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April 2020

Field Science Fellowship Awards

The NRS has awarded four $6000 Field Science Fellowships to teams made up of a UC undergraduate and their UC faculty mentor. The fellowship enables the student to focus full time on science research at one or more NRS reserves for an entire summer under the guidance of faculty. 2020 is the inaugural year for this program; we hope many more years of supporting undergraduate field research lie ahead. The recipients will be studying subjects ranging from marine ribbon worm diversity to how ground squirrels learn. Read more >>

$60M oil spill settlement reached

The pipeline company responsible for the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill has agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle damages. The spill fouled the beach at the NRS's Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve and other shorelines as far south as Los Angeles County, and oiled many birds, marine mammals, and other wildlife. Read more >>

Pathogen takes twisty path to infect sea otters

Sea otters have been dying of infections by a pathogen carried by a land animal, the Virginia opossum. Researchers sampled sea otters from California to Alaska, including at the NRS's Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve and Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve to understand how the microbe spreads. Their findings demonstrate how connected microbial environments are between land and sea. Read more >>

Climate crisis emaciates newts

California's recent drought racked up a long list of casualties ranging from ancient trees to once-fertile farmland. Newts should be added to that grim list. A new study shows that newts living through drought conditions in southern California had far poorer body condition—were scrawnier for their size—than their northern relatives. The findings, based partly on animals sampled at the NRS's Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve, may foreshadow how the climate crisis will impact amphibians across the state. Read more >>

Save the Symposium Date 

The NRS plans to celebrate 55 years of supporting some of California's most wide ranging and important field research at a Symposium held November 12-13 in Berkeley. At this point, plans for the event, a full seven months away, are going ahead full steam. Set those dates aside (as well as Saturday, Nov. 14 if you want to attend a field trip to one of four northern California NRS reserves) to attend. Image of San Joaquin Marsh Reserve: Steven Zylius/UCI Learn more and sign up to receive updates >>


Pipeline company reaches $60M settlement in Refugio oil spill case
Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve
Ventura County Star

Pipeline company to pay more than $60M for 2015 oil spill
Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve
Los Angeles Times

Plains All American to pay more than $60M for Refugio Oil Spill
Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve
Santa Barbara Independent

Art from Sagehen in DC

Work created by artists participating in the ArtSciConverge residency program at the NRS's Sagehen Creek Field Station near Truckee was scheduled to be exhibited at the headquarters of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. Sagehen: A Sierra Proving Ground was curated by William L. Fox, founding director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Since 2011, the reserve has hosted dozens of projects that combine art and science. Read more >>

Wildfire perception

Between catastrophic burns and messages from Smokey the Bear, wildfires have a bad reputation. Experiencing a landscape responding to the effect of wildfire, however, can shift that response. A new study at the NRS's Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve shows people's attitudes toward wildfire got more nuanced after they hiked burned habitats. Read more >>

Younger Lagoon survey results

The results from the year-long survey of biodiversity at the NRS's Younger Lagoon Reserve are in. They documented many organisms tnever publicly documented there before, including hundreds of insect morphospecies, and 44 plant, 110 fungi or lichen, six mammal, five reptile or amphibian, and one bird species. It's the first reserve done in an ambitious effort to survey all four UCSC reserves, then hopefully the rest of the reserves in the NRS. Read more >>

Getcha reserve media here

The coronavirus outbreak has forced many instructors to forego trips to reserves and teach online instead. To help those seeking to provide virtual tours to reserves, the NRS has made a portion of our digital photo archive available for general use. To see those photos, visit the NRS photo archive page. Additional resources are available on the NRS video page.
Yucca schidigera plant against rocks of Granite Mountains reserve

Jepson Herbarium Workshops

Learn about California's flora from UC experts and explore NRS reserves to boot at UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium Workshops. Learn more and register >>

California’s Native Bees: Biology, Ecology, and Identification
May 29–31
Hastings Natural History Reservation

June 5–7
Hastings Natural History Reservation

Flora of the San Jacinto Mountains
July 16–19
James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve
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