Speaker Series

CNPS Yerba Buena's  Virtual Speaker Programs

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




Thursday April 13, 2023  7:30 PM

Western Sword Ferns and reports of Die-off

Speaker: Dr. Tim Billo

The mystery is not yet solved!  Dr. Billo has been tracking a botanical disaster. For several years, sword ferns in an area of Seward Park WA had been dying, and the problem was getting worse.  He continues to work with a team of scientists and community activists to unravel the issue and will summarize the results of the large ongoing collaborative effort in Seward Park and other sites around the region.  He’ll review the multiple etiologies that have been explored and share the hypotheses the research team has developed.  He will also share the team’s ongoing experimental work testing hypotheses and restoration solutions.  Finally, Dr. Billo will place this challenge in the context of anthropogenic climate change and other human pressures.

Tim Billo is a lecturer with the University of Washington Program on the Environment. The focus of his position is undergraduate teaching. He teaches a wide range of interdisciplinary courses, often centered around field studies and natural history. Dr. Billo’s PhD is in biology, with a specialty in bird behavior and evolution, with much of his research taking place in lowland tropical rainforests of Central America. With a lifelong interest in plants, however, and two small children at home, he welcomed the opportunity to work on the sword fern die-off problem affecting Seward Park, a field site in his own neighborhood!

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


Thursday May 11, 2023 at 7:30PM

Digitizing California Herbarium Specimens at Cal Academy - Implications and Opportunities

Dr. Sarah Jacobs

The California Academy of Sciences was recently funded to digitize 1 million California botany specimens from their herbarium. Each specimen in the collection contains valuable data that not only helps us understand California biodiversity as a whole, but also paints a picture of the history of species across the state. That trove of information is invaluable to research and conservation efforts, but right now most of it is only accessible to those who are able to visit our collections in San Francisco. In addition, summarizing information across the entire collection is currently impossible.

Previously estimated to take decades of work, this project will utilize cutting-edge technology (including engagement with community scientists) to perform the project in only a few years. As a result, the project will make the California botany collection accessible to scientists, policymakers, and community members across the state and beyond. It’s a critical step towards supporting botanical exploration and research, and guiding development and management decisions that will help achieve CAS’ Thriving California goal of conserving and regenerating the biodiversity that makes California so unique.

Dr. Sarah Jacobs, curator of the Botany Department at the California Academy of Sciences, is part of a core team of scientists that collectively curates the Academy’s collection of over 2.3 million herbarium specimens. As the Howell Chair of Western North American Botany, she is particularly focused on guiding and shaping the collection of Western North American plants, ensuring their preservation, growth, and relevance into the future.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 7:30pm

Responsible Foraging

Speaker: Mia Andler

Let’s learn about responsible harvesting of plants in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra. This area offers a bounty of delectable, edible plants through the year.  Each season presents a variety of edible plants and opportunities for tending to our local wild places.

Mia Andler is committed to facilitating meaningful connection to nature. She is the author of "The Sierra Forager" and co-author of “The Bay Area Forager”. She is also the founder and executive director of Vilda, a 501 c(3) non-profit that runs nature connection programs for children in Tahoe, Truckee and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been foraging since she was a little girl and has studied the regenerative practices of earth based cultures around the world. Mia has appeared on television, film and radio. She lives with her children in Truckee, California.

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