Summer Sips: Why Care About Rare Plants?

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2016

Time: 4:00PM - 6:00PM

Instructor: Dr. Heather Schneider

Location: Blakesley Library

Limited spaces available.  Please register at the door.

What's so great about rare plants?

California’s botanical diversity is one of the things that make it so beautiful. The Golden State is home to more than 6,000 kinds of native plants – more than any other state in the country. However, 35% of California’s native plants are rare and require special attention if we hope to share them with future generations. This presentation will focus on the many reasons that we care about rare plants, including biological, social, and cultural reasons. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the many ways in which rare plants are important and what the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is doing to save them.

Dr. Heather Schneider

Dr. Heather E. Scneider

Heather Schneider received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Riverside, in 2010, with a focus on plant ecology and invasive species. Following graduation, she worked for the US Geological Survey for two years before accepting a position as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She joined the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden staff as the Rare Plant Biologist in 2016.

As a plant ecologist, Heather studies the relationships between plants and their environment. Her research has explored numerous ecological and evolutionary topics such as the effects of air pollution and invasive plants on native desert wildflowers and soil seed bank composition, the movement of invasive plants throughout the landscape, the efficacy of passive restoration in desert shrub lands, and the evolution of wild plants in response to climate change. At the Garden, Heather applies her research experience to increase the scientific understanding of rare plants with a goal of informing and implementing conservation, management, and restoration practices along California’s Central Coast and on the Channel Islands.

July 16 Winery Sponsor

Thanks to Derby Wine Estates for sponsoring this month's Summer Sips.Image of Derby Wine Estates

Owners: Ray & Pam Derby
Location: 525 Riverside Ave, Paso Robles
Open 11am-5pm daily
(805) 238-6300
Reserve 24 hrs in advance for groups of 6+


  • Derby Wine Estates is located in the historic Almond Growers Association building built in 1922 by Blue Diamond. After sitting vacant for 35 years th Derby's purchased the building and rehabilitated it back to its original splendor. It is now officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The historic Almond Growers Association building that is now home to Derby Wine Estates is the tallest building in Paso Robles and has 360 degree views of the city.

Summer Sips Series Sponsor

Whole Foods Market logo

Thanks to Whole Foods for sponsoring this year's Summer Sips Series.

Each lecture will include a unique tasting menu showcasing Whole Foods' new selections that pair well with the wine being poured and match the theme of that evening's lecture.

2016 Summer Sips: Wine & Cheese botanical lecture series

Purchase a series pass for a discount

Each lecture begins with delicious appetizers, a wine tasting, and conversation with one of our local sponsoring vintners in the Garden’s Courtyard. 

  • Lectures are held in the Blaksley Library
  • Attendance is limited, please reserve early
  • Consider introducing a friend to the Garden by inviting them to join you for a Summer Sips event. Tickets are fully transferable

May 28: Illustrating the Catalina Flora
Linda Vorobik, Ph.D., Botanist and Illustrator, Washington
Winery: Grassini Family Vineyards

June 18: Intergalactic Plant Interactions
Christopher Lortie, Ph.D., Integrative Ecologist, York University, Toronto
Winery: Deep Sea by Conway Family Wines

July 16: Why Care About Rare Plants?
Heather Schneider, Ph.D., Rare Plant Biologist
Winery: Derby Wine Estates

August 20: So a Plant Walks into a Bar...
Matt Kay, Ph.D., Botany Professor, Santa Barbara City College
Winery: Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

September 17: A Celebration of Condors
Estelle Sandhaus, Ph.D., Director of Conservation & Research at the Santa Barbara Zoo
Winery: Captain's Reserve

Become a Sponsor

Support the Garden with a wine donation. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.


Natural History
Conservation & Restoration