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Please note:  Items with [PDF]
will require Adobe  Reader to view them.  If you do not have the program, you may download it from Adobe.

Prior presentation information
(topics that have either a link to a web site or where a copy of the  presentation has been made available)




Chapter Meetings
General Meeting Information


    (Please note location(s) of each meeting.  Directions to each location .)

         Monday, January 8, 2018 (Olympia)   7PM
Lauren Danner, Ph.D.

Crown Jewel Wilderness, the North Cascades National Park

Just in time to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the North Cascades National Park, this talk will chronicle the park’s creation. The remote, rugged and stunningly beautiful north Cascade peaks have been protected from development for generations to come.

Lauren Danner, PhD, is a writer and historian based in Olympia, Washington. She focuses on public lands policy, Pacific Northwest and environmental history, and outdoor recreation. A former college professor, museum director and Washington State field coordinator for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial, she now writes at

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 (Tacoma)   7PM
Steve Hootman
Collecting Rare Plants for the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

Steve Hootman is Executive Director & Curator of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and the Co-Executive Director and Curator of the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington. He has participated in four plant hunting expeditions into China and the Himalayas which have produced a surprising number of new introductions.

Monday, February 12, 2018 (Olympia)   7PM
David Peter
Mapping the Historic Prairies of the Olympic Peninsula

David Peter, is a USFS Ecologist in the Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory. He has a PhD in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington. Peter’s research spans a number of areas: disturbance effects on forest succession; invasive species ecology; subalpine tree line dynamics, especially effects of white pine blister rust; climate change, and fire regime change on white bark pine ecosystems; succession related to changes in historical anthropogenic regimes; Oregon white oak ecology and acorn production; and northwest Washington fire history and fire ecology. His current research emphasis is plant community ecology, successional relationships stemming from fire, timber and vegetation management, and changes in anthropogenic regimes; and introduction of invasive species. As a part of his work, Dave will talk to us about efforts trying to identify and map the historic prairies of the Olympic Peninsula--many that no longer exist.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (Tacoma)   7PM
Rita Hummel
Transplanting that Makes Cents

Rita Hummel, PhD, Horticulturalist, emeritus Washington State University, brings a broad variety of interests to us. These include developing recycled organic materials as substrates and nutrient sources for nursery and greenhouse container production and landscape use; enhancing water conservation in container production and landscapes; improve longevity of trees and shrubs in the landscape by preventing root structural defects; developing production practices for difficult to grow native plants; and determining woody plant adaptation to rain gardens under Pacific Northwest environmental conditions. As a part of her work, Dr. Hummel has done extensive research on plant varieties for use in landscapes, and the most effective methods for transplanting for success and healthy growth. She will share some of those insights with us.


Monday, March 12, 2018 (Olympia)   7PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 (Tacoma)    7PM

Susan Waters
Restoring Pollinators to South Sound Prairies and The Effect of Invasive Plants

Dr. Susan Waters, is a Rare Species Biologist with the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) working to restore butterflies and pollinators to the South Sound Prairies. Waters’ interests in ecology and restoration are centered on the importance of species interactions – the interactions between organisms, which affect the structure of ecological communities.

Her research looks at the relationship of pollinators, invasive plants and native plants. In her research, Susan has explored how two important agents of change, invasion of exotic plants and climate change, are influencing our South Sound Prairies. First, she investigated how exotic plant species influence the way pollinators respond to native plants. She found that having high densities of exotic flowers surrounding a native plant can increase or decrease how often pollinators visit native flowers (depending on the native plant species and conditions of the site) affecting how much seed a native plant can produce. Second, she explored how exotic plants blooming earlier, due to climate change, altered the interactions between pollinators and native plants (which are not expected to shift their blooming dates earlier to the same degree as exotic species).

She found that when exotic plants bloom earlier, the amount of seed produced by native plants increases or decreases dramatically depending on the native plant species.

