Mathias Symposium 2004

Bodega Marine Laboratory/Reserve
February 27-29, 2004

Graduate student seminar prents a promising future for field research

A major goal of the UC Natural Reserve System is to provide settings where graduate students, particularly those in field sciences, can train. If the range and quality of presentations at this year’s inaugural Mathias Symposium are any indication, the future of field research at NRS sites is in good hands. Twenty-two graduate students from throughout the UC system—all recipients of the NRS’s 2002-2003 Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants—gathered at the Bodega Marine Laboratory/Reserve on February 27-29, 2004 to discuss the research they’ve been conducting at NRS  sites supported by Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant funding.

Reserve Manager Peter Connors hosted the symposium and opened the proceedings with an informative and engaging presentation on the Bodega Marine  Laboratory/Reserve. He joined in all of the symposium activities and led  the participants on  tours of the Bodega Marine Laboratory and the surrounding reserve, which are located on Bodega Head (Sonoma County), 80 miles north of San Francisco. Reserve steward Rico Tinsman made sure that the audiovisual equipment performed flawlessly and also guided a group on an exploration of the  reserve.Whether the subject was migrating hummingbirds at Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve (Mono County), Pacific treefrogs at Quail Ridge Reserve (Napa County), parasites at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve (Santa Barbara County), or marine fish assemblages at Scripps Coastal Reserve (San Diego County), each talk offered convincing evidence that the University-level field research across the state is going strong.

Professors Frank Davis of UC Santa Barbara and Susan Harrison of UC Davis were key participants in the symposium, asking questions after each student presentation, presenting a talk about their own current research, and leading a closing discussion on careers in science, the environment, and natural resource management. In addition to honing their presentation skills, the graduate students were able to meet and share experiences with colleagues from other UC campuses.