The California Deserts: A Hotbed for Floristic Diversity and Discovery

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 7:30pm to Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 4:30pm


The California Deserts: A Hotbed for Floristic Diversity and Discovery

Underwritten by the Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at The San Diego Foundation

March 4-5, 2016

Instructor: James M. André, Plant Ecologist and Director of the University of California's Granite Mountains Desert Research Center

Though commonly portrayed as barren and lifeless, the vast region comprised by California’s desert flora is exceedingly rich in plant species.  Even more surprising, our desert flora represents a major hotbed for taxonomic discovery in the United States. Even conservative estimates predict that 15% of the flora remains undescribed today, and that many new species discoveries will continue into the next century.

Photo: Ernie Cowan

This presentation will provide an overview of botanical exploration in the California Deserts, highlighting many of the recent discoveries, while also assessing needs for additional inventory. The conservation implications of looming large-scale impacts to our desert floristic frontier will also be discussed.

The field class will visit a variety of locations to explore the flora of Anza-Borrego in more detail. Saturday's field class will be limited to 20 participants.

Hike Level: Easy to moderate short walks. Participants should wear sturdy shoes.

Bring: Water, lunch and snacks, sun protection and camera. Total driving could include up to 150 miles roundtrip. Carpooling will be encouraged. If you plan to drive, please arrive with a full tank of gas.

Class Schedule and Pricing

Friday Lecture
7:30-9:00 p.m.
$5 at the door; open to the public

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
401 Tilting T Drive
Borrego Springs
Saturday Field Class
8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
$60 - Public Rate (includes lecture)
$50 - ABF Member Rate (includes lecture)

ABF Office
587 Palm Canyon Drive #110
Borrego Springs





About the Instructor:

Serving as Director of the University of California’s Granite Mountains Desert Research Center (GMDRC) since 1994, Jim is a recognized authority on the floras of the southwestern deserts and intermountain region. In addition to discovering and publishing numerous new species to science, he is author numerous regional floras in the desert southwest, including A Flora of the Mojave National Preserve. Jim’s current research focuses on plant taxonomy, population demographics of long-lived desert shrubs and the conservation biology of rare plants. 

He also serves as the Senior Advisor to the statewide CNPS Rare Plant Program (RPP) and Chair of the RPP Committee.