How the Superbloom can help save extraordinary places
Speaker: Dan Gluesenkamp, Ph.D. This past spring Californians and indeed all the world were treated to a spectacular season of wildflowers. While not every part of California was treated to a Superbloom, some parts were, and it drew the attention of the world. Major newspapers across the nation featured stories about the bloom. Broadcasters ranging from Korean Television to Netflix made trips to out-of-the-way California wildflower destinations to document them for their viewers. This excitement was driven by a confluence of events; climatic conditions provided California some beautiful blooms, and political circumstances gave all of us the need to see beauty, resilience, resistance, and hope. This talk will focus on the 2017 super bloom, its flowers, the frenzy, and the broader significance. Yes, there will be photos of flowers. There will also be pictures of industrial- scale solar farms and pot- growing fields, where flowers once flourished. Finally, there will be a discussion of the CNPS Important Plant Areas (IPAs) project, an ambitious endeavor that deploys scientific data and citizen science to identify the most important parts of California and ensure that we do everything possible to save them for the future. Dan Gluesenkamp is Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society and works with CNPS staff and chapters to protect, understand, and celebrate California’s native flora. Dan earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley studying the ecology of native and invasive thistles. He previously worked as Executive Director of the Calflora Database, and as Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s thirty preserves. He is a co-founder of the California Invasive Plant Council and of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN).