University of California Natural Reserve System

University of California Natural Reserve System Protecting California biodiversity since 1965. The UC Natural Reserve System is a library of ecosystems throughout California. Most of the state's major habitat types are represented, from coastal tidepools to inland deserts, and lush wetlands to redwood forests.
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No other network of field sites can match its size, scope, and ecological diversity. The NRS offers outdoor laboratories to field scientists, classrooms without walls for students, and nature’s inspiration to all.

Mission: The mission of the Natural Reserve System is to contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. http://nrs.ucop.edu

Operating as usual

12/11/2020
Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center

You can see forever from Lizard Peak at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (or at least out to the Salton Sea).

360 views from Lizard Peak with mountain identification in Anza-Borrego Desert (Video: Sicco Rood).

An NRS alumna may go to the moon!
12/11/2020
Meet Artemis Team Member Jessica Meir

An NRS alumna may go to the moon!

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir is a member of the Artemis Team, a select group of astronauts charged with focusing on the development and training efforts for e...

That's right--those are white pelicans in the skies above the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. They pref...
12/10/2020

That's right--those are white pelicans in the skies above the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. They prefer bodes of freshwater. Brown pelicans, by contrast, hug ocean shorelines.

It’s WildlifeWednesday! The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is one of North America’s largest birds. Individuals have a large head, long neck and large, yellow-orange bill, and they steadily soar on broad black and white wings, with slow wingbeats. On the Reserve, they can often be seen at stock ponds, dipping their beaks into the water to catch fish and aquatic invertebrates. Photo: Robert Shields. #UCMNRSWildlifeWednesday, #wildlifewednesday, #naturalreservesystem, #UCMerced

As a tidal wetland, Carpinteria Salt Marsh relies on regular inundation with seawater to maintain its ecosystem. Decayin...
12/09/2020
Keeping Carpinteria Salt Marsh Connected To The Tides - UCNRS

As a tidal wetland, Carpinteria Salt Marsh relies on regular inundation with seawater to maintain its ecosystem. Decaying infrastructure in the form of rusted culverts threatened to dry out a good portion of the marsh. How those culverts got repaired — and how the project may return an endangered species to the marsh—is a saga involving oil exploration, underwater shell mountains, baby halibut, and a debris flow of biblical proportions.

Carpinteria Salt Marsh is a world defined by mud, floods, and salt. Ocean brine inundates its twisting channels twice a day, fostering plants that can

The NRS has been busy making lemonade out of this lemon of a year. A few examples: new studies examining the impact of w...
12/09/2020
UCNRS Newsletter for December 2020

The NRS has been busy making lemonade out of this lemon of a year. A few examples: new studies examining the impact of wildfire on reserve hydrology and ecosystems; social distancing kept our undergraduate Field Science Fellows safe this summer doing field research; and Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve wrapped up critical infrastructure work decades in the making to keep the wetland linked to the tides. Read about these achievements and more in the December 2020 issue of the NRS Newsletter.

Help scientists track the nation's native bees by participating in the U.S. National Native Bee Monitoring Research Coor...
12/08/2020
How You Can Help Count and Conserve Native Bees

Help scientists track the nation's native bees by participating in the U.S. National Native Bee Monitoring Research Coordination Network. It's easy to sign up online, then upload your photos of these critical pollinators and when/where you snapped them. Swamped by imported honeybees and facing loss of habitat, some of these species are in trouble. Learning more about bee distribution and populations will help scientists conserve these important components of North American ecosystems.

Honeybees and their problems get the most attention, but scientists are using tactics learned from bird conservation to protect American bees.

The latest issue of CEC Research, featuring the final research projects of the Fall 2020 California Ecology and Conserva...
12/08/2020
Fall 2020 - UCNRS

The latest issue of CEC Research, featuring the final research projects of the Fall 2020 California Ecology and Conservation students, is now online. This class formed its own bubble and after seven weeks of traveling to different reserves emerged without a single case of COVID. Their final projects were based at Hastings Natural History Reservation, burned by wildfire this summer. Topics include burn halos beneath oaks and woodpecker behavior after fire, but also plenty of subjects having nothing at all to do with fire impacts. Take a look--you'll be impressed by the thoughtfulness of the discussions and the quality of the studies.

Students in the Fall 2020 CEC program conducted research for their final projects at Hastings Natural History Reservation, burned months before in a wildfire.

Being a northern elephant seal rookery attracts not only pinniped researchers to the NRS's Año Nuevo Island Reserve but ...
12/07/2020
Año Nuevo Research

Being a northern elephant seal rookery attracts not only pinniped researchers to the NRS's Año Nuevo Island Reserve but also great white sharks and the scientists who study them.

