Biologist Steve Barnhart has a special interest in the Southeast Greenway, having lived within a block of the proposed Greenway since 1970. Steve’s research specialty is oaks and oak vegetation, so he was pleased to say “yes” when asked to serve as an advisor to the Southeast Greenway Campaign.
Steve has been a consistent champion of natural habitat restoration to the Greenway land and has worked tirelessly doing biological surveys on the SEG land, writing background papers to explain it’s rich potential and encouraging us to look at the land as a precious jewel in the middle of the City. The Greenway east of Summerfield Rd is of special interest to Steve because of its potential for being restored as oak woodland. This section of SEG land also includes a wetland that has restoration potential, providing opportunities for people to study and enjoy the unique ecology of this habitat.
After receiving his BA in biology at UC Riverside and his MS in Plant Ecology at San Diego State University, Steve spent 41 years as a college professor, 37 at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC),
where he taught biology, botany and ecology. He has also taught a variety of field classes across the western United States and consulted with local, state and regional parks on vegetation management and restoration issues. Steve recently retired as Academic Director for the Pepperwood Foundation and Preserve, where he administered the college/adult environmental education program in cooperation with SRJC and provided direction to research and stewardship programs. Steve’s tireless work and reputation for excellence in his field has been recognized with the opening of the Stephen J. Barnhart Herbarium at the Dwight Center for Conservation Science. Steve is most proud to share his knowledge and love of plants through an internship program, which sponsors a SRJC biology student’s plant-related research project at Pepperwood each year.
Steve is devoted to his wife Linda and their three children and 6 grandchildren. His other interests include photography, camping, reading and baseball.
We are privileged to have Steve bring his calm demeanor, good humor, big ideas, and long-range vision to the Southeast Greenway Campaign.