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Registration open until Sept 20

Education Program - Workshops and Professional Training

Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé

The California Native Plant Society & California Department of Fish & Wildlife Combined Method

October 3-5, 2017 (Tuesday - Thursday)
UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab & Reserve, Bodega Bay , CA

Instructors: Jennifer Buck-Diaz, Vegetation Ecologist, CNPS; Anne Klein, Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) VegCAMP

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/relevĂ© 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 September 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 Rapid Assessment/Relevé (3-day course) Oct 3-5, 2017 $375 $395
Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé (3-day course) with meals & lodging Oct 3-5, 2017 $640 $660

Cancellation Policy: The last day to cancel your registration and receive any refund is Monday, September 18, 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 - Tuesday, Oct 3
Meet at Bodega Marine Lab. 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 - Wednescay, October 4
Field exercises at Bodega Marine Reserve 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
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, October 5
Field exercises at Bodega Marine Reserve 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
1:00 pm Conduct second rapid assessment, using a different vegetation type
3:30 pm Q&A; submit field forms for Certificate of Completion; course evaluations
4:00 pm Workshop concludes


Venue: All classroom and field portions of this class will be held at the Bodega Marine Lab and Reserve, a University of California Natural Reserve. Directions will be provided to registered attendees about a week before the workshop. For more information on the station, visit

Optional Meals & Lodging: Dorm-style (double occupancy) lodging at Bodega Marine Lab for the nights of October 3 and 4, and all meals during this workshop (dinner on the 3rd, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the 4th, and breakfast and lunch on the 5th), are available for an additional fee of $265 per person total, paid in advance with workshop registration fees. Each room is stocked with pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels. Meals will be served in the dining hall, and bag lunches will be provided at breakfast to be taken into the field. Those not interested in staying onsite are welcome to make their own meal and lodging arrangements elsewhere.

Materials Required: Please bring...

  • Clipboard
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Sturdy boots and field clothes appropriate for conditions
  • Plenty of water for time in the field
  • Snacks for the field
  • Sunscreen
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. This workshop will be held rain or shine. We will spend approximately 80-85% of the time in the field.

About the Instructors

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.

Anne Klein is an environmental scientist with the Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program (VegCAMP) of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Since 2001, she has worked on a variety of vegetation mapping and classification projects across California as an employee of the National Park Service, CNPS, and currently, CDFW. She enjoys working in all of California's diverse plant communities, but is especially fond of coastal sage, serpentine chaparral, and desert landscapes. She has a B.A. in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.A. in Botany from Humboldt State University.


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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