Northern California Botantists Symposium

Six botanists and vegetation ecologists from Stillwater Sciences attended the Northern California Botanists Symposium in Chico, CA and presented a poster summarizing the impact of wildfire on special-status plants and sensitive natural communities in Lake and Mendocino Counties. Stillwater hopes to have the opportunity in 2019-2020 to return to areas where we performed alliance-level vegetation mapping in summer 2018—prior to the Ranch Fire—to continue our investigation of fire effects on natural resources.

Rob Thoms, Botanist and Plant Ecologist with Stillwater Sciences, gave a ‘lightning talk’ and a poster presentation on the emerging UAV technologies available for vegetation mapping and monitoring. A sizable benefit is the detailed visual data gained in difficult to access areas such as mudflats, tidally-influenced areas, diffuse channel networks, or where tall dense herbaceous vegetation may be an impediment. While limitations exist, we’ve also found an increase in accuracy for some alliance-level vegetation mapping applications with concurrent cost-savings from less ground-truthing time. We’ve also collected and applied UAV imagery for habitat mitigation monitoring, identification and mapping of certain invasive plants, and for project planning prior to restoration.