garden and in the Wild

Heiple Dudleya 1a Heiple Dudleya 2a
A few pieces of California native succulents from a CNPS wildflower show prompted geologist and restorationist Paul Heiple to add many California natives to his large collection of "foreign" succulents.  Soon he was deep into Dudleyas, Sedums, Lewisias, cacti, and yuccas. Paul will share the excitement of finding these beautiful plants in the wild, and he will tell how he grows them.  Paul volunteers extensively with the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS, where he shares his expertise and enthusiasm for succulents, as well as the message that native wildlife need native plants.

November 11, 2020

ZOOM Webinar: Saving Humboldt's Big Lagoon Bog

Sphagnum photo
Big Lagoon Bog is a botanically exciting spot, with diverse herbaceous species embedded in a sphagnum matrix, including 11 species considered rare or uncommon in California. Encroachment by woody vegetation, slow and steady for approximately 85 years, threatened the existence of these bog species.  After a massive woody vegetation removal project orchestrated by our chapter three years ago, Joseph Saler, a M.S. student at Humboldt State University and a biological consultant, stepped in to document the change and how the bog plants responded.  This exciting presentation will introduce the need for treatment, the unique species found there, and tell how they have responded so far in this important experiment in ecological stewardship.

October 14th, 2020

ZOOM Webinar: Beauty and the Beast: California's Wildflowers and Climate Change.

Poppy and Gilia black background

Professional conservation photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter present their story of falling in love with California's spectacular wildflower blooms and how they have applied creative photography and artist's patience in converting it to an award-winning book and exhibit.


September 9th, 2020

ZOOM Webinar: Mt. Rainier Wildflower Adventure.

Mt Rainier  Join Donna Wildearth on a journey to see the sub-alpine wildflowers on Mt. Rainier which John Muir referred to as ". . . the most luxurious and the most extravagantly beautiful of all the alpine gardens I ever beheld in all my mountain-top ramblings." With her and Kathy Dilley's photos and informative comment Donna will recount their trip last year to see this wildflower spectacle.

May 20th, 2020 ZOOM Webinar: Capturing California’s Flowers. Botanists have been collecting plants in California since the late 1700’s. They never suspected that botanists of the future would use those collections to understand the effects of climate change on California’s plants. Today we are doing just that. The California Phenology (CAP) Network is a collaboration of 45 California herbaria that is working to digitize nearly 1 million specimens by 2022. These data are made publicly available on a newly developed data portal, The CAP Network is also recording the phenological status (e.g., flowering, fruiting) of digitized specimens, generating a massive dataset with which we can answer questions such as: 1) which species are in most danger of phenological mismatches, 2) which habitats and vegetation types are most phenologically sensitive to changes in precipitation and temperature, and 3) where might mismatches occur between plants and their pollinators, pathogens, and pests? Jenn and Katie will show you how to look at plants year round in the CCH2 and will lead an interactive workshop where you can help contribute data to California’s historical collections from the comfort of your own home.

May 14th, 2020 Zoom Webinar: Journey to the Miracle Mile. Join ecologist Michael Kauffmann, author of Conifer Country: A Natural History and Hiking Guide to the Klamath Mountains, for a virtual exploration to one of the most species-rich square-miles for conifers in the world. This area, in the Russian Wilderness west of Callahan and Etna, has a rich history of full of botanical discoveries including a temperate region record 18 conifer species in one square mile. Michael will take us on an arm-chair journey across the region and share pictures and stories about discoveries, conservation successes, and botanical wonders in the area.

May 13th, 2020 Zoom Webinar: Botanizing the BLM Lands of the North CoastJennifer Wheeler, botanist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Arcata, will take us on a virtual journey across BLM Lands on the North Coast. The BLM manages a diverse collection of habitats across Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino Counties including Red Mountain, South Fork Eel, and King Range. Jennifer will introduce us to a variety of wonderful plants including the newly described Wailaki lomatium (Lomatium kogholiini) from the Red Mountain Area of Critical Environmental Concern. We will also visit the Douglas-fir forests of Butte Creek Management Area and the oak woodlands of Lacks Creek and Travis Ranch. 

April 29th, 2020. Zoom Webinar: Restoring Nature with Pollinator Gardens. Join local naturalist Bill Rodstrom to learn about how to convert biologically barren urban and suburban landscapes of lawns and non-native plants into healthy habitat for local pollinators like bees and butterflies. By planting native host and nectar plants we can all do something to reverse the rapid decline of insects and birds. Although this is not a bee identification workshop there will be lots of photos of local native bees (and butterflies) using native plants. 

April 22nd, 2020. Zoom Webinar: California's Iconic Flora. There are more than 5,000 native species in California—one in five of which are now rare or endangered. Author Matt Ritter, professor of botany at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, will give an online visual “tour” through the state’s most iconic flora in a lecture based on his book, California Plants. A richly illustrated field guide to the state’s spectacular native plants, the book also seeks to raise awareness of the unique beauty that’s at risk. California Governor Jerry Brown writes in the book’s foreword, “Matt Ritter teaches us to better understand how our future is linked to that of all other living things: our soil, our microbiota, and our wonderful and indomitable native plants.” Matt will use his beautiful photographs to share the natural history of California's fascinating plants. 

April 8, 2020, Wednesday. 7:00 p.m. Zoom Webinar: Conifers of the Klamath Mountains: 2019 Updates from the Field.  Humboldt County educator, author, and ecologist Michael Kauffmann has been tracking the status and distribution of Klamath Mountain conifers for over 15 years. His book, Conifer Country, is the definitive field guide to the region. Michael will take us from mountain summits to coastal river valleys and provide updates on the status and distribution of many of these charismatic conifers based on field work in the summer of 2019 with the California Native Plant Society Vegetation Team. He will also share photos and stories about exciting plants from the region.  

January 8th, 2020, Wednesday. 7:00 p.m. Butterflies of Coastal Humboldt County.  Our January 2020 program featured two speakers. Butterflies decorate the native plants of Humboldt County and, in some cases, have direct relationships with specific hosts. Join us for a three-part presentation celebrating the butterfly diversity in the county. Local naturalist Bill Rodstrom will present a summary of the new North Coast Chapter’s guide to butterflies and host plants--many of which are available in our nursery. This will be followed by retired Eureka High School science teacher Robert Child’s quick guide to butterfly ID using his watercolor art, highlighted in a new poster celebrating the butterflies of coastal Humboldt. Posters will be available at the talk. Gary Falxa will wrap up the talk with a short discussion on monarch conservation and ecology. Come and get inspired for spring planting to enhance your garden’s wildlife!

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