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June 2020

Field courses aid STEM diversity

During a time of heightened awareness about the inequities black and brown people face throughout society, a new study from UC Santa Cruz showcases how field courses increase diversity in science. The courses, which included the NRS's own California Ecology and Conservation program, helped students who are underrepresented minorities, first in their family to attend college, or face financial need graduate and achieve better grades. These findings suggest ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the sciences, and underscore the importance of having NRS reserves to host immersive learning experiences. Read more >>

NRS adapts to shutdown

The coronavirus darkened stores, emptied restaurants, and drove schoolchildren and college students alike from classrooms. But NRS reserves continued to link the rest of the world with nature. Staff broke out their drone cameras and cell phones, data notebooks and specimen jars to continue the business of nature education and science on a virtual basis. Read more >>

From social club to desert science center

It was a beauty in its day, with a sleek silhouette, refreshing pool, and elegant curving bar. But when it was purchased for UC, the building that now houses the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center wasn't quite up to the job. The reserve probably would have limped along for years housing just a handful of people at a time. Then Prop. 84 funding came available, leapfrogging it into one of the most comfortable and well-appointed field stations in the NRS. Read more >>
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Game-changing bond funds

We've launched a new series of stories describing how $20 million made available by California's Proposition 84 have transformed reserves across the NRS. Reserves have used bond funds to make more beds available for visitors, add labs, make operations greener, and much more. The series will describe how Prop. 84 projects have improved 16 NRS reserves in unique but critical ways. Read more >>

NRS photos available

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.

Fiddle dee dee

Amsinckia, or fiddlenecks, produce flower stems that curl in on themselves in a manner resembling the head of a violin. Native to California, these wildflowers aren't as delicate as they look. The stems and leaves bristle with sharp hairs that can irritate human skin, while the foliage contains alkaloids and nitrates poisonous to livestock. This beauty was photographed at the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve by Clayton Anderson.


Field courses boost STEM diversity, study reveals
UC Santa Cruz
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