California Botanical Society

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

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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 Online

2018 Banquet Registration / Vernal Pools Field Trip
Menu Choice
Russell Ranch Field Trip (donation at site)

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.

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