Chapter Meetings

Meetings begin at 7 pm in the Sustainable Living Center education room at the ReStore (2309 Meridian Street). The entrance is off the back alley and the SLC is upstairs. Click for Google Map. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call Vikki Jackson at 319-6988.

June 21, 2017

Summer Kickoff Potluck

6 – 9 pm

2582 N Shore Rd

Abe Lloyd and Katrina Poppe would like to welcome you to their home for an outdoor potluck to welcome the summer. Dinner will begin around 6:30 pm. Bring a dish and a drink to share (last names A-M bring a entrees, and N-Z bring a side or dessert).


PREVIOUS MEETING TOPICS

May 17, 2017

Restoration in a Human Landscape

Over the past 18 years, the City of Bellingham has worked with community partners to restore streams, shorelines, and forest. Currently, the City manages 125 acres of stream and shoreline and 1,740 acres within the Lake Whatcom watershed. Come hear how these projects are improving habitat conditions, the challenges of long-term management, and future restoration projects.

Analiese Burns is Habitat and Restoration Manager for the City of Bellingham. She is a Professional Wetland Scientist and former consultant with Northwest Ecological Services. When not at work, she enjoys hiking with her family, SCUBA diving, and digging in her garden.

April 19, 2017

Big Flowers, Few Pollinators: The Plants of the Central Aleutian Islands – Birthplace of the Winds

Mike Williams carried out his masters research in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska while at the University of Tennessee. He will introduce us to the wildflowers of these maritime tundra landscapes on these very remote, but lovely islands. His current research interest is a revision of the western North American barberries (Berberis). He has authored the Berberidaceae treatment in the two editions of the Jepson Manual of the Higher Plants of California.  Mike is mostly retired but is teaching part-time in the biology department at WWU.

March 15, 2017

Plant Phenology, Tribal Peoples, and Climate Change

Brian Compton and Sonni Tadlock will discuss some aspects of plant phenology, traditional phenological knowledge of some Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, and how these relate to climate change. They will also introduce the Local Environmental Observers (LEO) Network program, which is a citizen science network documenting changes to the environment utilizing scientific, local, and indigenous knowledge. The network is creating a narrative of how climate change is impacting local communities, and connecting people of different backgrounds to explain some of the observations. Sonni will introduce the network and show you how you can get involved.

Brian D. Compton, Ph.D. is faculty in the Native Environmental Science Program at Northwest Indian College. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany from Eastern Illinois University, and his doctoral degree in botany from the University of British Columbia.  His doctoral work was on the ethnobotany of several Upper North Wakashan and Southern Tsimshian First Nations.

Sonni Tadlock is the LEO Network Hub Program Coordinator at Northwest Indian College. She is a direct descendant of the Colville Tribe, and recently completed her B.S. in Native Environmental Science from Northwest Indian College.

February 15, 2017

Tales from the Yukon

Barry Wendling and Nolan Exe will share stories and botanical insights from a trip to the Yukon as a Western Washington University course. Barry is Herbarium Manager and Research Associate at WWU, and the immediate past president of the WNPS Koma Kulshan chapter. Nolan is a recent graduate from WWU.

January 18, 2017

What Do We Do Now? The WNPS Statewide Stewardship Program

There has never been a greater need for stewardship of our native plant habitats and the ecosystems in which they play foundational roles. Songbirds, iconic fish, and charismatic large mammals all ultimately depend on the habitat features that native plants provide. The aim of the WNPS Statewide Stewardship Program is to help members and other people in our chapters’ communities to acquire knowledge, skills, and inspiration that they can apply in the work of conserving, restoring, and increasing public understanding about those habitats and our native flora.

Jim Evans, WNPS’ State Stewardship Program Manager, will describe the program’s history, goals, and ways of working with chapters and partner organizations to meet community needs and interests. He’ll provide examples from successful programs that were presented in 2016 in Tacoma and Wenatchee and close with a discussion of where the program is going — and could go — in the future.

December 14, 2016

Holiday Potluck

6 – 9 pm

4682 Wynn Road

Please join us at our annual winter potluck to enjoy a feast of food, and share stories about the year. Mark Turner has offered his studio again for the potluck. Dinner will begin around 6:30 pm and we will finish off with a slideshow of highlights of the year. Bring a dish and a drink to share (last names N-Z bring entrees, and A-M bring a side or dessert). For those with photos to share, bring along a USB drive with up to 10 digital images.

