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November 2017
Big Sur is home to the southernmost population of the world's tallest trees, where coast redwoods should feel the most severe effects of climate change. To study this phenomenon, ecologists Anthony Ambrose and Wendy Baxter of UC Berkeley set out to climb and instrument five coast redwoods in an isolated grove next to the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve. The measurements will reveal how much water can move throughout the trees under different climatic conditions, and how fast it flows through the forest.

Roger Samuelsen oral history

The first director of the NRS now has an oral history of his long career at the University of California. Samuelsen was instrumental in bringing dozens of sites into the reserve system between 1967-89, then went on to help found UC Merced. Read more >>

Tale of a kelp forest

Carol Blanchette, director of the NRS's Valentine Camp and Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, is now the author of a new children's book. The Golden Forest recounts the snorkeling adventures of two children in a kelp forest off the central California coast. The book is part of the Long Term Ecological Reserve Schoolyard Series, which reflects research happening at one of the National Science Foundation's 26 LTER sites. All books in the series are reviewed by scientists, feature beautiful illustrations that are true to nature, and are intended to engage children in the ecological sciences. Read more >>
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Big Creek Reserve reopens

After ten months of isolation due to major highway closures, the NRS's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve is now accessible again from the coast highway. A rebuilt bridge means the reserve can be reached easily from the north. But a shoreline-altering landslide still blocks access from the south, and storm damage means travel within the reserve remains difficult. Read more >>
burrowing owl

Owls underfoot

Among the uncounted numbers of ground squirrel burrows on the NRS's Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve live a few unlikely squatters. Burrowing owls take over digs excavated by other animals. That's just as well on the reserve, where trees are virtually nonexistent. The owls often use their extra-long legs to run down prey, stashing extra food such as rodents and insects in larder rooms. Development has led to the decline of the open grasslands Athene cunicularia needs to survive, making the grasslands of eastern Merced a stronghold for this top predator of California's prairies. Photo by Clayton Anderson

NRS IN THE NEWS

Saving vulnerable giants
Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve
Science Notes

The anomalies: the acorn woodpecker
Hastings Natural History Reservation
bioGraphic

New Coastal Biology building opens by Younger Lagoon
Younger Lagoon Reserve
UC Santa Cruz

Going coastal
Younger Lagoon Reserve
UC Santa Cruz Magazine

Back from the brink: the Channel Island fox
Santa Cruz Island Reserve
KCET

 
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