Learn a new skill while you’re in San Jose: take a pre-conference workshop!

All workshops will be held onsite at the DoubleTree by Hilton, with some including an off-site component as listed in the description. Registration for the conference is required to participate in the pre-conference workshops. Sign-up by October 1, 2022 – workshops have limited capacity and may fill up earlier, register early to secure your spot!

Plant Ranges Derived from Community Science

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Cynthia Powell (Calflora)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

Plant ranges are important to monitor and also to help plan for the future. For every wild plant species in California, Calflora offers a map of the potential habitat of the plant, extrapolated from individual observations, by either watershed or climate model. How might plant ranges be used, and how could these plant ranges be improved upon, will be covered in this workshop.

Joyful Stewardship: Earth-Centered Education in K-12 Schools

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Anjali Berger (Theodore Payne Foundation)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

Authentic stewardship of Earth and community is cultivated through joyful relationship with self and environment. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, participants will learn how to center stewardship in their educational spaces. Using a whole-person approach, participants will both experience and create lessons that weave together multiple intelligences and draw from diverse perspectives and disciplines through literature and multimodal media. Participants will learn how to create an inclusive framework that generates inquiry based learning, thinking about “Earth as text” through joyful, embodied awareness, and reorienting “doom and gloom” so that our students may meet the current state of our environment with an empowered sense of purpose and meaning. 

Taking a spiral curriculum approach, participants will understand how stewardship can be cultivated across age levels and disciplines. This workshop will explore how to engage students across developmental levels, and how any space, indoor or outdoor, can generate rich creativity from a place of compassion and curiosity. Participants will be supported through planning their own lessons and how to turn-key the information they receive from the workshop.

Introduction to Lichen Identification

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Shelly Benson (California Lichen Society)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

Lichens are found all around us, growing in nearly every habitat and on almost any surface.  However, these ubiquitous organisms are commonly overlooked and underappreciated.  This introductory class will give you a basic understanding of lichen biology and ecology.  You will learn to recognize lichen structures that are used in identification, and you will use microscopes, chemical tests, and dichotomous keys to identify lichens to genus (note: this class focuses on macrolichens).  This workshop includes a classroom lecture, a field excursion to observe lichens in their natural habitats, and a lichen keying session.

California Grasses: an Introduction

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Doug Stone (CNPS) 

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

Grasses and grasslands are both ecologically and economically important, and knowledge of grasses has practical applications in many fields such as wetland delineation, rangeland assessment, erosion control, and ecosystem restoration. Knowledge of how to use a dissecting microscope can aid in identification, because grasses have wind-pollinated flowers that are highly reduced and lack petals or other showy parts. Attendees of this hands-on, one-day workshop will be introduced to the common native and non-native grasses of California, gain familiarity with the basic structure and identifying features of grass plants, and learn how to identify grass genera and species. This workshop is targeted for participants who already have a botany background but want to learn more about grasses and how to identify them. Grasses are really not that hard once you get to know them!

Wetland Assessment Tools: HGM & CRAM

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Instructors: David Magney (CNPS), Michelle Stevens (CSUS), and Lindsay Teunis (SWCA)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

Use of models that provide objective assessments of the condition of wetland functions can be extremely helpful to consultants and decision-makers who guide and permit projects that affect wetlands directly and/or indirectly. Two different but similar assessment models have been developed: the Hydrogeomorphic Assessment Method (HGM) and the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). Both models have three basic components: physical, chemical, and biotic. How they are characterized, assessed, and compared varies. Each method has wetland classes/subclasses; both can provide objective rankings of wetland functions for both baseline and post project conditions and can be important planning tools. This workshop will provide an overview and explanation of HGM and CRAM, their similarities and differences, training needed to use them, and their applicability and usefulness to environmental consultants and others.

Protecting your Landscape Against Drought Now and Planning for its Future

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Instructor: Jennifer de Graaf

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

Starting with a workflow of making your own plant list based on natives found in calscape, then refining it with hydrozoning, more research for site conditions.  Address maintenance practices vs water conservation and discuss things to do now to protect existing landscapes against drought stress, and how to modify them over time to improve their resilience against drought. Mentioning long term environmental impacts and how these practices and decisions are important to the bigger picture. Will be beginner friendly and approachable, but in the time of a half day, intermediate level problem solving will be the main focus. There will be an emphasis on critical thinking, plant selection, soil, mulch, compost, hydrozoning, and how these things help conserve water.

Autumnal Nature Printing

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Instructor: Latifat Apatira (Titilayo Prints)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

In this unique mixed-media workshop, participants will be taught Nature Printing, a printmaking technique that combines botanical printing and hand coloring to create charming, hand-pressed compositions using fresh foliage, ink and paper. The compositions may then be painted. All participants will leave the workshop with works of hand-crafted California native botanical art.

