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January 2018
Science to safeguard species

NRS research has laid the foundation for conserving species across the state. A prime example: UCLA professor Brad Shaffer's work on California tiger salamanders was instrumental in protecting the upland habitats this endangered amphibian needs to survive. 
Brant geese grazing

From buzz pollination to seal bones

UC graduate students are brimming with new ideas and the energy to investigate them. What they often lack are funds to support long weeks conducting research in the field. Since 1988, the NRS has helped with its Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant Program. Grad students conducting research at reserves can apply for up to $3,000 to defray the costs of travel, equipment, and accommodations. This year's 19 recipients will use the funds to study everything from brant goose grazing impacts on surfgrass to the anthropology of desert land use. Read more >>

Valentine Eastern Sierra Research Grants

The NRS's Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve is accepting applications for its graduate student research grant program. Students enrolled in any accredited college or university and wish to conduct field work in or around Valentine Camp Reserve and the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory could qualify for up to $2,000 in support. Applications are due March 5, 2018. Read more >>

Sedgwick Walking Ecology

On January 13, visit the NRS's Sedgwick Reserve to attend lectures, take a hike, and 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. Reservations required.

Duke Sedgwick and his predecessors
9:30 a.m. to noon
Discover the cast of characters who protected, influenced and loved the land that is now Sedgwick Reserve with Sedgwick docent Carol Gibbens; ends with a 30 minute walking tour of the historic ranch buildings. Register

Exploring nature with the Wilderness Youth Project
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Give a child in your life the gift of outdoor time this winter with a chance to track animals, climb a mountain, play nature games, and more. Register


Two UCSC biologists receive HHMI Professor awards
UC Santa Cruz

Researchers discover the secret lives of elephant seals.
Año Nuevo Island Reserve
CBS Evening News



New look for NRS website

The NRS has revamped its website! The new design features full-frame images, a friendlier interface, and better security to boot. Among its best new functions: a GIVE button capable of accepting credit card donations. Deep thanks to webmaster Lobsang Wangdu, who spearheaded this heroic effort. Visit us online here >>
Hastings book cover

History of Hastings

Hastings Natural History Reservation, one of UC's oldest field stations, has been informing scientists and students about California's environment since 1937. Mark Stromberg, who served as director of Hastings for more than 20 years, describes the reserve and its long history in a new book. He covers the area's settlement by Europeans, the arrival of the Hastings family, their decision to dedicate of the land to science research, and the reserve's role in global conservation science. Read more >>
Jill Heaton

Deep Canyon Lecture Series

Developed by the UC Natural Reserve System's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, lectures are held 6 p.m. at UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert. 

Jan. 11
Endemic lizard and tortoise species of Namibia, Africa

Professor Jill Heaton of the University of Nevada, Reno will discuss how she has taken methods developed to study Mojave Desert tortoises and applied them to understand poorly known reptile species in Namibia. RSVP

Food security for gulls

GPS tracking of western gulls at the NRS's Año Nuevo Island Reserve reveals that these seabirds use both terrestrial and marine habitats. Gulls based at the nearby Farallon Islands spend much more time away from their colony foraging, putting their eggs and chicks at risk of nest predation. The research is published in the journal Movement EcologyRead the paper >>

Cal Naturalist Training

Become a certified California Naturalist this spring at the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. On Thursdays 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Feb. 15 to Apr. 26, reserve director Mo Kolster and other regional experts will teach classes at UC Merced about the ecology, watershed, geology, wildlife, plant communities, and more of the San Joaquin Valley and central Sierra Nevada Foothills. $350; scholarships are available.
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