Speaker Series

Everyone is welcome to attend membership meetings in the Recreation Room of the San Francisco County Fair Building (SFCFB) at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. The #71 and #44 buses stop at the building. The N-Judah, #6, #43, and #66 lines stop within 2 blocks.
Before our programs, we take our speakers to dinner at Chang’s Kitchen, 1030 Irving Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues. Join us for good Chinese food and interesting conversation. Meet at the restaurant at 5:30 pm. RSVP appreciated but not required. If you wish to notify, please call Jake Sigg at 415-731-3028.


Biological Control of Cape-Ivy and Other Weeds: Advancements, Opportunities, and Considerations

Speakers: Patrick J. Moran, Ph.D. & Scott L. Portman, Ph.D.

Cape-ivy (Delairea odorata Lemaire) was introduced from South Africa and has invaded riparian, forest, and scrub habitats all along the California coast, even extending into southern Oregon. Cape-ivy vines smother other vegetation and degrade habitat quality. Work is now being done to reduce cape-ivy with biocontrol. Biocontrol is used because other methods such as herbicides and hand pulling are not cost effective for large areas. Itl involves the introduction of host-specific herbivorous natural enemies from the weed’s native range. The ultimate objective of biocontrol is to reduce the ability of the weed to grow, reproduce, disperse, and compete with native plants. Patrick and Scott will discuss their latest scientific research and the introduction of insect(s) to control cape-ivy. Like any weed control method, biocontrol has advantages, disadvantages, and risks and these points will also be discussed during the lecture.

Dr. Patrick Moran is a Research Entomologist with the USDA-ARS, Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit in Albany California, and previously worked for USDA-ARS in Texas, with a total of 16 years of experience and over 50 publications. His research focuses on biological and integrated management of invasive terrestrial and aquatic weeds that threaten water resources. He has expertise in plant-insect interactions, determination of the life cycle, host range and impact of biological control agents of weeds, and methods to improve their field establishment and impact. Patrick is Lead Scientist on a 5-year research project at the USDA-ARS, and Lead Co-Director on the Delta Region Area Wide Aquatic Weed Project (DRAAWP), focused on integrated control of aquatic weeds in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from Penn State University.

Dr. Scott Portman: Scott is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the USDA-ARS, Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit in Albany California. Previously, Scott had a postdoctoral appointment at Montana State University where his research involved using biologicals to control insect pests of wheat. He has expertise in classical biological control, plant-insect interactions, chemical ecology, and insect molecular genetics. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Southeast Missouri State University, a Master’s in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Biology from Penn State University.

August 3, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM

Save the Superbloom: How extraordinary years can help us to save extraordinary places.

Speaker: Dan Gluesenkamp, Ph.D.

This past spring Californians and indeed all the world were treated to a spectacular season of wildflowers. While not every part of California was treated to a Superbloom, some parts were, and it drew the attention of the world. Major newspapers across the nation featured stories about the bloom. Broadcasters ranging from Korean Television to Netflix made trips to out-of-the-way California wildflower destinations to document them for their viewers. This excitement was driven by a confluence of events; climatic conditions provided California some beautiful blooms, and political circumstances gave all of us the need to see beauty, resilience, resistance, and hope.

This talk will focus on the 2017 super bloom, its flowers, the frenzy, and the broader significance. Yes, there will be photos of flowers. There will also be pictures of industrial- scale solar farms and pot- growing fields, where flowers once flourished. Finally, there will be a discussion of the CNPS Important Plant Areas (IPAs) project, an ambitious endeavor that deploys scientific data and citizen science to identify the most important parts of California and ensure that we do everything possible to save them for the future.

Dan Gluesenkamp is Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society and works with CNPS staff and chapters to protect, understand, and celebrate California’s native flora. Dan earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley studying the ecology of native and
invasive thistles. He previously worked as Executive Director of the Calflora Database, and as Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s thirty preserves. He is a co-founder of the California Invasive Plant Council and of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN).

September 7, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM

Restoring Habitat for San Francisco’s Rare Endemic Manzanitas

Speaker: Michael Chassé