2018 PA Botany Symposium Friday Workshop Descriptions

Eric Burkhart and Grady Zuiderveen
“Winter Woody Plant Identification”
This workshop will review methods used in winter woody plant identification using twig, bud, bark, fruit and form. Through a combination of indoor and outdoor group learning activities, we will develop skills and review terminology used to assess and identify trees, shrubs and vines in their winter condition. Instruction and content will be equally suited to beginners and advanced botanists alike. Participants are welcome to bring woody plant material for sharing, discussion and/or identification.

Sarah Chamberlain
“Demystifying the Challenging World of Grasses”
Looking to demystify the challenging world of grasses? Then this workshop is for you! Join Sarah Chamberlain, Botanist and Curator of the PSU Herbarium to learn skills necessary to identify this unique group of plants. The workshop will focus on basic grass morphology, the characteristics of common groups, and identification of plant specimens using Chamberlain’s recently published Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic. Slides, handouts, herbarium and freshly collected field specimens will be used to illustrate plant characters, especially those that may prove an obstacle to keying. It is recommended, but not required, that students purchase the Field Guide to Grasses of the Mid-Atlantic. The instructor will have extra copies on hand to use during the workshop for those who do not wish to purchase the guide, as well as copies for sale the day of the workshop. Please bring a 10x hand lens. Microscopes will be provided.

Art Gover
“I Can’t Manage You if I Can’t See You: Identifying Exotic Species With Similar Congeners”
Following in the footsteps of the excellent guide, Mistaken Identity? Invasive Plants and Their Native Look-Alikes, this session will explore distinguishing exotic plants with similar native congeners, with an emphasis on vegetative characters.

Joe Isaac
“Botanical Environmental Review in Pennsylvania”
This workshop covers many aspects of environmental review for plant Species of Special Concern in Pennsylvania. After a brief look at laws designed to protect our wild plants and the new Conservation Explorer, Joe will discuss important aspects of environmental review. Topics will include agency consultation, resources, survey timing, non-target species, safety equipment and procedures, managing client expectations and reporting. Short slide presentations will cover collecting voucher specimens, field survey techniques, and using available soil survey data to your advantage. Participants will review dried material of a variety of confusing species encountered during field surveys (often in less than ideal condition) to demonstrate the importance of pre-survey preparation and use of available resources.

Robbin Moran
“Identification of Some Pennsylvanian Ferns and Lycophytes”
This workshop will concentrate on selected genera of ferns and lycophytes. It will use herbarium specimens to show the diagnostic characters for the species. Hand lens required.

David Werier
“Breaking up the Carex Monster”
Carex is by far the most species rich genus in the Pennsylvania flora and at times can seem unwieldy. The genus is divided into more manageable and workable sections that once learned can make identification much easier. This class will help participants learn the sections. A pictorial key will be provided and numerous specimens will be available for students to work with. If time and interest allow we will also dive into some species-rich sections like Carex section Acrocystis and Carex section Vesicariae.