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.


Bees, ZomBees, and Citizen Science.

Speaker: Dr. John Hafernik

Concern about threats to honey bees and other pollinators is mounting. The honey bee is not native to the United States, but it is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and the mainstay of commercial and backyard honey production. In the U.S., hive failure rates are increasing as honey bees deal with introduced mites, diseases, pesticides and other stressors. These and other factors also threaten native bees. Recently a new threat to honey bees, the parasitic phorid fly Apocephalus borealis (AKA the Zombie Fly), was discovered in San Francisco. Bees infected by the fly (Zombees) show disoriented zombie-like behavior leaving their hive at night to die under nearby lights. San Francisco State’s John Hafernik will discuss the importance of native bees and honey bees as pollinators, as well as implications of zombie fly parasitism for honey bees in California and beyond. He will also provide information on how the public can get involved in tracking prevalence of zombie fly parasitism across North America through the citizen science project ZomBee Watch (zombeewatch.org).

Dr. John Hafernik is Professor Emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University and a past President of the California Academy of Sciences. He is also a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division; and of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society. He served as chair of the SF State Biology Department from 1992-2005 and as Interim Director of the SF State Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies from 2013-2014. John became fascinated with insects and the natural world as a young boy growing up in Texas.

NOVEMBER 2, THURSDAY, 7:30 PM (in San Francisco)

Botanical Exploration of Coastal North America of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Speaker: John Kipping

While immersing ourselves in our native floras, we encounter numerous species whose botanical names commemorate people. Who were Douglas, Clark, Fremont, Menzies, and Eschscholtz? Join the November meeting as we trace the history of botanical exploration of western North America from the mid-1700s through 1855. We shall learn about the oceanic voyages of Bering, Cook, Collnett, Vancouver, Malaspina, de la Perouse, Kotzebue, Beechey, and Wilkes as well as land-based journeys of Lewis and Clark, Douglas, Nuttall, Fremont, Hartweg, Loeb, and Whipple. We will join naturalist and arborist John Kipping as he describes the times and tales of pioneering collectors and botanists.

Residing in the foothills Gold Country, John is a member of the El Dorado Chapter of CNPS with deep roots in the Bay Area. John worked in nature education for nearly 30 years at the Randall Junior Museum, San Francisco Botanical Garden and Audubon Canyon Ranch. After earning an MA in biological sciences at San Francisco State, he became an instructor in the Natural Environment Program of the University of California Extension at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Davis, and Los Angeles for over two decades and has led nature tours in our western states as well as New Zealand, Ecuador, Baja California, British Columbia and Alaska where he spends summers aboard a small excursion vessel. He has authored over fifty articles about plants and three small books for children.