Woodpecker granaries, digital weather nodes, and wetland tours were just a few of the attractions offered at NRS 50th anniversary festivities at UC campuses last Saturday.
At Celebrate UCI, the sesquicentennial party-cum-open house on Irvine campus, dozens of visitors took walking tours San Joaquin Marsh. At the adjacent Arboretum, reserve director Peter Bowler set out posters on the history of this highly managed wetland and the decades of research on topics ranging from wetland ecology to habitat restoration efforts. A few brave visitors partook of the plant tasting tour, nibbling on edible vegetation growing in the marsh as they walked.
UC Irvine images by Peter Bowler
Cal Day visitors were captivated by NRS reserve tables featuring porcupine pelts, singing mouse recordings, and even a stuffed black bear at the Valley Life Sciences Building. NRS Systemwide Office Manager Thembi Jackson gave students young and old a sense of the NRS network as a whole and how the system promotes programs such as climate change research and field courses. Those who wandered to other tables learned about studies at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in San Jose using networked nodes, hydrology and stream ecology studies at Angelo Coast Range Reserve from Cal professors Todd Dawson and Mary Power, and stroked the pelts of bib mammals found in the Sierran forests of Sagehen Creek Field Station. Graduate students studying western bluebird societies and deer mouse monogamy provided examples of why NRS reserves are critical to research at reserves.
In addition, Blue Oak Ranch Reserve staff also set up a trail camera at their booth to record UC Berkeley wildlife. Watch their recording of visitors interacting with Cal the Bear from Sagehen.
For information about upcoming NRS 50th anniversary celebrations at a campus near you, see our anniversary year event calendar.