November 16, 2016

A Seedy (Under)world: Commercial Nursery Propagation of Native Plants from Seed

Have you ever wanted to grow your own, or wondered about mass production of native species? Come learn with Dylan Levy-Boyd about seed collecting and processing, genetics and seed transfer zones, seed propagation strategies, and seedling care. Dylan coordinates the propagation of 300+ species of native plants at Fourth Corner Nurseries in Bellingham, WA.

October 19, 2016

The Pyrogeography of Wildfires in the West

Climate change, building practices, and a century of fire policies have combined to leave many of our forests explosive. Wildland firefighters, trained for work in the backcountry, are increasingly expected to protect homes and communities. Meanwhile, fire-suppression costs are going up even in moderate years, and many people are pressuring wildland agencies to vastly increase the acreage of fuel reduction programs. Michael Medler will discuss many of the spatial considerations in this debate, presenting his findings about the spatial scale of some of the problems and the potential of some of the solutions. Dr. Medler is an associate professor at Western Washington University in the Environmental Studies department. He is a past president of The Association for Fire Ecology, and the founding editor of the journal Fire Ecology.

September 21, 2016

Boss Mosses: Reading Moss Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest

Contrary to what many believe, it is easy to recognize the most common mosses of our area without a microscope and, in most cases, without even a hand lens. Come hear about the fascinating lives of Pacific Northwest mosses and learn what they contribute to the local ecosystem. Kem Luther, a naturalist and writer, grew up in the Nebraska Sandhills and currently lives in Victoria, BC. He studied at Cornell, the University of Chicago, and the University of Toronto, and taught at Eastern Mennonite University, Sheridan College, York University, and the University of Toronto. His most recent book is Boundary Layer (Oregon State University Press, 2016), and he may have some available for sale at the meeting. You can find more information about Kem and his latest book here.

June 15, 2016

Summer Kickoff Potluck

6 – 9 pm

2582 N Shore Rd

Abe Lloyd and Katrina Poppe would like to welcome you to their home for an outdoor potluck to welcome the summer. Dinner will begin around 6:30 pm. Bring a dish and a drink to share (last names A-M bring a side or dessert, and N-Z bring entrees).

May 18, 2016

The Future of our Endemic Alpine Plants

Sam Wershow will present his research investigating climate change impacts to endemic alpine wildflowers of the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island. Sam is a graduate student in Eric DeChaine’s botany lab at Western Washington University. You may recall he presented his research proposal to us before embarking on his field work, mapping the distributions of rare species and describing their habitat preferences to predict how climate change will impact their distributions. Now we will find out what he has learned since then and how his project has evolved.

April 20, 2016

Flying Flowers of the Fourth Corner: The Butterflies of Whatcom County

To residents of lowland Whatcom County, a veritable wasteland for butterfly diversity, it may come as a surprise that a rich butterfly fauna resides in our area. As with native plants, the trick to finding this myriad of winged beauties is to know what to look for and where and when to look. Merrill Peterson will highlight an assortment of our more spectacular and interesting butterfly species, telling us about their habits and habitats, how to recognize them, and where some of the county’s butterfly ‘hotspots’ are located. Merrill is a professor of biology at Western Washington University, where he also curates the university’s insect collection. He has published numerous articles on insect ecology and evolutionary biology, and oversaw the creation of the Pacific Northwest Moths website. He is currently in the final throes of writing a field guide to Pacific Northwest insects, to be published by Seattle Audubon.

March 16, 2016

Forest Giants and Champion Trees

Are you captivated by old growth trees, with the unique ecosystems they harbor and the history they embody? James Luce will share with us stories and images of various old growth canopy research projects he has been involved in to learn more about these forest giants. He will also tell us about champion tree registries, managed by American Forests in the U.S.

James Luce is a local professional arborist that has been involved in canopy research projects. He is also a board member of Ascending the Giants (ATG), a non-profit organization that works to learn more about champion trees.

February 17, 2016

Examining the Bee’s Knees: Hidden Gems in the Corbicula

Heather Meadows is a well-renowned park at Mt. Baker Ski Resort that flourishes with colorful flowers during the spring and summer. Bumblebees that call Heather Meadows home can be deemed responsible for the expanse of this vibrant beauty. A mystery, however, still stands regarding what species of plants the bumblebees target. To answer this question, Beth Skoff has been working with Jim Davis to examine known and unknown pollen samples from Heather Meadows, and Beth will be presenting her findings to us. Beth Skoff is currently a student at Western Washington University studying Environmental Science. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in March 2016.

