Located within the Sagehen Experimental Forest on the eastern slope of the northern Sierra Nevada approximately 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe, Sagehen Creek Field Station has been dedicated to research and teaching since 1951. The University of California operates the station under a long-term special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The surrounding watershed is also available to researchers and classes through an agreement with the Forest Service and includes extensive stands of yellow pine, mixed conifer, and red fir forests, as well as brush fields, scattered mountain meadows, and fens. Sagehen serves as the hub of a broader network of research areas known as the Central Sierra Field Research Stations, comprised of Sagehen Creek Field Station, Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, Onion Creek Experimental Watershed, Chickering American River Reserve, and North Fork Association Lands.
Graduate research at Sagehen has provided the basis for 80+ master’s and doctoral theses such as behavioral studies of dark-eyed juncos, stream runoff modeling, bees/butterflies in mountain montane meadows, and GIS as a tool for reserve master planning.
Summer Field Courses
UC Davis offers a five-week entomology field course and a two-week botany field course.
Community GIS Center provides advanced GIS support for researchers; established in collaboration with Truckee River Watershed Council, U.S. Forest Service, CA Fish and Game, Desert Research Institute.
Adventure, Risk & Challenge (ARC), an intensive, six-week course for motivated English language learner students with leadership potential, is based at Sagehen. Local schools regularly bring students for outdoor education classes. UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science offers a one-week summer science camp for high school students.
Special Research of National Significance
National pilot project applying spatially placed area fuel treatments (SPLATs), a new approach to managing forest fire risk, to a real-world landscape.