Año Nuevo Reserve is a key site for Dr Barbara Block's White shark research. Click the link to watch this video from CNN highlighting her work:

CNN: As white sharks gather in Monterey Bay, scientists grab the chance to study them up close.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/03/americas/barbara-block-great-white-sharks-c2e-spc-intl/index.html

UC Santa Cruz , Año Nuevo State Park , University of California Natural Reserve System

Like taking walks? Want to contribute to science while you're out and about? Volunteer to provide soil samples to the CA...
12/03/2020

Like taking walks? Want to contribute to science while you're out and about? Volunteer to provide soil samples to the CALeDNA project, which is conducting biodiversity monitoring throughout the Golden State. The project uses environmental DNA to detect the recent presence of specific animal and plant species.

Ever wonder how #CALeDNA keeps over 10,000 archived replicates organized? Each sample has a number and alphanumeric code associated with it as well as information about when, where, and how it was collected. With samples stored at both #UCLA and #UCSantaCruz our teams use these numbers to quickly search the freezer databases to keep track of where samples have been stored! To learn more about how to become a citizen/community scientist, check out www.ucedna.com 🧠










#CALeDNA #citizenscience #communityscience #biodiversity #science #eDNA #environmentalDNA #soilsampling #sedimentsampling #geneticsequencing #genomics #metabarcoding #research #hiking #naturalist #wildlifeconservation #outdooreducation #california #lariver #losangelesriver

These gorgeous little frogs frequent the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, located next door to the reser...
12/03/2020

These gorgeous little frogs frequent the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, located next door to the reserve's home campus of UC Merced.

Happy Wildlife Wednesday! The Sierran Chorus Frog (Pseudacris sierra)is a common frog species found throughout NW America, that is the most commonly heard frog in its range! On the Reserve, it can be heard singing mostly in the evenings in and around stock ponds, but it is also active during the day. Individuals have the ability to change color, where coloration varies from green, tan, reddish, grey, cream, brown or black, but dark eye stripes are always present, and a Y-shaped marking is often between the eyes. Adults eat invertebrates (including flying insects), while tadpoles primarily eat algae, bacteria, and protozoa. Photos: top: Sean Werle, bottom: Bernard Warzcheca. #UCMNRSWildlifeWednesday, #wildlifewednesday, #naturalreservesystem, #UCMerced

The UC Natural Reserve System has awarded a total of $38,000 to 16 outstanding proposals for field research from UC grad...
12/03/2020
2020-21 Mathias Grant Recipients - UCNRS

The UC Natural Reserve System has awarded a total of $38,000 to 16 outstanding proposals for field research from UC graduate students. Learn what recipients will be doing with their Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants this year.

The 16 recipients of the NRS's Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants will receive a total of 38,000 to fund their field research at NRS reserves.

This finding underscores the importance of understanding the genetic diversity of species of special concern. Shaffer is...
12/01/2020
UCLA Scientist Finds Surprise About Tortoises' Long Lives

This finding underscores the importance of understanding the genetic diversity of species of special concern. Shaffer is leading just such a study. The California Conservation Genomics Project will utilize whole-genome sequencing to understand what genetic variation patterns are associated with different regions, confer resistance to drought or high temperatures, etc. The info will be used to guide conservation measures such as selecting areas for habitat protection.

A struggling population of tortoises native to the Mojave Desert has led UCLA scientists to rethink how to save threatened species.

11/30/2020
The Dance Floor Grove after the Dolan Fire

This summer, wildfire blazed through the coast redwoods at the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve. See how these trees and their surrounding habitat in Big Sur look today, thanks to this beautifully shot video produced by NRS weather station technician Wendy Baxter.

Three months after the Dolan Fire burned most of the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, I visited the Dance Floor Grove to survey the fire impacts. While some o...

11/30/2020
FOX 35 Orlando

Wildlife crossings, like this one in Utah, save animal lives.

'IT'S WORKING!' A bridge built in Utah just for wildlife to help them get across the interstate safely is reportedly doing its job. Video captured everything from bears to squirrels using the bridge!

STORY: https://tinyurl.com/y5tuaj5m
VIDEO: Utah Division of Wildlife

California birds are taking advantage of quieter streets to sing more subtle and alluring tunes from their repertoire.
11/25/2020
Since shelter in place, Bay Area sparrows are singing in tones that researchers haven't heard in decades

California birds are taking advantage of quieter streets to sing more subtle and alluring tunes from their repertoire.

With the hum of human activity diminished by the pandemic’s stay-home orders, Bay Area sparrows are singing in quiet, complex tones researchers haven’t heard in decades. The softer songs signify how quickly birds adapt to environmental changes, a trait that has broader implications for their sur...

