Speaker Series

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we've taking the Speaker Program Virtual

Please note the unique webinar link contained within for each program description which will take you to the Zoom invitation or registration page.

Video of past "virtual" speaker programs can be found on our Yerba Buena Youtube Channel




May 12, 2022, Thursday 7:30 PM

Native Plants in the Built Environment

Speaker: Dr Kristina Schierenbeck

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here

It is well-established that native tree species in an urban forest provide habitat for the insect fauna and the avifauna. California and indeed, the globe, is in a potentially catastrophic biodiversity crisis. Forty percent of the world’s insects are threatened with extinction, as are 30% of bird species. Every effort must be made to restore, to what extent is possible, the botanical underpinnings of ecological diversity, including in urban areas. Infrastructure support (wide planting strips and other measures) must be considered to support these plantings.

Dr. Schierenbeck’s research interests are in the areas of plant hybridization, plant evolution, and invasive species. She teaches courses in Evolution and Plant Diversity at Cal State University Chico.

June 9, 2022, Thursday 7:30 PM

The Science and Practice of Fire Management

Speaker: Dr. Lee Klinger

There is mounting evidence that the increased mortality of oaks and other fire-adapted trees in California is linked to long-term fire suppression practices. Given that re-introduction of fire is not feasible in many areas, a suite of practices that mimic the effects of fire are showing promise in restoring the health of oaks and other native trees. This talk will discuss the role of Indigenous tending practices, the science and methods of fire mimicry, and the results of these efforts as documented by repeat photography. Particular attention will be paid to the neglected ecology of mosses and lichens in oak forests.

Lee Klinger MA PhD is an Independent Scientist living on unceded Esselen land in Big Sur, California. Since 2005 he has served as director of Sudden Oak Life, a movement aimed at using ecologically based tending practices to address the problem of forest decline in California. He has over 40 years of field experience in the earth system sciences and has held scholarly appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Colorado, the University of Oxford, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Geological Society of London.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here

July 14, 2022, Thursday 7:30 PM


Speaker: Dr. Bruce Baldwin  

The idea that the spectacular Hawaiian silverswords and relatively humble California tarweeds have a natural affinity goes back to the mid-1800s, when Asa Gray placed them together as the exclusive representatives of subtribe Madiinae, in the sunflower family, Asteraceae.  That classification proved controversial for well over a hundred years, until detailed studies supported and extended Gray’s hypothesis.  Thanks to careful anatomical work by the late, great Sherwin Carlquist and a series of subsequent evolutionary studies, we now have a more refined understanding of the relationship between tarweeds and silverswords and an emerging picture of how both groups have diversified as exemplars of adaptive radiation in oceanic islands or island-like environments, including the Mediterranean-like California Floristic Province.  Join us for a presentation about those radiations and the beautiful diversity of plants that arose from them both in California and Hawaii.

Bruce Baldwin is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, and Curator, Jepson Herbarium, U.C. Berkeley. Since 1994, Bruce has served as convening editor of the Jepson Flora Project, which has produced The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California and The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California, and currently produces the Jepson eFlora — a living, regularly updated online flora of California.  His research focuses on evolution and diversity of the native California flora and Hawaiian plants that descend from Californian lineages, with an emphasis on the sunflower family.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


We're pleased to share video links of  Susan Karasoff's (CNPS-YB Outreach chair) popular gardening series with the San Francisco Public Library

Colorful Year Around Gardening with San Francisco Native Plants

Shrubberies, Wind Screens and Ground Covers

Succulent Gardening with Kipp McMichael

Children’s Gardens with San Francisco Native Plants

Gardening for Biodiversity in San Francisco, October, 24, 2020

Shade Gardening with California Native Plants, September 26, 2020

Gardening for San Francisco’s Butterflies and Pollinators, August 22, 2020

Edible Native Fruits & Vegetables of San Francisco, July 25, 2020