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December 2016

Drought dealt death to blue oaks

Dry skies and parched soils inspired UC Berkeley researchers to look into how native plants would fare in drought conditions. What they documented was the protracted dying of blue oaks and other trees in the driest locales. Coping strategies such as tiny leaves and canopy thinning only helped by degrees. The findings suggest oaks may be on their way out unless Californians do a better job of conserving a key resource: groundwater.  Read more >>

UC chief visits Bodega reserve

UC President Janet Napolitano met an endangered species, learned why research into ocean acidification is a gas, was nearly lured into the waves by harbor seal sirens, and generally had a grand time touring Bodega Marine Reserve and Laboratory on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. Read more >>
Parrot Sequoia & Pix4D - Climate Innovation - Long Version

Fly by a giant sequoia

Multi-spectral drone images give professor Todd Dawson of UC Berkeley a new view of the colossal trees he's been climbing, mapping, and monitoring for years. Drone manufacturer Parrot is now offering a climate change innovation grant complete with UAVs and analysis software to further environmental research; those conducting existing long-term experiments and studies are particularly encouraged to apply. Read more >>

Naturalist of the Year

The Western Society of Naturalists has named Jackie Sones, research coordinator for the NRS's Bodega Marine Reserve, its 2016 Naturalist of the Year. The society honored Sones at its annual meeting this November in Monterey. As anyone blessed enough to have taken a reserve tour with Jackie knows, the award was a no-brainer. Where most people might see a beach with dried seaweed, she spots endless species of algae, gelatinous sea creatures, and miniature worlds clinging to kelp holdfasts. To benefit from Jackie's insights into the natural wonders of Bodega and Sonoma County every day of the year, subscribe to her outstanding blog, The Natural History of Bodega Head. Congratulations, Jackie!

 

Seal work fires up student

Even the chores of marine mammal research are pretty special. Spending hours scanning for flipper tags, being serenaded by pup snores, and helping to rescue animals imprisoned by plastic debris keeps a UCSC undergraduate eager to do more elephant seal science. Read more >>

Eco-art origins

Pioneers of the ecological art movement Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison describe 45 years of making art inspired by the earth in The Time of the Force Majeure. Among the highlights: a 50-year planting project at the NRS's Sagehen Creek Field Station to find a palette of native plants resilient to climate change in the Sierra Nevada. Read more >>

EVENTS

Dec. 8  Boyd Deep Canyon Public Lecture Series
Sand dunes and sand lizards: two species, two ways?
6 p.m. UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert, CA

Allan Muth, herpetologist extraordinaire and director of the NRS's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, will draw upon decades of research in the Namib Desert of Africa and the Coachella Valley to compare the survival approaches of two species of sand lizards. The Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard and the shovel snouted lizard have developed very different solutions to eke out a living in dune systems.

NRS IN THE NEWS

Giants in the face of drought
Yosemite Field Station
The Atlantic

Cris Sandoval's journey to save snowy plovers
Coal Oil Point Reserve
Santa Barbara Independent

Working toward a healthier forest
Sagehen Creek Field Station
Tahoe Quarterly

New instrument to shed light on plant fluorescence
Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve
The Daily Bruin

The ideal outdoor research environment: the UC NRS
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UC Postdoc Newsletter
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