California Native Plant Society
Register Now

Registration open until Feb 20

Education Program - Workshops and Professional Training

Vegetation Mapping

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

March 1-3, 2017 (Wednesday - Friday)
University of Redlands GIS Lab, Redlands, CA & field sites in western Riverside County

Instructors: Julie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, CNPS; Diana Hickson, Senior Environmental Scientist and Co-Lead, VegCAMP Program, California Department of Fish & Wildlife (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 February 20, 2017.

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) Mar 1-3, 2017 $665 $695

Cancellation Policy: The last day to cancel your registration and receive any refund is Monday, February 14, 2017. 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 - Wednesday, March 1
Meet at University of Redlands GIS 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 - Thursday, March 2
Meet at designated field site in western Riverside 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 - Friday, March 3
Meet at University of Redlands GIS 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 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 lecture/lab portions of this workshop will be held at the University of Redlands' GIS lab (Lewis Hall 102) in Redlands, CA, with field sites approx. 30 minutes from Redlands in western Riverside County. 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 fifteen 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.

Diana Hickson is Senior Environmental Scientist and Co-Lead with Todd Keeler-Wolf of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program (VegCAMP). Diana has known she wanted to map vegetation since she was in high school. She received a B.A. in Geography from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Geography from U.C. Santa Barbara, where she studied the composition of maritime chaparral related to time since fire. She was an environmental consultant for seven years, mapping rare plant populations and wetlands, before getting a position at the Department in the Endangered Plant Program. Diana has worked in VegCAMP since its inception, finally getting to focus on mapping vegetation!

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


Copyright © 1999-2019 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved. Contact Us | Privacy