Previous programs

A vascular flora of the Adobe Valley and surrounding hills, Mono County, CA, with Sophia Winitsky: This study aims to document the vascular flora of the Adobe Valley and surrounding hills in Mono County, CA. Less than 100 herbarium specimens are recorded from the 90 square mile study area based on a search of the Consortium of California Herbaria, with little botanical documentation away from well-established roads or in the alkali meadows. At the center of the study area the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the River Spring Preserve, a 638-acre alkali and freshwater wetland. The preserve emphasizes the importance of the alkali flat ecosystem, a habitat that is representative of Owens Valley, but severely threatened by drought, trampling by cattle and feral horses, off-road vehicles, and water diversion. Alkaline ecosystems farther south have experienced more severe water pumping making the Adobe Valley a good place to establish baseline information to better understand sustainable groundwater extraction. In addition, there is a need for a floristic checklist of the River Spring Preserve as specified in the Preserve's 2016 Management Plan. Many endemic species have the potential to occur in the Adobe Valley and surrounding hills, so far Sophia has documented the following California Native Plant Society listed species: Allium atrorubens var. cristatum (Alliaceae), Calochortus excavatus (Liliaceae), Ivesia kingii var. kingii (Rosaceae), Cymopterus globosus (Apiaceae), Crepis runcinata subsp. hallii (Asteraceae), Plagiobothrys parishii (Boraginaceae), Spartina gracilis (Poaceae), and Sphaeromeria potentilloides var. nitrophila (Asteraceae), and Tetradymia tetrameres (Asteraceae). Her goal is to systematically document the vascular flora of the region, publish a voucher-based checklist, and increase the overall understanding of this severely threatened ecosystem.