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July 2019

Field station for Merced vernal pools

At the northern corner of UC Merced lies an expanse of grassland that seems to stretch to the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Sprinkled with ephemeral wetlands and alive with endangered salamanders, burrowing owls, and many-legged freshwater shrimp, Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve attracts world-class scientists and nature-loving students alike. Busy with classes visiting its mima mounds and student rangers leading tours, the reserve now aims to build a field station to enhance its educational and research powers. Read more >>

Underground water predicts drought resistance

Unlimited access to water isn't a guaranteed route to success, at least for California plants. A new study soils holding less underground moisture hosts vegetation better able to survive droughts. The research was conducted primarily at the NRS's Angelo Coast Range Reserve but also Sagehen Creek Field Station, and other sites. Read more >>

Valentine Camp Walks and Talks

The NRS's Valentine Camp reserve is welcoming the public to a variety of educational tours this July. This is your chance to visit the best-kept secret in Mammoth Lakes. All tours meet at the entrance gate to Valentine Camp Reserve, 2380 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA. Your $20 donation supports field trips to the NRS's Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves for the schoolchildren of Inyo and Mono counties. Advance registration is required.

History of Valentine Reserve
July 24    2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Learn about the area’s first visitors, and how the inhabitants have changed from Native Americans to gold speculators and now educators and scientists. 

Geology of Valentine Reserve
July 10, 17, 21    9:30 a.m. - noon
Mammoth Mountain volcano, glaciers, and the explosions of the Inyo Craters have all left their mark on Valentine Camp. Discover how the rocks of the reserve arrived at their destinations on this moderately strenuous hike.

Wildflowers of Valentine Reserve
July 16, 30    9:30 - noon
The reserve changes color throughout the wildflower season thanks to arrays of forget-me-nots, mariposa lilies, violets, and other blooms. The hike is moderately strenuous.

Black Bears of Valentine Reserve
July 5, 11    9:30 a.m. - noon
See bear scratched trees, a bear den, and occasionally bear tracks as you learn how bears survive in the forest, and how Mammoth Lakes is managing its bear population.

Sundays at Valentine Reserve
July 7, 14, 21, 28    9:30 - noon
This moderately strenuous hike provides an overview of the history, flora, fauna and will demonstrate what makes Valentine Camp Reserve so special.

Learn more and register >>
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Santa Cruz Island projects

Undergraduates Gabbie Junquera and Jazmin Horvet of California State University Channel Islands, stayed at the NRS's Santa Cruz Island Reserve and investigated the transfer of fennel pollen to native plant species by insect pollinators. They found fennel attracts a wide variety of insect pollinators which commonly transfer fennel pollen to the common native plant species buckwheat and morning glory. The fennel pollen transfer. In the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, the students worked with UC San Diego professor David Holway. Junquera's poster describing the work won the best poster award at the 4 May CSUCI research symposium, while Horvet received an academic excellence award.

Jepson Herbarium Workshops

UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium partners with the NRS to provide educational opportunities for those interested in California's native flora. 

Sept. 20 - 22
GIS for botanists
Heather Constable and Michelle Koo
Hastings Natural History Reservation

Spend a weekend mapping at the NRS's Blue Oak Ranch Reserve. This introductory GIS (Geographic Information System) workshop will provide the fundamentals required to create maps and conduct simple analyses. Map points, lines, and polygons with rasters, and gain fundamentals in geography, mapping, land cover, and other spatial data. Learn to use the Quantum GIS program, and discover where to get freely available data. Get an overview of the spatial technology necessary to answer questions about biodiversity, conservation, ecology, and related fields in a manner useful for botanists, naturalists, and consultants working with field or historic data. Attendees should bring their own laptops so they can leave with a fully operational GIS workflow. Learn more and register >>


California’s early June heat wave cooked coastal mussels in place
Bodega Marine Reserve
Bay Nature

Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore
Bodega Marine Reserve
The Guardian

It's so hot that mussels are cooking in their shells and highways are buckling
Bodega Marine Reserve

Blue Oak Ranch takes the pulse of the wild
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve
Environmental Monitor

UC Regents approve the addition of Lassen Field Station to UC Davis Natural Reserve System
Lassen Field Station
The California Aggie

Nevada County arts organizations receive California Arts Council awards
Sagehen Creek Field Station
Sierra Sun 

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