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June 2015

Refugio oil spill fouls NRS reserve

A burst oil pipeline along the Santa Barbara coast spilled an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude into the wildlife-rich waters of the Santa Barbara Channel May 19. The oil slick came ashore at the UC Natural Reserve System’s Coal Oil Point Reserve four days later. The large tar balls and oiled kelp that has accumulated on the beach endangers nesting snowy plovers and is forcing reserve staff and volunteers to initiate a cleanup that continues today. Read more >>

Tracking climate change in the White Mountains

The White Mountains are a key piece of a global effort to monitor climate change in some of the places most vulnerable to warming: alpine environments. Since 2004, the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, or GLORIA, has tracked range shifts, species demographics, and climate conditions for plants across five peaks in this eastern California range. The NRS's White Mountain Research Center helps make it possible to conduct surveys amid the extreme conditions of this 14,000-foot peak, while the center's long history of history of wildland research complements project findings. Read more >>
Valentine Camp meadow boardwalk framed by aspen

Summer walks, talks at Valentine Camp Reserve

A shining jewel amid the towering mountains of the eastern Sierra, Valentine Camp Reserve welcomes the public to a series of thematic tours in July. Offerings include reserve walks and talks on reserve geology, forest ecology, wildflowers, bears,and wildlife. Tours are limited to 15 people. A donation of $15 is requested to help support reserve programs teaching science to the children of Inyo and Mono County.

Pre-registration is required; to reserve a spot, send a check made out to "UC Regents" to Carole Lester,
Outdoor Science Education Program, 1016 Mt. Morrison Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA  93546. For more information, contact Carole Lester, 805-893-5655.

mountain yellow-legged frog by USFWS/Rick Kuyper

SNARL Lecture Series

The Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory Lecture Series is being held this year in the new net-zero-energy Page Center on the grounds of the reserve. All lectures are held at 1016 Mount Morrison Road, Mammoth Lakes, at 7 pm Tuesday evenings. Admission is free. Lectures last approximately one hour. For more information, contact Anne Barrett, 805-893-5655, or Kim Rose, 805-893-5654.

Jun. 2  Breaking badly: forecasting California earthquakes, Morgan Page, research geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey

Jun. 9  The impacts of mountain yellow-legged frog declines on algae and insect communities in Sierra Nevada Lakes, Thomas Smith, graduate student, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara

Jun. 16 Sage grouse in Long Valley and Bodie: a new name and new management, Mike Casazza, research wildlife biologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Jun. 23  The fate of Sierra Nevada glaciers, Greg Stock, park geologist, Yosemite National Park

Jun. 30 Sources of bacterial contamination in eastern Sierra Nevada streams, Roland Knapp, research biologist, SNARL, UC Santa Barbara
  

NEWS BRIEFS

A rainbow rattle

Cal Poly graduate student Natalie Claunch just started a study on stress hormones and venom composition in rattlesnakes. She and her crew caught and radio tagged 35 snakes within a mile of Sedgwick Reserve headquarters to track their movements. They tinted the rattles of each snake with a unique color pattern in order to identify individuals at a distance. Image courtesy Sedgwick Reserve

The New Familiar

Artist Stephanie Lie received an Arts2NRS grant last year to work at an NRS reserve. Lie photographed Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve from the perspective of a weather balloons. The photos are part of her project to make an atlas of San Diego's wetlands. Her work is featured through June 18 in The New Familiar, an exhibit at the Long Beach ArtExchange, 353 East 3rd St., Long Beach.
Boyd Deep Canyon logo

Mayhew research grants

Applications for grants supporting graduate student research at Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center are now being accepted. Mayhew Graduate Research Award winners receive up to $2,500 to support their field studies in and around this Coachella Valley reserve. Funds are to offset the costs of lodging, transportation, and some supplies. Applications are due June 10.

CA's giant jay

The Santa Cruz Island scrub jay (Aphelocoma insularis), is the only island endemic of the over 500 species of birds that breed in North America. It is roughly 25% larger and has darker plumage than its closest mainland relative, the western scrub jay. Cornell Lab of Ornithology postdoc Mario Pesendorfer stays at the NRS's Santa Cruz Island Reserve to study the jay's acorn scattering habits and its role in oak dispersal.

Sedgwick Hike

The next public hike at the NRS's 6,000-acre Sedgwick Reserve will be held on Saturday June 13 at 8:30am.  These interpretive hikes in the Santa Ynez Valley are approximately two to three hours. Picnic with your own lunch afterward. For reservations or more information, contact sedgwick@lifesci.ucsb.edu.

NRS IN THE NEWS

Protecting the plover
Coal Oil Point Reserve
UCSB Current

UCSC plans $3 million upgrades at Big Sur coast reserve
Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve
Monterey County Herald

Leaf bacteria fertilize trees
Yosemite Field Station
Science

April 2015 Science Newsletter
Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center
Mojave National Preserve
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