January 20, 2016

Wildfire Resilient Homes and Landscapes: “Firewise” in NW Washington

Jenny Hinderman and Al Craney of the Skagit Conservation District will provide an overview of the latest research on how to make your home and landscape more resilient to wildfire. Attendees will learn about efforts in the region to better prepare for wildfire in a changing environment and hear about free resources that are available to landowners.

Jennifer Hinderman is the Firewise Program Coordinator for the Skagit Conservation District, where she has worked for 15 years. She works with landowners and communities in Skagit County on wildland fire preparedness and planning. She also oversees the Firewise efforts of other Conservation Districts across the state, and helps to run a wildfire preparedness learning network. She graduated from Huxley College at Western Washington University.

Al Craney is a forester with the Skagit Conservation District. With 38 years of experience in natural resource management, fire, forest genetics, and forest ecology, he works with forest landowners to address their concerns about forest health. Previously, Al managed the WACD Plant Material Center in Bow, growing native plants, and also at the Seed Orchard in Coupeville, testing and improving tree seedlings.

December 16, 2015

Holiday Potluck

6 – 9 pm

4682 Wynn Road

Please join us at our annual winter potluck to enjoy a feast of wonderful food and share stories about the year. Mark Turner has offered his studio again for the potluck. Dinner will begin around 6:30 pm and we will finish off with a slideshow of highlights of the year. Bring a dish and a drink to share (last names A-M bring entrees, and N-Z bring a side or dessert). For those with photos to share, bring along a USB drive with up to 10 digital images.

November 18, 2015

A Rare Care Affair

Over 350 species of native plants in Washington State are considered rare and imperiled. Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation (Rare Care) works with federal and state agencies to learn about these species, document their populations, and restore their populations. Wendy Gibble will introduce some of these rare plant species and their habitats, discuss why they are imperiled, and highlight efforts undertaken by Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation to conserve these plants. Wendy Gibble is the program manager of Rare Care and has been studying and learning about Washington State’s diverse flora for over 15 years.

October 21, 2015

Neither Tooth Nor Claw: How Plants Defend Themselves

All kinds of creatures want to dine on plants. How do plants deal with the onslaught of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and herbivores and omnivores of every kind? Which plant deals with marauding sheep by impaling them? Why do plants produce neurotransmitters, and hormones like estrogen and melatonin, that have no effect on plant tissues? How does their immune system compare to ours? Anu will explain the defensive strategies of plants, and you’ll sleep better knowing that your morning coffee and chocolate bonbons will be there for you…. as long as humans don’t mess things up for the whole planet. Anu Singh-Cundy teaches biology at Western Washington University.

September 16, 2015

Nooksack Place Names and Ethnobotany

How were places named in the original Nooksack language? Which places were named for plants and habitats? What plants were important to the Nooksack people, and where were they found? The story of Nooksack place names, plants, and habitats will be recounted in a slide presentation by Allan Richardson, anthropologist and researcher of Nooksack Indian culture and history.

Allan Richardson received an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington and taught Anthrolopology at Whatcom Community College for 38 years. He has published articles on Northwest Coast native culture and has served as consultant to the Nooksack Indian Tribe for a number of grants and legal cases. Mr. Richardson is co-author with Dr. Brent Galloway of the book Nooksack Place Names: Geography, Culture, and Language. He is also active in the Washington Native Plant Society, and lives on a small farm on the outskirts of Bellingham.

April 15, 2015

Native Plants and Pollinators in Subalpine Meadows

Jim Davis will review a research project examining impacts of climate change on native plants and bumble bees in the North Cascades. This plant phenology and bumble bee foraging project is currently being implemented at Heather Meadows by ten WNPS Koma Kulshan volunteers.

Jim is president of the not-for-profit group American Alps (www.americanalps.org). Jim has managed multiple research and advocacy projects addressing conservation and public health issues (e.g., public lands, water quality, endangered species, environmental tobacco smoke). He received his MS and PhD degrees in entomology from the University of Missouri and the University of California at Berkeley.

March 18, 2015

Managing the Green (and more): The Botany program of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

What does it mean to be a professional botanist for the second largest federal land management agency – the US Forest Service? Shauna Hee will explain the functions of a multiple land use land management agency, the National Environmental Policy Act, and managing for a diverse array of species (vascular plants, bryophytes, algae, lichens, and fungi). From inventorying whitebark pine in the Glacier Peak Wilderness to revegetating the Monte Cristo Mine repository – the job duties and work locales are diverse. Shauna Hee has been a botanist on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest since 2012.