The workshop will start by introducing participants to the rich history of nature printing, followed by a demonstration and printing session. We will work with the autumn leaves of a few northern California native plants, but participants are encouraged to bring plant cuttings from their own communities and gardens! The nature printing process is unassuming and approachable, and no previous art experience is necessary to achieve rewarding results. Unlike botanical illustration or wood block printing, creativity through this art form can be explored without the need to draw and requires no special training, only a love of plants.

Cultivating your Inner Scientist – Basic Propagation

Tuesday, October 18, 8:30 AM -12:00 PM

Instructor: Renee Murphy

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

Preparation will lead you to a successful and fulfilling growing experience. Through community and education, we will learn together. As a scientist, I practice a set of basic guidelines to propagation. Knowing the why behind propagation is the first step to success, followed by developing a hypothesis, testing and trialing, and finally recording your data. Some main parts of this hands-on workshop include: set-up (tools and supplies), seeds, cuttings, division, and root cuttings. 

ABCs of Mitigation Monitoring

Tuesday, October 18, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Instructor: David Magney (CNPS)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

CEQA requires that all significant impacts to botanical resources either be avoided or minimized and mitigated to a point that the residual impact is less than significant. To ensure compliance with required mitigation measures, monitoring is often required to measure and document how that mitigation is progressing. Since many mitigation measures, such as translocating a rare plant population, usually fail, regular monitoring is now usually required so that there are not big surprises at the end of the monitoring period, when the mitigation measure is supposed to have been successful. This workshop will provide an overview and description of the basics of monitoring mitigation measures intended to protect or restore botanical resources of a project site.

Language of Restoration

Tuesday, October 18, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Instructors: Brian Teng, Jessica Lie, Marion Anthonisen, and Robin Binaoro (Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

Creating an inclusive environment is critical to our work, yet often how we speak about plants and restoration can mirror language used to marginalize immigrants, Indigenous groups, and other historically excluded peoples. Since the beginning of the modern Western conservation movement, a lot has changed in the science of and understanding around restoration work as well as in our culture and politics.  In this workshop, we will use interactive activities to explore the importance and impact of the words we use to describe environmental work.  

Participants will receive a reading list, conceptual framework, and generate shared insights and suggestions on inclusive language. Both those who are new to this conversation and those who have been thinking about it for some time will gain new insights and perspectives around how we communicate concepts related to plants, restoration, and stewardship.

How to Detect Phytophthora and other Plant Pathogens in Container Nurseries

Tuesday, October 18, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Instructors: Ted Swiecki (Phytosphere Research), Cheryl Blomquist (California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Sacramento), and Suzanne Latham (California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Sacramento)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

This workshop will provide a demonstration and hands-on training on how to detect Phytophthora and other plant pathogens in container nurseries. Diagnosticians from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) statewide laboratory in Sacramento will share pointers for early detection of plant diseases, sampling, and how their lab may assist you. Ted Swiecki, Phytosphere Research will demonstrate a leachate baiting technique used to detect Phytophthora pathogens in container nurseries. The test is used in the Accreditation to Improve Restoration (AIR) program. All aspects of the test will be discussed: setting up the equipment, conducting the test and how to interpret the results. The leachate baiting test utilizes green pears as a bait to attract and detect Phytophthora. We will discuss how to assess symptoms on pear baits to tell when they are positive and review sample collection, handling, and further steps needed for early detection of Phytophthora on native plants or ornamentals.

Introduction to Identification and Ecology of Bryophytes

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Ben Carter (Associate Professor of Biology & Director of the C.W. Sharsmith Herbarium, San Jose State University)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

This workshop will present a broad introductory overview of the bryophtyes of California. We will cover the important differences between bryophytes and vascular plants (both in terms of field ID and basic biology), as well as differences among the three groups of bryophytes- the mosses, liverworts and hornworts. We will cover biogeography of California bryophytes and discuss how the important differences in the ecology between bryophytes and vascular plants underlies differences in their biogeography. Finally, we’ll cover some basic morphology and terminology and go over the available local resources so that participants interested in learning more about bryophytes have a strong foundation to continue learning on their own.

Introduction to Plant Identification

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Nick Jensen (CNPS) and Sandy Namoff (Cosumnes River College)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

In this workshop you will learn basic plant morphology with a focus on the structures necessary for plant identification. Participants will learn the specialized terminology necessary to identify plants in several common California plant families. This workshop will be taught at a beginner level and is open to anyone interested in learning about or improving their knowledge of plant terminology and the characteristics of common plant families.

Native Plant Portraiture Project

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Anjali Berger (Theodore Payne Foundation)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

Honoring the artistic tradition of Kehinde Wiley, this workshop explores how to be in relationship with native plants from a “being to being” perspective. Participants will learn about native plant ecosystems, families, adaptations and more. As participants learn about the resiliency, wisdom and medicine of native plants, they will be guided through exercises that seat themselves in the center of their own lives and personhood, exploring how they too have “adapted” and moved through the context of their environment. Participants will then be guided to “choose” a plant that they feel in relationship to, connected by any reason, to project onto themselves as a guide for their portraiture. In this way, the workshop explores the “personhood” of both plant and human, creating an equal and overlapping relational expression of two beings. Participants will take photos of themselves in relation to their projection, and then share with the group why they chose the plant they chose. This workshop weaves in multiple resources and perspectives, and draws on Indigenous frameworks for relational stewardship. This project can be adapted for all ages, but is especially relevant for 5th-12th grade educators. This project aims to empower students in the genius technology of both their bodies and the plant bodies.

