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April 2018
Tidepools up and down the West Coast are missing some important residents: sea stars. A severe outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome has decimated populations of these colorful predators. A new study has tracked the toll of the  disease at more than 90 sites, including six NRS reserves. Carol Blanchette, director of the NRS's Valentine Camp and Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, is a coauthor. Read more >>

White Mountain Lecture Series

The NRS's White Mountain Research Center kicks off its 2018 public lecture series this month. Talks are held Tuesdays, begin promptly at 7 p.m. and are FREE to the public. 3000 East Line Street, Bishop. Read more >>

Apr. 3
Some bristlecone history: a closer look
Daniel Pritchett, volunteer archivist/historian, White Mountain Research Center

Apr. 10
Up close and personal: Using pictures from automated cameras at desert water sources to recognize individual bighorn sheep and estimate population sizes
Dr. John Wehausen, research scientist

Apr. 17
Can't we all get along? Competition and coexistence between native fishes of the Owens Valley
Christi Kruse, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Apr. 24
A survey of patterned body anthropomorphic figures in the Native American rock art of the West
Courtney Smith, local rock art specialist

The bounty of spring

Since ancient times, rabbits have been considered harbingers of spring. Their legendary fecundity brings to mind the bounty promised by warming days and a greening world. The reproductive habits of the desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) are no exception to this rule. Pairs produce up to five litters of about three kits each per year—unusually few for lagomorphs. Few live longer than a year, which is why we're not knee deep in bunnies This handsome individual was photographed at Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve by Clayton Anderson.


Reserves a reliable resource
UC Davis Reserves
The California Aggie

Up to 99% of West Coast starfish have wasted away
Bodega Marine, Año Nuevo Island, Santa Cruz Island, Coal Oil Point, Norris Rancho Marino, Younger Lagoon
ZME Science

Fire on Santa Cruz Island now 70% contained
Santa Cruz Island Reserve


Big UC birthday

UC celebrates 150 years of research, education, and public service this year. Watch the inspiring video, and explore the nifty interactive timeline. Scroll to the year 1965 to view our favorite UC accomplishment: the founding of the NRS. Read more >>

Younger Lagoon bioblitz

April 28 
9 a.m. to noon
Ocean Health Building
Room 118

Help inventory the biodiversity of the NRS's Younger Lagoon Reserve for UC Santa Cruz Alumni Weekend 2018. In previous years, bioblitz volunteers have made thousands of unique species observations. Combine your keen eye with iNaturalist, a citizen science website and app, to photograph and geographically pinpoint your findings. Participants will gather at the end of the observation period to upload records, share stories, and help ID organisms. Read more >>
tricolor blackbird

Sedgwick Walking Ecology

On April 14, visit the NRS's Sedgwick Reserve to go birding or take a hike to explore this Santa Ynez Valley reserve. Your suggested donation of $20 per person supports the reserve's public education program. 3566 Brinkerhoff Rd., Santa Ynez. Learn more and register >>

Sedgwick's birds of spring
8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Sharpen your birding skills or ID your first bird on an easy walk around the field station and pond to observe resident and migrant species. Bring binoculars if you have them but several pairs are available to loan. Guy Tingos, who has been birding in Santa Barbara County since 1979, will guide the outing. Register >>

A walk on the wild side 
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Join Dennis Beebe and fellow docents for a 3.25-mile interpretive on the Ridge-to-Ridge trail. The moderately difficult loop offers a good overview of the reserve, including the pond, savanna, woodlands, and geology. Register >>

Geology of Sedgwick
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Hike the 4+ miles of the Blue Schist trail with docent Sam Spaulding. The moderate-to-strenuous route will require 3.5 hours of trekking and includes some steep sections; total elevation gain is 520 feet. Participants need to be in good physical condition and have good balance; bring lots of water, a lunch, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Register >>
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