Chapter Fall Program: “Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 7 pm

“Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”
presented by Cynthia Powell, Executive Director Calflora

St. Anthony Retreat, Mission Room 
43816 Sierra Dr (Hwy 198), Three Rivers

Learn about new Calflora tools for Calflora users. Calflora’s plant database hosts over two million plant occurrences, some of which have come directly from Alta Peak members. Powell will go over Calflora’s new plant photo project, planting guide, population monitoring tools, email alerts, and speak more generally about the uses of Calflora for CNPS chapters. She would also like to know how Calflora can better serve the Alta Peak Chapter and to answer any of your questions.

After 3 years as Calflora’s GIS Project Manager, Cynthia is now Calflora’s Executive Director. She graduated with her MS in GIS in 2010 forecasting Mokelumne River water supply based on MODIS remote sensing snow pack images. She’s been examining what was under that snow — plants — ever since. She now coordinates all Calflora programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and management.

The Calflora Database is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information about California plant biodiversity for use in Education, Research and Conservation.  Calflora is structured as a digital library to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. to serve as a repository for information on California wild plants in electronic formats from diverse sources, including public agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, and individuals;
  2. to provide this information in readily usable electronic formats for scientific, conservation, and educational purposes;
  3. to serve public information needs related to scientific study, land management, environmental analysis, education, and appreciation of California plant life.

Calflora relies on contributors for the information it provides; the website reflects the work of many individuals and institutions.

Field Trip Saturday, October 20, 2018

Join Cynthia Powell for a hands-on plant data collecting field trip for Calflora.
Meet at 8:45 am at Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198.
Actual field trip location TBA, in the foothills. Field trip will go to around 2 pm.

from Alta Peak Chapter President, Barbara Brydolf: Did you ever go to a place and look around you, wondering what all those plants are? I certainly have. And I have friends who, mistakenly thinking I’m a plant expert, send me photos of plants to identify. Fortunately, there is a great website and app, called Calflora, for finding out exactly that. Calflora is a nonprofit organization that catalogs California plants by location, genus, common name, and a host of other search terms. I use it more than any other resource to anticipate what I will find in a certain place, and to identify a plant I don’t know. Calflora has catalogued thousands of plant records from all over California, and continues to add information through citizen science, which means that anyone can contribute to the knowledge of what grows here. Our own Mary Merriman, with her Rare Plant Surveys, has made contributions to this site. Calflora is a rich tool, and I know that there are many features that I have not used, not to mention the phone app I haven’t even downloaded yet. That’s why I’m excited that Cynthia Powell, is coming here to Tulare County to give a talk about using the website and app, and to lead a hike the following day. I hope you can join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about native plants!

photo: Lewis Hill Preserve near Porterville CA © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

From calflora.org:

What is Calflora?
Calflora is 1. a website you can use to learn about plants that grow wild in California (both native plants and weeds); and 2. a nonprofit organization responsible for providing this service. Calflora is run by the team described below. Information in Calflora comes from many sources: public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you!
Find Out About a Plant
You can enter the common or scientific name of a plant to find out about it. Or, use the name wizard to just enter part of a name and have the wizard make suggestions. The result is an illustrated table of plants that match the name you entered. Click one of the plants in the table to learn the details about that plant — in particular, where it’s been observed in California.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plant Observations Have Been Made…
by a certain person, of a certain plant, in a certain area, or during a certain time period. The application that does this is called Observation Hotline. The observations that match your criteria are displayed as colored icons on a Google Map. Click on an observation to see photos and other details.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plants Grow in a Place
You can also choose a place and get an illustrated list of the plants that grow there. The application that does this is called What Grows Here?. You define “here” by picking a place on the map, or by choosing park boundary, place name, etc. Refine “here” by zooming in and out of the map, or drawing a polygon. Then click SEARCH to get an illustrated list of plants known to grow “here.”
Try it out!

There’s a lot more to Calflora than these basic tools — you can learn about Calflora’s more advanced features at the top of this page, where you will find links to many web applications concerning California plants.

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