California Botanical Society

Past Annual Banquets and Meetings

UC Davis Aboretum is a top rated botanical garden
UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

thumbnail_CalBotSoc Stanton

20180415_010555 Photo: Blandine Marie Nacoulma

20180415_052035 Photo: Blandine Marie Nacoulma

20180415_011029 Photo: Blandine Marie Nacoulma

IMG_5596 Photo: Rachael Olliff Yang

IMG_5602 Photo: Rachael Olliff Yang

IMG_5610 Photo: Rachael Olliff Yang


2018 California Botanical Society
Annual Banquet and Meeting

Please join us on Saturday, April 14, 2018
at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

Registration closes on April 6, 2018


Saturday, April 14, 2018
8:30 AM - Vernal pools field trip
5:00 PM – Social & Annual Meeting (No-host Bar)
6:30 PM – Dinner and presentation

Sunday, April 15, 2018
9:00 AM - Russell Ranch field trip


How (and why) to cultivate our next crop of botanists
Dr. Maureen Stanton
Distinguished Professor Emerita of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis

Field Trips

Saturday, April 14, 2018
Vernal pools
Leader: Carol Witham
Start time: 8:30 AM
Meeting place: Gateway parking structure (next to the Mondavi Center), and carpooling to site(s)
See map of campus parking structures
$5/person. Pre-registration required.

Vernal pools in California are unique. Not only do we have an abundance of geomorphic conditions that give rise to spring pools, but we also have mild wet winters and hot dry summers. This combination of environmental factors has led to a profusion of neoendemics, primarily in the genera Downingia, Lasthenia, Limnanthes, Pogogyne, Plagiobothrys, and Eryngium. At least 200 plant species have been recorded in California vernal pools, over half of which only occur in this habitat.

We will visit one or more vernal pool sites in Solano, Yolo or Sacramento Counties. Sites will be chosen just before the field trip to maximize the floral display, observe local endemism, and perhaps see rare, threatened or endangered species.

Plan to meet at Gateway parking structure (next to the Mondavi Center) at 8:30 AM and carpool to the site(s). Bring water, snacks, lunch, layered clothing, and whatever field gear you usually carry.

You will be asked to sign a liability waiver in order to access the private properties.

Carol W. Witham is a recognized expert in vernal pools and a strong conservation advocate. As she explains: “I am a belly-botanist at heart. There is nothing more rewarding to me than to get everyone down on their hands and knees to get a closer look at the diminutive plants so characteristic of vernal pools and many other California plant communities. I also like to remind everyone that plants form the basis of most terrestrial ecosystems. Without native plants, many animal species will perish. Endangered and even common animals cannot be conserved without preserving the native plant communities upon which they or their prey depend.”

Sunday, April 15, 2018
Russell Ranch
Leader: J.P. Marie, Manager, Putah Creek Riparian Reserve
Start time: 9:00 AM
Meeting place: Putah Creek Riparian Reserve on County Road 98 in Davis.
Directions will follow via email or be provided in person at the banquet.
Arrange to carpool or drive on your own.
$5-$20/person donation to CNGA at event
Limited to 60 persons, pre-registration required.

The Russell Ranch field trip will include stops at two great locations managed by the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden staff.

The first will be a stop at the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, which is on the outskirts of the UC Davis campus. Here the group will take a quick look at the riparian ecosystem managed by UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden staff, and specifically by tour leader J.P. Marie. We will take a short hike around the property to see how the team has managed this area.

We will then drive about 15 minutes to Russell Ranch, our second stop. Russell Ranch is also managed by J.P. Marie. We will hike around both cattle-grazed and fire-controlled grasslands areas as J.P. explains how the site has changed over the years due to the different management regimes.

We expect that the wildflowers will be up at this time of year and that both areas will be looking quite spectacular.

The field trip will begin at 9 AM and end at around 1 PM so participants will be able to travel home at a reasonable hour. We will spend a couple of hours at each stop as J.P. explains the history of the sites and how the staff has worked to return the areas to a more natural environment.

