In this workshop you will learn about the plants, ecology, and history of the rare and enchanting pygmy forest, visiting and assessing the multitude of its unique vegetation communities with leading expert, Teresa Sholars. Read on for details.

Pygmy Forest Flora & Ecology

August 12-15, 2019
Fort Bragg, CA
Taught by Teresa Sholars
Download Full Prospectus

CNPS Members $395 / Non-Members $415
Capacity: 20 participants
Last Day to Register: July 28, 2019



Target Audience: This workshop is open to anyone interested in learning about the Mendocino cypress woodland, from novices who just want to know more about the pygmy forest, to experienced botanists who need more field practice using rapid assessment protocols for rare vegetation types.

Full Description: This workshop will introduce participants to both the ecology and floristics of the pygmy forest as well as the process to identify and classify rare plant communities using the CNPS/CDFW rapid assessment protocol. We will visit all of the six-plus associations that were developed over the last four years of mapping the pygmy forest and its associated oligotrophic communities.

Participants will learn:

  • To recognize the dominant plant species that occur in the Mendocino cypress woodland
  • To recognize the four associations (vegetation types) that include the pygmy cypress
  • To recognize the fen variant that occurs within one of the associations
  • To use the CNPS/CDFW rapid assessment form to record information on rare natural communities
  • To use the CDFW form to document rare species
  • To recognize some of the dominant lichen species that occur in the Mendocino cypress woodland
  • The ecological features that shape these rare natural communities

Schedule & Locale

Monday, August 12

Meet at Mendocino College room 120, classroom lecture followed by short field trip.

1:00 pm
Welcome & introductions

1:30 pm
Introductory lecture

2:30 pm
Short field trip to Jackson State Demonstration Forest

5:00 pm
Break for the day

Tuesday, August 13

Meet at Jughandle staircase, all day in the field.

9:00 am
Meet at Jughandle staircase, hike up ecological staircase

Lunch in the field (please bring your own lunch and water)

1:00 pm
Continued exploration of the ecological staircase

5:00 pm
Break for the day

Wednesday, August 14

Meet in the parking lot at Mendocino College to carpool, all day in the field.

9:00 am
Meet in the parking lot at Mendocino College

9:15 am
Carpool to College Fen, a.k.a. “Sholars Bog”

Lunch in the field (please bring your own lunch and water)

1:00 pm
Carpool to Jackson State Demonstration Forest (exact site TBA)

5:00 pm
Break for the day

Thursday, August 15

Meet at location TBA, all day in the field.

9:00 am
Meet at location TBA for continued field study in Jackson State Demonstration Forest

Lunch in the field (please bring your own lunch and water)

1:00 pm
Continued field study

4:30 pm
Workshop evaluations

5:00 pm
Workshop concludes

Schedule subject to change.

Venue: The day 1 classroom portion of this workshop will be held in room 120 at the Mendocino Coast Campus of Mendocino College, 1211 Del Mar Dr, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. We will be traveling to several field sites on the following days, utilizing carpools as needed. Additional details will be provided to registered participants about a week before the workshop.

Materials & Requirements

Please bring...

  • Hand lens
  • Clipboard
  • Field notebook, pencils, and scotch tape
  • Bags for collecting plant material
  • Metric ruler
  • Sturdy shoes or boots, hat & field clothing appropriate for the weather and conditions (e.g. protection from poison oak, rain, sun, heat/cold, insects, etc.)
  • Packable lunches, plenty of water, and snacks for all 3 days
  • Optional: compass, GPS, and range finder if you have them

Materials Provided: CNPS will provide relevant handouts, including field forms and plant lists, to workshop attendees.

Physical Requirements: Participants should be physically able to walk up to 5 miles at a time along uneven paths and trails, and remain outside for 8 hours at a time. This workshop will be held rain or shine. We will spend approximately 90% of the time in the field.

About the Instructor

Teresa Sholars

Teresa Sholars is Professor Emeritus of Biology & Sustainable Agriculture at College of the Redwoods, and Adjunct Professor and Curator of the Herbarium and Natural History Collection at the Mendocino Coast Campus of Mendocino College in Fort Bragg. She is a retired botanical and ecological consultant, as well as the author of the perennial Lupinus treatment in The Jepson Manual, and is currently authoring the perennial Lupinus treatment for the Flora of North America. A long time CNPS volunteer, Teresa has served on many CNPS committees over the decades, and is currently the Rare Plant Chair and Vegetation Chair for the Dorothy King Young chapter, as well as a member of the Fremontia editorial board. She was awarded a CNPS Fellowship in 2010 for her extensive work and dedication to California’s native plants.


Registration for the Pygmy Forest workshop has now closed.

Before registering, please review our full workshop cancellation policy and participant expectations. The last day to cancel your registration for this workshop and receive any refund (less the cancellation fee) is Monday, July 15, 2019. 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!