Northern Sierra Nevada Field Botany
Sierra Trees and Shrubs
"Thank you for a well-organized and energetic field seminar!
You chose the plant families wisely and brought us into the field at excellent locations. Hiking through the Lakes Basin after the class, I was amazed at what you had covered.
This was a rich course, and since different plants will be flowering each year, it deserves to be taken again!"
-Juan F. Garcia (Y.) - student 2019
-June 18th-23th 2023 - Flora of the Sierra Nevada
-June 23-25th 2023 Trees and Shrubs
What level of plant experience do I need to have?
This course is intended for the beginner with some basic terminology understanding. This is the first year the course has been open to the public for a separate week! With a focus on learning 8 major plant families. However, you will have a lot of exposure to numerous representations of plant material and learn to pick up patterns quickly. The more practice the more you will get out of it. If you decide to review the terms beforehand, one will appreciate the depth of exposure. Both beginner and advanced are welcome. However, if you wish to gain academic credit the first week is prioritized for students at an economic rate.
What is the schedule of the course?
Theme: We review a handful of major plant families for the first half of the day and utilize the surrounding botanical hotspots for afternoons. There will be either 1 or 2 full day hikes to the region. Bloom time is weather dependent, thus destinations are subject to change. Anticipate hikes to surrounding plant hotspots with a couple of long day hike to the sierra buttes later in the week.
Mornings will start at 8/ 8:30am and will finish with a little down time prior to dinner. Evenings will be open, with the option for those interested in focusing on practice with taxonomic keys. The course ends Friday after the last lunch is served.
A detailed itinerary is provided in the course syllabus above.
Where is the field station and how do I get there if I don't have a car?
The Sierra Nevada Field Campus is located in Calpine, Sierra County on the North Yuba River off of highway 89. Elevation 5,700ft. The closest town is Bassetts 2 miles away (includes accommidations, country market). Gas is 15 miles away.
Students will be connected prior to encourage carpooling.
Sierra Nevada Field Campus
35400 Hwy 49
Calpine, CA 96124
What are the accommodations at the Field Station?
Accommodations on site include bring your own tent style camping at $12/night. Canvas tents with mattress at $24/night. Delicious full three course meal each day is available from the campus dining hall at $44/day. Individual meals cannot be selected. If students decide to bring their own meals, space in the dinning hall refrigerator will be provided at no charge. Newly renovated showers and flush toilets are on campus. Off site overnights can be found in Bassetts 1-2 miles away. List of places to stay can be found:
In addition to basic hiking and camping gear, what should I bring?
1. Curiosity and willingness to participate
2. 10x hand lens
3.10 cm metric ruler
5. notebook (unlined)
6. Jepson Manual 2 - highly encouraged - not required
7. plant press (optional)
8. binoculars (optional)
9. blank flashcards (optional)
What do I review in preparation for the course?
The Jepson Manual, Vascular Plants of California 2nd Edition, Baldwin. et. al. Required prep: Review of the illustrations pg 22- 31.
Important for any budding plant taxonomist. We will use this to key plants. The glossary of terms are universal.
References: Plant List of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus found on the course website when you register.
Course Syllabus- see link at top of this page.