Rocky Plant Communities of the Western Cascades w/ Tanya Harvey: Basalt outcroppings and cliff faces provide habitat for a unique and gravity-defying community of early spring plants. Join botanist Tanya Harvey on a virtual field trip to explore and identify some of the plants of cliff faces, outcroppings, and seepy hillsides in the Western Cascades of Lane County, Oregon. 

Tanya Harvey  is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer, and native plant expert. She created the Mountain Plants of the Western Cascades website (https://westerncascades.com), which includes reports on her frequent botanizing trips in the Western Cascades, plant lists and directions for great botanizing spots, and galleries of seeds and butterflies. Tanya is the graphic designer and one of the editors of the three-volume Flora of Oregon, the definitive source on the native plants of Oregon. Tanya has been a longtime member of the local chapters of the Native Plant Society of Oregon and the North American Butterfly Association.


Nature Illustration Made Easy w/ David Wagner: These video clips present a series of lessons showing simple ways to make accurate illustrations for those whose drawing skills are sketchy. The emphasis will be on pen and ink rendering of plant and animals from photographs. Other methods will include graphite rubbings, direct ink prints, and preparation of material for drawing.

David Wagner was Director of the University of Oregon Herbarium for 17 years and is currently Courtesy Associate Professor of Biology. Since 1993 he has operated Northwest Botanical Institute. He has always been active in the Eugene Natural History Society, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, and Native Plant Society of Oregon, having served terms as president for each. He has taught field botany and bryology for over forty years, and writes a monthly nature column, “It’s About Time,” for the Eugene Weekly that features pen and ink drawings.


Native Plant Garden Tours: Explore three gardens in the Eugene/Springfield area. Learn how you too can incorporate native plants in your yard and the benefits of doing so. Native plantings sometimes have a reputation for being a bit devoid of color and bland, but these garden showcase the incredible beauty of a native focused landscape.

Gail Baker and Clay Gautier started from bare soil with their garden in 2014. When visiting their yard, they hope people experience an aesthetically pleasing urban landscape that emphasizes native Willamette Valley plants, some cultivars, and areas set aside for food production. They want to highlight the use of native flora so others might become comfortable with integrating native plants from their particular region into their own gardens. Aryana Ferguson and Bart Johnson have been caretaking their yard for 18 years. Backed up against a local park left mostly wild, they have several separate sections to work in–a prairie focused area, a native shrubs and oak section, vegetable and fruit beds, and a storm-water pond.


Keying Plants for Beginners w/ Steven Yeager and Susie Holmes: This video is a quick introduction into the process of using a dichotomous key to identify wild plant species. Steven and Susie will will demonstrate using the Handbook of Northwestern Plants by Helen Gilkey to key out some of our favorite native plants.

Susie Holmes is a biology faculty member at Lane Community College where she teaches plant and fungal science courses. She coordinates student contributions to the setup of MPA’s Wildflower and Mushroom Festivals.


Wildfire Recovery and Resilience 2020: Developing Adaptive Capacity to Increasing Risk in the Willamette Valley w/ Bart Johnson: The 2020 wildfires overwhelmed Oregonians but we should not have been surprised. As we help landowners recover, we need to reconsider how we live in and manage rural landscapes under an expected warmer, drier climate. To this end, a UO team worked with landowners whose homes were destroyed and vegetation largely killed to the ground in the Holiday Farm Fire. Our goal was to help them reimagine their properties in the fire’s aftermath in order to foster greater wildfire resilience and protect river health. In consultation with wildfire and aquatic specialists, we developed a set of landscape design and management tools to help residents craft unique solutions for their properties and cooperative practices in their neighborhoods.

Dr. Bart Johnson is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon. His training in agronomy (BS), landscape architecture (MLA) and ecology (PhD) reflect his lifelong passion for integrating people and their use of the land with native ecosystems and evolutionary processes. His research is collaborative and interdisciplinary, with the goal of enhancing society’s capacity to adapt and innovate in the face climate change and expanding human development. For nearly two decades, a major focus of his work has been building adaptive capacity to increasing wildfire.


Exploring Mt. Pisgah’s botanical bounty – satisfy your curiosity in just a few clicks! w/ Thea Jaster: We at OregonFlora want you to feel empowered to know, understand, and deepen your enjoyment of Oregon’s bountiful botanical diversity. Thea Jaster will give you a tour of the highlights of Oregonflora’s newly re-vamped website (oregonflora.org) by demonstrating how our interactive tools can help you explore all of Oregon’s flora any time of year in just a few clicks.

Thea Jaster joined OregonFlora in 2002. She works primarily as a data manager and flora editor. She also enjoys working with undergraduates and volunteers. Her main botanical interests are in plant conservation, biodiversity, and plant taxonomy. Thea’s understanding and interest in database management (originally sourcing from her role at The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Virginia in the ’90s) has also served her well in her role with OregonFlora. She enjoys knowing her work (on the Flora and website) will not only provide important knowledge for fellow botanists but will also engage and inspire those new to the joys of learning Oregon’s diverse flora.


