Chapter Field Trips
Grants and Research
Fort Lewis Activities
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Prior presentation information
(topics that have either a link to a web site or where a copy of the presentation has been made available)
location(s) of each meeting. Directions to each
September 30, 2015 (Olympia) 7PM
Andy MacKinnon: Life Above the Treeline - Plant Adaptations to the Alpine.
This year the South
Sound Chapter will kickoff its fall speaker series with popular author and
botanist, Andy MacKinnon. To almost everyone interested in our native
plants, Andy MacKinnon is a well-known name. With Jim Pojar, he is co-author
of Plants of the Pacific Northwest and more recently, Alpine
Plants of the Northwest. Andy’s talk comes from this latest book. Andy
lives and works in British Columbia, making this event a unique opportunity
to hear in person this very engaging speaker.
Until his recent
retirement, Andy MacKinnon was a Research Ecologist in the Coast Forest
Region Research Section of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands
and Natural Resource Operations. Western North America is blessed with
abundant areas of alpine. The plants that make their home above the treeline
are a distinctive and spectacular bunch. It's a difficult place to live, but
our alpine plants have evolved ingenious ways of coping with this
challenging environment. Andy will talk about these adaptations to alpine
life, illustrated with British Columbia examples. He will be available for
book signing after the meeting, but you must bring your own book, because
books will not be for sale at the event.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS
PRESENTATION WILL BE HELD AT THE
AT THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE
rather than our normal meeting venue in Olympia
October 12, 2015 (Olympia) 7PM
Frederica Bowcutt: The Tanoak Tree - An Environmental History of a Pacific
densiflorus) is a resilient and common hardwood tree native to California
and southwestern Oregon. People's radically different perceptions of it have
ranged from treasured food plant to cash crop to trash tree. Having studied
the patterns of tanoak use and abuse for nearly twenty years, Dr. Frederica
Bowcutt will discuss the complex cultural, sociopolitical, and economic
factors affecting this Pacific coast native.
Still valued by
indigenous communities for its nutritious acorn nut, the tanoak has also
been a source of raw resources for a variety of industries since white
settlement of western North America. Now, despite ongoing protests, tanoaks
are commonly killed with herbicides in industrial forests in favor of more
commercially valuable coast redwood and Douglas-fir. In addition, tanoaks
are experiencing massive die-offs due to sudden oak death, an introduced
In her talk, Bowcutt
will discuss the factors that set the stage for this tree's current
ecological crisis. She will also touch on hopeful changes such as locally
controlled, third-party certified sustainable hardwood production, which
doesn't depend on clearcutting or herbicide use.
teaches botany in interdisciplinary programs at The Evergreen State College.
She specializes in floristics, field plant ecology, and plant-centric
environmental history. Her book, The Tanoak Tree, An Environmental
History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood, will be on sale at the meeting.
The trailer can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzY7QxOiI8I
October 14, 2015 (Tacoma) 7PM
Thor Hanson: The Triumph of Seeds
Seeds surround us. From
our morning coffee to the cotton in our clothes, the spices in our foods,
and the cosmetics we use, seeds are part of nearly every aspect of our
lives. They give us food and fuels, intoxicants and poisons, oils, dyes,
fibers, and spices. “They are quite literally the staff of life,” says
award-winning conservation biologist Thor Hanson, “the basis of diets,
economies, and lifestyles around the globe.”
In his presentation,
Thor will discuss the ubiquitous seed plants that dominate landscapes and
define entire ecosystems. Following the winding path that seeds have paved
through evolution, natural history, and human culture, his presentaion will
examine the traits and habits that have allowed seeds – and the plants that
bear them – to be so successful, and to so thoroughly transform our planet.
Thor, a member of WNPS, is a conservation biologist, Guggenheim
Fellow, and Switzer Environmental Fellow. He has studied Central American
trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding
habits of African vultures. His previous books include Feathers,
which won numerous awards including the 2013 John Burroughs Medal and the
2012 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Writing, and The
Impenetrable Forest, which won the 2008 USA Book News Award for nature
writing. He lives with his wife and son on an island in Washington State.
Thor’s latest book, The Triumph of Seeds will be on sale at the
meeting and he will be available for book signing following his
November 9, 2015 (Olympia) 7PM
Gail Turner: A Walk of Restoration
Join Gail Trotter on a
4 mile walk at Thurston County's Glacial Heritage Preserve and you never
need to leave your seat! On the way you will learn about the restoration
practices at Glacial Heritage and their results for the plants and animals
that live on this prairie.
Gail moved to Washington in 1979 to work for
the Boeing Company and soon thereafter joined the Washington Native Plant
Society. This led to many opportunities for learning about the state from
hikes and volunteering. Her first volunteer activities were at the Mima
Mounds Natural Area Preserve where she picked up sticks - one of the many
skills learned by budding conservationists. Gail, currently a member of the
South Sound Chapter, continues to be actively involved in the
stewardship of south sound prairies,
Glacial Heritage Preserve.
