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 speaker programs can be found on our Yerba Buena YouTube Channel




Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 7:30pm

The building blocks to resilience of California’s grasslands to fire and drought

Speaker: Valerie Eviner

This talk will review recent findings on how California’s grasslands will respond to environmental changes, especially fires and droughts, and the management approaches that can enhance the resilience of these grasslands to multiple changes.

Valerie Eviner is a professor of Ecosystem Management and Restoration in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. Her work focuses on understanding the ecological mechanisms that maintain grassland composition and ecosystem function, and how to enhance these with management.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 7:30pm

CNPS Yerba Buena Presents: Gardening to Feed Butterflies and Caterpillars

Speaker: Susan Karasoff

Local butterflies are charismatic examples of insects with a caterpillar phase. Discover good gardening practices to welcome these dynamic pollinators into your garden and learn about the native plants and caterpillars that make up the base of our food web.

Susan Karasoff gardens in San Francisco and is a member of the California Native Plant Society – Yerba Buena (San Francisco) chapter. She brings an “only the easiest plants survive” approach to gardening. Susan grows a buffet of colorful native edible and pollinator plants, specifically gardening to feed caterpillars, bees, hummingbirds and people.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 7:30pm

Nature-based Adaptation – Multi-benefit strategies for the SF Bay Shoreline

Speaker: Heidi Nutters

Image: Palo Alto Baylands. Photo credit: SFEP

The San Francisco Estuary faces complex challenges for communities and nature, including improving water quality while also protecting shoreline habitats, infrastructure, and frontline communities from sea level rise and flooding. Policy drivers at the local, state, and federal level all push toward the use of nature-based approaches that incorporate green solutions at the shoreline at rapid pace to meet the urgent needs of our region. Meanwhile, centering community voices and building trust requires patient and purposeful relationship building. So how do we speed up the pace of adaptation while slowing down the intentional process of equity-centered community engagement?

This talk will highlight innovative nature-based shoreline adaptation projects from across the SF Bay that are putting people and nature first. The talk will highlight the ways communities and Tribes are partnering with public entities to co-creating solutions, including the Oro Loma Living Laboratory, Palo Alto Horizontal Levee and First Mile Horizontal Levee.

Heidi Nutters, Senior Program Manager, leads Climate Resilience programming including the Transforming Urban Water Initiative. Core focus areas include collaborative process, advancing on the ground nature-based shoreline adaptation projects and integrating racial equity into the Partnership’s projects. Prior to joining the Partnership, she managed the Coastal Training Program for the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. She received a B.A. in Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies from Antioch College and a M.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University.

Zoom Reservation Required: Link Here


Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 7:30pm

CNPS Yerba Buena Presents: Climate Change, Latent Pathogens, and Large-Scale Tree Mortality in California

Speaker: Matteo Garbelotto, PhD

Matteo Garbelotto, forest pathology expert at UC Berkeley, will share the results of his lab’s research that suggests a connection between climate change and latent pathogens causing recent large-scale tree and shrub mortality in Northern California. He will also provide an update on Sudden Oak Death.

Until a few years ago, plant disease caused by latent pathogens—organisms that alternate among an endophytic phase in which they live within a plant without causing apparent disease, a pathogenic phase in which they cause disease, and a saprobic phase in which they digest dead plant matter—had been thought to occur only in localized situations of acute stress. But since 2015, large-scale mortality of trees and shrubs, both native and exotic, has been occurring throughout Northern California. Pathogen isolation studies revealed that in each of eight tree/shrub species studied, disease was associated with the widespread presence of latent fungal pathogens. Further studies have shown that lack of water and increasing temperatures can lead to higher disease severity. These data suggest that physiological stress caused by changing climate is triggering outbreaks of latent pathogens, regarded now as an additional class of agents causing large-scale mortality in tree populations at the regional scale.

Dr. Matteo Garbelotto is Adjunct Professor in Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Forest Pathology, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Plant Pathology. At UC Berkeley, he leads the Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab, which focuses on understanding the epidemiology of infectious plant diseases in natural ecosystems. He has been recognized for his efforts in public education, and he is well known for co-discovering the pathogen responsible for Sudden Oak Death.

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