This winter and spring I am teaching a fantastic and unique class at UC Davis with TA Kate Zamenick. In Experimental Ecology and Evolution in the Field we have two consecutive quarters to work with some of the most motivated and creative ecology undergrads at UC Davis. We will determine a research question, implement a field experiment and write a paper for peer review. The class is keeping a blog as a group laboratory and field notebook and using #eve180 on twitter to share information. In the next two weeks we will determine our question and develop our design. Can’t wait to see where the next few weeks will take us!
The Kids into Discovering Science program was featured in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences newsletter!
Since fall of 2013 I’ve enjoyed working with my family as volunteers with Putah Creek Council on the North Davis Ditch restoration plantings. What good fortune to have the opportunity to build community, help with restoration in our own neighborhood, and to watch it grow!
As part of the Rare Plant Monitoring Protocol for Adaptive Management that we are developing for Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Karen Tanner and I have created these Rare Plant Fact Sheets and Rare Plant Observation Record Forms so that citizen scientists and staff alike can explore rare plants on the refuge, find populations, report observations and new localities.
Let’s us know what you see out there on the refuge! When you see them in a new or interesting place, we would greatly appreciate it if you would fill out and submit an Ash Meadows Rare Plant Observation Records (prints as 2 half sheets). If you head out to Ash Meadows, you can print out a few of these and the Rare Plant Fact Sheets to have in your vehicle or backpack. Or add them as pdfs to your mobile device! If you see rare plants in a new location (not on the maps) or in a location that is directly or indirectly impacted (in a possible or negative way) by management actions make an observation by filling out ALL of the fields on the form.
As guest Managing Editor I have assembled and edited the first two 2014 issues of Fremontia, Journal of the California Native Plant Society, to bring visibility to desert plants, ecosystems, research and regional management challenges. The first issue is out! Here is my Editorial. Please email me if you would like PDF versions of articles or to borrow one of my gorgeous photo-laden paper copies. Electronic distribution will follow later in 2014. The issue for May 2014 is in press and will focus on threats to desert plants and ecosystems. I’m very proud of these issues and grateful to the wonderful authors, reviewers, and editors who contributed!
The January issue features an article that I wrote with Jim André entitled “Rare plant diversity in the California deserts priorities for research and conservation.” The May issue has an article by Karen Tanner, myself and Bruce Pavlik on our study on the effects of shade and water regime change on desert annual communities.
Here’s a link to notes and R code from a workshop that I gave for the Davis R Users Group in 2013. This project has come a long way since the talk! I now have two manuscripts in preparation on the population demography of the rare desert plant Penstemon albomarginatus (below) where I develop these analysis further. If you are interested I would be happy to share an update or have a conversation on parameterizing rare plant models.