CNPS is an organization made up of people paying it forward. Dr. Erin Espeland is one such example.
Erin was a young, rare plant scientist whose early connections with CNPS changed her career trajectory from music major to research ecologist. She was known for her commitment to California’s native plants and her willingness to support and mentor others. Although Erin left us too early due to ALS, her family and friends have partnered with CNPS to honor Erin’s legacy through an internship with CNPS.
Funds raised for the internship will provide a hands-on opportunity for an individual interested in pursuing the study of native plants.
About Dr. Erin Espeland
Dr. Erin Espeland developed a passion for native plants during her first job with the San Mateo County Parks Department, where her supervisor was a CNPS member. After completing her Bachelor’s in music at Mills College, Erin became a research fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, studying rare native plants such as large-flowered fiddleneck. Erin went on to complete degrees at San Jose State University and UC Davis, later becoming a research ecologist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in 2008. Her research areas included evolutionary and population biology of native and invasive plants, restoration ecology and conservation, and rare plant species. Throughout her career she was a dedicated mentor to budding scientists, and her collaborative spirit enriched the research community.