Sequoia Monthly Meeting - Thurs. June 9 - Sara Scharf - In Defense of Plants

Sequoia Audubon Society

Field guides can be a birder’s best friend, but have you ever wondered where they came from? And how did people look things up when they didn’t know what they were called, especially before the internet? Join us on June 9th to learn about the origins of field guides with Sara Scharf, who uncovered this fascinating story that blends the history of botany, printing technology, universal language movements, books written on dares, religious and educational philosophy, political intrigue, and even computer science, all before evolution by natural selection was even discussed. Learn how the principles established during the development of field guides are still fundamental in many different disciplines today. You may come away with a new respect for the books and apps we have come to love.

Sara Scharf received her doctorate in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology from the University of Toronto in 2007. Her research focused on the origins and development of field guides in 18th-century botany, more precisely, the coalescence of information management techniques that allow people to look things up when they do not know what those things are called. After graduating into the last recession, she worked in a variety of fields before landing in cybersecurity, though she also moonlights as an academic editor. Dr. Scharf lives in Toronto with a variety of plants, fish, and reptiles. She continues to volunteer with local ecological restoration groups and FLAP [], a charity devoted to preventing birds from dying in collisions with buildings.

This meeting will be remote on Zoom. Join at 6:30 for online "socializing" before the program starts at 7:00 pm.