In this workshop you will be introduced to the common native and non-native grasses of California, gain familiarity with the basic structure and features of grass plants, and learn how to identify grass genera and species. This workshop will take place in an indoor classroom with microscopes and dissecting tools for studying collected plant specimens.

Identification of California Grasses

October 17-18, 2024
Santa Cruz, CA 
Taught by Dr. Doug Stone

CNPS Members $500/
Non-Members $550

Capacity: 22 participants
Registration is Full 

Join the Waitlist

Objectives

Target Audience: This workshop is intended for participants who already have a botany background and want to learn more about how to identify grasses. Participants should already have an initial understanding of plant terminology and basic plant identification skills.

Full Description: Grasses and grasslands are both ecologically and economically important, and knowledge of grasses has practical applications in many fields such as wetland delineation, rangeland assessment, erosion control, and ecosystem restoration. Knowledge of how to use a dissecting microscope can aid in identification, because grasses have wind-pollinated flowers that are highly reduced and lack petals or other showy parts. Attendees of this hands-on, two-day workshop will be introduced to the common native and non-native grasses of California, gain familiarity with the basic structure and identifying features of grass plants, and learn how to identify grass genera and species. Grasses are really not that hard once you get to know them!

This workshop will take place in an indoor classroom with microscopes and dissecting tools for studying collected plant specimens.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the diversity of California grasses (both native & non-native)
  • Learn the basic structure of grass plants and how to recognize the common genera and species
  • Become proficient with grass identification (using a dissecting scope and the dichotomous keys in The Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition)

Schedule & Locale

Thursday, October 17

Meet at the designated classroom at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.

8:30 am
Introductions

9:00 am
Overview of grass morphology and diversity, and keying with the Jepson Manual.

12:00 pm
Lunch

1:00 pm
Key out grasses in groups

4:30 pm
Break for the day

Friday, October 18

Meet at the designated classroom at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.

8:30 am
Continue keying out grasses

12:00 pm
Lunch

1:00 pm
Further exploration of grasses

4:00 pm
Wrap up discussion, questions, and evaluation forms

4:30 pm
Workshop concludes

Schedule subject to change.

Venue: This workshop will be held in a classroom at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, located in Santa Cruz, California. Additional details will be provided to registered participants about a week before the workshop. Participants are responsible for finding their own overnight lodging.

Materials & Requirements

Please bring...

  • Notebook and pen, or other device to take notes
  • Hand lens
  • The Jepson Manual, 2nd Edition, or a laptop or electronic device for viewing the Jepson eFlora online 

Materials Provided: CNPS will provide relevant handouts and references, dissecting microscopes, dissecting tools, and plant material.

Physical Requirements: This workshop will take place in an indoor classroom, participants will be seated at a desk using a microscope.

About the Instructor

Dr. Doug Stone

Dr. Doug Stone is currently an Associate Rare Plant Botanist with CNPS, a Research Associate of the California Botanic Garden (CalBG), and a Senior Research Associate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). His botanical career began at UC Santa Cruz (1976–1981) where he and two other undergraduates were awarded Honors for their thesis on the flora and vegetation of the Kingston Mountains in California’s eastern Mojave Desert. For his Master’s degree at UC Berkeley (1985–1988), he completed a status survey of the vernal-pool grasses Orcuttia, Neostapfia, and Tuctoria in California’s Central Valley. After earning his PhD in Integrative Biology (Plant Systematics) at UC Berkeley (1998–2004), he spent seven years in South Africa working as a faculty member at UKZN (2008–2015). He has authored or co-authored 50 scientific publications including taxonomic revisions and descriptions of 87 new plant species from tropical Africa and Madagascar. Since returning to California in 2018, he has started new research projects on phylogenomics and taxonomy of Orcuttia Orcuttia and relatives (Poaceae),vernal-pool mousetails (Myosurus; Ranunculaceae), and gooseberries (Ribes subg. Hesperia; Grossulariaceae), in collaboration with Prof. Travis Columbus of CalBG.

Scholarships Available

CNPS is committed to reducing barriers and broadening participation in our workshops. We are offering financial support opportunities for students, early professionals, or anyone who may not otherwise be able to attend. This scholarship will cover the cost of one CNPS plant science workshop. In some instances, CNPS will also provide monetary assistance for travel and accommodations. 

The scholarship form is due six weeks before the workshop date that you would like to attend. You will be notified within four weeks of the workshop date about the financial aid determination. Please click here to fill out the form to be considered as a potential recipient of a workshop scholarship.

Registration

The CNPS Identification of California Grasses Workshop is full. Please fill out this form to be added to the waitlist. 


Before registering,
please review the workshop waiver and photo release, plus our full workshop cancellation policy and participant expectations. The last day to cancel your registration for this workshop and receive any refund (less the $50 cancellation fee) is Wednesday, October 2, 2024. For other ways to register, please see our full registration & payment policy.

Did you know CNPS members get discounts on workshops? If you’re not a current member, you can join or renew now before completing the registration form below to qualify for special members-only rates!