New Volunteers: Thomas Fire Recovery Training

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021

Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM

Instructor: Dr. Josie Lesage

Location: Zoom Meeting

This training is full

This training is for volunteers who did not attend a training session last year.

Are you ready to become a Community Scientist?

  • No prior botanical knowledge or experience is needed, although it’s helpful!
  • You must be willing and able to hike a chosen trail within the Los Padres National Forest on your own (no Garden botanist accompanying), looking for targeted plant species. Trails can be as short as one mile and as long as 18 miles, with varying level of difficulty – we’ll do our best to match you to your best trail.
  • You’ll need access to a smartphone and you’ll need to be able to download our apps.
  • You’ll need to attend one virtual training to learn about the project and how to collect data.
  • You’ll be expected to volunteer to hike and map this trail at least once befor the end of June.

Get involved:

Step One: Attend a classroom training

    This training session will introduce the Garden’s Fire Recovery Mapping Project and teach you the methods used to map wildland recovery after fire. You’ll learn about invasive species and landscape damage along our local trails and will learn how to record these occurrences using our apps. You’ll also receive a trail to steward in 2021 by hiking it once or more during the growing season.

Step Two: SCIENCE!

  • Community Scientists will hike their chosen trail in the Los Padres National Forest looking for targeted plant species.
  • When target plant species are found, Scientists will assess their extent and abundance, and record that information using a smartphone-based app.
  • Community Scientists will also be looking for eroded areas and trail damage, and taking photographs to share with the Garden.
  • All mappers will be looking for at least 12 different invasive plant species. Experienced botanists can opt to look for more invaders and a suite of rare plant species as well.
  • We will provide “cheat sheet” pages with photographs, illustrations, descriptions, and key features of the plants we are looking for.
  • Trails will be located throughout the Thomas Whittier Fire, on Forest Service land.


photo of Josie LesageJosie Lesage, Applied Ecologist works to map, conserve, and restore California habitats using ecological theory as a guide. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she studied long-term management and community change in California’s coastal prairies. As the Garden’s Applied Ecologist, she is interested in understanding how local ecosystems respond to disturbance and restoration intervention, and in building a community of volunteer scientists to steward our local habitats. She is currently involved in several projects related to invasive plant management and ecosystem recovery following fire. Research interests include restoration ecology, fire ecology, community science, and invasive species management.

Conservation & Restoration