Central Valley to the Great Basin — 6-Month Spring/Summer Field Study Program
The massive 400 mile long granitic uplift known as the Sierra Nevada is quite a spectacular sight to behold. Travelling east, the long gradual ascent from the Great Central Valley (near sea-level) takes one through a myriad of different plant communities, including: riparian woodlands, valley grassland, foothill oak woodland, chaparral, mixed coniferous forest, red fir forest, subalpine forest, montane meadows, to the alpine fell-fields found above 9,000’, and then down the eastern slope to the high desert sagebrush scrub and pinyon-juniper woodland below. Given this it should come as no surprise that from the lush western slope to the arid expanse of its eastern rain shadow this unique floristic province boasts an astonishing 3,500 vascular plant species!
Join us on this journey of discovery as we follow the plants through the spring/summer seasons while learning about their many historical and contemporary uses. Some notable edible & medicinal plants we’re likely to encounter on our weekend excursions include: Arnica, California Spikenard, Milkweed, Wild Ginger, Western Peony, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Gentian, Evening Primrose, Choke Cherry, Angelica, Oregon Grape, Sagebrush, Pinyon Pine and many others! We’ll spend our days hiking and botanizing while reserving evenings for interactive hands-on workshops, relaxing with friends around the fire, not to mention camping under a blanket of shimmering stars. Keep in mind that refreshing mid-afternoon dips in azure alpine lakes and nighttime hot spring soaks will be worked into the curriculum as well! Complete details and registration online.
Field classes will occur throughout the Northern Sierra in the general vicinity of the following towns/cities: Chico, CA; Paradise, CA; Nevada City, CA; Sierra City, CA; Sierraville, CA; and Carson City, NV. Inquire about carpooling options.
Session 1: April 26-27
Central Valley: Riparian Woodland/Grassland
Near Chico, CA
Session 2: May 24-25
Foothills: Oak Woodland/Chaparral
Near Paradise, CA
Session 3: June 21-22
Mid-Elevation: Mixed Coniferous Forest
Near Nevada City, CA
Session 4: July 18-20 (Extended Session)
Sierra Crest: Subalpine Forest/Alpine Zone
Near Sierra City, CA
Session 5: August 16-17
East Slope: Modoc Plateau/Sagebrush Belt
Near Sierraville, CA
Session 6: September 13-14
East Slope: Great Basin Desert/Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Near Carson City, NV