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March 2020
Imani Russell

Breaking the frog fungus code


The chytrid fungus has been ravaging amphibians around the globe. Imani Russell of UC Santa Barbara wants that to stop. To get samples of the pathogen and the animals it infects, she's been visiting multiple NRS reserves in different seasons, including Quail Ridge Reserve. She's scrutinizing those samples with a combination of ecological and genetic tools to reveal the lethal secrets of the disease. Read more >>
three monkeyflowers: spotted, blobbed, solid-colored tongue

How the monkeyflower got its spots


Flowers are famous for their fanciful decorations. Petals of all shapes and sizes come resplendent in stripes, dots, and patterns galore. Scientists studying yellow monkeyflowers from the NRS's McLaughlin Natural Reserve and elsewhere have now zeroed in on how its fetching red spots get made. The same mechanisms are likely at work on flowers ranging from asters to zinnias. Read more >>
entry sign and buildings at Owens Valley Research Station of White Mountain Research Center

White Mountain 2020 Lectures


The NRS's White Mountain Research Center kicks off its 2020 Public Lecture Series in March. Most talks are held on Tuesdays. All are free to the public. Talks begin promptly at 7 p.m. Seating is limited, so arrive early. 3000 East Line St., Bishop. Read more >>

Sierra Nevada and White-Inyos separating after 100 million years together, cite irreconcilable tectonics
Tue. Mar. 10
Allen Glazner, Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researches magmatism and plate tectonics in western North America, particularly in the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park.

Some overlooked bristlecone history
Tue. Mar. 24
Daniel Pritchett is the de facto historian of White Mountain Research Center. Though he retired from the center in 2016, he retains a strong interest in the history of the field station, the White Mountains, and the surrounding desert environs.

Honoring ancient ancestors: how we can use the lessons of the past to build a better future
Tue. Mar. 31
David Lee of Western Rock Art Research is an independent researcher, author, and lecturer who has documented hundreds of rock art sites in western North American and northern Australia.

Translocation of bi-state sage-grouse: augmenting critically small populations of sage-grouse in Parker Meadow
Tue. Apr. 7
A biological technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, Mary Petermeyer works with bi-state sage-grouse, a geographically isolated and genetically distinct sub-population of greater sage-grouse. She has just completed the third year of translocations of birds from the Bodie Hills to the Parker Meadows area to bolster population size and infuse genetic diversity.

The use of drones in support of public infrastructure projects
Thur. Apr. 9
Sean Robison, an engineering technician with Mono County, will discuss the types of projects where drones and photogrammetry have been beneficial for county projects and the pros and cons of using drones for data collection.

Title TBD
Tue. Apr. 28
Sophia Layser Borgias is a doctoral student in geography and development at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She researches water governance, hydropower conflicts, and social mobilization in Latin America and the western United States.
male Costa's hummingbird

Boyd Deep Canyon Lecture Series


Every year, the NRS's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center sponsors a series of lectures showcasing research at the reserve, desert conservation efforts, and environmental issues.

All lectures are facilitated by reserve director Chris Tracy and held on Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m., at the auditorium of UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr, Palm Desert. Learn more and RSVP at links.

Mar. 12
Overcoming extreme challenges: how birds deal with warming temperatures in a changing climate
Alex Gerson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Apr. 9
Inspiration from the sea: how studying marine organisms can improve our daily lives
Misty Paig-Tran, California State University, Fullerton
Yucca schidigera plant against rocks of Granite Mountains reserve

Jepson Herbarium Workshops


Learn about California's flora from UC experts and explore NRS reserves to boot at UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium Workshops. Learn more and register >>

50 Plant Families in the Field: Monterey Bay
April 23–26
Hastings Natural History Reservation

California’s Native Bees: Biology, Ecology, and Identification
May 29–31
Hastings Natural History Reservation

Arctostaphylos
June 5–7
Hastings Natural History Reservation

Flora of the San Jacinto Mountains
July 16–19
James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve
UC Natural Reserve System Symposium logo

A celebration of all things NRS


The NRS is holding its very first Symposium this fall to spread the word about the science, education, and public service fostered by our network of protected lands. Held Nov. 12-13 in Berkeley, the Symposium will include talks and poster sessions by scientists and educators. Attendees can also sign up to take a field trip to one of four NRS reserves. Be sure to enter your email to get updates. Read more >>

Purple flowers majesty


Royal larkspur (Delphinium variegatum) is a wildflower endemic to California from the foothills to the Central Valley to the coast. All parts of Delphinium plants contain alkaloids toxic to humans as well as livestock.  Bumblebees and butterflies, however, seem impervious to these poisons, as both species sip larkspur nectar and get some pollination done while they dine. Photo: Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, Clayton Anderson
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