UC Natural Reserve System logo
April 2016
California Ecology and Conservation video pic

NRS field class video

Get a taste of the first all-UC field class in action. The knock-your-socks-off scenery, intensive science instruction, and occasional marshmallow-toasting opportunities all comes courtesy of the UC Natural Reserve System. Watch video >>

Two mice with one trap

Students from across California learn field techniques like how to trap small mammals at NRS reserves. A UC Santa Cruz graduate student is devising ways to employ student data to track rodent demographics and inform studies of climate change across California. Read more >>
Blue Oak buildings pano

Renovated Blue Oak Ranch open for business

The NRS's Blue Oak Ranch has opened the doors to a suite of new facilities that will transform this already bustling field station in the Diablo Range into a hub for large field classes, meetings, retreats, and more. The reserve can now house large groups with ease and comfort, while providing congenial places to meet, cook, and relax around the firepit. Read more >>

Snow art at Sagehen

Artist Sonja Hinrichsen creates large-scale drawings in snow fields around the world, most recently near Sagehen Creek Field Station north of Truckee, California. Learn about the ideas behind Hinrichsen’s snow drawings, watch how she works with snowshoeing volunteers, and witness her engagement with the Sierra Nevada as a drawing site. Watch video >>

Sedgwick Reserve Events

All events are held at Sedgwick Reserve, 3566 Brinkerhoff Rd., Santa Ynez, CA.

Apr. 9 Public hike  8:30 a.m.
A range of hikes takes visitors to Sedgwick Reserve's 6,000 acres of unique geological and ecological wonders. Afterward, hikers can picnic and play bocce. Instead of hiking, visitors are also welcome to set up an art easel at the pond or bird watch around the Field Station. The gates will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. RSVP requested.

Apr. 15 Walking Ecology  9 a.m.-noon 
UC SmartFarm Collaborative
Burgeoning human populations will need ever more bountiful harvests of food. But limited arable land and water, unpredictable weather, and climate change are obstacles to feeding the planet. Chandra Krintz, professor of computer science at UC Santa Barbara, seeks novel approaches to agriculture analytics and precision farming with the UCSB SmartFarm. The farm integrates environmental sensor technologies into cloud software to give growers an easy to use, low-cost data analysis and visualization system. 

McLaughlin Reserve Events

Apr. 16 Wildflower walk and land protection celebration
At the end of 2015, the reserve gained 22 acres of serpentine meadow, seeps, and rugged chaparral. Adjacent to the new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, the land was purchased by the Tuleyome conservation organization with help from McLaughlin friends, and donated to the University in December. Explore our new addition on this leisurely wildflower walk. To register, email reserve director Cathy Koehler by April 14.

Apr. 23 Grateful Dead peak hike
Apr. 24 Three Counties hike
Most of the land around these routes burned in the Rocky and Jerusalem fires, so look for amazing post-fire wildflower displays. Optional overnight camping for attendees. All details of registration are handled by the Land Trust of Napa County.

Apr. 30 Botany field trip: CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter
Carpool meeting sites for this California Native Plant Society field trip hike will be near the chapter's main base. Discuss with field trip coordinator Shellie Sullo when you sign up for the hike, then email reserve director Cathy Koehler for where to meet on the reserve.

Wildflower wonderland

Spring has infused new life into Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. Fairy shrimp are laying eggs in the rain-filled pools, while the reserve's more than 6,500 acres now boast velvet green grasslands sparkling with jewels such as Delphinium variegatum, a type of larkspur. Image credit: Clayton Anderson Read more >>

White Mountain Research Center Lectures

Talks are held on Thursdays at the Owens Valley Research Station of White Mountain Research Center, located at 3000 East Line St. in Bishop. Events begin at 7 p.m. sharp. Space is limited. Image courtesy WMRC

Apr. 7 How drought and climate change affect habitat, aquatic life in Sierra streams 
Based out of the NRS's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory in Mammoth Lakes, David Herbst of UC Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute has studied the invertebrates, hydrobiology, and stressors experienced by Sierra streams. Rising temperatures, flooding, and early drying are among the many factors now altering conditions for frogs, trout, and invertebrates in Sierra waterways.

Apr. 14 The White Mountain voter fraud revisited: justice and geography in 1861
Daniel Pritchett, White Mountain Research Center's IT expert and unofficial historian, describes how a scandal of yesteryear still reverberates through the region today.

Apr. 28  The ecology of the Tuolumne River below Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
Jeff Holmquist, resident research scientist at White Mountain Research Center, studies plant-animal interactions, how landscape structure determines faunal movement and assemblages, and the effects of anthropogenic and natural disturbance on ecological function.

SNARL Lectures

All talks are held at the Page Center, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Center, 1016 Mt. Morrison Rd., Mammoth Lakes starting at 7 p.m sharp. Plenty of seating should be available. Reserve grounds are not open to the public for walks. Please respect our no pets rule and keep your dog at home.

Apr. 26 El Niño: Bounty or Bust?
As Chief of California Cooperative Snow Surveys, Frank Gehrke is considered the don of Sierra snow metrics. He has sampled mountain snows for more than two decades to help water managers estimate state water supplies. He'll call upon a career spent coping with deluge and drought to discuss this winter's rocky snow record.

Younger Lagoon bioblitz

Help inventory and record some of the biodiversity of this rare Central Coast wetland on April 30 as part of UCSC's Alumni Day. Reserve habitats include salt and freshwater marsh, coastal strand, backdune pickleweed flat, steep bluffs with dense coastal scrub, pocket beach, grassland, and dense willow thickets. Register >> 


Berkeley's newest field site gets a facelift
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve
UC Berkeley

UC-owned wildlife reserve, research field site completes expansion, renovation 
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve
The Daily Californian

How UC Irvine baseball and an ecology professor helped save the ospreys
San Joaquin Marsh Reserve
The Orange County Register 

Unusual salamanders lurk beneath UC Santa Cruz
San Jose Mercury News

To save native island animals from extinction, eradicate uninvited guests, study finds
Santa Cruz Island Reserve
Los Angeles Times

Stalking wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego desert to forecast the Big Bloom
Steele-Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
Los Angeles Times
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