February 18, 2015

Winter World: How Plants Cope With Bitter Cold

How do plants survive -60 degrees on the tundra? Why do some plants drop their leaves and how does that strategy compare with evergreen lifestyles? Anu will discuss the mechanisms plants use to deal with chilling and sub-freezing temperatures, with some amazing stories of botanical survival. Anu Singh-Cundy teaches in the Biology Department at Western Washington University.

January 21, 2015

Lichens: More Than Meets the Eye

Although lichens are diverse, fascinating and beautiful, and also more important than you might think, they often go unnoticed. Individual lichens include representatives of two and sometimes three of life’s kingdoms. As dual and treble “organisms” they resort to intriguing methods of reproduction. Disparate substrates such as conifers and hardwoods, granite and limestone, and biotic soil crusts play host to unique lichen communities. They occur in such diverse habitats as old power poles, the intertidal zone, and Antarctic nunataks. The presentation will be an illustrated overview of the biology of lichens as well as their relationships with plants and wildlife. Richard Droker is a Seattle based naturalist, specializing in geology, ornithology and more recently lichenology. Photography is a key element of his diverse pursuits, (see geology – an album on Flickr, all birds – an album on Flickr, Collection: lichen genera).


December 17, 2014

Holiday Party

Please join us at our annual winter potluck to enjoy a feast of wonderful food and sharing stores about the year. Mark Turner and Natalie McClendon have graciously offered their house for the potluck. Dinner will begin around 7 pm and we will finish off with a slideshow of the highlights of the year. Bring a dish and a drink to share (names A-M bring salad or dessert, and N-Z bring entrees). For those with photos to share, bring along a USB drive with up to 10 digital images. Gather at 6:30 pm at 4682 Wynn Road, Bellingham.

November 19, 2014

568 Trees and Shrubs? No Sweat!

What does it take to craft a definitive field guide to the woody plants of the Northwest? Ellen Kuhlmann and Mark Turner will share some of their adventures along the way to their new book, Trees & Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest. How did Mark find and identify plants he’d never seen before? How did Ellen make sense of a thick stack of primary sources to pen descriptions that a mere enthusiast can understand? Hitchcock is a thick tome; how did they choose what to include in their portable guide? Why didn’t the willows come with labels like plants in an arboretum? Mark and Ellen, both members of our chapter, will have books for sale and signing pens in hand.

October 15, 2014

Botanizing in Siberia

Chapter members Eric DeChaine and Barry Wendling will share images and memories of the people, places, and plants they experienced while documenting the botanical diversity of South Central Siberia. Eric is an associate professor and Herbarium Curator at WWU, and Barry is our Koma Kulshan WNPS chapter president and collections manager for the herbarium.

September 17, 2014

Summer Recapitulations

Here’s your chance to catch up on the chapter field trips that you missed this summer. Abe Lloyd will present a slide show with many of the interesting photos he took from the field trips, narrated by Abe and our field trip coordinator, Allan Richardson. We had an action-packed summer with some exciting plant sightings! Come enjoy this photographic summer recap with us. Trip attendees may jump in with some exciting tidbits of their own too.


April 16, 2014

North Cascades — Above the Forest, Below the Ice

Mignonne Bivin will share with us new and ongoing plant monitoring projects in the North Cascades National Park Complex, including monitoring of alpine/subalpine plants such as Whitebark pine, citizen science butterfly monitoring, and their upcoming bio blitz. Learn more about current plant-related activities in our backyard national park, and how you may be able to get involved. Mignonne has been a plant ecologist with the North Cascades National Park since 2001.

May 21, 2014

An illustrated Flora of the Salish Sea

Dr. Linda Ann Vorobik, PhD Botanist and Botanical Artist, will present an illustrated talk on the flora of the islands of the Salish Sea, based on her years growing up on the south end of Lopez Island. Included in the presentation are a scattering of her botanical art; before and after the presentation she will have her art displayed and for sale, with 35% of the proceeds donated back to the chapter.

January 15, 2014

Protecting and Restoring our County Lands
Nick Saling

Nick Saling will discuss Whatcom Land Trust’s conservation strategies and point out our stewardship activities and restoration efforts that will reveal the wealth of flora and fauna that we have on our lands. He promises some video clips scattered throughout the slide show to help demonstrate our county’s biodiversity.

