Keynote Speakers

We are excited to host these keynote luminaries and leaders working at the intersections of native plants, places and people for our 2022 CNPS Conference. 

Opening Plenaries

Alexii Sigona

Alexii Sigona (Amah Mutsun-Ohlone) is currently a PhD student at UC Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. His research focuses on California Native land stewardship and co-management. His research centers the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and their efforts to protect and steward their ancestral lands despite not owning any lands and being a non-federally recognized tribe.

Jennifer Norris

Jennifer serves as Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat at the California Natural Resources Agency.  She leads the state’s 30×30 initiative and oversees “Cutting Green Tape” in support of landscape scale habitat restoration. Jennifer has held numerous positions in federal and state government including most recently as supervisor of the Sacramento Office for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.  She has extensive experience in conservation policy, endangered species protection and ecosystem management. She holds a Bachelor’s in Resource Policy and Planning from Cornell University, a Master’s in Conservation Biology from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Ecology from the University of New Mexico.  When she is not at work, she can be found exploring wild beaches, forests, and deserts with her family.

CNPS Celebration Plenaries

Chia Café Collective

The Chia Café Collective is a grassroots group dedicated to honoring all the indigenous peoples of Southern California and their connection to the land and native plants. Working with various agencies, organizations, schools, and tribal communities, the Collective offers native food workshops and classes; gathers, processes, and distributes plants to elders and others; and transplants native plants in areas slated for development, cultivating them in gardens in order to share seeds and cuttings.

Closing Plenaries

José Gonzalez

José G. González is the Founder and Director Emeritus of Latino Outdoors. He is a professional educator with training in the fields of education and conservation while engaging in different artistic endeavors with art and messaging—often exploring the intersection of the environment and culture. As a Partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields. He is also an illustrator and science communicator.

Jennifer Jewell

Jennifer Jewell is the host of the national award-winning weekly public radio program and podcast Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden. She is the author of The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (Timber Press in 2020), and Under Western Skies, Visionary Gardens from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast (Timber Press, May 2021). In late 2023, her third book focusing on the importance of seed in our personal/cultural, garden, environmental, and economic lives will be published by Timber Press. Jewell’s greatest passion is elevating the way we think and talk about gardening, the empowerment of gardeners, and the possibility inherent in the intersection between places, environments, cultures, individuals and the gardens that bring them together beautifully – for the better of all the lives on this generous planet.

Stay tuned for updates

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Please join us in thanking our major sponsors for making this year’s event possible! Become a sponsor today.

Giant Sequoia


Valley Oak


Moulton Niguel Water District

White Sage

H.T. Harvey & Associates Ecological Consultants
East Bay Municipal Utility District

Melo Gardens

California Poppy

Westervelt Ecological Services

Carol Witham

Jepson Herbarium
Helix Environmental Planning