Ahart Herbarium

Ahart Herbarium presents
All Things Botanically Related (Series)

Shane Hanofee
Shane Hanofee

A Sight For Sori: Ferns of the Northern Sierra Nevada

by Shane Hanofee
Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Thursday, December 15, 2022

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Lacking the showy reproductive structures of the angiosperms and the stately heights of the gymnosperms, ferns nonetheless highlight an incredible evolutionary success story. First appearing 360 million years ago, they both predate and have survived beyond the age of the dinosaurs. The earth carries roughly 10,000 extant species of ferns and of those, California houses relatively few. Yet, the ferns which grow here have had to contend with California's dry Mediterranean climates, a far cry from the mesic ecosystems which support the bulk of fern diversity. In this talk, concentrating on the northern Sierra Nevada, we take you on a tour of the ferns to be found from the valley floor to the alpine peaks discussing identification tips, highlighting adaptive traits, and sharing interesting factoids that will have you pushing past the flowers and cones in pursuit of fronds to flip.

Shane Hanofee is a self-taught certified field botanist who became enamored with native plants shortly after moving to California from New York over a decade ago. Since then, he has travelled throughout California exploring and documenting California's fascinating flora along the way. In that time, Shane has developed a keen understanding of the floristics of the northern Sierras in particular, while cultivating a love for plant taxonomy and science communication. He is the current president of the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and a Dean W. Taylor Botanical Exploration Memorial Award recipient. He lives in Grass Valley, CA with his wife Ashley, dog Camus, and two cats, Kafka and Bertie.

All Things Botanically Related - Past Presentations:

Laura Lampe
Laura Lampe

Timing is everything: what preserved specimens can tell us about risks for plant-pollinator interactions

by Laura Lampe
Graduate Student
Chico State Department of Biological Sciences

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Presentation Link Coming Soon!

The timing of life history stages in plants and their pollinators is strongly tied to environmental cues, which have shifted with climate change. When the timings of flowering in plants and flight periods in pollinators respond differently to changes in climatic cues, these events may become misaligned and important species interactions disrupted. Luckily, the information provided by specimens in herbaria and entomological collections can help us characterize changes over time and identify risks of these disruptions. Thank you, collecting naturalists and community science!

 My talk will describe my master's thesis research utilizing herbarium and insect specimen data to examine changes in the timing of flowering and flight periods of select plants and pollinators in Northern California. In particular, I will show how these changes may be different in lowland versus alpine habitats, which are thought to be more sensitive to climate change. I'll also highlight my adventures in the field, where I validated the timing of contemporary flowering as predicted by up to 156 years of herbarium records. 

Bio: Laura Lampe is a graduate student of the Chico State Department of Biological Sciences. She is scheduled to complete her Master's thesis, "Plant-pollinator phenological misalignment in Northern California's alpine versus lowland habitats," in Fall 2022. She has also worked in environmental consulting since 2018 and served since 2019 as the garden curator of Gateway Science Museum. At Gateway Gardens, Laura plans and maintains exhibits featuring over 120 native plant species and provides educational programming that highlights California's ecoregions and ecology.

Flora of Adak Island, Alaska
Flora of Adak Island, Alaska

Flora of Adak Island, Alaska: a central stepping stones in the Aleutian Archipelago between Asia and North America.

by Michael P. Williams, Ph.D.
Research Associate and Instructor
Western Washington University Bellingham, WA

Presentation preceded by the Friends of the Herbarium Annual Meeting

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Presentation link coming soon!



  • Welcome
  • Herbarium Update – Lawrence Janeway, Herbarium Curator
  • Kaylie DeLuca - Jokerst Field Botany Award Winner – “Evaluation of a restored wet meadow within a recently burned landscape matrix”


  • Presentation by Dr. Michael P. Williams

Dr. Williams will share his fondness for this island in the central Aleutian Islands, the site of his Masters in the late 1970’s and a recent visit in 2019 on a grant from the Shared Beringia Heritage Program of the National Park Service.  Over 200 taxa of vascular plants occupied this island landscape of beaches, subarctic maritime tundra, ancient highlands, and active volcanoes.   Having risen above the north Pacific for over 3.5 million years, and covered in ice in intervening cold periods, the last 6-7,000 years have allowed for colonization by biota, including vascular plants.  While 600 miles from mainland Alaska to the east and the Kamchatka Peninsula of Asia to the west, the flora shows close ties with both continents and some unique endemic occurrences.  Sea drift, birds, winds, and humans have brought about a mixing of those plants adapted to the cool wet climate of this ”Birthplace of the Winds.” 

