Student Events

The Conservation Conference will include events specifically designed for students to get to know their peers and professionals in their field, and learn about potential career paths and jobs. Learn about other student opportunities, funding, and ways to get involved »

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Student Luncheon

Saturday, February 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at the LAX Marriott

A panel of professional botanists and ecologists will talk about what they do, provide advice on finding jobs, and take questions from the audience. All students attending the conference are encouraged to participate! Please sign up for the luncheon when you register for the conference online before January 14.

You will be given the option to order a lunch when you sign up, or you can select the “Attend Only – No Lunch” option ($0) if you do not wish to order any food. Here are the lunch options available to pre-order:

  • Caesar Salad + chips, $13
  • Turkey Sandwich + chips, $15
  • Veggie Wrap + chips, $15

Amanda Fisher, Assistant Professor, CSU Long Beach
Amanda is an Assistant Professor of Botany at California State University, Long Beach where she teaches Plant Morphology and Plant Systematics. Her research has focused on the systematics of the tropical plant family Acanthaceae and the grasses, but she is also interested in Southern California floristics. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (Claremont, California) with Lucinda McDade and Travis Columbus and a Ph.D. student at Idaho State University (Pocatello, Idaho) with Scot Kelchner. Amanda is originally from western Iowa and first turned on to botany in the loess hills prairies and oak savannas.

Abby Hird, Executive Director, Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S.
Abby facilitates public garden plant conservation efforts by improving BGCI’s data services and increasing awareness of the resources available to living collections. Prior to joining BGCI U.S., Abby completed the Longwood Graduate Program at Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware, and worked as a Putnam Research Fellow at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Abby’s office is based in southern California. She currently serves on the Board of the Magnolia Society International, recruits for the Plant Collections Network, advises graduate student research, and facilitates Earthwatch Expeditions for teens to assist with conservation research.

Lech Naumovich, Executive Director, Golden Hour Restoration Institute
Lech earned his MESc from the Yale School of Forestry. He has extensive experience in rare plant surveys, vegetation mapping, restoration ecology, and conservation science in the state of California. He serves on the California Native Plant Society Conservation Committee, has served as a Conference Session Chair for Restoration four times, serves on the Steering Committee for the Conservation Lands Network (versions 1 & 2), and is an appointed commissioner of the Alameda County Fish and Game Commission. He regularly teaches technical courses on Restoration Ecology in field and in the classroom and manages restoration projects throughout the Bay Area. He is the co-author of Annotated Checklist of the Flora of the East Bay, a CNPS/Jepson Herbarium publication. He is the founder of Golden Hour Restoration Institute. Lech also works as a conservation photographer in his spare time.

Michele Slaton, Ecologist, US Forest Service Region 5 Remote Sensing Lab
Michele earned her Master’s and PhD degrees in botany from the University of Wyoming, specializing in physiological ecology. Her research there investigated the relationships between leaves’ internal and surface characteristics with gas exchange and light reflectance in alpine, desert, and forest species. Following graduate school, she worked as Visiting Professor at Western State College in Colorado, teaching botany, biology, plant ecology, and plant physiology. She then joined the Inyo National Forest in CA as botanist, and later became Park Botanist in Death Valley National Park. Last year she joined the team at the Remote Sensing Lab, to develop and implement vegetation mapping and classification applications for forest management. She lives in Bishop, CA, and her hobbies include bicycling and backpacking.

Justin Wood, Senior Biologist, Aspen Environmental Group
Justin is a Senior Biologist with Aspen Environmental Group in Upland, California. Justin has been working as a biologist in southern California for more than fifteen years and has served on the SCB board for the past seven years and is currently serving as president. He has a particular interest in the flora of southern California and has also done field work throughout California and the southwestern U.S.

Student Session

There are many opportunities for students to share research at the Conservation Conference. Students will be presenting in many of the themed conference sessions, including the poster session and students-only Current Research session. Learn more about sessions »

Oral & Poster Presentation Contents

All students presenting are encouraged to participate in the competition for best oral or poster presentation, with cash prizes for the most outstanding presentations in each category. Please share your exciting research for a chance to earn these prizes! To be eligible to win, student presenters should contact Nick Jensen, Student Engagement Team volunteer, at