Nick works with the Whatcom Land Trust as Director of Stewardship. Since graduating from the WWU Biology program, he has also been a Washington Conservation Corps Supervisor for the Department of Ecology and served with the U.S. Peace Corps doing coastal resource management work.

February 19, 2014

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Revising Hitchcock and Cronquist’s Flora of the Pacific Northwest
David Giblin

In 1973, Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist published their one-volume Flora of the Pacific Northwest, with illustrations by Jeanne Janish. Over 40 years later it remains a singular piece of scholarship and the standard against which regional floras are measured. Advances in both taxonomy and our knowledge of Pacific Northwest floristics require a revision of this outstanding work if it is to remain the primary flora for our region. David Giblin will cover background information regarding publication of the original Flora of the Pacific Northwest, why a new Flora is needed, as well as an overview for how the current Flora revision project is being conducted.

David Giblin has been the Collections Manager at the University of Washington Herbarium since 2002, and has made plant collecting expeditions throughout the Pacific Northwest. He is co-author of Alpine Flowers of Mt. Rainier, and one of several collaborators with Mark Turner on the recently released Washington Wildflowers plant identification app. In addition to the Flora revision project, he is an Editor and Board Member for the Flora of North America project and is currently working on a wildflower guide to the Olympic Mountains and a plant identification app for Idaho wildflowers.

March 19, 2014

Tidal wetlands and Climate Change Resilience
Roger Fuller

Though not very rich botanically, estuarine wetlands are some of the most productive habitats on the planet, thanks to their unique position on the border of river, land and sea. However this position also makes them particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts from all three realms, including sea level rise, lower summer river flows and altered sediment delivery. How do tidal wetlands respond to changes in their physical environment, and what does this mean for the functions they provide human communities, such as protection from storms?

Roger Fuller is a landscape ecologist with Western Washington University and worked for 12 years with The Nature Conservancy.


October 16, 2013

A Photographic Forest Fire Story

John Marshall will give us an overview of how fire worked historically across Washington State, how fire exclusion has changed forests, and how vegetation and individual plants respond. John’s presentation will be rich in photography, much of it showing repeated photos from the same sites. John has a B.S. in Fishery Science from Oregon State University, and a M.S. in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho. He works closely with the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest as a contract photographer.

November 20, 2013

Plants Dance with Fungi

Fungi interact with plants in myriad subtle but vital ways and can drastically affect the dynamics of an ecosystem. Kira Taylor will discuss plant-fungal relationships, the role fungi play in a healthy plant community, and the ecology of myco-heterotrophic plants, or plants that rely on fungi for energy. Kira Taylor is a Western Washington University graduate student with a focus on fungal ecology.

December 18, 2013

Holiday Potluck

Marie Hitchman has graciously offered her house for the potluck (601 16th Street, Bellingham, WA). Please join us at our annual winter potluck to enjoy a feast of wonderful food and sharing stories about the year. Gather at 6:30 pm and feasting will begin around 7:00 pm. We will finish off with a slide show of the highlights of the year. Bring a dish and favorite drink (names A-M bring salad or dessert and N-Z bring entrees). Those with photos to share bring along a USB drive with up to 10 digital images.

September 18, 2013

City of Bellingham Habitat Restoration

Renee LaCroix will talk about the City of Bellingham’s urban habitat restoration efforts. She will discuss past and future sites along Bellingham’s lakes, streams and bays; results of several monitoring efforts; and the Habitat Restoration Master Plan. Renee is the Ecology and Restoration Manager for the City of Bellingham’s Public Works Department.

No meetings June, July, or August

May 15, 2013

Traditional Food Plants of Cascadia

Learn from Heidi Bohan about the once common important food plants that were part of the daily menu that predated the introduction of potatoes and processed foods along with harvest and preparation techniques using plants which played an important role in this traditional food system. Heidi may also bring copies of her book.

Heidi is an educator specializing in native plants and their traditional uses. She is the author of The People of Cascadia: Pacific Northwest Native American History. She is a member of the Snoqualmie Tribe Canoe Family and works for the Snoqualmie Tribe as a cultural advisor, ethnobotanist and consultant for their native plant resotration projects. She is also adjunct faculty for Bastyr University and teaches and serves on the advisory team for the Northwest Indian College’s Traditional Plants Program.

April 17, 2013

Pacific Northwest Moths

Lars Crabo will present a survey of various Pacific Northwest moths associated with specific habitats. Lars is an internationally recognized expert on moths and recently conceived of and contributed to the PNW Moths project.