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December 2020

Study examines wildfire effects on water, soils 

Wildfire incinerated Margaret Zimmer's research site at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve this summer. Rather than mourn losses of her hydrology equipment, the UC Santa Cruz professor has expanded her original study to investigate the effects of fire on the movement of water through the ecosystem, the behavior of soils, and impacts on water quality downstream.  Read more >>

Revealing Bodega's ribbon worms

UC Davis undergraduate Madeline Frey spent her summer sweeping shorelines at Bodega Marine Reserve for minuscule marine invertebrates known as ribbon worms. An NRS Field Science Fellowship let her focus on the survey full time. What she discovered in just a few weeks of field work has eluded many biologists for a lifetime.

Prop. 84 keeps Carpinteria connected to the tides

A series of collapsing culverts threatened to cut off a sizable portion of Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve from tidal flows. The story of how those culverts got fixed is a twisted tale involving a major oil company, underwater shell mountains, baby halibut, a debris flow of colossal proportions, and an environmental bond passed by Californians. Read more >>

Big Creek redwoods transformed by fire

Wildfire blazed through much of the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve this summer, incinerating thousands of acres of wild Central Coast habitats. The reserve's hardy stand of redwoods were among the areas burned. This video by Wendy Baxter shows how the reserve's Dance Floor redwood grove is faring three full months after the fire. View on YouTube >>
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2020-21 Mathias Grants

This year, the NRS's Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant Program awarded sixteen graduate students from all nine UC campuses a total of $38,000 to conduct field work at reserves. These early career researchers will study tick-borne pathogens, how native bees and ants are coping with non-native interlopers, and much more.  Read more >>

Fall 2020 CEC Research

The latest issue of CEC Research, the journal of the NRS's California Ecology and Conservation Program, is now live. Papers represent students' final field study projects conducted at Hastings Natural Reservation. Students investigated the phenomenon of unburned halos beneath oak trees, the volatile compounds in California bay trees, woodrat nest occupancy, bird community interactions, and other topics using skills they acquired on the course. Read more >>

New weather stations

Valentine Camp has new climate monitoring systems thanks to the NRS's crack team of weather station technicians. Wendy Baxter installed the main weather station (shown), while Jim Norris added two ClimaView environmental monitoring packages to provide data for the NRS's California Heartbeat Initiative. Completing a three-point transect of the property from forest, to meadow, to sagebrush/scrub, these instruments will inform research such as a study of the effects of the reserve's recent forest thinning project


Do plants have personalities? This botanist is looking to prove that they do
Valentine Camp
Bloomberg News

Drone surveys reveal fire damage and recovery at UC Natural Reserves
Hastings Natural History Reservation
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

UC Berkeley

Burn recovery study will gather data from 9 UC Natural Reserves
Daily Californian

A closer look at California's iconic oaks
Sedgwick Reserve
The Daily Nexus
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