NRS reserves such as Valentine Camp and Sagehen Creek Field Station have already reshaped their forests to encourage a r...
11/25/2020
Severe Wildfires Raise the Chance for Future Monstrous Blazes

NRS reserves such as Valentine Camp and Sagehen Creek Field Station have already reshaped their forests to encourage a range of fire intensities—aka pyroclastic diversity.

The complete torching of trees allows dense, low vegetation to sprout, creating a new hotbed for more extreme fire

A new study gives a sobering glimpse into the impact of plastic pollution on sea turtles, seals and sea lions, and other...
11/21/2020
Large ocean animals commonly eat plastic waste, report finds

A new study gives a sobering glimpse into the impact of plastic pollution on sea turtles, seals and sea lions, and other large marine animals. Humanity needs to do a far better job of managing the plastics we throw away.

A new report from a wildlife advocacy group found nearly 1,800 instances where a marine mammal or sea turtle swallowed or became entangled in plastic waste along the coast of the United States over the last decade.

A glimpse of the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve after the devastating Dolan Fire that seared the reserve in late A...
11/20/2020

A glimpse of the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve after the devastating Dolan Fire that seared the reserve in late August. Slopes formerly cloaked in oaks, redwoods, or chaparral have been charred down to bare soil. However, plants such as coast redwoods and oaks are already sending out new, green sprouts. Just hope the hills withstand mudslides long enough for new vegetation to stabilize the soil. Photos were taken by Becca Fenwick, who is surveying the reserve with drones as part of the NRS research to understand the impacts of wildfire on California ecosystems.

Doesn't get much prettier than the NRS's Coal Oil Point Reserve at a sunset low tide.
11/18/2020

Doesn't get much prettier than the NRS's Coal Oil Point Reserve at a sunset low tide.

A stellar low tide-sunset combo at Coal Oil Point Reserve yesterday evening. 🤩

#sandssunsetsarethebestsunsets

Winter rains are greening up the desert again around the NRS's Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center.
11/18/2020

Winter rains are greening up the desert again around the NRS's Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center.

The 0.43" that fell last week, was enough for ocotillos on the west side of the valley to leaf out less than a week later (Photos: Sicco Rood).

Valentine Camp reserve has one new weather station and two new ClimaVue sensor tripods. They were installed by NRS weath...
11/18/2020

Valentine Camp reserve has one new weather station and two new ClimaVue sensor tripods. They were installed by NRS weather station technician Wendy Baxter, who scrambles up and down weather station towers with the agility of a squirrel. The stations join the NRS's Climate Monitoring Network, which enables researchers to compare climate information collected from more than two dozen NRS reserves across the state.

A Girl Scout troop is helping the NRS's Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve to recover from this year's wildfires by clearing b...
11/17/2020

A Girl Scout troop is helping the NRS's Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve to recover from this year's wildfires by clearing burned vegetation from trails, rebuilding signage, and other tasks. Their work will enable the reserve to reopen safely for hikers in the near future.

Round #2 for the Eagle Girl Scouts of Davis: Owning the lower Blue Ridge!

Data from Año Nuevo will help inform the NRS effort to assess the impacts of wildfire on nine reserves that burned durin...
11/17/2020

Data from Año Nuevo will help inform the NRS effort to assess the impacts of wildfire on nine reserves that burned during the 2020 fire season.

Año Nuevo Reserve is part of a large wildfire recovery monitoring project. This week, recent UC Santa Cruz undergraduates are comparing the soil from burned vs unburned plots. Simultaneous drone surveys will provide an aerial view of the recovery process. This photo was taken from 100m altitude on the inland side of highway 1, which was dramatically impacted by the CZU Complex Fire.

Año Nuevo State Park, University of California Natural Reserve System, UC Santa Cruz Science

On Nov. 19, Hugh Safford of the US Forest Service and UC Davis and his UC Davis graduate student  Ashley Grupenhoff will...
11/13/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Fuels management and forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada: the case for active forest management on the Valentine Reserve. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the...

On Nov. 19, Hugh Safford of the US Forest Service and UC Davis and his UC Davis graduate student Ashley Grupenhoff will give a talk entitled "Fuels management and forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada: the case for active forest management on the Valentine Reserve" as part of the UCSB NRS 2020 seminar series. An introduction and tour of Valentine Reserve will be provided by reserve director Carol Blanchette. 7 pm Thurs. Nov. 19. Registration for this FREE webinar is required.

Presenters: Dr. Hugh Safford (US Forest Service and UC Davis) and Ashley Grupenhoff (UC Davis) with Introduction provided by UCSB Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves Director Dr. Carol Blanchette

11/12/2020
Madeline Frey, 2020 NRS Field Science Fellow

UC Davis undergraduate Madeline Frey spent her summer sweeping shorelines at Bodega Marine Reserve for minuscule marine invertebrates known as ribbon worms. An NRS Field Science Fellowship let her focus on the survey full time, and make a discovery that many biologists never achieve in a lifetime of research.

