CEC Students at Point Reyes

California Ecology and Conservation

Spend seven weeks living and studying at NRS reserves, experiencing a cross section of California habitats ranging from rocky coast and freshwater marsh to oak savanna, conifer forest, and desert. Gain field research skills and learn techniques for studying plants, animals, and ecological communities. California Ecology and Conservation is open to undergraduates from all general UC campuses. A maximum of 27 students are accepted per term. Course yields a full complement of quarter or semester units.

What we do

Researcher conduct field soil warming


Scientists from around the world conduct field research in the protected landscapes of the Natural Reserve System on topics ranging from climate change to endangered species to habitat restoration.

Teaching students at reserve


Visiting a reserve brings textbook lessons about the natural world to life. Students and teachers flock to reserves from the University of California and institutions around the globe.

Public Services: field trips

Public Service

From hosting school field trips, to organizing scientific lecture series, to welcoming the public for weekend classes, NRS reserves benefit California communities.

Research and Innovation logo with University of California logo

Our organization

The Natural Reserve System is a University-wide program. Each of its reserves is managed by one of the nine general UC campuses. The Systemwide Office of the NRS is based at the UC Office of the President. The NRS is part of the Research and Innovation unit of the division of Academic Affairs.

Body Deep Canyon: UC Natural Reserve System

About us

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. Learn more >>

By the numbers

plant species
41 Reserves
Thousands students and researchers visit each year.
47,000 acres and Largest university reserve system.
50 miles of protected coastal shoreline

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