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Kate Marianchild

Oak Mistletoe, Poison Oak, and Lace Lichen: Friends or Foes?
Speaker: Kate Marianchild

Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 pm
Conference Center, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (see directions below)

Kate Marianchild, author of the recently published Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oaks, will present a slide show about three species that have long been suspected by humans of misdemeanors if not heinous crimes. Marianchild’s spirited defense could keep them out of jail in any court of ecological law.

Come let your mind be boggled by the latest science and the astonishing number of plant and animal interactions that Marianchild will lay before you, including her own. If you’re lucky she’ll tell you about the lusty male poison oak bush who quietly wooed her for years, never imagining his love would ever be requited. Refresh yourself on the meaning of “keystone” species, revel in examples of coevolution, and learn which of your favorite trees, birds, mammals, or insects depend on Marianchild’s triumphant trio. Marianchild spices her talks with humor, fun stories, and detailed glimpses into the survival strategies, social structures, and interrelationships of the species and organisms she writes about.
Kate Marianchild studied Chinese language and literature at UC Berkeley and New Asia College in Hong Kong, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Berkeley with a degree in comparative literature. Following years of grassroots political activism, she moved to Mendocino County in 1980 and supported herself as a carpenter while founding and running Rising Tide Sea Vegetables, a company that is still thriving today under new ownership. When she migrated to the oak woodlands of inland Mendocino County in 2001, she promptly fell in love with an ecosystem. After writing for Audubon and other nature-oriented nonprofits for several years, she began the research that grew into her book.

Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oaks offers intimate profiles into the lives of 22 species that live among the oaks of northern and southern California. It is the first book to focus not on oaks themselves but their companion plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fungi. Vividly illustrated with original watercolors by Ann Meyer Maglinte, the book is the result of years of research and observations, fact-checked by experts, and validates John Muir’s observation “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” Kate Marianchild will have a limited number of copies of her book for sale after the presentation.

This month’s meeting will take place in the Conference Center of the University of California Botanical Garden at 200 Centennial Drive in Berkeley, east of Memorial Stadium and west of the Lawrence Hall of Science, above the main campus of UC Berkeley. Parking is in the lot across the street from the Botanical Garden (bring cash or a credit card for the $1 per hour parking fee at the machine on the second level of the lot). The garden gate will open at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. Call 510-496-6016 or email sr0433@yahoo.com if you have questions.

Next meeting: November 19, 7:30 pm
Linda Ann Vorobik: Plants and Habitats of the Siskiyou Mountains of Southwestern Oregon and Northwestern California

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