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.
Never before and never since have there been so many 3D Mossers in the same place at the same time as at the 2018 ABLS annual meeting. Several members of the group gave talks and we had fruitful half-day discussion; the first in-person meeting of (almost) everyone since the project began. At least one of us wasn’t really there for this photo… can you spot who?
Some of us endured long travel and altitude sickness at 10,000 ft at the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station, but it was worth it!