July 2019 News

Save Plants

CENTER FOR PLANT CONSERVATION

Background photo: Fog front view from Guadalupe Island. Photo credit: by Joyce Maschinski.

Save Plants

CENTER FOR PLANT CONSERVATION

July 2019 Newsletter

A Slight Adjustment

It’s the height of summer and hopefully, many of you are outdoors enjoying the world of plants, whether at the shore, mountains or local park. We’re taking this time to make a slight change in our newsletter. We’ve decided to move the release date on our monthly newsletter from mid-month to the first week of the month. To allow our contributors to adjust to the new timing, we are going light in July.

This month we are featuring just one article – giving you a taste of what is in store for our August issue about rare plants and islands. Please enjoy this month’s feature article about the recent work on islands off the coast of California and Mexico. Get a feel of what it’s like to travel to these islands and the challenges plant conservationists face.

And check in next month for an in-depth look at the work of the Center for Plant Conservation network on islands in North America and saving rare plants.

Thank you,
CPC Newsletter Team

Questions and Challenges for Island Conservation

Center for Plant Conservation

Based on material from Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D., Vice President of Science and Conservation

Standing on a plateau on Isla Guadalupe off the coast of Baja California, Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D., could appreciate the beauty of an island in recovery – the return of pine and cypress forests and other habitats after more than a century of invasive animal impacts. She also came to appreciate the power of fog, as it dramatically rolled over the chaparral, depositing droplets of moisture that sustain the vegetation on the island through the summer dry season. These are just a few of the traits shared by many of the other islands off the coast of California and Baja California; stretching from the Bay Area to halfway down the Baja Peninsula. On each of these islands, conservation efforts have made huge strides in bringing back the unique vegetation. But many challenges remain.

Background Photo: Lupinus niveus with lady bugs, Islands of the Californias Botanical Collaborative. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Questions and Challenges for Island Conservation

Center for Plant Conservation, Based on material from Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D., Vice President of Science and Conservation

Standing on a plateau on Isla Guadalupe off the coast of Baja California, Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D., could appreciate the beauty of an island in recovery – the return of pine and cypress forests and other habitats after more than a century of invasive animal impacts. She also came to appreciate the power of fog, as it dramatically rolled over the chaparral, depositing droplets of moisture that sustain the vegetation on the island through the summer dry season. These are just a few of the traits shared by many of the other islands off the coast of California and Baja California; stretching from the Bay Area to halfway down the Baja Peninsula. On each of these islands, conservation efforts have made huge strides in bringing back the unique vegetation. But many challenges remain.

Background photo: Fog front view from Guadalupe Island. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

These challenges are too large for any one entity. But fortunately, there are many entities – land managers and mainland partners – working across the islands in both the U.S. and Mexico. Common concerns for endangered species, vegetation, and degraded habitats stimulated forming the Islas de Las Californias, Colaboración Botánica/ Islands of the Californias Botanical Collaborative (ICBC). It was a meeting of ICBC that brought Joyce out to Guadalupe Island.

Joyce’s vast experience with reintroductions, and ability to draw on the projects in the CPC reintroduction database, as well as the CPC Best Practices Guidelines, prompted the organizers of ICBC’s meeting to invite here to participate. They sought her input as the group discussed possible reintroductions of rare plants wiped out from one or more islands, but still found on others. Reintroductions, especially when seeds are being transported across islands, are no trivial matter. While it may seem intuitive to boost the species with seed and outplantings wherever a plant used to occur, concerns for genetic flow, habitat suitability, threat abatement, climate change, and more, all need to be weighed.

Removing invasive animals (goats, sheep, cattle, deer, etc.) has been an incredible step in reviving many of the plant species, both common and rare. Yet, it hasn’t been enough to bring everything back and these species could still fill key ecological roles. Endangered species are candidates for reintroduction or population enhancement projects. One of the two being considered at the ICBC meeting Joyce attended on Isla Guadalupe was Santa Cruz Island rockcress (Sibara filifolia), a diminutive annual with flowers of a lovely purple .

Photo of group of 4 conservationists above the fog on Isla Guadalupe.