Sensitive Natural Communities in the Southern SF Bay Area, as described in A Manual of California Vegetation, Second Edition, and through a Tour in the Region

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Julie Evens (California Native Plant Society) and Rachelle Boul (California Department of Fish & Wildlife)

Registration Fees: $105 early registration/$115 regular registration

We will provide an overview of Vegetation Alliances and Associations being defined in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, as part of the fine-scale inventory and mapping effort by the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship, and as defined in A Manual of California Vegetation. We will briefly discuss the online Manual and show components of Alliance descriptions including general remarks, disturbance history, species life history, geography, management and conservation considerations. We will focus on sensitive natural communities including riparian, upland and coastal dune ecosystems. The lecture portion will last 1 hour. We also will have an in-field portion that will start inland where mixtures of coastal and inland oak species occur along with various chaparral and grassland habitats, and then end along the coast, where the distance will be 30 minutes to 1.5 hours from the conference facility. We will encounter at least 50 different vegetation alliances of the region from coastal prairies and meadows to coastal scrub and chaparral, to oak, pine, redwood forests and woodlands. The sensitive natural communities that we will encounter include those on serpentine substrates inland to those in coastal forests to coastal dunes and prairies.

Botanist Certification Exam

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Instructor: David Magney (CNPS) and Aaron Sims (CNPS)

Registration Fees:
Field Botanist: $250
Consulting Botanist: $350
Retaking an exam: $115 per exam

Professional botanists: become a California Certified Botanist! Visit to find out more about the certification program and download the study guide.

Nature Journaling for Native Plant Enthusiasts

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM


Kate Rutter (CNPS – East Bay Chapter) and MJ Broadbent (UC California Naturalist – Mt. Diablo Region)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

What does it mean to really see a native plant? To understand it deeply and to appreciate what makes it unique? Nature journaling is the act of putting pen (or pencil) to paper to observe nature with curiosity and attention. Starting with observation, you will use words, pictures, and numbers to document the form, shape, and textures of living beings. No prior experience is needed. This is about documented curiosity, not about art or beautiful pictures.

In this participatory workshop you will learn the what, why, and how of a nature journaling practice, why it matters for native plants and native habitats, and what makes nature journaling different from other forms of visual communication. Through hands-on drawing from live native plant specimens, you will practice foundational techniques such as basic sketching, annotation, and observations that prompt deeper questions. Along the way we will cover page layout, the importance of metadata, the value of keeping a perpetual journal, and how to tame the inner critic. This workshop will introduce you to the power of nature journaling with a particular focus on topics related to native plants, habitats, and ecosystems.

CEQA 101

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Instructors: Isabella Langone (CNPS) and Mark Bibbo (CNPS)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

This workshop will provide a basic understanding of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and how it works in relation to biological resources, with special emphasis on plant species and communities. Regulations and basic science approaches will be emphasized. Participants will learn to review and identify the parts of a CEQA document that are critical to plant conservation at the project level, and will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how to review and comment on/critique CEQA documents in a meaningful manner with the intent of improving the quality of the CEQA project.

ArcGIS Field Maps: Intro to Data Collection

Wednesday, October 19, 1:00-4:30 pm

Instructor: Jeff Shaner (Esri)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

Join this session to learn about how to get started using ArcGIS Field Maps to perform common field activities such as capturing species observation, editing data, creating map markup, and more. You’ll learn how to configure a map for data collection with form authoring and how to work offline. This workshop is designed for beginners with little to no mobile data collection or web GIS mapping experience. The workshop will walk you through the basics of configuring ArcGIS Field Maps, collecting data in the field, and summarizing it with web GIS applications in ArcGIS Online.

Creating Pollinator Habitat and Corridors with Native Plants

Wednesday, October 19, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Instructor: Gladys M. Mercier (CNPS Santa Clara Valley / Carnegie Mellon University / Prescott College)

Registration Fees: $55 early registration/$65 regular registration

This is a hands-on design workshop where participants develop a draft plan for establishing a pollinator corridor in their region, or a habitat space for their private yard.  Topics covered include:

  • The need for urban pollinator habitat and its role in sustaining native pollinators and other wildlife (presentation and discussion)
  • Examples of habitat fragmentation remediation with pollinator corridors (presentation of examples)
  • Identifying opportunities for habitat and engaging with local agencies to create corridors (hands-on activity)
  • Ways to create effective habitat for pollinators, considering regional ecosystem requirements. Native plants are a key part of habitat development, but there are other important elements.  (presentation & activity) 
  • Beneficial and creative use of native plants in pollinator habitat (presentation & participants share their work with the group)

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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