Sudden Oak Death

You are invited to the following free talk Fri, Nov 1 in Los Altos. Learn about the latest findings on sudden oak death and how citizen scientists are playing a big role.

– Arvind Kumar

Sudden Oak Death: What Have We Learned
Dr Doug Schmidt, UC Berkeley
Friday, November 1, 2013, 7:30pm
Los Altos Library, 13 S San Antonio Rd, Los Altos

Back in May, we learned about the latest research on Sudden Oak Death (SOD) from the world’s leading SOD expert, UC Berkeley’s Dr. Matteo Garbelotto. We now know a great deal about SOD: we know which pathogen causes SOD, how it came to California, how it spreads, most effective ways for control, containment, and eradication, and – most importantly – how you and I can help. In May, teams of citizen-scientist volunteers fanned out over Los Altos Hills and Villa Montalvo to collect samples of bay laurel leaves for lab analysis. This was part of a massive state-wide citizen science effort called the SOD Blitz covering many counties all over California.

Join us on Fri, Nov 1, 7:30pm at the Los Altos Library to learn about the results of this year’s Blitz, what new discoveries have been made, and how they will influence next year’s Blitz. Dr Doug Schmidt of UC Berkeley will present the highlights of this year’s lab analysis and implications for the future. He will also introduce the new mobile phone app SODMAP Mobile (for iPhone and Droid) which makes the Blitz data readily accessible to the citizen-scientists who helped collect it. Dr Garbelotto and his team will soon publish a paper showing the validity and the usefulness of citizen science data collected through the Blitzes.

Dr Garbelotto’s lab at UC Berkeley is pioneering research on the causes of SOD and — as more is learned — developing effective solutions for identifying, containing, and preventing this infestation. His lab has trained teams of citizen scientists all over the affected regions of the state to collect specimens according to scientific protocol, map the pathogen, and help contain its spread.

This year’s SOD Blitz surpassed all previous years in terms of attendance and number of samples collected. The success of the SOD Blitz lies in the local citizens volunteering their time to map the SOD pathogen, thus helping direct containment efforts where they are needed. You can make and are making a difference in your own area, and by extension throughout the state. Everyone can help, from high school students to young moms to retirees. Join us, educate yourself, and help save California oaks for future generations.

An additional SOD management training is scheduled Nov 23 @ 10 am at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga: this will focus on the biology and on what to do to slow down the disease. There have been big changes in the recommendations for injections. There will be some new recommendations, plus a training on how to correctly use the mobile apps.

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