There will be light hiking at both sites and sturdy shoes or boots are recommended, especially if the sites are wet. Please bring water/drinks, a hat, sunscreen, snacks or anything else you require during light hiking. There are no facilities to purchase food.

Putah Creek Riparian Reserve is a stream, riparian and grassland ecosystem managed for teaching, research, and wildlife and habitat protection. The Reserve is approximately 640 acres, along 5.5 miles of Putah Creek, on the UC Davis campus.

UC Davis Russell Ranch, a little-known, but heavily-utilized part of our campus land, is located 5 miles west of the main campus and is approximately 380 acres. The land was acquired by the university in 1990 to provide an area for the expansion of agricultural and environmental research. In 2003, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden team members Andrew Fulks and J.P. Marié began work on the ranch to convert 50 acres from row crops to native perennial grasslands; this effort served not only to mitigate the loss of habitat for the Swainson’s hawks and burrowing owls disturbed by campus construction, but also to provide researchers an area to conduct forb studies. Forbs, or wildflowers, are an important part of a grassland ecosystem, providing habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. They are, however, less ‘predictable’ than grasses, as their germination and subsequent growth is extremely variable based on rainfall and other weather conditions. Management of the forb and grassland areas continues to use a combination of mowing, grazing, burning, and selective herbicide to control annual exotic weeds and keep the grasslands healthy and diverse.

Location of Banquet and Meeting

Davis Alumni Center, AGR Room
530 Alumni Lane
Davis, CA 95616

Register by Mail

Please mail in the registration form and payment.

Hotels & Other Accommodations

We have reserved a block of 25 hotel rooms at the Hyatt Place UC Davis for both Friday (April 13) and Saturday (April 14) nights. Please use this link to book your room and benefit from special rates: CalBotSoc banquet at UC Davis

Here is a list of other available accommodations that you may wish to consider within walking distance of the banquet venue.

Steve Junak on San Nicolas Island Photo: John Game Steve Junak on San Nicolas Island
Photo: John Game

Acmispon argophyllus var. niveus (Santa Cruz Island Silver Lotus)  Photo: John Game Acmispon argophyllus var. niveus (Santa Cruz Island Silver Lotus)
Photo: John Game


2017 California Botanical Society
Annual Banquet and 26th Graduate Student Symposium

Register Online

Annual Banquet SOLD OUT


Saturday, April 8, 2017
8:00 AM - 26th Graduate Student Symposium
8:45 - 2:45 PM -- Contributed Talks
4:00 - 5:30 PM -- Poster Session
6:00 PM – Social & Annual Banquet (No-host Bar)
7:00 PM – Dinner and presentation

Location of Symposium and Annual Banquet

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Annual Banquet

The annual banquet will be a Mexican Buffet and is $30 for students, and $75 for non-students, which helps subsidize the student rate.

Annual Banquet Presentation

A Short History of Botanical Exploration on the California Islands: Some of the Amazing People Who Were Involved and Their Exciting Discoveries
Steve Junak, Former Herbarium Curator, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

European naturalists began exploring central and southern California in the 1760s, but the history of botanical discovery on the California Islands did not begin until many decades later. The first botanical collections were made in 1842 on Catalina Island and, not until the 1860s and 1870s, on several other islands. Unfortunately, sheep and goats were turned loose on many of the islands before botanists had a chance to visit. Nevertheless, amazing discoveries have been made on the islands. There are over 100 endemic plant taxa on the California Islands, many of which are now important ornamental plants on the mainland. Some of the plant collectors had amazing adventures during their explorations, such as being mistaken for smugglers and being shot at while trying to enter the Santa Barbara harbor area, lassoing plants on steep cliffs, shooting plant specimens off inaccessible rocks with a shotgun, or being stranded on a remote island for two months when their boat to the mainland was delayed. Tragically, one well-known collector lost his life while trying to reach plants on a steep cliff. Our knowledge of the flora of the islands, both past and present, is the result of the cooperative efforts of the long list of botanical explorers and collectors.

Register by Mail

Please mail in the Banquet Registration Form and payment.