Above the fog it looks like you are in heaven. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Photo of Dr Luciana Luna Mendoza, Directora de Ecologia, Grupo de Ecologia y Conservacion de Islas, explaining restoration work

Dr. Luciana Luna Mendoza, Directora de Ecologia, Grupo de Ecologia y Conservacion de Islas, explains the restoration work. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Photo of greenhouse with thousands of Pinus radiata var. binata seedlings

Thousands of Pinus radiata var. binata seedlings will help restore forests to the island. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Photo of plant scientist Joyce Maschinski sitting near the Laysan albatross chicks

Joyce Maschinski sitting near the Laysan albatross chicks on Guadalupe Island. Photo credit: Heather Schneider.

Photo of ICBC group hiking to see island restoration efforts

The ICBC group hikes to see island restoration efforts. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Though still found on San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands, off the coast of southern California, Santa Cruz Island rockcress has been lost from its namesake. And the island’s caretakers, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), have thoroughly searched for it – using a model created by the Catalina Island Conservancy and University of Southern California. The model allows researchers to identify suitable habitat to guide the way to find new populations on Catalina Island, but as yet, it is still missing from Santa Cruz Island. But the delicate annual herb is particularly hard to find in the field, and it may still persist in the soil seed bank. This possibility gives some members of ICBC pause when it comes to the idea of reintroductions. Mixing populations, of even the same species, does pose some risks, especially in the absence of genetic studies. TNC is open to experimenting with seed trials while searches on Santa Cruz Island continue.

Lots of questions need to be answered before seed would be used to reintroduce the species on Santa Cruz Island. During the meeting, Joyce walked the group through many of them, providing context drawn from research and experience. In the end, when the decisions are made, hopefully there will be healthy populations on all three islands – populations that are self-sustaining, large enough to fulfill their ecological functions, and can withstand both existing threats and looming threat of increased climate change. Perhaps when Joyce visits Santa Cruz Island in the future she’ll be able to see the fog rolling over short mats of rockcress, returned to their home.

Photo ofFog rolling in on Guadalupe Island

Fog rolling in Guadalupe Island. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Photo of 200 year old pine on Isla Guadalupe on Guad

This pine that may be 200+ years old provides much of the seed used for the restoration. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Two year old Pinus radiata var. binata or Guadalupe pine. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Graphic Islands of Californias Botanical Collaborative

Islands of the Californias Botanical Collaborative map.

NEWS AND EVENTS

News from the California Native Plant Society

California’s New Budget Takes Aim at Extinction to Protect California Biodiversity

In the wake of May’s alarming United Nations (UN) report on global extinction, California’s new budget provides important funding to protect the state’s biological diversity against loss by extinction. With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, the 2019-20 state budget allocates more than $18 million to advance biodiversity-focused projects like seed-banking rare plants and conservation genomics, effective July 1.  Read the news release in English or in Spanish.

California Native Plant Society’s plant science training workshops provide botanists, biologists, ecologists, and others with the scientific skills and practical experience necessary to assess, manage, and protect native plants and lands in California and beyond. Small classes offer hands-on learning from field-leading experts in both the classroom and field.

Details & registration are available now for all 2019 workshops.

VEGETATION RAPID ASSESSMENT/RELEVÉ – taught by Jennifer Buck-Diaz & Jaime Ratchford
July 23-25, Truckee, CA (Tahoe Region)

PYGMY FOREST FLORA & ECOLOGY – taught by Teresa Sholars
August 12-15, Fort Bragg, CA (Mendocino County)

CEQA IMPACT ASSESSMENT – taught by David Magney
October 1-3, Berkeley, CA (SF Bay Area)

MITIGATION MEASURES & MONITORING – taught by David Magney
October 22-24, Sacramento, CA

BACKGROUND PHOTO: A springtime field of California flowers at the San Diego Zoo . Photo: Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global. Biodiversity Reserve.