NRS post-wildfire studies covered in UC Berkeley's Daily Californian.
11/11/2020
Burn recovery study will gather data from 9 UC natural reserves

NRS post-wildfire studies covered in UC Berkeley's Daily Californian.

After several of the UC natural reserves were impacted by wildfires in August, the UC Natural Reserve System, or UCNRS, will gather data from nine reserves to identify how different ecosystems respond to wildfires.

11/11/2020

The NRS's Field Science Fellowship funds UC undergraduates to conduct their own research at one or more NRS reserves over the summer. Madeline Frey, a 2020 fellow, spent her summer surveying for ribbon worms at Bodega Marine Reserve. Her beginner's mind led to a discovery that had eluded all scientists who came before her.

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz seeks undergraduates from groups traditionally underrepres...
11/10/2020
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The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz seeks undergraduates from groups traditionally underrepresented in conservation to apply for a two-year summer conservation mentorship. Each summer scholar will receive a $4,400 stipend and funding to cover travel, room, and board. During the first year, Scholars participate in an eight-week, immersive field course on conservation practice, leadership, and ecological research while traveling with a close group of peers and mentors through California, often at UC Natural Reserves. During the second summer, Scholars pursue eight-week research and practice internships with nationally recognized conservation organizations, labs, and agencies. Scholars continue to be mentored for years, and join a nationwide alumni network for peer support and professional networking. Students who can study in the United States without a visa (including citizens, nationals, residents, refugees, DACA, undocumented, and more) and plan to finish a four-year degree with a graduation date AFTER December 2022 are eligible. Applications are being accepted now through February 1, 2020.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER An open letter from UCSC DDCSP Founder and Faculty Director Dr. Erika Zavaleta Application period is now closed

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Sending you all a hug and positive vibes. www.greenmansionsmovement.net
Celebrating the life of Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at #ucdavis and global authority on #bees. The event, coordinated by Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, is set for 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 in Putah Creek Lodge, #ucdavis. #BugSquad https://bit.ly/2lLX12U
Why do you insist on calling Devereux Point Coal Oil Point? It is not accurate and disrespectful to the History of UCSB.
Thank you UCNRS-James Reserve for an outstanding afternoon with the Inland Empire California Naturalists.
Master’s Program in Conservation and Restoration at UC-Irvine is still accepting applications for Fall 2018! The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Center for Environmental Biology (CEB) at the University of California, Irvine are accepting applications for the Professional Masters in Conservation and Restoration Science (MCRS) graduate program providing training for students interested in careers in the research and management of natural resources. Now accepting applications for the second cohort of MCRS students for Fall 2018! Sectors and potential careers for MCRS graduates include: non-profit land management sector, local and federal government agencies, and environmental consulting firms. For more information, visit the MCRS webpage (http://mcrs.bio.uci.edu), or contact program administrators at [email protected]. The MCRS degree will provide students with the academic and professional skills needed to study, protect, and conserve natural resources, and to hold leadership and management positions in environmental fields related to conservation, restoration, and sustainability. Potential applicants will need a B.A. or B.S. degree, preferably in the natural sciences (biology, conservation biology, ecology, environmental science, forestry, wildlife biology, horticulture, or similar degree title) from a fully accredited academic institution. Applicants with undergraduate degrees in other areas will be considered, but must demonstrate proficiency in the natural sciences and/or practical experience working in this professional field. The program includes two years of coursework and activities, including 18 units of core courses (e.g., ecology, conservation science), 16 units of topical electives (e.g., environmental policy, land use policy), 18 units of technical and professional skills courses (e.g., technical writing, GIS), and 8 units associated with technical and professional workshops (e.g., regional professional gatherings). A collaborative, year-long group capstone project (12 units), aligned with community partners, integrates the program’s learning objectives and applies student’s new skills to key environmental challenges facing society. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Our next round of applications will be reviewed for admission after July 1, 2018.
Hello! Happy New Year. Does the University organize alumni or student trips to international destinations as part of their study program? I would love to help if there are any travel plans to India. I own a very personalized tour operating business and provide authentic and fully immersive experiences in India. More about me and what I do here: https://www.facebook.com/2travelwith/. If there is someone within the university who manages alumni /student travel I would really appreciate the connect. Thank you and hope to see you in India at some point :)
Silence is also important to our health - we need to protect silence - noise is a global problem. In our busy lives we focus on nutrition, yoga, fitness, medicine, alternative treatments and much more. All essential for our well-being. But we tend to forget the negative impact of environmental noise on our health: More Silence Less Noise - a new book - take a look: https://www.facebook.com/MoreSilenceLessNoise/