Friday, February 2, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Sit down to a delicious dinner after a long day of attending sessions! The Friday banquet, held onsite at the LAX Marriott, will include speakers, a live auction, and more.

Tickets for the banquet are $55 during early registration, $65 during regular registration, and $100 onsite or for a guest who is not registered for the conference.

Ticket Information & Registration »
Live Auction »

What’s on the menu?

  • Garden salad: fresh greens, enoki mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes, choice of dressings
  • Entrée: choice of garlic crusted chicken in agave sauce with creamy polenta (gluten free) OR cauliflower steak with quinoa (vegan, gluten free), both served with roasted sweet peppers and haricots verts
  • Dessert: selection of delicious petit fours

Meals will be made with 85-90% local produce!

Menu is subject to change.

Banquet Speaker: Stu Weiss

Smog is Fertilizer: The Long and Winding Road from the Pages of Conservation Biology to a Habitat Conservation Plan
Friday, February 2, during the banquet

The road from scientific discovery to conservation action is rarely straight and narrow, nor is it fast. In this talk, Stu will recount how a revelation in 1993 – that nitrogen fertilization from Silicon Valley smog threatened the listed Bay checkerspot butterfly by driving annual grass invasions in serpentine grasslands, and that cattle grazing was the key to controlling the impacts – was turned into a scientific publication, and then leveraged to eventually create the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan. Publishing the paper in 1999 was only a first step; mitigation precedents for powerplant nitrogen emissions led to mitigation for freeway widening that included a commitment to a regional HCP in 2001. After more than 10 years of additional science and advocacy, including “Operation Flower Power” tours for elected officials and others and building a “Habitat Conservation Now” coalition, the Habitat Plan was adopted in 2013. The 50-year, $665,000,000 HCP/NCCP promises coordinated conservation and long-term stewardship, and the first major conservation acquisition, >1800 acres of mostly serpentine grasslands, was closed in 2015. Nitrogen deposition is a major, if underappreciated, threat to biodiversity of native plants across much of California and the Santa Clara Valley experience provides one model for addressing it.

Weiss Headshot cropped 2Stu Weiss, Ph.D. (Stanford University) is Chief Scientist of Creekside Science (, which provides scientific and conservation expertise to diverse organizations as they cope with the rapidly changing 21st Century environment. He has researched the Bay checkerspot butterfly and serpentine grasslands since 1979, and has authored numerous scientific papers concerning climate/microclimate, population dynamics, nitrogen deposition, and conservation ecology. Creekside Science executes many hands-on restoration projects, including butterfly reintroductions, propagation of endangered plants, and habitat monitoring and management. His research and advocacy were instrumental in the development of the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan, and he is Science Advisor for the Bay Area Conservation Lands Network.