Michael J. Bower has been an avid botanist for over a decade. We know he’s in attendance because he’s invariably accompanied by the most eccentric, foul-smelling plants he can find. He has missed few Ceanothus meetings in his ambitious mission to be able to sight ID every plant genus known from California. Despite the seriousness of his goal, he brings a contagious, sometimes over-the-top enthusiasm to our workshops which has helped inspire new and long-time participants alike. Never in botanical history has someone been so excited about tack-shaped glands or the definition of sub-shrub! He is especially fond of the collaborative plant identification process used in Ceanothus workshops and is particularly appreciative of the outlandish plant stories offered by workshop attendees, which add considerable entertainment to meetings.
Michael lives in West Sacramento with his wife, Bernadette, and trusted border collie sidekick, Missy Bean, both of whom grudgingly tolerate the fridge full of plants and the frequent, long detours followed in pursuit of plants. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science and is currently finishing a M.S. in Ecology at UC Davis. He is employed as a botanist/biologist at Sycamore Environmental Consultants. His academic interests include invasive plant science, plant conservation, urban ecology, and of course, botany. His personal interests and hobbies, most unusual or peculiar, are gradually divulged at Ceanothus workshops. He looks forward to growth of botany as a hobby and profession and to the growth of Ceanothus California Field Botanists Association as an enjoyable forum for individuals to develop a passion for plants and refine their technical plant identification skills.