Susan Waters also founded the Urban Pollination Project, a citizen science project to look at pollinators and food production. She will share her work with us.

il 2108

Monday, April 9, 2018 (Olympia)   7PM
Dr. Gary Chastagner
Controlling Sudden Oak Death, Phytophthora ramorum

The discovery of Sudden Oak Death, Phytophthora ramorum, in California and its spread from there created a very important issue for Washington’s nursery and forest industries. In response to industry concerns, Washington State University built a quarter-million-dollar biocontainment facility at Puyallup. This facility will greatly increase WSU’s capacity to address critical research questions relating to the establishment, host susceptibility, spread and management of P. ramorum. Western Washington is considered to be at high-risk for the spread of P. ramorum. One of the major factors that will affect the potential spread of P. ramorum in western Washington forests is the ability of this exotic pathogen to sporulate on known and potential hosts within these forests. Gary Chastagner, Plant Pathologist at WSU has been involved in the epidemiology and management of Sudden Oak Death, in nurseries, Christmas trees and forests. His research also addresses diseases affecting ornamental bulbs and Christmas trees, and the post-harvest quality of Christmas trees.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018 (Tacoma)    7PM
Katherine Glew
The Fascinating World of Lichens

Katherine Glew, PhD, is a lichenologist with the University of Washington. She has studied lichens for over forty years in forest, alpine and island ecosystems and is the Associate Curator of Lichens at the University of Washington Herbarium. Her research includes lichen associations with plants in landscape ecology.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018 (Tacoma)   7PM
Donovan Tracy
Alpine Flowers of Mount Rainier

Wild flower enthusiast and photographer, Donovan Tracy will discuss the amazing flowers found in the alpine zones of Mount Rainier.   Donovan is a volunteer at the UW Herbarium, co-author of Alpine Flowers of Mount Rainier and developer of the website Flowers of Rainier, featuring over 250 species and 10 wildflower hikes.

Monday, May 14, 2018 (Olympia)    7PM
Sarah Jovan
Moss As An Indicator of Air Pollution

Sarah Jovan, PhD, is a Research Ecologist and Lichen Indicator Advisor for U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. Absorbent and rootless, moss and lichen are regularly employed as indicators of air pollution in European cities, but environmental scientists in the United States are just starting to take advantage of this indicator. Jovan will share some of her work with us.


Meeting Locations:

Washington State Capitol Museum Coach House
211 21st Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501

Directions to the Washington State Capital Museum: From Interstate 5 in Olympia, take Exit 105, following the "State Capital/City Center" route. Go through a tunnel, (get in the left hand lane) and turn left on Capital Way. Follow the brown and white "State Capital Museum" signs to 21st Avenue. Turn right on 21st Avenue and proceed two blocks. The museum is on the left in a stucco mansion.  We meet in the carriage house in back of the mansion.

Tacoma Nature Center
1919 South Tyler Street
Tacoma, WA  98405

Directions to the Tacoma Nature Center: From Interstate 5, take State Highway 16 towards Gig Harbor. Look for the 19th Street EAST, exit and take it, which puts you onto South 19th Street. Travel to the first light, turn right on South Tyler, and then left into the first driveway at the Tacoma Nature Center.

General Meeting Information

South Sound Chapter presentations are held on the
second Monday and Wednesday of the month (October through May, in Olympia and Tacoma, respectively):

  • In Olympia, we typically gather at the Washington State Capitol Museum (211 21st Avenue SW; 360-753-2580).
  • In Tacoma, we typically gather at the Tacoma Nature Center (1919 South Tyler; 253-591-6439).
  • On occasion, however, our presentations are held at alternate facilities to accommodate larger audiences, so please be sure to note where each  meeting is held before you embark.

All meetings are open to the public and most are free of charge. Refreshments are typically provided by WNPS volunteers. We hope you'll join us for an evening of camaraderie and education about the world of native plants as well as the habitats that they create and sustain.

Outside of field trips and holiday gatherings, most meetings start at 7:00 pm. These "meetings" consist of a quick preview of activity announcements, but are mostly grounded in presentations that last 45 minutes to over an hour. Our topics are geared to attract and speak to neophytes and amateurs, as well as "dyed-in-the-wool" or otherwise committed botanists. We may be biased, but we think our presentations are top of the line!  

Members and the public are invited to attend all presentations.  For more information about our programs, please contact the Chapter Chair.

We hope to see all of you at the meetings!!!