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April 2015
Bay laurel leaves showing signs of SOD

Saving oaks in Big Sur

Sudden oak death is devastating oaks up and down California’s moist central coast. At Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, UC Davis researcher Kerri Frangioso is studying whether removing the Typhoid Mary trees of SOD can stop the disease from spreading. Undergraduate classes visiting the reserve will be enlisted to monitor the study plots and learn learn valuable field techniques at the same time. Read more >>
UCSC Professor Dan Costa discusses his elephant seal research with UC President Janet Napolitano

NRS Days: coming your way

UC campuses up and down California are celebrating the golden anniversary of the UC Natural Reserve System this month. Activities include hikes, talks on reserve research, touch tables featuring native animals and plants, and much more. Take a look at our calendar of anniversary events; an NRS Day nearby is sure to interest you.
NRS Day @ UC Merced

NRS Day at UC Merced

Apr 16    8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5200 N. Lake Rd., Merced
UC Merced kicks off this year's NRS festivities with a full menu of hikes, talks, and discussions.
Morning: guided tours of Merced Vernal Pool and Grasslands Reserve; must RSVP to Chris Swarth at cswarth@ucmerced.edu
Noon: reserve sign unveiling, lunch
Afternoon: undergrad research presentations; history of the Natural Reserve System talk by NRS Director Peggy Fiedler and California tiger salamander talk by UCLA profssor Brad Shaffer; panel discussion with UC Merced professors Jessica Blois (paleoecology), Marilyn Fogel (ecology/biogeochemistry), Jason Sexton (ecology) and Josh Viers (watershed sciences). Read more>>
Teaching a class at San Joaquin Marsh

Celebrate UC Irvine

Apr 18    10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., UCI Arboretum (corner Jamboree/Campus Dr.)
Take a walk through San Joaquin Marsh Reserve and plus a tour of the UCI Arboretum. Don't forget to look for an NRS booth on campus for information about UC Irvine's three NRS reserves--Burns Piñon Ridge, San Joaquin Marsh, and Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. It's all part of dozens of activities celebrating the golden anniversary of UC Irvine. Read more >>
oak at Hastings Natural History Reservation

Cal Day

Apr 18    8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Room 2063 Valley Life Sciences, UC Berkeley 
Stop by the NRS table in Valley Life Sciences to touch specimens from reserves, meet staff from UC Berkeley reserves, and listen to talks from reserve scientists. Cal Day includes tours of the campus and its research museums, talks, and many other events; it's open to the public and fun for visitors of all ages. Read more >>

Earth Day Lunch and Learn

Apr 22    noon to 1 p.m., Lobby One, UC Office of the President, 1111 Franklin St., Oakland
Learn about potential future impacts of climate change with postdoctoral fellow Erin Riordan, who is modeling how shifts in environmental conditions will affect the ranges of plant species now found at NRS reserves. Read more >>
Field work Younger Lagoon

UCSC Alumni Weekend

Apr 25  10 a.m., parking lot above campus fire station (top of Chinquapin Rd.), UC Santa Cruz
Take a guided hike through the Campus Natural Reserve and learn how this and other UCSC NRS resources serve as outdoor classrooms and living laboratories. Register now and bring the family. Read more >>
Coal Oil Point Reserve

All Gaucho Reunion

Apr 25-26
Sat 3 - 6 p.m. Taste of UCSB, UCSB Science Green
Sun 9 a.m. Gaucho Bird Walk, Coal Oil Point Reserve

Pick up a glass of wine at Taste of UCSB, then stop by the UC Santa Barbara NRS booth to learn more about reserves that include eastern Sierra forest, coastal marsh, Channel Island foxes, rolling oak woodlands, and much more. The next day, register for a bird walk at UCSB's own Coal Oil Point Reserve and spot grebes, snowy plovers, terns, flycatchers, and maybe even an owl.

Ready for our close up

In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we're filming a documentary about the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. We've asked Doug McConnell (host of Bay Area Backroads, Mac and Mutley, and Open Roads, among other shows) and Carl Bidleman to produce our cinematic magnum opus. They'll be filming the animal trapping, climate studies, land management, teaching efforts, and other work happening at many NRS reserves. Doug and cameraman Jordan Plotsky have already visited Año Nuevo Island and Boyd Deep Canyon reserves; more shoots are planned this spring and summer. Image of Plotsky, McConnell, and professor Doug Kelt of UC Davis by Lobsang Wangdu.
sediment cores from eastern CA

Beyond the White Mountains

The NRS's White Mountain Research Center is a gateway reserve that puts thousands of acres of public lands in eastern California within reach for students and researchers. WMRC users work on the drylands of the Owens Valley, the forests, meadows, and waters of the Sierra Nevada, the unusual ecosystems of Mono Lake and Death Valley, and the geology of the Inyo Mountains and other ranges in the western Great Basin, among myriad other topics. Read more >>
Anna's hummingbird

Swooping for a sweetheart

Male Anna's hummingbirds woo the ladies by zipping straight up (as much as as 13 stories high) then diving downward in an arc resembling the letter J. At the bottom of the dive, males spread their tail feathers for a millisecond, vibrating the outer feathers like the reed in a clarinet. This flourish marks their performance with an explosive chirp, according to research from UC Berkeley. Thanks to volunteer NRS photographer Clayton Anderson, who snapped this hummer at Younger Lagoon Reserve.


Bighorn sheep reintroduced to Yosemite's wilderness
Yosemite Field Station
San Francisco Chronicle

Bighorn sheep released into Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon NP
Yosemite Field Station

Natural Reserve System: an incredible outdoor laboratory
UCSC Natural Reserve System


Apr 24 TEDxSantaCruz 
Radical Collaboration and Climate Change

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz
Longtime NRS researchers and UC Santa Cruz professors Daniel P. Costa and Barry Sinervo will speak at a daylong TEDx conference showcasing partnerships between people and the natural world. Costa will discuss how marine animals carrying instruments are shedding new light on ocean conditions. Sinervo will describe his new venture leading climate change studies across the UC Natural Reserve System.

May 9    Open House, Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve
9 a.m. - 4 p.m., 58801 Highway 1, Big Sur
Open House is the one day of the year Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve welcomes the general public. Come visit, meet the staff, and explore on foot from the beach to the bluffs. Bring hiking shoes and a sack lunch; driving tours will not be available. RSVP to attend. Read more>>
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