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Registration open until July 24

Education Program - Workshops and Professional Training

Vegetation Mapping

in conjunction with the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and Aerial Information Systems (AIS)

August 1-3, 2016 (Monday - Wednesday)
UC Berkeley GIF Lab, Berkeley, CA & field sites in Marin County, CA

Instructors: Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, CNPS; Todd Keeler-Wolf, Senior Vegetation Ecologist, VegCAMP Program, CDFW; John Menke, Senior Vegetation Mapping Specialist, AIS

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

Target Audience: Professional botanists, ecologists, resource managers, GIS and vegetation mapping specialists. Participants should have an initial understanding of the subject matter and of GIS.

Description: Through a combination of field and computer exercises, participants will learn techniques for fine-scale vegetation mapping. Participants will practice creating a vegetation map using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and techniques of photo interpretation, delineation, and attribution, collect reconnaissance samples to support the 2nd edition of A Manual of California Vegetation classification, and validate a vegetation map through accuracy assessment.

Participants will learn:

  • Principles of vegetation sampling, classification, and photo interpretation
  • To measure biodiversity through fine-scale vegetation mapping
  • How to map and assess different types of vegetation, including locations and acreages
  • How to identify specific habitat requirements of target species and monitor habitat changes over time
  • Adaptive species management using fine-scale vegetation mapping
  • How to perform detailed landscape and watershed analyses with vegetation maps


Registration is now open! Last day to register is July 24.

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 Mapping (3-day course) August 1-3 $665 $695

Cancellation Policy: The last day to cancel your registration and receive any refund is Monday, July 18, 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 - Monday, August 1
Meet at UC Berkeley GIF Lab, indoor lecture/lab all day

9:00 am Introductions and overview of vegetation mapping and field verification
11:00 am Integrated vegetation classification and mapping: techniques (manual photo interpretation, heads-up digitizing, automated approaches, attribution, etc.), tools and information used in photo interpretation and delineation, use of GIS with ArcGIS or other software, examples of AIS delineations and attributions
Noon Lunch break (please bring your own lunch and water)
1:00 pm Mapping exercise: interpretation of imagery, delineation examples, techniques for heads-up digitizing
2:30 pm Exercise in delineation and attribution
5:00 pm Break for the day

Day 2 - Tuesday, August 2
Meet at designated field site (TBA) in Marin County, field exercises all day

8:30 am Site visits and field reconnaissance: identifying stands of vegetation in select areas
Noon Lunch in the field (please bring your own lunch and water)
12:30 pm Site visits and field reconnaissance: collect field data, discuss need to further inventory area using other protocols (e.g., Vegetation Rapid Assessment Method or plot-based methods), especially for map accuracy assessment and vegetation classification
5:00 pm Break for the day

Day 3 - Wednesday, August 3
Meet at UC Berkeley GIF Lab, indoor lecture/lab all day

9:00 am Importance of field verification and map Accuracy Assessment (AA): number of samples and reconnaissance points to verify/validate the classification and map, basics for accuracy assessment and revisions of mapping
10:30 am Mapping exercise with field verification/AA Analysis: provide AA data to review mapping of previous day, make corrections and updates to delineated area
Noon Lunch break (please bring your own lunch and water)
1:00 pm
1:00 pm Complete mapping exercise
3:00 pm Wrap-up discussion: comparison of different mapping techniques, costs, and maps produced, applications of vegetation maps for local management efforts, values of integrated sampling and mapping project, current or potential applications and mapping projects of workshop participants
4:00 pm Q&A, course evaluations
4:30 pm End of workshop


Venue: Indoor lab/lecture portions of this workshop will be held at the UC Berkeley GIF Lab, 111 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA, with field sites in Marin County. Please note that no food and beverages are allowed in the GIF lab. Final details, maps, and directions will be provided to registered participants about a week before the workshop.

Materials Required: Please bring...

  • Clipboard, notebook, and pencil
  • Sturdy boots, sunscreen and field clothes appropriate for the weather and conditions
  • Plenty of water for the field; lunch and snacks for all 3 days
  • Optional items include: compass and/with clinometer, binoculars, digital camera, GPS unit

Materials Provided: CNPS will provide course materials for the field and computer exercises (e.g., slides, map printouts, exercises, reference material, and other handouts), and workstations for the vegetation mapping exercises.

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. This workshop will be held rain or shine. We will spend approximately 33% of the time in the field.

About the Instructors

Julie M. 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.

Dr. Todd Keeler-Wolf is an ecologist who has worked in California for over 30 years. In this time, he has had the pleasure of studying the vegetation and flora of virtually every terrestrial ecosystem in the state. Currently he is the Senior Vegetation Ecologist at the CDFW and leads their Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program (VegCAMP). He is also the Senior Advisor for the California Native Plant Society's Vegetation Program, and member of the executive committee of the Ecological Society of America's Vegetation Panel. He is co-author with John Sawyer and Julie Evens of the Second Edition of A Manual of California Vegetation and several other books and publications, including the revised UC Press California Plant Life Natural History guide, and the recently published third edition of the Terrestrial Vegetation of California, which he co-edited with Michael Barbour and Allan Schoenherr. Todd received all his degrees at UC Santa Cruz.

John Menke is the Senior Vegetation Mapping Specialist at Aerial Information Systems, Inc. With over 30 years of experience, he has been the lead photo interpreter for the National Park Service's Vegetation Mapping Program at Yosemite, Sequoia- Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, Point Reyes and Golden Gate National Parks. He has also conducted mapping efforts for the Marin Municipal Water District, western Riverside County, the Sacramento Delta region, Napa County, and numerous other locations throughout California.


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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