California is home to more kinds of plants than any other state in the country and nearly one third of those plants are rare. As the Rare Plant Biologist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Dr. Heather Schneider and her colleagues work to understand, protect and restore California’s most vulnerable plants. As we eagerly anticipate the spring wildflower season, come learn about some of the rare plants of the Central Coast, why some plants are rare, and where you can find them on local trails!
Heather Schneider is the Rare Plant Biologist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. She earned her PhD in plant ecology at the University of California, Riverside, and has worked in California and the western US for the last 13 years. Her efforts to protect California’s rare plants take her to field sites throughout Central California, into the greenhouse to run experiments, underground to curate the Garden’s basement-level conservation seed bank, and even to the Capitol in Sacramento to advocate for the protection of California’s wild places.