Creekside Science

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dr. Weiss co-authors a paper on climate change impacts on Californian ecosystems

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Stu Weiss recently co-authored Adapting California’s Ecosystems to a Changing Climate.  The following is the paper’s abstract:

“Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining
ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through
four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies
demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g.,
scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations
(alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy
frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when
scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action.”

CitizenInvestor Funds Restoration of San Mateo Thornmint

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2014 at 6:21 am

After a successful fundraising campaign on CitizenInvestor in spring of 2013, and a one year wait for wetter (better) growing conditions for San Mateo Thornmint (Acanthomintha obovata ssp. duttonii), a partnership of groups including County of San Mateo Parks, Friends of Edgewood and Creekside Science carefully seeded around the existing thornmint population in order to expand the limited distribution of this plant.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-4

Creekside Science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and San Francisco Water, Sewer, and Power partnered with the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden to produce a seed increase using leftover seeds from a decades-old experiment. In total, 7,500 seeds were dispersed on site and early observations in late December indicate that some germination is already occurring in the newly seeded areas!

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-15

The planting plots were mapped and then prepared by scraping the top 1-2 inches of material to the side creating bare ground. This post-germination scraping technique decreases annual grass cover (for that year) and increases the amount of bare ground, which increases germination (and likely survivorship and seed production also). This treatment increased thornmint numbers and vigor in our previous in-situ experiments.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-9

Packets of 250 seeds (prepared by the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden) were spread as evenly as possible into 30 square-meter plots, then tamped gently into the soil to enhance soil to seed contact.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-18

The new plots were placed uphill of and adjacent to the existing population, in areas where mowing and dethatching had created the open habitat that favors thornmint. Two of the plots were placed in a historical location where thornmint has not been observed for many years.

120914 SMT seedlings observed onsite

Thank you everyone for contributing to make this a successful project. Creekside Science will continue to monitor germination and maturation of this unique restoration effort.


For more photos and information from the Friends of Edgewood, please read here.

Rare Plant Service-based Learning Workshop: Serpentine Prairie, Oakland

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

CLFR rare plant seed collection workshop 9-5-2014-1371

Creekside staffer Lech Naumovich teamed with the East Bay Regional Park District and the California Native Plant Society of the East Bay in order to bring together a workshop on rare plant seed collection methods. Our project took place in Redwood Regional Park, on a restored serpentine area known as the Serpentine Prairie. This site is home to one of the two largest populations of Presidio Clarkia (Clarkia franciscana). We’ve been working to learn how to best maintain the existing population and how we can use human stewardship to bolster resiliency of the site and its rare plants.

UPDATE 9/26/2014: Project highlighted in KQED Science Friday Blog.


Here’s a quick synopsis of key topics we covered.

key considerations for rare plant seed collection workshop

Thanks to everyone who came out and learned and participated in this project!

Creekside Climate Change Work Reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Dr. Stuart Weiss, Chief Scientist at Creekside, has been working on analysis of the impacts of climate change on the Bay Area ecosystems and crops. His collaborative work has Creekside Science partnering with other Bay Area agencies and organizations like the Bay Area Open Space Council, the Pepperwood Preserve, United States Geological Service, and the University of California Berkeley, to name a few. Below is a link to the published article as a PDF: Changing Calif Climate article SF Chron 9-28-2012

Dr. Weiss will also be on a panel discussing the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan on November 15th, 2012 at the Brower Center in Berkeley.  Reservations required through the Bay Area Open Space Council – this is a free event which is part of the BAOSC seasonal gathering.

Goatgrass Management on Coyote Ridge

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

Creekside Science has been working with a host of partners to control and in some cases eradicate barbed goat grass from key habitat areas on Coyote Ridge. This grass has proven to effectively invade and dominate serpentine soils presenting a notable impact to Bay Checkerspot habitat. Here is our team at work near a main access road (dispersal vector) at Coyote Ridge.



Mission Blue: Underway

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2012 at 7:43 am

Creekside Science has been coordinating with the San Francisco Parks Department, Liam O’Brien, and US Fish and Wildlife Service on an important reintroduction project that moves Mission blue butterflies from San Bruno Mountain to Twin Peaks.  The goal of this project is to bolster the existing population at Twin Peaks by adding adult females and males in hopes that they will lay eggs locally.  Here’s some news coverage from Channel 5 and the SF Chronicle regarding this project.



East Bay CNPS Talk on Presidio Clarkia by Creekside Biologist Lech Naumovich

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

Lech Naumovich will be giving a free publicly accessible talk on Creekside Science’s project at East Bay Regional Park District’s Serpentine Prairie.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Female Checkerspot found at Tulare Hill

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

Dr. Weiss delicately handling the female noting the unusual coloring on this female.

Creekside biologists were enthused to find a female Bay Checkerspot adult on Tulare Hill today.  The siting of this female brings hope that critical habitat for this rare butterfly still exists and that the population is still holding on, if not barely, at this location.  Tulare Hill has undergone some significant habitat improvements through well executed stewardship.  The site shows great potential for serving as a protected refugia for Bay Checkerspots as well as other South Bay serpentine endemics.

Tiburon Paintbrush Experiment

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 at 7:10 am

Tiburon paintbrush (Castilleja affinis ssp. neglecta) is a perennial forb that is limited to serpentine soils in only a few Bay Area locations.  In its southern-most station, Paintbrush hill, located on Coyote Ridge, the population of this rare plant is slowly declining.  We believe that certain grazers/browsers – namely rabbits – have been impacting the plants as they flower.  We’re testing this hypothesis with a paired experiment using caged and uncaged paintbrush habitat.  We’ll be measuring survivorship, recruitment and fecundity.  What a beautiful place to work.  More to come… Read the rest of this entry »

Successful Translocation of Bay Checkerspot Larvae to Edgewood Natural Preserve

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

On Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012, Creekside staff transferred 2,762 larvae as part of an ongoing reintroduction of threatened checkerspot butterflies to Edgewood Natural Preserve, located in San Mateo County.

Can you locate the Checkerspot larva (caterpillar) in this photo?