November 11, 2015 (Tacoma) 7PM
T. Abe Lloyd: Wild Berries are Meant for Eating
For thousands of years
the Salish People have been enjoying the extraordinary diversity and
exquisite flavor of this region’s wild edible fruit. Join ethnobotanist Abe
Lloyd as he shares how berries fit into the Coast Salish seasonal round of
food gathering and what they can teach us about sustainable food systems. Be
sure and eat before your arrive because Abe will also present a few of his
favorite fruit recipes along with tips for distinguishing difficult groups
like Vacciniums and Viburnums. He will have signed copies of his book “Wild
Berries of Washington and Oregon” to sell after the presentation.
T. Abe Lloyd has a
passion for plants and indigenous foods that traces back deep into his
boyhood as a scout and the son of a fly fisherman. His early aspirations as
a botanist led him to Northland College on the south shore of Lake Superior,
where he completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Management.
In 2011, Abe received a Master’s Degree in Ethnoecology at the University of
Victoria under the Northwest Coast ethnobotanist, Dr. Nancy J. Turner. Abe
now lives in his home town of Bellingham and is the Vice President of the
Koma Kulshan Chapter of the WNPS. He is also the director of Salal, the
Cascadian Food Institute, an Adjunct Instructor at several regional colleges
and universities, and actively researches, promotes, and eats the indigenous
foods of this bountiful bioregion.
December 9, 2015 (Tacoma) 7PM
December 14, 2015 (Olympia) 7PM
Annual Holiday Meeting: Member Speak
Come join us for an
evening of holiday eats, door prizes, and informal member talks. During
these meetings we provide an opportunity for members to tell us about some
of their experiences and/or knowledge gained this past year. It’s like “open
mike night!” Ideas for the new year will also be solicited and discussed.
Bring your favorite hors d’oeuvre to share.
January 11, 2016 (Olympia) 7PM
January 13, 2016 (Tacoma) 7PM
Kevin Zobrist: Native Trees of Western Washington
Join WSU Extension
forestry professor Kevin Zobrist for a slide show presentation on the native
trees that call the forests of western Washington home. Learn about their
distinguishing characteristics, special features and adaptations, ecological
roles, and where you are likely to encounter them. The presentation will be
followed by an opportunity to get a signed copy of his book Native Trees
of Western Washington – A Photographic Guide.
Kevin W. Zobrist is a
native of western Washington, growing up in Redmond where he developed a
love of the outdoors, especially forests. Kevin has two forestry degrees
from the University of Washington where he also worked for several years as
a forestry research scientist. He is currently an associate professor at
Washington State University, primarily providing public outreach and
education through the WSU Extension Forestry program. Kevin’s top interests
include ecology, native trees, adult education, and national parks. He is
based in Everett.
Washington State Capitol Museum Coach House
211 21st Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Directions to the Washington State Capital Museum: From Interstate 5 in Olympia, take Exit 105, following the "State
Capital/City Center" route. Go through a tunnel, (get in the left hand lane)
and turn left on Capital Way. Follow the brown and white "State Capital
Museum" signs to 21st Avenue. Turn right on 21st
Avenue and proceed two blocks. The museum is on the left in a stucco
mansion. We meet in the carriage house in back of the mansion.
1919 South Tyler Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
Directions to the Tacoma Nature Center: From Interstate 5, take State
Highway 16 towards Gig Harbor. Look for the 19th Street EAST,
exit and take it, which puts you onto South 19th Street. Travel
to the first light, turn right on South Tyler, and then left into the first
driveway at the Tacoma Nature Center.
General Meeting Information
South Sound Chapter presentations are held on the
second Monday and Wednesday of the month (October through May, in Olympia and
- In Olympia, we typically
gather at the Washington State Capitol Museum (211 21st Avenue SW; 360-753-2580).
- In Tacoma, we typically
gather at the Tacoma Nature Center (1919 South Tyler; 253-591-6439).
- On occasion, however, our presentations are held at
alternate facilities to accommodate larger audiences, so please be sure to
note where each meeting is held before you embark.
All meetings are open to the public and most are free of
charge. Refreshments are typically provided by WNPS
volunteers. We hope you'll join us for an evening of camaraderie and education
about the world of native plants as well as the habitats that they create and
Outside of field trips and holiday gatherings,
most meetings start at 7:00 pm. These "meetings" consist of a quick
preview of activity announcements, but are mostly grounded in
presentations that last 45 minutes to over an hour. Our topics are
geared to attract and speak to neophytes and amateurs, as well as
"dyed-in-the-wool" or otherwise committed botanists. We may be biased,
but we think our presentations are top of the line!
Members and the public are invited to attend all presentations. For
more information about our programs, please contact the
We hope to see all of you at the meetings!!!