Help the Trees: SOD Blitzes in Marin

In the October 2015 issue of Marin Magazine Bill Marken wrote about the phenomenon of sudden oak death and explored the history and current state of the pathogen. Discovered in Marin County in the mid-1990s, SOD spread through forests of Northern and Central California and killed more than a million trees. While the drought has slowed the spread of the disease, wet years exasperate it and with 2016 rain levels the highest they have been in four years, cases are expected to be on the rise. Because of this, researchers are encouraging residents near affected areas to attend training sessions and to take part in citizen scientist surveys of sudden oak death, known as SOD Blitzes. Volunteers should attend the meetings with the “SODmap mobile” app already installed on their phones to help identify potential collection locations. Blitz samples will be taken to the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab to determine the presence or absence of the pathogen and results will be posted online in the fall.

SOD blitz, Marin county

Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.