Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7:30 p.m.: What flora of Tejon Ranch tell us about flora of California, with Nick Jensen: At approximately 270,000 acres Tejon Ranch is California’s largest contiguous piece of private land. Located primarily in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, Tejon Ranch occupies one of the most interesting and complex areas of ecological convergence in the state: the junction of the San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges, and Mojave Desert. Prior to 2008, when 90 percent of the ranch was placed under conservation agreements, Tejon Ranch was closed to scientific research. Recent botanical collecting and herbarium-based research associated with progress toward a flora of Tejon Ranch has identified many range extensions, and the possible discovery of numerous species new to science. Ongoing analyses of the ranges of species on the Tehachapi Mountains in relation to the rest of California lends insight into statewide biogegraphical patterns. The talk will highlight the beauty and diversity of the flora of Tejon Ranch.
Nick Jensen is a graduate student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include biogeography, rare plants, and biodiversity. His primary research project is the flora of Tejon Ranch, which is centered in the Tehachapi Mountains. Click here for Nick's blog about his research at Tejon ranch.
Nick is also interested in gaining a greater understanding of the threats to California’s plants, and relationships among southern California Streptanthus (jewelflowers). Prior to his graduate career, Nick served as the Rare Plant Program Director for CNPS and has worked as a botanist for the US Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the private consulting industry. This talk is similar to his presentation at the CNPS Conference in January 2015.