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Autumn Botany at Sesqui

  • Sesquicentennial State Park (map)
Photo by Linda Lee

Photo by Linda Lee

This activity will be a combination of classroom and field work, involving a short study of autumn botany at Sesqui State Park, with special emphasis on the sunflower family. The sunflower family, with over 20,000 species worldwide, is well-represented in habitats at Sesqui. This fascinating plant family occupies every natural setting in our state.  Tips on understanding the morphology of sunflowers and their relatives will be offered, as well as hands-on study of selected examples during a field trip.

John Nelson Herbarium.jpg

This class will be taught by Dr. John Nelson, Curator of the Herbarium within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia. John received his Bachelor's degree in biology from USC, where he was a student and protégé of Wade T. Batson. He received his Masters degree in botany at Clemson University, where a student under the direction of John E. Fairey III, and where his taxonomic interests focused on southeastern species of the genus Stachys in the mint family. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Florida State University, as a student of Loran C. Anderson, where he studied the floral anatomy of Haplopappus, in the sunflower family. His academic training was followed by six years within the SC Heritage Program, as ecologist and then botanist. He assumed his position as the Curator of the USC Herbarium in 1990, and he teaches a plant taxonomy class. Nelson remains active in the study of Stachys, particularly the North American species. During his tenure as its curator, the herbarium has more than doubled in terms of accessioned collections. The Herbarium remains committed to public service through a formal offering of free plant identifications (932 in calendar year 2015), and through a regular, weekly newspaper column called “Mystery Plant”, and he is very pleased to be regularly invited as the “Mystery Doctor with the Mystery Plant” in Clemson’s “Making it Grow!” SCETV series. He is an active plant collector within a variety of field projects within South Carolina, and hopes to continue in this capacity-- as long as his right knee holds out. (The left one already got fixed.)

Photo by Linda Lee

Photo by Linda Lee

Where:  This training will take place at Sesquicentennial State Park, in the midlands and Sandhills Region of South Carolina.  The website, which includes directions, can be found by clicking here.
When:  Saturday, October 21st, 2017
9:00 am until 2:30 pm
Who: This training is open to the public. No prior knowledge is required. Minimum age is 16. For SC Master Naturalists, this event can count as Advanced Training and towards your statewide certification if you need a Sandhills component. Lunch will last thirty minutes, so depending on when we finish, this will count for approximately five hours of training.
If you are not a Master Naturalist, just come have fun with us. Participants will also receive contact info of other participants to allow for carpooling to the park.  

Photo by Linda Lee

Photo by Linda Lee

Other Important Notes:

•    If available, please bring a hand lens
•    Restrooms are available at the park.  Pink and blue bushes are along the trail…

•    Participants should bring a bag lunch and water and be prepared for a day in the field. 

•    There is no rain date for this event.  We will make every effort to hold it, even in a few rain showers.  If it looks like a deluge, we'll notify you of cancellation and refund your money.

•    After registering, you will receive important correspondence via email.  If you change your email between now and then, make sure to notify us.

Cost: The cost is $60.00 per person and limited to the first 20 people that register.  

Questions?   Contact Sara Green through email or by calling (803) 609-4778.
IMPORTANT: Participants should be in good physical shape. Sesqui State Park has relatively flat terrain, but we may cover some distance in our field work (up to 2 miles).

Earlier Event: October 16
Native Plant Week
Later Event: October 21
Pro Birder Module