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July 2015

California wildflower diversity diminishing with climate change

Native wildflowers in California are losing species diversity after multiple years of drier winters, according to a study at the NRS's Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve. Led by UC Davis professor Susan Harrison, the study provides the first direct evidence of climate change impacts in the state’s extensive grassland communities.

Ocean Mysteries: Elephant seals

Conservationist and wildlife TV program host Jeff Corwin visited the NRS's Año Nuevo Island Reserve this past winter to film UCSC professor Dan Costa's longstanding northern elephant seal research project in action. Look for battling bulls, hardy mothers, and suckling newborn pups in this whirlwind tour of what seals are teaching us about the animal endurance and the deep. Image credit: Clayton Anderson. Watch episode >>
Page Center exterior

SNARL unveils energy-efficient meeting hall

Long a locus for research in eastern California, the NRS's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) near Mammoth Lakes now has a new energy-neutral meeting hall located on reserve lands. The nearly 2,700-square-foot Page Center featuring stunning views of nearby mountain peaks is the culmination of a nearly 30-year-old dream for reserve director Dan Dawson. Image credit: Dan Dawson Read more >>
Invisible Barn in the forest
Take a forest stroll at the NRS’s Sagehen Creek Field Station, and you will encounter an Invisible Barn. The structure’s edges fade into the open air, until angled glimpses of tree trunks reveal a roof or wall. Surprise, then amusement tickle your brain as it wrestles with the sight of a building disappearing into the forest. This construction folly melds art, science, and nature with elegance while provoking contemplation about our place in the environment. Image credit: Sagehen Creek Field Station. Read more >>


Scientists see climate change in action in California wildflower fields
McLaughlin Natural History Reservation
Los Angeles Times

UC Natural Reserve System: 50 years of research
Loa Tree

Oil spill in Santa Barbara affects university-owned natural reserve
Coal Oil Point
Daily Californian

The definition of insanity: Santa Barbara's oil spill
Coal Oil Point

SNARL's Page Center opens
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory
The Sheet

Nature lovers using smart phones to document Sierra Nevada biodiversity
Sagehen Creek Field Station
Sierra Sun


Mathias grad research grants

Applications for the NRS's Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants are now being accepted. The program provides up to $3,000 to support UC graduate student research at one or more NRS reserves. Applications are due October 15, 2015, but don't procrastinate--fall will be here before you know it. Read more >>

School House significance

Carmel-by-the-Sea is famed for its "storybook houses," cottages that look transported from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The architect behind this village whimsy was Hugh Comstock. Comstock also designed the School House on the NRS's Hastings Natural History Reservation; built as an East Coast-style boarding school in 1929, it now houses reserve users.

Hello, world

Western snowy plovers are precocious, able to stand and scamper after beach hoppers within hours of hatching. This little peeper--about the size of a marshmallow--was in warming incubator after its abandoned nest was rescued by staff at the NRS's Coal Oil Point Reserve. Last month's Refugio Oil Spill threatened snowy plovers nesting on the reserve.
Sedgwick hills

Sedgwick Hike

The next public hike at the NRS's 6,000-acre Sedgwick Reserve will be held Saturday, June 13, at 8:30 a.m.  These interpretive hikes in the Santa Ynez Valley last two to three hours. Picnic with your own lunch afterward. For reservations or more information, contact sedgwick@lifesci.ucsb.edu.

SNARL Lecture Series

Held at the Page Center, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab, 1016 Mount Morrison Road, Mammoth Lakes, 7 pm. Free,  approximately one hour. For more information, contact Anne Barrett, 805-893-5655, or Kim Rose, 805-893-5654.

July 7  Sources of bacterial contamination in Eastern Sierra Nevada Streams, Roland Knapp, research biologist, SNARL

Valentine Walks

The NRS's Valentine Camp Reserve is only open to the public 15 days a year as part of the reserve's Walks and Talks program. Topics include early season wildflowers; history; geology; wildlife; wildflowers; the forest; and black bears. The two-hour July talks follow two of the reserve's trails. Reservations are required. To register, contact Carole Lester, 805-893-5655.
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