OCTOBER 2021: "Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary: Protecting and Promoting Southern California Wildlands"
Speaker: Sandy DeSimone
Date: October 12, 2021
Presentation Summary: Plants are a passion for Sandy DeSimone who did her doctoral research on coastal sage scrub, an endangered shrubland. She also developed the “Starr Ranch Field Ecology Programs,” an innovative approach that integrates ecological research into education. People of all ages participate in the programs, taught by biologists, and have hands-on experience in simulated or actual field research. She also directed five years of research on biology and non chemical control of a priority nonnative plant species, artichoke thistle.
Since 1997 and over a series of three experiments, Starr Ranch seasonal staff learned how to use a method that has reduced artichoke thistle cover by 95% in a work site after one season of non chemical treatment. Land managers from Ventura to San Diego Counties have visited Starr Ranch to hear about land management practices and visit the restoration sites.