Check out previous presentations in the All Things Botanically Related Series >>(opens in new window)

California Phenology Thematic Collections Network

Screenshot of CHH2 websiteAhart Herbarium is actively photographing specimens in the collection and linking the images to the collection information for each species. This information is accessible through the California Phenology Thematic Collections Network (www.CCH2.org(opens in new window)). Through a National Science Foundation grant, the Herbarium will be imaging over 30,000 specimens in the collection which will be similar to the one here. Collectively, over 23 different herbaria and collections across California will be located on CCH2. Check out the website!(opens in new window) 

Screenshot of CCH2 Website

Entire specimen Specimen close

Ahart Herbarium passed another minor milestone by accessioning its 120,000th specimen – see the number 120,000 stamped in the middle of the Herbarium logo on the lower left side of the sheet in the left photograph. This specimen is another fine example of the collecting and specimen mounting of Lowell Ahart – his collection number 21,434 from last summer.

Located in Holt Hall room 129, the Herbarium is the most complete repository of plant specimens from northeastern California. The emphasis is on the northern California flora, and includes a great number of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species. Established with specimens donated by the late Professor Vesta Holt in the 1950's, the herbarium now contains more than 107,000 dried and mounted plant specimens. The majority of samples are flowering plants, conifers, and ferns, but bryophytes, lichens, and especially slime molds, are also well represented. The herbarium is used extensively for identification of sensitive and other plant species by various agencies and individuals. Loans of herbarium specimens are made to any higher academic institutions who request them.

Facilities available to visitors to the herbarium include the use of high-quality dissecting scopes, a compound microscope, an extensive reference library, an internet-connected computer, an internet connection for personal computers, and, with suitable training, access to the collection of specimens.

Users of the herbarium facilities and collection are encouraged to make plant collections during their field excursions and donate them to the herbarium. This is how the collection grows and increases its utility and importance to the whole botanical community.

Friends of the Herbarium Workshop!

Native Plant Wreath & Other Holiday Accents Workshop
Saturday, December 10, 2022, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

What comes to mind when you think of the winter holiday season? Do you think of evergreens and baking spices? Did you know that many of our native chaparral shrubs and forest trees are evergreen, and that native sages can remain fragrant for years after drying? Learn more about native plants while you create a holiday wreath, kissing ball, or garland!

We provide all the greens & tools, including a wide selection of native plant clippings such as incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), sages (Salvia spp.), manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.), buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus) and California bay (Umbellularia californica). You can embellish your wreaths, kissing balls, or garlands with native buckeyes, seeds and berries. We will share botanical and ethnobotanical information about all the native plants we use. We also encourage you to bring additional plant clippings you especially want to use, including any you need us to identify. Each registrant can create a 12 – 15" wreath, a kissing ball (with native mistletoe), or small garland (or make any two for an additional $20 fee). Come share holiday cheer while celebrating our native California plants!

Sign up to create Saturday, December 10, 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Room 129 in Holt Hall, on the CSU Chico campus. The registration fee is $45 (or $65 to make two projects). For more details about workshop content please contact a workshop leader at aledwards@csuchico.edu or cultivatingplace@gmail.com. To register, complete the information in the registration form (PDF) and include payment in the mail as indicated. For more information about signing up for the workshop, please contact Friends of the Ahart Herbarium (FOH) at chatfield@csuchico.edu.

All proceeds will be donated to FOH to support the mission of the Ahart Herbarium at Chico State.

Register and get more info here! >> (PDF)

About the Instructors
Jennifer Jewell is a writer, photographer, host of the public radio program “Cultivating Place” (www.cultivatingplace.com). Adrienne Edwards is a botanist, ecologist, and writer. She teaches at CSU Chico, consults on environmental issues, and develops educational materials.

Workshop - Native Plant Wreath & Other Holiday Accents

View the Friends of the Herbarium Calendar >>(opens in new window)

Herbarium Logo

We can now process book orders from Studies of the Herbarium >>

Ahart Herbarium is again open to the public!

Hours are Fridays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and by appointment.

Visiting the herbarium is by appointment only, by contacting the Curator at ljaneway@csuchico.edu.

Visitors accessing campus facilities must comply with CSU Chico vaccination policy.
Thank you.

Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming workshops from Friends of the Herbarium!

Stay tuned for upcoming fall workshop information!

Visit the event calendar(opens in new window) for more info!