NEWS AND EVENTS

News from the California Native Plant Society

California’s New Budget Takes Aim at Extinction to Protect California Biodiversity

In the wake of May’s alarming United Nations (UN) report on global extinction, California’s new budget provides important funding to protect the state’s biological diversity against loss by extinction. With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, the 2019-20 state budget allocates more than $18 million to advance biodiversity-focused projects like seed-banking rare plants and conservation genomics, effective July 1.  Read the news release in English or in Spanish.

California Native Plant Society’s plant science training workshops provide botanists, biologists, ecologists, and others with the scientific skills and practical experience necessary to assess, manage, and protect native plants and lands in California and beyond. Small classes offer hands-on learning from field-leading experts in both the classroom and field.

Details & registration are available now for all 2019 workshops.

VEGETATION RAPID ASSESSMENT/RELEVÉ – taught by Jennifer Buck-Diaz & Jaime Ratchford
July 23-25, Truckee, CA (Tahoe Region)

PYGMY FOREST FLORA & ECOLOGY – taught by Teresa Sholars
August 12-15, Fort Bragg, CA (Mendocino County)

CEQA IMPACT ASSESSMENT – taught by David Magney
October 1-3, Berkeley, CA (SF Bay Area)

MITIGATION MEASURES & MONITORING – taught by David Magney
October 22-24, Sacramento, CA

BACKGROUND PHOTO: A springtime field of California flowers at the San Diego Zoo . Photo: Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global. Biodiversity Reserve.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The Institute for Applied Ecology  is now accepting applications for seasonal positions with the IAE Southwest Office (IAE SW)! All positions are posted on the “Jobs” page of the IAE website with detailed position descriptions and specific application instructions. The positions run from July 29 or August 20, 2019 through October or November (end date varies by position).

OPEN POSITIONS:

Conservation & Restoration Technician—Santa Fe, NM

Southern AZ Seed Crew Leader— Springerville, AZ

Northern NM Seed Crew Leader— Santa Fe, NM

Southern NM Seed Crew Leader— Silver City, NM

Southern AZ Seed Crew Technicians (2) — Springerville, AZ

Northern NM Seed Crew Technicians (2) — Santa Fe, NM

Southern NM Seed Crew Technicians (2) — Silver City, NM

The Southern Arizona and Southern NM crews are remote from the IAE SW office and include a housing stipend. The Northern NM crews will work out of IAE’s Santa Fe office (no housing or housing stipend provided). All positions require significant amounts of travel, described in the individual position announcements. Vehicles provided by IAE.

To Apply:  See job postings on the website for application instructions.  Application(s) will require completion of an online questionnaire, as well as a cover letter and resume emailed to swjobs@appliedeco.orgApplication period closes on July 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

North Carolina Botanical Garden  |  Horticultural Technician and Curator of Education Center Landscapes

Horticultural Technician: This individual will play an active role in the daily operations and maintenance of the gardens and grounds of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, and provide support to collection curators, the greenhouse / nursery operation and special projects as instructed by the Director of Horticulture.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Basic garden maintenance (leaf blowing, mowing, raking, weeding)
  • Removal of garden debris (weeds, pruning waste) and human generated litter (empty trashcans, recycling)
  • Procurement / transport of bulk materials (gravel, mulch, soil)
  • Perform routine maintenance on equipment, gardening tools and hardscape elements (benches, trellises)
  • Light carpentry / construction, irrigation system maintenance / repair
  • Parties interested in this Horticultural Technician position the can learn more and apply here.

Curator of Education Center Landscapes: This individual will develop and oversee garden maintenance, plant health and upkeep of hardscape elements in some of the Garden’s most prominent landscapes around our main entry and platinum LEED certified Allen Education Center. These dynamic landscapes include bioretention areas and a rare plant display garden and feature a rich combination of perennial and woody plants. The Education Center Curator will also oversee plant labeling and help develop interpretation for these areas as well as play an active role in the Garden’s educational outreach by giving talks and tours, teaching classes, and writing articles.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement an annual maintenance plan for established gardens and hardscape elements such as arbors, benches, fences and paths
  • Oversee garden renovations as well as design and installation of new plantings
  • Label plants, interpret collections, and participate in educational activities in the form of talks, tours, classes, articles, and interviews
  • Supervise volunteers, work-study students and interns
  • Parties interested in this Curatorial position the can learn more and apply here.

