Native plant lovers and local history buffs may have heard the story of how California Academy of Sciences botany curator Alice Eastwood climbed up the shattered staircase to the sixth floor of the academy building after the 1906 earthquake and rescued the collection of botanical type specimens before the building burned. But there’s more to this story and to other stories of botanical exploration and plant collection by Ms. Eastwood and the many botanists who have contributed to the academy’s herbarium. Debra Trock will introduce us to the collection and share stories of some of the botanists and collectors whose work has made this repository of biodiversity information the largest collection of vascular plant specimens in the western U.S. and the sixth largest in the country.

Debra Trock is Senior Collections Manager in the Botany Department at the California Academy of Sciences. She holds a PhD in botany from Kansas State University, and her research focuses on the taxonomy of the Tribe Senecioneae (Asteraceae), particularly the genus Senecio and its segregates.

She is also involved with the Flora of North America project and serves as Member-at-Large on the board of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.