Herbarium

Ahart Herbarium

Ahart Herbarium presents
All Things Botanically Related (Series)

Hog Lake vernal pool and Rancho Briesgau riparian restoration
Biodiversity in the Lassen Foothills of California

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Hog Lake vernal pool and Rancho Briesgau riparian restoration – Bureau of Land Management’s Sacramento River Bend ACEC

by Steve Laymon
BLM Wildlife Biologist

and Brooke Thompson
BLM Ecologist/Botanist

Thurs, March 21, 2024
7pm-8pm
Virtual Meeting (via Zoom)

The Bureau of Land Management manages the Bend Area in northern Tehama Co. as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. This 24,000 acre area along the Sacramento River extends from Turtle Creek on the south to Battle Creek on the north. This presentation features the Hog Lake vernal pool along Hwy 36 near Red Bluff and the Rancho Briesgau riparian restoration project along Battle Creek and the Sacramento River. Steve will talk about the flora of Hog Lake and environs and illustrate the flora with his photos. Hog Lake is the largest vernal pool on BLM managed land in northern California. Brooke will talk about the exciting new 160 acre riparian restoration project that is underway on BLM’s Rancho Briesgau. This project is being done in cooperation with River Partners with funding from The Wildlife Conservation Board.

All Things Botanically Related - Past Presentations:

Biodiversity in the Lassen Foothills of California
Biodiversity in the Lassen Foothills of California

Look and You Will Find: A Snapshot of Biodiversity in the Lassen Foothills of California

by Andrea Craig
Dye Creek Stewardship Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Thurs, Feb 15, 2024
Virtual Meeting (via Zoom)

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“The Lassen Foothills is a rugged, remote, and richly biodiverse landscape. The Nature Conservancy has been helping protect resources in this region since the 1980’s. Through conservation easements, owning and managing lands regionally, and working with dedicated landowners and partners we continue to preserve the flora, fauna and a way of living together. Look and You Will Find is about getting to know an elusive volcanic landscape, with over a century of grazing and development, and the diversity that has persevered. This conservation story will focus on Dye Creek Preserve and rediscovering plants documented 25 years ago, as well at least one just recently revealing itself. It is an account of floristic diversity old and new told from the relatively brief perspective of a die-hard nature lover.”

Andrea Craig was born in Vermont and grew up in Southern California – cementing a nearly insatiable appetite for exploring and conserving the natural world. After managing an outdoor shop and then working in a native plant nursery, becoming a weed-warrior and botanical technician, she finished a masters in Rangeland Resources and Wildland Soils from Cal Poly Humboldt (then Humboldt State University). She crisscrossed the continental US, traveled abroad, and spent over a year in Patagonian Chile before calling Tehama County home. Since 2006 Andrea has worked with The Nature Conservancy to steward protected places right here in our backyard.

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 over 125,000 specimens – 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 Ahart Herbarium Workshops!

Manzanita Workshop

Introduction to Keying Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos, Ericaceae)
by Tom Parker and Mike Vasey
Saturday, May 4, 2024, 9am-4pm

A group considered difficult by many people, the 90+ Califor-nia manzanitas are actually easy to identify once you understand the characters and how they vary. Tom Parker (Professor Emeri-tus of Biology, SF State) and Mike Vasey (Director Emeritus, SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve) will lead a one day workshop using keys from either The Jepson Manual, 2nd edi-tion, or from their book, Field Guide to Manzanitas: California, North America, and Mexico, 2nd Ed., written by the instructors and Michael Kauffmann. Photos in the field guide help to illus-trate and clarify differ-ences among species. The class will focus on key taxonomic charac-ters and some back-ground context on man-zanita evolution, distri-bution patterns, and ecology. Fresh material from different species will be used. Keying will be emphasized.

The workshop will run from 9:00-4:00 on Saturday, 4 May 2024, in Holt Hall room 129 at CSU, Chico. The registration fee is $110.00 personal, $130.00 business, $100.00 for members of the Friends of the Ahart Herbarium, and $50.00 for students (only 2 seats available at the student price). Please register in advance; class size limited to 18 participants (class cancelled without a minimum of 8 participants). For more information about the workshop content please contact Tom Parker at parker@sfsu.edu. For information about registration or to register using a credit card please contact the Biology office at (530) 898-5356 or sscholten@csuchico.edu.

Print registration form here >> (PDF)

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Ahart Herbarium is again open to the public!

Summer hours are Thursdays 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.