The Only Organization Working Exclusively to Conserve and Restore

California's Native Grasslands

CNGA GRASS Award Speaker Series: Annie Meeder

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2023
  • 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Online


  • Members attend for free!
  • Join CNGA and attend the complete series for free!
  • Free with Registration Code. Please email a copy of your student ID to

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California Native Grassland Association GRASS Award Speaker Series

Join Us for the CNGA’s Second Virtual Speaker Series showcasing the amazing work undertaken in California Grasslands by some of our Grassland Research Awards for Student Scholarship Winners.

Talks are on Tuesdays from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM PST featuring one 40-minute talk, or two 20-minute talks, with time for Q&A. 

Members: Free      Non-Members: $10       Non-Member Students: Free with Student ID

Plant Community Succession on Santa Cruz Island, California

Annie Meeder, Cal Poly SLO, University of Colorado, Boulder

Tuesday, December 5, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Abstract: European grazing practices have had a devastating effect on the vegetation of the California Channel Islands. Although the removal of grazers has been successful, the recovery of island vegetation appears to be complicated by invasive species and shifts in climate. To assess long-term changes in vegetation cover and species composition on Santa Cruz Island, we conducted a resampling of vegetation plots established in the 1990s covering the island’s major environmental conditions. Specifically, we compared vegetation data from 100 plots that were sampled in 1991-1995 and 1998 to data collected in the same plots from 2022. We observed significant changes in species composition and observed many communities are gaining native species, filling out their topographical niches. This study provides direct insight into multidecadal succession patterns of island vegetation after nonnative grazer eradication. While we observe shifts in many plots towards native dominated communities, these results are highly spatially variable and the persistence of many of the same invasive species as observed in the 90s, coupled with a dense layer of dead annual grasses, point strongly towards the formation of novel community types.

Bio: Annie Meeder is a master’s graduate from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo where she studied vegetation dynamics on Santa Cruz Island.  Annie is now a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at University of Colorado Boulder studying how plant communities in extremes respond to climate change. In her free time Annie enjoys triathlon, reading, and drawing. Her favorite plant genus is Calochortus, the Mariposa lily.

Contact Justin Luong ( with any questions.

Upcoming Speaker Series Schedule (Download a Flyer Here)

  • December 12 – Jasmine Rios (CSU Sacramento)
  • January 16 – Rebecca Nelson (UC Davis)
  • January 30 – Brook Wainwright (UC Davis)
  • February 6 – Spencer Peterman (UC Riverside)
  • February 13 – Katherine Brafford (UC Davis)
  • February 20 – Taylor Akers (CSU Sacramento)
  • February 27 – Mary Badger (UC Davis)

Help Support Student Research - Donate to the GRASS Program

CNGA's GRASS Program: 

  • Focuses student research on important grassland-related questions. 
  • Inspires students to become more involved in California Grassland Conservation and Restoration. 
  • Trains future employees for your agency or company.
  • Creates advocates for California Grasslands 
Learn More About GRASS - Applications Accepted Nov 1 - Jan 31

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