In March, nearly 70 bryologists and bryophyte fanatics took to San Luis Obispo county on the central coast of California to find bryophytes in their native habitats. This annual foray, called SO BE FREE for ‘Spring Outing; Botanical Excursion; Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment,’ is a tradition started by PI Brent Mishler’s lab, now in it’s 24th year. The event is usually 3 nights/4 days and often takes place in a summer camp setting, complete with cabins and dining halls, and moves around the California floristic province. It’s open to beginners and experts alike, and we even occasionally look at the vasculars, too. This year was a great success–we had perfect weather and tons of fun!
Several 3D Moss researchers were there this year, including PI Brent Mishler and 3 of his graduate students working on the project (Jenna, Javi, and Caleb); PI Kirsten Deane-Coe and her student Quinn; and Sotodeh Ebrahimi, Mandy Slate, and John Brinda representing the Stark Lab.