Northern California Science Writers Association

California's redwoods in a changing climate

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016
  • 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
  • L'Olivier restaurant, San Francisco
  • 11


Registration is closed

The Ecology of California’s Redwoods in a Climate and Climate Change Context

Todd Dawson has been studying redwoods since he was a college undergraduate, fascinated by a tree that was once widespread but is now limited to areas defined by cool temperatures, ample winter rainfall and large snowpacks, and for California's coast redwood, summers with fog. Past and present environmental conditions have shaped the many unique ecological and physiological adaptations seen in redwood trees today, he says. 

In recent decades, however, the environmental conditions most conducive for healthy redwood trees and forests have been changing rapidly and are challenging redwoods in ways they have never experienced before. 

At our annual holiday dinner, held in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco (the AGU's last SF meeting until 2019), Dawson will highlight key findings from ecological, physiological and stable isotope research that shows not only how redwoods respond to their present niche, but also what we might expect in the future.

Dawson is a plant ecologist and physiologist and professor of integrative biology and of environmental science, policy & management at UC Berkeley. His research has long focused on plants and water, with special attention paid to the important adaptations plants possess that allow for their continued existence under resource limitations and the many challenges trees and forests face in our changing world. He has been a pioneer in developing new stable isotope techniques and innovative methods both in the field and in the laboratory. Today, he and his group are actively involved in applying what they are learning to redwood preservation, conservation and management.

Currently the Virginia and Robert Gill Chair of Natural History, Dawson is director of the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. Since 2000, he has served on the advisory council to the Save-the-Redwoods League, and also is the UC Berkeley representative to the UC Office of the President’s Natural Reserve System and a science fellow with the American Geophysical Union and the California Academy of Sciences.

There will also be a drawing for door prizes.

WHEREL’Olivier, a French restaurant at 465 Davis Court (between Jackson and Washington), San Francisco (415-981-7824). The restaurant is a quick, five-block walk from the Embarcadero BART station.

WHEN: 6-7 p.m. - No-host happy hour

7-8:30 p.m. - Appetizer and dinner served

8:30-10 p.m. - Dessert served, program begins, speaker

Salad: Mixed Sonoma Greens w/vinaigrette

Entrée choices: Chicken Piccata, Sauteed Tilapia, Braised Beef or Fettucini Pasta

Dessert: Chocolat Cremeux, plus coffee and tea

Attendees must choose an entree when they register, so that we can tell L'Olivier how many of each to prepare.

COST: $30 members, plus one guest; $20 student members; $45 non-members

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