Certification Study Guide
How to Prepare for the CNPS Botanist Certification
These guides cover everything you need to know about preparing for a successful exam. However, several years of professional full-time experience as a field and/or consulting botanist is necessary to provide the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to pass the exams.
Study Guide (updated Oct 10, 2019, 152kb) | 500 Plants for Sight ID (updated Mar 17, 2020, 136kb), excel file version, click to download | Preparing for Botanist Certification (764kb)
Additional Online Resources
Laws and Protocols
- Bureau of Land Management. 2010. Survey Protocols Required for NEPA/ESA Compliance for BLM Special Status Plant Species.
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2009. Protocols for Surveying and Evaluating Impacts to Special Status Native Plant Populations and Natural Communities.
- California Laws Protecting Native Plants
- California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2001. CNPS Botanical Survey Guidelines, CNPS Inventory, 6th Ed. Revised June 2.
- CEQA Guidelines
- CNPS policy on mitigation guidelines regarding impacts to rare, threatened, and endangered plants. 1998.
- Hydrogeomorphic Assessment Method (wetland functions) USDA NRCS Wetland Assessment Methods, including both national and regional guidebooks
- NEPA general information
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2000. Guidelines for Conducting and Reporting Botanical Inventories for Federally Listed, Proposed and Candidate Plants. Ventura Fish & Wildlife Office
- U.S.D.A. Forest Service Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Plant Survey Field Guide. 2014.
- Various CNPS Policies – online
Databases and Other References
- Natural Diversity Database. Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch. Sacramento, California.
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Natural Diversity Database
- CNPS Rare Plant Inventory online
- Consortium of California Herbaria
- Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. (BLM Technical Reference 1730-1.) Bureau of Land Management, Denver, Colorado.
- Flora of North America North of Mexico
- International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
- Jepson eFlora
- Jepson Interchange
- NatureServe. 2015. Interpreting NatureServe Conservation Status Ranks. NatureServe Explorer [Online] and NatureServe Central Databases, Arlington, VA.
- MCV on-line
Note: Other offline references indicated in Study Guide PDF