Floral Specialization in Western Oregon Bees w/ August Jackson: Native bees have evolved in concert with native flora, resulting in close connections and the development of interdependent relationships. This vividly illustrated talk will highlight several bee species in Western Oregon that are specialized on specific groups of our native plants. We’ll look at what floral specialization means, and what factors may cause some bees to develop specialized diets.

August Jackson works as the Interpretation Coordinator at Mount Pisgah Arboretum. In addition to his work at the Arboretum, August has expertise in the native bees of the Pacific Northwest and is an instructor with the Oregon Bee Atlas out of Oregon State University. He has authored a comprehensive guide to the bees of the Willamette Valley, and has discovered bee species new to the state of Oregon. August is a passionate science communicator and frequently delivers talks and leads classes on native bees and pollination ecology around the state.


Wildflowers for Beginners w/ Jenny Laxton: Wildflowers for those who are new to appreciating wildflowers! We love flowers for helping to brighten the world around us each spring, but what’s in for the plants? Learn why plants have flowers, how to enjoy wildflowers responsibly and the names of some of the most common flowers in the Mt. Pisgah area.

Jenny Laxton is the Education Manager at Mount Pisgah Arboretum. She has worked in environmental education for 15 years both overseas and all over the Pacfic Northwest from the coast to the Cascades and especially in the Willamette Valley of Oregon where she grew up. She loves helping to connect people with the outdoors and showing that sometimes the most interesting and amazing corner of the world is right where you are.


Where Did We Come From and Where are We Going? Fire Ecology and Post-Fire Succession in Western Oregon w/ Graham Frank: The forests of western Oregon tend to be cool, damp, and shady; fires have been rare in recent memory. However, the 2020 Labor Day fires were a rude reminder for many of us that these forests can burn, and these burns can be hot. Were these fires out of the ordinary? Will these forests ever recover? This talk will place these fires in the broader context of western Oregon’s fire ecology and we’ll look ahead to how these forests will likely change over the coming decades as they recover.

Graham Frank is a PhD student at Oregon State University and part of the Landscape Fire and Conservation Science Research Group. His dissertation work focuses on whether the biodiversity associated with recently burned forests is also supported by recent timber harvests, and how this comparison changes through time. In his free time, you can find Graham skiing, riding his bike, baking bread, or hiking with his dog Otis.


Sketching Wildflowers in the Field w/ Emily Poole: Join illustrator Emily Poole on an excursion into nature in search of wildflowers. She will discuss her sketching process, field drawing technique, and the personal journey of the field notebook.

Emily Poole is a wildlife illustrator and the current poster artist for the Mount Pisgah Arboretum’s annual festivals. She grew up in the Rocky Mountains, received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, and returned west to put down roots in the mossy hills of Oregon. She can be found exploring tidepools and cliffsides, gathering inspiration and making artwork about our fellow species and how to be better neighbors with them.


Birds, Bees, Butterflies, and Blooms w/ Bruce Newhouse: Join local ecologist Bruce Newhouse for a virtual walk showcasing the vibrant spring life that can be found at Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Bruce will identify and talk about local flowers and trees, as well as the birds, bees and butterflies who rely on them for survival.

Bruce Newhouse is a Willamette Valley native, and a field ecologist specializing in plants, and also the animals and fungi that interact with them! His vocation and avocation are nearly identical, both rooted in being outside in native prairies and forests. Bruce is a regular volunteer and contributor to the McKenzie River Trust, the Cascade Mycological Society, the Oregon Flora Project, the Friends of Buford Park, the Native Plant Society of Oregon, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum and iNaturalist. He lives and gardens in Eugene with his ecologist wife, Peg and their two cats, Sage and Onyx. More info at salixassociates.com and brucen.zenfolio.com.


A New Flora of Oregon, Plant Identification and Beyond w/ Stephen C. Meyers: Over 20 years in the making, a new flora for the state of Oregon is being published. Two volumes of the Flora of Oregon have thus far been published, with third, and last, in production. This presentation will a give an overview of why a Flora of Oregon is needed, and what the features the new Flora of Oregon contains.

Stephen Meyers was born and raised in rural upstate New York. Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science on Long Island and worked for several years as an air traffic controller. In his mid-20s, he switched careers and inscribed cemetery monuments for the next decade. During this time, an interest in alpine mountaineering introduced Stephen to the mountains of the Northwest and, in turn, to its botanical wonders. Lured by the latter, he moved to Oregon and obtained a master’s degree in genetics and a doctorate in botany from Oregon State University. Employed by OregonFlora since 2010, Stephen currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon and serves as the Taxonomic Director at OregonFlora.