California Native Plant Society

In Appreciation...

CNPS Recognizes Natalie Ames Hopkins

Natalie Ames Hopkins Natalie Ames Hopkins, a long-time supporter of CNPS, passed away on April 15, 2007, at the age of 87.

Originally from Massachusetts, Natalie and her family settled in San Jose, California, at the end of World War II. Her love of nature and native plants emerged from her experiences in the northern Sierra Nevada, wild seashores, and coastal mountains of California.

In her late forties, Natalie went back to college and obtained a B.A. in botany and M.S. in biology. She worked as a volunteer in the San Jose State University Herbarium with her mentor and CNPS Fellow, Carl W. Sharsmith, where she initiated and led the effort to digitally catalogue 15,000 plant specimen sheets. Following the death of Dr. Sharsmith, Natalie became curator of the Sharsmith Herbarium where she served until 2000.

Natalie was a founding member of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter. She served as its second president and on the state CNPS Board of Directors. As a botanist and ecologist active in native plant conservation for the last four decades of her life, she mentored younger women in pursuit of careers in botany, many of whom became leaders within CNPS.

Natalie also included CNPS in her estate plans. In December of 2007, CNPS received a letter from her son Thomas Hopkins, with a check for $50,000. Her family and many academic and CNPS friends want her bequest to be used to establish a Natalie Hopkins Education Fund to support women students and researchers in pursuit of native plant studies. We are grateful to Natalie and her family for their generosity.

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