The Institute for Applied Ecology |Seed Partnership Coordinator

The Institute for Applied Ecology is seeking a regular, full-time Seed Partnership Coordinator to join our team in Corvallis, Oregon.

This position will play a critical role in supporting the Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership and helping develop a new Coastal Native Seed Partnership. These efforts are dedicated to cultivating relationships among partners and developing supplies of genetically diverse seed to support ecological restoration.

See the complete job announcement here.

U.S. Geological Survey (GG-0404-07)Desert Restoration Research Technician

Description

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is recruiting a research technician to assist with a project identifying effective restoration techniques on decommissioned OHV trails in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of southern California. Research will take place within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) area, which encompasses approximately 22.5 million acres. The DRECP aims to integrate renewable energy planning with natural resource conservation and recreation to effectively allocate and manage land uses. The USGS will be: 1) reviewing existing desert restoration literature, 2) developing and testing restoration protocols, and 3) developing monitoring methods to assess the efficacy of restoration based on recovery of ecosystem health. The goal of this effort is to provide the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a standardized comprehensive guide for future restoration and monitoring of decommissioned OHV trails. The role of the employee will be to assist the principle investigator in these efforts. Work will primarily be based out of the USGS office in Henderson, NV, with travel to study sites sometimes required (average 10 travel days per month).

Schedules are highly variable, can change with little notice, and will sometimes require early morning (3 AM) start times, long days, and a few weekends of work.

This temporary position will begin in mid-September and extend for up to 180 working days (approximately 9 months). Extensions are possible, contingent upon performance and funding availability.

Responsibilities

Duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Gather and maintain metadata, develop databases, perform QA/QC, analyze and archive data.
  • Obtain necessary permits to perform research.
  • Work with principle investigators to develop study design, select study sites, implement protocols, train BLM crews, oversee work efforts, provide technical guidance to crews, and assign budget funds appropriately.
  • Develop protocols for restoring OHV trails using conventional and novel strategies.
  • Develop protocols to assess the effectiveness of restoration including metrics to determine when routes are “restored”.
  • Synthesize and communicate results with the BLM and other cooperators.
  • Participate in workshops with BLM personnel to ensure products will comply with project goals.
  • Assist with the day-to-day operations of field research (e.g. preparing supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance).
  • Participate in other research projects as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Experience collecting and analyzing transect data on vegetation, soils, and wildlife.
  • Experience analyzing remotely sensed data for changes in soil compaction and vegetation cover/density.
  • Background and strong interest in desert ecology, plant ecology, and restoration.
  • Extensive experience in statistical analysis (knowledge of R statistical programming preferred).
  • Ability to communicate effectively with BLM managers, crews, and other agency personnel.
  • Demonstrated skills in data collection, synthesis, presentation, and technical writing. We will ask for an example of a written product on which you were the primary author.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and with large groups in a leadership position.
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic under the trying conditions of desert restoration.
  • Ability to adapt to a variable and unpredictable schedule.

To qualify for a GG-7, you need 2 years and 9 months of field experience OR 5 years of sub-professional work experience OR 5 years college study (with 18 hours of graduate level course work or equivalent) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in the field or in a laboratory or similar environment. A valid U.S. driver’s license, safe driving record, pre-employment physical, and background security investigation are required. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Salary: $20.39 hourly, plus paid vacation and sick days

Application instructions:

For each position on your resume, please be sure to include the number of hours worked per week, as well as exact start and end dates (month/day/year).

Submit 1) a resume/CV, 2) the contact information for at least three references, and 3) a written product on which you were the primary author via e-mail tomrabinowich@usgs.gov by 7:00 AM PDT on Tues, July 23, 2019. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The Center for Plant Conservation Newsletter
Contributing Editor/Writer – Christa Horn.
Managing Editor – Maureen Wilmot.
Design and Development –  Forest Design LLC.

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2019-07-23T19:53:32+00:00