Forest Home

Biography snapshots of contributors to the Forest Web
by Ariadne Unst.

Welcome to the Forest

Who are our writers? What information and insights do they share with you about the Forests of California and the world? Here they are, listed alphabetically by first name.

Buy Coast Redwood Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History by Michael G. Barbour (Editor), et al.
Buy Forest Giants Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast by Robert Van Pelt.
Buy Remarkable Trees of the World Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham (Writer and Photographer).
Buy Trees and Shrubs of California Trees and Shrubs of California (California Natural History Guides) by John David Stuart, et al.

Ameena Gier.

Ameena Gier, a counselor and educator. She has a private practice, eTimePeace, and specializes in anger and stress management. She has published articles about family violence, child abuse, and anger. Her fifteen years experience includes a range of clients from the average stressed Silicon Valley person to schizophrenics. She counsels groups, couples, and individuals. Ameena has studied, synthesized, and developed new paradigms about stress and anger. Ameena Gier also works with homeless teens. She is a freelance article writer, and is currently writing a book on the relationship of stress, anger, and forgiveness.

See Ameena's contribution: Arbor-therapy Meditation 2 (February 2002): The Tree Spirit In Us.

Ariadne Unst.

Ariadne is a writer, poet, reviewer, and social commentator from the highlands of Scotland. She contributed several book reviews and the glossary: A , B , C , D , E , F , G , H , I , J , K , L , M , N , O , P , Q , R , S , T , U , V , W , X , Y , Z . See also Ariadne's Poetry Web.

Charles Baughman.

Charles Baughman is interested in photography, biology, botany and other "stuff". His first explicit contribution is to the Big Basin trail report for May 2008, though he made many informal contributions earlier.

David Auerbach.

David Auerbach is a photographer, plant expert, and State Park Docent.

Like Scott Peden, David leads a half-day walk each month at Big Basin State Park.

David became co-holder of the world's banana slug spotting record in May 2006.

Don Maier.

Don Maier is a mountaineer, naturalist, photographer, and musician.

See Don's contribution: Bird list in May forests (Big Basin, California).

Jean Gier.

Jean Gier is a teacher, poet, and social critic. Her parents were born in the Phillipines. Many of her relations live there.

See Jean's contribution: The Forgotten Rainforest - The Phillipines.

J. Zimmerman.

J. Zimmerman, D. Phil., developed this site to share information about the local and global forests. She is a researcher on the banana slugs of the California redwoods, an avid book reader, and a fan of Harry Potter.

Of the many California flower species that bloom in Big Basin State Park on the Berry Creek Falls Loop, her favorite is the White globe lily (Calochortus albus) and this is closely followed by the Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale).

Leslie Keedy.

Leslie Keedy is the Urban Forester of the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of Santa Cruz, CA. In her work for the community, Leslie improves the quantity and quality of trees in the city, educates the community, and works to help property owners understand the city's Ordinance for the preservation of Heritage trees and shrubs. She manages a two-man crew, as well as a Field Crew Leader that is also a Certified Arborist. She dispatches the crew to do emergency limb clearance for safety, and also to perform tree planting and maintenance.

As a career Arborist, Leslie graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and Natural Resource Management. Also she has an AA degree in Ornamental Horticulture, and has earned an ISA (International Society of Arborists) certificate. She has worked for a tree-trimming contractor, for the San Jose nonprofit organization "Our City Forest," and as a consultant for P.G.& E. Leslie's deep love and concern for trees was kindled as a child by her mom, an Ethnobotanist.

See Leslie's contribution at: Urban Forest: what it is and why it's good.

[R.] Max Creasy.

Max Creasy earned his B.S. in agriculture from Pennsylvania State University, then made his graduate studies at Humboldt State University in forest ecology and botany. Max has worked on the Klamath NF since 1976, working 11 years in recreation primarily as a Wilderness Ranger, including 4 years as a Wild and Scenic River Ranger. For the last 14 years, he has worked as a botanist and plant ecologist on Klamath, Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests.

Outside of work, Max enjoys propagating and growing plants on his home-powered homestead across the Klamath River from Dillon Mountain. For diversions from the green world, he enjoys hanging with family and friends, playing basketball, white-water rafting, and occasionally traveling to far-off places with flat land and exotic people and critters.

See Max's contribution at: Klamath National Forest -- Easy Access to its Diversity of Trees by Klamath Ecologist R. Max Creasy.

Pamela Conley.

Pamela Conley is a free-lance writer, traveler, and bird-watcher in Northern California. Her weekly nature and birding column appears in the Bodega Bay Navigator. Her travel tale Souvenirs from Belize appears in the Travelers' Tales Guide A Woman's Passion for Travel.

Her most recent national publication is in Travelers' Tales Guide. 365 Travel: A Daily Book of Journeys, Meditations, and Adventures (Edited by Lisa Bach).

See Pamela's contributions:

Scott Peden.

Scott Peden is a photographer, plant expert (or "nut" to use Scott's technical term), and guide, who loves sharing the wonders and secrets of nature with others. Most of his earlier training was in the year-round observation of what plants do though out their cycles of life.

We deeply regret his death on December 5th, 2016. We are lucky to have known him.

Scott led a half-day walk each month at Big Basin State Park. He was in process of cataloging, in pictures, the cycles of the plants, on selected trails. See some of Scott's photos at smugmug and at

In 2006, Scott was appointed trainer of the Semper Virens docents in identification of wildflowers and plants of the coast redwood region at Castle Rock and Big Basin State Parks.

See Scott's contributions for many months of California Redwoods and Waterfalls: The Berry Creek Falls Loop in the Forest of Big Basin State Park, at:

and at Banana Slug Spotters Central and:

little slug The littlest and the largest slugs.

slug courtship How the large slugs create the little slugs. (Marvelous photos)

slug attacking fetid adders tongue Survivalist slugs.

You can access Scott's Wildflowers and other Photos in his on-line portfolio. Of the many California flower species that bloom in Big Basin State Park on the Berry Creek Falls Loop, Scott's favorite was the California Fetid Adder's Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii), and this is closely followed by the Trail plant (Adenocaulon bicolor).

Scott recommended Professor Ray Collette (founder of the U.C.S.C. Arboretum) for information on the Giant Wake Robin and the Western Wake Robin, as well as butterflies.

Sudhir Dass.

Sudhir Dass is a photographer. His first contribution to Ariadne's forest is a gorgeous close-up of the California Fetid Adder's Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii):

Adder's Tongue closeup by Sudhir Dass .

See more of his work at his web site.