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Registration open until July 10

Education Program - Workshops and Professional Training

Vegetation Rapid Assessment / Relevé

July 19-21, 2016 (Tuesday - Thursday)
UC White Mountain Research Center's Crooked Creek Station, outside of Bishop, CA

Instructors: Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director; Jennifer Buck-Diaz, Vegetation Ecologist, CNPS

Download the print-friendly flyer for this workshop (pdf)

Target Audience: Professional and student botanists, ecologists, resource managers, and conservationists. Participants should have an initial understanding of the subject matter and basic plant identification skills.

Description: This course will be a combination of lecture and field exercises in vegetation sampling with a focus on collecting data using the CNPS-CDFW combined vegetation rapid assessment/relevé method. We will discuss applications of fine-scale vegetation sampling, classification and mapping, how to document rare natural communities, and how vegetation information fits into planning documents.

Participants will learn:

  • Applications of fine-scale vegetation sampling, classification and mapping
  • How vegetation sampling is used for mapping projects
  • How to collect data using the CNPS-CDFW combined vegetation rapid assessment/relevé method.
  • How to document rare natural communities
  • How vegetation types and attributes can be mapped
  • How vegetation information fits into County General Management Plans, CEQA, HCP's, NCCPs, etc.


Registration is now open! Last day to register is July 10.

Registration fees are discounted for CNPS members. If you are not a CNPS member, visit to join now and save!

Please note: class size is limited to 20 participants.

  Date CNPS Members Non-members
Vegetation Rapid Assessment / Relevé (3-day course)
Includes meals and lodging for 2 nights
May 18-20 $555 $585

Cancellation Policy: The last day to cancel your registration and receive any refund is Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Refunds may be subject to processing fees. Please send cancellation requests by e-mail to Becky Reilly, . Click here for more details on the cancellation policy for CNPS workshops.


Day 1 - Tuesday, July 19
Meet at Crooked Creek Station. Indoor lecture, classroom setting.

2:00 pm Introductions and Overview. Vegetation sampling, analysis, classification, and mapping.
5:00 pm Break for the day

Day 2 - Wednesday, July 20
Field exercises at Crooked Creek Station all day.

8:30 am Field exercises: introduction to the combined vegetation rapid assessment/relevé method; estimating percent cover of vegetation layers
Noon Lunch in the field (will be provided)
1:00 pm Field exercise in small groups: conduct a field survey using the vegetation rapid assessment method
4:30 pm Regroup for Q&A
5:00 pm Break for the day

Day 3 - Thursday, July 21
Field exercises at Crooked Creek Station all day.

8:30 am Review rapid assessment protocol
9:30 am Select vegetation types for sampling, conduct first rapid assessment
Noon Lunch in the field (will be provided)
1:00 pm Conduct second rapid assessment, using a different vegetation type
3:30 pm Q&A; submit vegetation rapid assessment field forms for Certificate of Completion; course evaluations
4:00 pm Workshop concludes


Venue:This workshop will be held at the Crooked Creek Station, part of the University of California's White Mountain Research Center. Crooked Creek is located in bristlecone/limber pine forest in the White Mountains, about 1.5 hours from Bishop, CA. All classroom and field portions of this class will be held at the station. Directions will be provided to registered attendees about a week before the workshop. For more information on the station, visit Please note: this is a high elevation facility, at 3,090 meters (10,150 feet) above sea level. If you have a preexisting medical condition, please consult with your doctor before traveling to a high elevation.

Meals & Lodging: Registration fees include dorm-style lodging (separated by gender) at the station for the nights of July 19 and 20, as well as all meals (dinner on the 19th, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the 20th, and breakfast and lunch on the 21st), which will be provided by the station's cooks. A bottom sheet for the dorm mattress, bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, bath mats, pillow cases and pillows will be provided; please bring a sleeping bag.

Materials Required: Please bring...

  • Clipboard
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Sturdy boots and field clothes appropriate for conditions
  • Plenty of water for time in the field and staying hydrated at high elevation
  • Snacks for the field
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag for the dorm bed

Optional additional items include:

  • Compass and/with clinometer
  • Binoculars
  • Digital camera
  • GPS unit

Materials Provided: CNPS will provide data sheets, maps, and references for all field exercises, and a certificate of completion after successfully completing two vegetation rapid assessment field forms on the final day.

Physical Requirements: Participants should be physically able to hike over uneven terrain and remain in the field for up to 8.5 hours at a time at a high elevation. Crooked Creek Station is a high elevation facility, at 3,090 meters (10,150 feet) above sea level. If you have a preexisting medical condition, please consult with your doctor before traveling

About the Instructors

Julie Evens is the Vegetation Program Director for the California Native Plant Society, where she has directed CNPS vegetation projects and analyzed vegetation data for over ten years. She currently manages CNPS sampling protocols and databases, coordinates vegetation sampling and training sessions, collaborates on vegetation mapping projects with other agencies, and writes reports on vegetation classification across California. Previously, she worked as a crew leader for major vegetation projects in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and the central Mojave Desert. Julie received her BA degrees from UC Santa Cruz and MA degree in Biology from Humboldt State University.

Jennifer Buck-Diaz is a vegetation ecologist and botanist with the CNPS Vegetation Program. She brings to CNPS extensive work experience with different plant communities across the western United States. Prior to joining CNPS, Jennifer worked as an ecologist with The Nature Conservancy at the Cosumnes River Preserve. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis.


The CNPS Plant Science Training Program operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English. To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed  to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information  requested in the form.  To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.  Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (a) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (b) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (c) email: USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

If you have questions about this or any other CNPS workshops, please contact Becky Reilly, CNPS Events Coordinator, at 916-447-2677 x207 or .

View the complete schedule of CNPS Plant Science Workshops


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