Online Speaker Series 2020: “Lightning Strikes VanDusen”

2020-11-30 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Presented by: Samantha Sivertz

In June 2020, three trees in the giant sequoia grove at VanDusen Botanical Garden were struck by lightning, leaving the ground littered with broken branches, wood fragments and shredded bark. The trees will likely survive but will carry lightning scars for the rest of their long lives. How did these sequoias withstand the shock of over 100 million volts? In this presentation Plant Documentation Technician Samantha Sivertz will explore what happens when a tree is struck by lightning, tell stories of past lightning strikes at VanDusen, and discuss how botanical gardens deal with this destructive weather phenomenon.

Samantha Sivertz has been Plant Documentation Technician at VanDusen Botanical Gardens since 2009. They have supported the VanDusen volunteer Guides through educational walks, talks and written materials, taught classes on plant identification and poisonous plants for the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, and have also presented talks to outside organisations including local garden clubs, the Vancouver Tea Festival, and MOSAIC. Samantha holds an honours degree in Evolutionary Biology from UBC, and they helped prepare the UBC herbarium and fossil collections for the opening of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.