Winter Chapter Program: “A Cross Cultural Walk in Southern Chile: Agriculture and Wildflowers”

Join us on January 27 , 2012, at 7 pm for our Winter Program: “A Cross Cultural Walk in Southern Chile: Agriculture and Wildflowers” with presenter, Maria Ulloa
, Forest Planner for the Sequoia National Forest 
and Giant Sequoia National Monument in Porterville.

Originally from Vegas de Itata, province of Concepcion in southern Chile, for the last 30 plus years Ulloa has travelled back and forth to visit her family.  Each trip has been an opportunity to explore the countryside and its beautiful native flora and fauna.  Most photographs have been taken from Concepcion to Punta Arenas and Santiago to Valparaiso.

Chile is a long and narrow country on the southwest coast of South America and extends for approximately 2,800 miles (4,300 km) from north to south. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Andes Mountains. Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate with an extremely dry desert in the north (Atacama), a rainforest landscape to the south (Lakes Region), colder climate at the Strait of Magellan, and ice in Antarctica.

Continental Chile is isolated biologically on the north by the Atacama Desert, to the east by the Andes, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica to the south. Chile has 7 distinct climates that contain diverse vegetation types, including hyper arid desert, summer-dry scrublands (chaparral), the dry cold Puna of the high Andes, temperate rainforest in the Lakes Region, and Patagonian steppe in the Austral Region (Strait of Magellan). The Chilean flora includes about 5,082 species of vascular plants. Of these, 2,561 are endemic to Chile. High endemism is due to the presence of habitats with distinctively different conditions where plants cannot migrate from one location to another and are forced to evolve independently within that particular habitat.

More about Maria Ulloa:  She has a B.S. in Agronomy and Soils from Washington State University, and postgraduate education in Botany from California State University, Chico.  She has 25 years of experience with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management mostly as a Botanist. She has worked on the Clearwater, Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity, and Siskiyou National Forests and the Colorado Plateau of Southeastern Utah for the Utah State Office of the BLM.  She has been on the Sequoia for the last two years. Her favorite activities are botanizing and hiking.  She says, “It takes, me a long time to reach my destination if wildflowers are visible.”

The meeting will be held at the Conference Room in the Student Center at Porterville College. Directions: take the College exit off of Hwy 190, after entering into the College, park towards the western end of the lot, and there will be a sign to the Student Center building.

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