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Know Your Grasses: The Identification and Appreciation of Grass

Pleuropogon refractus photographed by Rod Gilbert. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

June 27, 28, 29, 2018- Wed. and Thurs., 9-5*; Fri. 9-1
(*Extended evening hours on Thurs. for those interested in more practice with keying)

Instructor: Clay Antieau

Location: Room 244 Hitchcock Hall, University of Washington, Seattle

Cost: $350; $315 for WNPS and Burke Museum members

Sponsored by the University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum (WTU) and Washington Native Plant Society


Course Description: “Knowing Your Grasses” is critical to many fields of science and practice, including wetland identification and delineation, ecosystem restoration, erosion control, and interpretation of natural history. Beautiful and diverse, grasses are globally important in many ways—fundamental to the past and future survival of humans. The Washington Native Plant Society and the University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum are proudly partnering to offer this grass identification workshop.

The workshop consists of an intensive, hands-on approach that blends one and a half days of classroom work with one day of field study using a combination of lectures , guided examination of live and pressed plant specimens (with and without stereo-microscopes), and use of technical identification keys. Participants learn the grass language and distinguishing features of the grass family, its major taxonomic subdivisions, and many grass genera and species. The workshop also connects you with useful on-line tools such as identification keys and photo resources.

This workshop focuses on both native and naturalized grasses, with an emphasis on the field identification of genera and species commonly observed in habitats of the moist-maritime Pacific Northwest. There are fascinating excursions into invasive grasses, rare grasses, and ornamental (introduced) grasses. The workshop also explores the adaptive characteristics, habitat affinities, and restoration role of grasses; most grasses are informative indicator species. In addition, the workshop reviews intriguing conservation challenges involving grass.

Each day starts with a lecture followed by lab work or field visits. Field study in a variety of habitats provides study material for lab and opportunity to discuss many species and their habitats. Keying exercises involve instructor-led group keying and paired or individual keying mostly in the lab.

Instructor Biography: Clay Antieau M.S., Ph.C. is a horticulturist, botanist, and environmental scientist who enthusiastically combines these disciplines to offer unique abilities and perspectives in environmental education and science. Clay currently works for the City of Seattle as an environmental permit specialist. He’s a recognized local authority and educator in Northwest flora and has taught courses in plant identification, wetland science, restoration science, and related subjects at the University of Washington and numerous technical and community colleges around Washington. He’s been teaching grass identification for more than 20 years, and is well-regarded for providing engaging and effective learning experiences for students.

Prerequisites: Other than a high degree of interest in grasses, there are no prerequisites. Prior experience in plant taxonomy or botany is not a requirement. Really. This workshop benefits anyone, from scientist to steward....novice to expert.

Register Online HERE

Registration is currently full, with wait-list placement available.  Wait-listed participants will receive full refunds if placement is not possible, by June 22nd.  
Attendance Confirmation letters will be sent by June 15th. 

To Pay by Check and Register by mail, please use this Mail In Registration Form

Mail To: 
               6310 NE 74th St. Ste 215E
               Seattle, WA  98115

Registration deadline is June 20, 2018. No refunds for cancellations after June 22, 2018.

Updated: May 31, 2018
Copyright 2000-2018 Washington Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.

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