2023 Annual Meeting

June 12-16, 2023
The Professional Soil Scientists Association of California (PSSAC) enjoyed their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take an in-depth look at Santa Cruz Island. 

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Meeting Field Guidebook (PDF)
Meeting’s Guest Experts

Field Meeting at Santa Cruz Island: A Unique Opportunity

Santa Cruz Island-Map


The field meeting was held June 12-16, 2023, and provided a rare opportunity to visit Santa Cruz Island, a remnant of prehistoric coastal southern California isolated off Santa Barbara. Santa Cruz Island features some of the most southwestward positioned subaerial geologic outcrops of the North American landmass where a significant body of geologic research has been done from late Quaternary sea-level and climate changes to the tectonic evolution of the western North American plate boundary. A detailed soil survey of the Channel Islands was completed in the early 2000s. We experienced the island’s natural beauty with focus on exploring its geology, geomorphology, soils, and cultural history, archeology, and accelerated geomorphic processes and erosion resulting from human land use. The meeting was designed to mesh with the mission of the University of California Reserve System. We observed and discussed past and present research projects and mapping activities, and contributed to the increased understanding and wise stewardship of the island’s soils, vegetation, and cultural resources.

Guest Experts. We were pleased to welcome the following individuals who shared their in-depth expertise during our visit to Santa Cruz Island:

Lyndal Laughrin, PhD. Santa Cruz Island Reserve Director, UC Santa Barbara

Nicholas Pinter, PhD. Shlemon Professor of Applied Geosciences, UC Davis.

Eleanor Fishburn, Chairwoman, Barbareño Band of Chumash Indians

Brian Holguin, PhD Candidate, UC Santa Barbara (remote presentation)

Taylor Cullum-Muyres, MLRA Soil Survey Leader, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Kerri Johnson, PhD, Project Data Manager for UC Santa Barbara’s Natural Reserves (remote presentation)

2023 Santa Cruz Island Planning Team. PSSAC thanks its entire Board of Directors and Meeting Planning Team: Dave Smith (President), Rachel Kozloski (Past-President-2022), David Kelley (President-elect), Phil Smith (Past-Past President), Bryan Rahn (Secretary Treasurer), John Munn (Northern Area Director), Kerry Arroues (Central Area Director), Roy Shlemon, PhD (Southern Area Director), Phil Smith (Past-President-2021), Jay Reti, PhD (Santa Cruz Island Reserve Director), Nicholas Pinter, PhD (UC Davis), Ben Faber (UCCE), Joel Butterworth (PSSAC Past-President-2020), and Mary Reed (PSSAC Executive Secretary)

Special Thanks To: Gabrielle’s Kitchen who prepared excellent food for our group; and Dr. Lyndal Laughrin (Reserve Director Emeritus) who did so much to facilitate our stay on at the UC Santa Cruz Island Reserve.

Meeting Photo Album