California Lichen Society Annual Meeting, January 26-28, 2018

Save the Date!
California Lichen Society Annual Meeting
January 26-28, 2018
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, Mt Hamilton, CA


The California Lichen Society (CALS) annual meeting and 24th birthday celebration will be held at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve near San Jose, CA during the last weekend in January 2018.

UC Berkeley’s Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is in the heart of California’s Diablo Range, which extends from the Carquinez Straits south 170 miles to Coalinga.  Situated on the west-facing slope of Mount Hamilton (with a summit at 4,200 feet), the Reserve includes 3,280 acres of land with elevations ranging from 1,400 feet where the Arroyo Aguague exits the Reserve to 2,855 feet at the top of Poverty Ridge. The vegetation features valley oak and blue oak woodlands, mixed oak woodlands (blue, black, valley, coast live), chamise chaparral, Diablan sage scrub, native and non-native grasslands, numerous stock ponds, and seasonal and perennial streams with intact riparian vegetation.

The Reserve has a history of livestock ranching dating back to the mid nineteenth century when Jose de Jesus Bernal, a Mexican citizen, became the grantee of a portion of a former Mexican land grant called “Rancho Canada de Pala” in 1839 (prior to California statehood) and inhabited the land for many years, raising cattle and horses. The land changed hands several times over the century and eventually was entered into a conservation agreement in 2000 and transferred in 2007 to the University of California Natural Reserve System.

As always, the annual meeting activities are open to CALS members and also to members of the public. Because of the limited access to the Reserve, anyone interested in attending must RSVP to Those who choose to attend must also sign a liability waiver, which will be provided during the RSVP process. Maps and geographic coordinates will be distributed to those who RSVP, and the passcode to the gate will be distributed shortly before the day.

There is a large multi-purpose room, 20-seat classroom, and a 1,000-foot field lab where we can set-up our microscopes. Extension cords would be good, too!

2018 Annual Meeting schedule

Friday, January 26, 2017
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lichen hike at Alum Rock State Park – Alum Rock Park is located in the east foothills of San José, CA and is one of California’s oldest municipal parks. Special features of the park include Penitencia Creek which transects the entire park, active mineral springs, and diverse plants and rock formations. CALS will lead a lichen hike from 11am – 3pm.

We will meet at the Rustic Lands Parking area. It is about ¾ mile up the road from the unmanned entry kiosk. It has a large space for lots of cars, it is before the pay area, so it is free to park, and there are lots of lichens: Caloplaca, Dermatocarpon, Xanthoparmelia, Physciods galore, various species of Leptogium, and at least 2 species of Peltigera.

Here is a map of the park, with the meeting location circled.
Here is the website for Alum Rock Park

3:30 pm      Check-in opens at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve


Saturday, January 27, 2018
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Meet at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve at the Cedar Barn Community Center; we will pass out trail hiking maps and head out at 10:30. Bring a picnic lunch to eat on the trail, and dress for the weather.
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Time for socializing, working on microscopes in the field lab, iNaturalist postings, etc.
4:30 – 5:30 pm
Open meeting of the California Lichen Society’s Board of Directors. The Board will have an agenda, but we will be happy to set it aside to hear from members of the society.
6:00 – 7:00pm
Dinner on Saturday night will be pot-luck. There is a large group kitchen. If your contribution requires cooking, please bring it in an oven-ready container to minimize kitchen prep time at the field station; refrigerators will be available beginning when you arrive, whether it’s Friday or Saturday. Bring serving spoons or forks, as needed. Cups, glasses, plates and utensils will be available, and tea, teakettle, coffee, coffee maker, creamer, etc. will be provided.
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Jesse Miller, PhD will be the speaker for the evening. His current interests include assessing the impact of fire on lichens. His prior work has focused on studying soil crust diversity, lichen ecology in sagebrush steppes, pin lichen diversity as influenced by substrate age, survey detectability of rare canopy lichens, the potential for wind farms in prime soil crust habitat, and in our own Bulletin, a paper on the Usnea rigida group in California and the Northwest.  Jesse is currently a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis.

Sunday, January 28, 2018
Time TBD      Casual lichenizing and use of field lab (a few microscopes will be available)
Time TBD      Check-out

Other Meals
Apart from Saturday dinner, all other meals will be your responsibility. There is a large group kitchen, and secure storage bins and a refrigerator will be available. Cups, glasses, plates and utensils will be available, and tea, teakettle, coffee, coffee maker, creamer, etc. will be provided.

The weather
Dress appropriately! The Blue Oak Ranch Reserve can be sunny and rainy and cold. Average high and low temperatures (Fahrenheit) in January are 55° and 32°, respectively. Record highs and lows have been 56° and 48°. We will hike in sun, overcast, fog or light rain, but not if we are miserable.

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve has bunkhouse-type accommodations for up to 50 persons.  This includes three types of cabins for $10-20 per night per person (exact price TBD). Bring your own sleeping bags, sleeping pads, linens, and pillow . Visitors can pitch a tent for $10 per night (exact price TBD). There are flush toilets and showers. Additional information about the accommodations is on the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve website and is subject to our reservation.

Advance reservations for lodging at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve are necessary at the time of RSVP and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. More luxurious accommodations in nearby San Jose are also available, but they are your responsibility to locate and reserve.

16070 Mt Hamilton Rd
Mt Hamilton, CA 95140


This entry was posted in Calendar Events, News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.