Field Trips

In conjunction with the Symposium and Annual Meeting, the Society is hosting two field trips:

Friday, April 7, 2017: Santa Cruz Island. Led by Steve Junak and Matt Guilliams.
Meet at Ventura Harbor at 8:40 AM (Ferry departs at 9:00 AM, returns around 5:00 PM.) Limited to 20 members attending the annual banquet and 26th Graduate Student Symposium. Cost: $65. Registration will only be available through Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Lunch not included.

Sunday, April 9, 2017: Figueroa Mountain. Led by Larry Ballard and Matt Guilliams.
Meeting place and time TBA. Cost: FREE. Lunch not included.

View of Tejon Ranch land in flower.
Photo: Maynard Moe

Dr. Phil Rundel


2016 California Botanical Society
Annual Banquet and Meeting

Please join us on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, CA.
Registration closes March 31, 2016.


Saturday, April 9, 2016
8:45 AM - Field trip to Tejon Ranch
6:00 PM – Social & Annual Meeting (No-host Bar)
7:00 PM – Dinner and presentation


Mediterranean Biomes: Evolution of their Vegetation, Floras, and Climate
Dr. Phil Rundel
Distinguished Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Field Trip

Saturday, April 9, 2016, 8:45 AM
Tejon Ranch
Limited to 20 persons

Location of Banquet and Meeting

The Padre Hotel
1702 18th Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Register Online


Register by Mail

Please mail in the registration form and payment.

Newly discovered and undescribed species of Matelea (Apocynaceae) from the Vizcaino Desert of northwestern Baja California Sur.
Photo: Jon Rebman ·

2015 California Botanical Society
Annual Banquet and Meeting
and 25th Graduate Student Symposium

Please join us on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, CA. The Banquet and Meeting follow the 25th Graduate Student Symposium.


Friday, April 10, 2015
4:00 PM - tour of RSA herbarium
4:30 PM - tour of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Saturday, April 11, 2015
8:00 AM - 5 PM - Graduate Student Symposium
6:00 PM – Mixer & Annual Meeting (No-host Bar)
7:00 PM – Dinner and presentation

Sunday, April 12, 2015
8:00 AM – Field trip to Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve


Botanical Adventures in Baja California
Dr. Jon Rebman
Mary and Dallas Clark Endowed Chair/Curator of Botany
San Diego Natural History Museum

Field Trip

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 8:00 AM
Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve
$5/person due morning of trip.
Sold out! No more seats left.

Surrounded by a sea of Pinyon trees, Junipers, and the occasional Yucca brevifolia characteristic of the nearby Mojave desert, the pebble plains of North Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve along highway 18 at the eastern end of Big Bear Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains harbor some extraordinary "gems" hidden among the abundant quartzite cobbles that dominate this unique habitat type. Referred to also as belly plants, these gems are not extraordinarily large, but this in no way detracts from their magnificent floral morphologies. Furthermore, one cannot beat a fantastic spring carpet at 7000 feet in elevation when adjacent wooded hillsides are still covered in feet of snow!

Bring water and a lunch for a day out in the sun (potential for high winds, so layers also recommended). Transportation will be provided, but the number of available seats is limited. Please meet at the kiosk area of RSABG between 8:00-8:15 AM.

Tommy Stoughton, a graduate student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, will lead this field trip. Email any questions to him at

Location of Banquet and Meeting

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Claremont, California
1500 North College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

Calamagrostis ophitidis, Tiburon Peninsula.
Photo: Neal Kramer


2014 California Botanical Society
Annual Banquet and Meeting

Please join us on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies at San Francisco State University in Tiburon, CA. Registration closes April 18, 2014.


Saturday, April 26, 2014
11:00 AM – Field trip to Ring Mountain and Old Saint Hilary’s Wildflower Preserve
5:00 PM – Social & Annual Meeting
6:30 PM – Dinner and presentation


Ecological Contingency in the Effects of Climate on Serpentine Plant Communities
Dr. Susan Harrison
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California, Davis


Bay Conference Center
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies
San Francisco State University
3152 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920, CA

California Botanical Society
c/o Jepson Herbarium
1001 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, California 94720-2465