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John will give us an illustrated introduction to the important California native plants that supplied native people with food, medicine, and materials for housing, clothing, hunting, gathering, storage, transportation, and ceremony. John is an avid Indian basketry fan, and will bring several examples to demonstrate coil basketry techniques he learned from Mabel McKay, employing sedge, redbud, and willow materials.

John Kipping has been a naturalist since the age of 14, when he embarked on his career path at the Randall Junior Museum in San Francisco. He has worked at the Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, and at the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Marin. He conducted alpine research for Paul Ehrlich for two summers in Colorado, and was a commercial river tour guide for nearly 40 years in Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, California, Oregon, and Idaho.
For 30 years he has been working and teaching aboard MV Delphinus in southeast Alaska, interpreting the natural world. He holds an MA in Biological Sciences, and a Coast Guard 100-ton master’s license, and taught field studies for many years at the UC Extensions at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Davis, and Los Angeles. Recently retired from his tree service, John still practices as a certified arborist from his home in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Placerville.